SOLD 06/23

1972 Lotus
Elan Plus 2S

Clever Ford Zetec 2.0L retrofitted rocket ship! 5-speed, and new Spydercars Ltd. chassis.

  • VIN0247N
  • Exterior ColorRed
  • Interior ColorTan leather
  • Mileage3243 Miles (TMU)
  • Engine2L 16V Ford Zetec
  • Transmission5-speed manual
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2747


1972 Lotus Elan Plus 2S

VIN – 0247N
Exterior Color – Red
Interior Color – Tan leather
Engine – 2 Liter 16V Ford Zetec
Transmission –5-speed manual
Current Miles – 3,262 miles

General Overview

The Lotus Elan first appeared in October 1962 at the British International Motor Show at Earls Court, where many other competitors unveiled their mighty engines and horsepower ratings. Against these lumbering, powerful, and expensive machines, the lightweight and nimble Elan offered a totally different car: a modern, simple design, delivering tremendous driving fun. Lotus packed the Elan with innovative technical features including a fiberglass body draped over the first backbone chassis of any road car, and four-wheel independent suspension. Lotus would later revolutionize racing with their monocoque 25, further enhancing Lotus’ racing lineage. By 1967 the Elan +2 arrived with a longer wheelbase and two additional rear seats. The package proved successful selling very well until 1975 when it was replaced by the Europa. At the time, the Elan series became Lotus’s most popular car receiving multiple motorsports press accolades - a sentiment that continues today as new generations discover the many merits of these cars.

History and Build Details of This Car

This Elan Plus 2 S was manufactured in January 1972 and is one of just 305 cars originally imported to America. The car remained with a series of owners before arriving in South Carolina where, in 2007, it was converted to Ford Zetec 2.0-liter power with a Ford MT75 5-speed manual gearbox and 3.64:1 rear end with a limited slip differential. The mechanical build and restoration included replacing the chassis to the more robust and acclaimed Sypdercars Ltd. chassis which offers greater structural rigidity and performance longevity due to splayed and braced steel construction. As part of the build, suspension components were also addressed including tubular control arms with adjustable springs and dampers, vastly improved wheel hubs with ball joints (replacing former factory trunnions), and 15” Minilite wheels with 10.25” diameter 4 pot ventilated Wilwood front disc brakes, 10” Wilwood solid discs, and a modern dual circuit master cylinder. A modern lightweight Vintage Air AC system was also installed.

After the car was completed, the second post-build owner purchased the car in 2016 and continued to develop the car throughout 2018, replacing the radiator, coilover springs and dampers, new engine mounts, installing a new serpentine belt, a new windshield, new headlamps and fog lights, a new exhaust system, and updated audio components. As part of the original build, the Ford Zetec 16V twin-cam utilizes Jenvey Dynamics throttle bodies, and an Emerald ECU. Under prior ownership, in March 2019, the CPU was remapped.

In December 2020, this car was purchased on BringaTrailer by the current owner. Under current ownership the electronic fuel injection was tuned, a new steering rack installed, a new fuel filler cap and fuel hoses installed, the fuel rail was repaired, new injectors were installed, and the pop-up headlight linkage and electrical wiring refined for more consistent operation.

Condition Overview

Today this Lotus Elan Plus 2S presents as a unique example combining all the desirable visual traits of a vintage car with a remarkable boost in performance. Finished in vivid Red, the paint is in excellent condition except for two notable chips located on the rear fender arches which occurred under prior ownership. A few small stone chips are visible on front facing surfaces, none of which detract from the overall presentation. All glass, lenses, and exterior body trim are in excellent cosmetic condition. The doors, hood, and trunk function properly with good closure and panel gapping consistent with Lotus delivery specifications from this era. The cast alloy Minilite wheels are in excellent condition wearing a set of lower profile contemporary Pirelli Cinturato radial tires.

Inside the car, the interior exhibits cohesive finishes throughout. The interior components present with fit and finish typical of Lotus from this period. The nicely trimmed tan door panels feature a more contemporary design, leather seating in keeping with the spirit of the car, as are the matching tan-colored low pile carpet and headliner. The dashboard is quite nice, displaying clear, handsome instrumentation contrasted by deep lacquered dark wood veneer, and a three spoke steering wheel fronted by a Lotus center emblem. A contemporary Pioneer CD radio is installed. The trunk is lined with black carpet with a removable floor panel that covers the battery, fuel tank, a main electrical cutoff switch, and various electronic components.

Under the hood, the novel application of the modern Ford Zetec is in perfect harmony with the Lotus legacy given much of the twin cam history that both companies benefited from in partnership with Cosworth. The engine and engine compartment feature a handsome balance of vintage features and modern components which are harmoniously executed and cleverly installed including electronic fuel injection, Vintage Air AC, a modern aluminum radiator, and an aluminum Lotus-branded air cleaner. The AC currently operates, blowing cold, however intermittently, which the current owner is investigating.

The undercarriage of the car further supports the dedication from the original build team to bring modern concealed updates to the historic design. The finishes show only minor signs of use while the updated suspension, brakes, and Sypdercars chassis are in excellent condition reflective of the thoughtful build and engineering performed on this car.

The car starts easily and idles smoothly with a warm but snappy exhaust note. Unlike other coupe designs, the interior feels comfortable and quite roomy, with switches and controls easily within reach. The modern gearbox engages readily as a touch of the throttle sets you rocketing on your way. The added power is delightful and quite usable in this package. The car tracks very well, exhibiting composure and confidence managing more than double the horsepower with surprising composure. Brakes and steering are in keeping with the spirit of the car, if not a bit better than one might expect – largely attributed to the lightweight but improved Spydercars chassis and larger Wilwood disc brakes. Driving pleasure overall is captivating with a distinct vintage charm, delivering spirited and well-mannered performance.

Items Included with the Car

This Lotus is accompanied by a spare set of four Minilite 14x6 wheels, spare interior material, and a handful of assorted used spare parts. Also included with the car is a copy of the Spydercars chassis specification sheet, and copies of detailed notes from the former owner regarding fluids, measurements, relevant consumable part numbers, and mechanical operation.

Previously sold on

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608