1973 Lotus Elan Plus 2


  • Completely restored with modern parts
  • Handles just like a Lotus should
  • Great looks
  • Working pop-up headlights
  • A pure thrill to drive

The Appeal

Lotus, a byword for lightweight British performance cars, this example encapsulates this ethos extremely well. It has been restored and rebuilt by Spyder Cars and now has a modern powerplant at the heart of the driving experience.

It’s not only the engine that has had a re-vamp, it has undergone a total respray and has also even had a new chassis, and a new gearbox. If you are looking for something exciting to drive, then this classic Lotus should be on the list for you!

The History and Paperwork

First hitting the roads in October 1973 the car you see today has been privy to a little bit of work, little is known about its history pre-restoration. What we do know is that it found its way to Spyder Cars, where it was stripped back and rebuild. 

As part of the restoration, the body was taken back to bare fibreglass, patched up where needed, primed, and then repainted in this fetching blue. 

The original Lotus engine was replaced with a more modern, reliable, offering, under the bonnet now sits a Zetec engine.

This is mated to a new 5-speed gearbox with new CVs, a full specification list of the parts can be found in the paperwork, along with the spec sheet, you’ll also find an up-to-date V5, MOT certificates, dyno sheets, and swatches of paint/leather.

The current owner has enjoyed the car a lot but has decided that it is time for you to climb aboard and enjoy the thrills it has to offer

The Interior

  • New leather interior 
  • Beautiful Moto-Lita steering wheel
  • Some modern touches
  • New Pioneer radio 
  • Rear seat harnesses fitted
Getting into a Lotus is a sense of occasion in itself, stepping over the sill and lowering yourself down into the seat is unlike many modern cars. When you’re seated comfortably you will notice that your bum is almost touching the ground, this makes the driving experience even more exhilarating.

Speaking of seats, let’s start by looking at their condition. It would appear that the seats were re-trimmed during its rebuild and as such are all presented without rips or age-related marks. 

There does appear to be a dark stain on the front passenger seat, however. It is also interesting to see that the rear seats have been fitted with harness-like belts, great if you are hoping to take out your young family and keep them safe, or maybe you have somewhat immature friends that need to be strapped in, so they don’t annoy everyone else.

Classic interiors are a lot classier and more minimalistic than modern offerings. The steering wheel is just that, a wheel to steer the car. Not some high tech computer that is more of a distraction than a help. This Lotus has been fitted with a lovely wooden and metal Moto-Lita steering wheel that makes the interior pop. 

To match the wooden steering wheel, the gear knob is also wood, and the dash is finished in a walnut veneer. There is said to be some chipping to the veneer around the glove box, but this shouldn’t be a deal breaker when the interior looks as good as this does.

You may think that Lotus’ aren’t a practical car, well think again. Not only does this example have four seats, but it also has a fairly sized boot. You may be able to get a couple of weekend bags in the boot and if you run out of space in there, just put it on the back seats. Who needs a large SUV when you have a little Elan +2?

Overall, the interior of this Lotus is in nice condition. If you do a thorough scan then yes, you may pick up on a few marks, but on the whole, this interior is ready for you to get in and go. No expensive overhaul work should be needed.

The Exterior 

  • Complete re-spray
  • Alloys in good condition
  • Working pop-up lights
  • Charming character
Not only are Lotus’ lightweight and quick, but they are also very pretty to look at. The Elan +2 is no different, the pointy front end would have been the height of road car aerodynamic efficiency back in the 1970s. Its small stature also adds to the car's overall charm, leading to a car that passers-by can’t help but look at and smile.

This example has been enhanced by a full bare fibreglass re-spray. During the restoration, it was taken back and repaired where needed and then painted in this beautiful blue colour. Fibreglass is apparently much more difficult to paint than normal metal, and the properties of the material can sometimes lead to cracking. 

There are some small isolated areas of cracking and chipping around the car, most of this can be found around the front end. You may also be able to see some slight marks on the paint on the doors too. Hopefully, these may come out with a proper polish.

One of the key characteristics of a +2 are the pop-up headlights. When retracted they keep the clean, aerodynamic shape of the front end, but when they ‘popped-up’ they turned it into a charming classic. 

It would appear that the lights have been upgraded from the original halogens as they were a brilliant white colour, this may come across in the photos. It should be mentioned that these lights still work on the vacuum system and both pop up and retract in a timely fashion. 

The car sits on four rather well presented alloy wheels. As this example has only covered 6,000 miles since the restoration there have been little to no incursions with curbs.

As with any classic car, there is of course some chrome to be found on the exterior. The front bumper looks to be in good condition with minimal pitting, but the rear bumper does display some corrosion.

Overall, the exterior of this Lotus is in good condition. There are a few marks located around the exterior, but if the car was in Concours condition you would be scared to use it properly. 

The Mechanics 

  • Modern Zetec engine 
  • Upgraded 5-speed box
  • Recent MOT 
  • Dyno sheet available
  • An animal on the roads
Yes, the interior and the exterior are important, but for a Lotus, it is all about the handling and mechanical elements. Well, what Spyder Cars have done is taken the original recipe and just spiced it up a little bit for 21st-century motoring. 

Under the bonnet you will not find the original Lotus Twin-cam, instead, you will find a 2.0l, 16 valves, double overhead cam, Ford Zetec engine, with fuel injection. This is then mated to a Ford MT75 5-speed manual gearbox. Not only does it mean that this +2 is rapid on the road, but it should also provide more modern reliability/performance.

There is a dyno sheet as part of the paperwork which puts the car at 162.3hp, when you then consider its weight of 863KG unladen, makes for a pocket rocket that might even leave supercar owners red in the face.

It's not just the engine and gearbox that got an overhaul. The brakes were upgraded to 4 pot Wilwood affairs so it should stop as well as it goes. 
If you’re curious to read all of the particulars and numbers then the technical specification from Spyder Cars can be found in the photo gallery.

There is no doubt that you will enjoy every drive out in this classic car, mainly thanks to its modern heart and mechanicals that just inspire confidence.


Classic looks combined with modern performance/reliability, what's not to love? This Lotus still retains all of the charm and character of the original car but has been given a new lease of life with some more reliable and powerful parts.

Getting behind the wheel of this pocket rocket will make for some excellent motoring memories. We’re entering the twilight years of internal combustion, so why not go out in style with this 1973 Lotus Elan +2? 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1972
  • Make Lotus
  • Model +2
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 6,478 Miles
  • Engine size 1998
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Winchester
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
22 bids
  • ge•••• £23,750 30/10/22
  • bi•••• £23,500 30/10/22
  • ge•••• £23,250 30/10/22
  • bi•••• £23,000 30/10/22
  • Da•••• £22,250 30/10/22
  • xj•••• £22,000 30/10/22
  • Da•••• £21,000 30/10/22
  • bi•••• £20,000 30/10/22
  • Da•••• £19,750 30/10/22
  • bi•••• £19,500 30/10/22
Message C&C Auction Team

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