Greenwich Concours Preview: 1970 Lotus Elan +2 Coupe

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While I’m sure we’ve all seen Lotus Elan roadsters, when was the last time you saw an Elan coupe? It’s no secret that the Elan’s sales and reputation in America were based on its appeal as a fair weather roadster, so coming across this nicely preserved +2 Coupe was a bit of a surprise.

Some showgoers were even more surprised than I was, specifically at finding out that Lotus had built a coupe version in the first place. You have to admit though, the +2 Coupe’s lines paint a much different overall profile, especially if your eye is trained to process only the cabrio version of this machine. Let’s take a closer look at this thing after the jump.

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By no means the only Lotus at the 2012 edition of the Greenwich Concours, this one perhaps one of my favorites from last year simply due to its charming appearance and rarity. It takes a very special car guy to pick a Lotus Elan +2 coupe over the roadster, just given the ratio of roadsters to coupes as well as the wind-in-your-hair factor. Out of approximately 17,000 Elans made, just a little over 5,000 were +2 Coupes, and just a little over a thousand of these coupes are thought to survive.

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This Elan +2 Coupe was in great condition inside and out when I saw it. And it does look quite a bit smaller in person than in photographs, something that is perhaps true about most Lotus automobiles. This Elan was dwarfed by a brilliant white Esprit sitting not too far away, and the Esprit itself is not a particularly tall automobile. In fact, this Elan was dwarfed by quite a few cars at Greenwich 2012, including an MGB GT coupe.

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The 2013 edition of the Greenwich Concours will take place this June 1st and 2nd in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich Connecticut. Be there, or be square!

Full gallery from Greenwich Concours 2012 below:

[Images: Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Jay Ramey]

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19 responses to “Greenwich Concours Preview: 1970 Lotus Elan +2 Coupe”

  1. Alff Avatar

    Man, talk about a Repo Man moment. I literally just jumped here after searching Craigslist nationwide for Lotus Elan coupes.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Makes sense, because that Alfa isn't probably doesn't give you much opportunity for workshop fun.

      1. Alff Avatar

        What I reeeeaaaaalllly want is an Austin Mini. One sold at Mecum KC a couple of weeks ago for a reasonable price but it was a vintage model with shared engine and transmission lube. That intimidates me.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          They're all like that, as is the Metro. It's not a big deal as long as the oil and filter are changed regularly….

          1. Alff Avatar

            I thought they separated them sometime around 1970.

          2. mdharrell Avatar

            No, in fact even the versions with automatic transmissions share oil with the engine instead of using ATF. I understand it's particularly vital to change oil frequently for those.

        2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          Nearly every motorcycle built in the last 30 years is like that, too. Do Minis have a wet clutch?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Not intentionally.

          2. Alff Avatar

            That's a great point. I guess I need to adjust my frame of reference.

    2. P161911 Avatar

      The two seat coupes look pretty nice.
      <img src=""width=500&gt;
      The +2 doesn't do anything to help the looks.

    3. Rover1 Avatar

      Well the Plus2 does get Alfa 105 tail lights instead of FB Vauxhall Victor ones so it's not like it's a complete withdrawal from Alfadom.

  2. facelvega Avatar

    Ah, the Elan plus two. Much like the E-type or, say, the 280zx, a case where the plus two treatment ruined the lines of the original two-seater. To my mind this is the least attractive of all pre-Elise Lotuses (personally, I say no thanks to the tech sneaker treatment that came after that). But then again I really like the styling of the 70s Elite, so I may be in the minority here:
    <img src="; width="600">

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Although I like the looks of all the Elans, the 70s Elite gets a thumbs up.

  3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    The WTF expression on that guy driving in the third photo makes me think that he's just glimpsed Godzilla rising up over the horizon using a Beechcraft Starship as an air guitar.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Either that, or he just had his doors blown off by a 2012 Accord.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        Unlikely, in comparison the Accord is so tall it'd just blow the Elan's roof off.

  4. Synchromesh Avatar

    Elans are awesome but sure are tiny. I went to an autocross a few years back and there a beautiful yellow convertible there. The door frames really looked awful but the rest of the car looked amazing. My NA Miata looked like a jacked up pickup next to it. I got to sit in the Elan. Even with my relatively slim stature and build it felt small and cramped. The owner was a taller larger fellow and he really looked like he was wearing the car, not driving it. Still – it's awesome!

    1. P161911 Avatar
      1. Jay_Ramey Avatar

        Yeah, the Miata's a big car by comparison.