1964 Lotus Elan

Started on Oct. 21, 2015, 10:32 a.m.

The best deals always seem to arrive when you’re not looking for them. Just before a trip to Traverse City, Michigan, we got a call from a reader asking if we’d be interested in a couple Lotuses in the area. Upon arrival, we were taken aback by their deteriorated state, but decided they would make great restoration projects.

Thus began our Lotus restoration adventures.

1964 Lotus Elan

Specs

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Body type:Convertible
Country of origin:England
Displacement:1557cc
Stock horsepower:105 bhp
Torque:108 lb.-ft
Engine configuration:Inline-4
Transmission:4-speed manual
Drivetrain configuration:Rear-wheel drive
Brakes:disc/disc
Body width:None in.
Curb weight:1500 lbs.
Wheelbase:None in.
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Latest Project Updates

Aug 3, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Rebuilding the Brake Calipers

Aug 3, 2017

We rescue our Lotus Elan project’s fused-together brake calipers.

Jul 18, 2017

Restoration Impossible: New Gelcoat for the Body

Jul 18, 2017

Our project 1964 Lotus Elan gets body repairs and new gelcoat.

Jul 17, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Painting the Frame

Jul 17, 2017

Our 1964 Lotus Elan gets its frame painted with Eastwood

Jul 13, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Strengthening the Frame

Jul 13, 2017

After strengthening our project Elan’s frame, we wanted to strengthen it.

Jun 27, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Removing the Rear Hubs

Jun 27, 2017

Our friends at Sevens & Elans help us remove hubs that had been wasting away for 40 years.

Jun 21, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Ordering the Final Parts

Jun 21, 2017

We order the last of the needed parts to complete our Lotus Elan restoration.

Jun 14, 2017

How To Straighten a lotus Elan Frame

Jun 14, 2017

We grafted three frames together to make a perfect one.

Jun 6, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Shining the Chrome

Jun 6, 2017

Our project Lotus Elan needs some chrome refreshed.

May 23, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Gauges Like New

May 23, 2017

Nisonger brings our Elan’s destroyed gauges back to life.

May 2, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Dismantling the Chassis

May 2, 2017

It’s time to dismantle the chassis of our project Lotus Elan.

Apr 4, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Fiberglassing the Bottom

Apr 4, 2017

We thought we made good progress. Then we flipped the car over.

Mar 15, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Starting Fiberglass Work

Mar 15, 2017

Learn how to make fiberglass repairs.

Mar 7, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Working on the Wire Framework

Mar 7, 2017

Our project Lotus Elan needs some structure repair around the doors.

Feb 21, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Making a Trunk Mold

Feb 21, 2017

Our Lotus Elan’s trunk has a 6-inch hole. Here’s how to create the replacement piece.

Feb 16, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Grafting in a Whole Quarter of the Body

Feb 16, 2017

The left rear quarter of our Elan had been hit hard. Here’s how you seamlessly graft in a replacement piece.

Feb 9, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Getting the Door Hinges to Work

Feb 9, 2017

Our project Lotus Elan is still in the beginning stages of a restoration.

Jan 25, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Preparing to Cut the Body

Jan 25, 2017

Once you cut, you can’t go back.

Jan 25, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Starting to Rebuild the Missing Back End

Jan 25, 2017

We decided to start our Lotus Elan’s restoration with the toughest part first.

Jan 10, 2017

Restoration Impossible: Starting Work on the Body

Jan 10, 2017

We are getting back into our Lotus in earnest.

May 24, 2016

Our Elan Gets a Decklid

May 24, 2016

After lots of searching we find a rare Elan decklid suspiciously close to where we bought our project.

May 17, 2016

Our Elan Gets Blasted

May 17, 2016

After a trip to Blast Masters, we see if the fiberglass is salvageable.

May 10, 2016

One Fresh Elan Engine

May 10, 2016

With another trip to Twin Cam Sportscars, our Elan’s engine is completely refreshed.

Apr 5, 2016

A Look Inside Our Lotus Elan's Transmission

Apr 5, 2016

We refresh our project Elan’s gearbox with the help of Twin Cam Sportscars.

Mar 1, 2016

Incredible tranformation: Lotus Elan Carburetors

Mar 1, 2016

Our Lotus Elan’s carburetors get taken from trash to treasure.

Feb 25, 2016

Lotus Elan Frame Dilema: Solved

Feb 25, 2016

Our Lotus Elan’s frame was bent and broken. How did we solve the issue?

Feb 9, 2016

Soda Blasting Our Lotus Elan

Feb 9, 2016

Our Lotus Elan takes a trip to Blast Masters to get stripped.

Jan 26, 2016

Our Lotus Elan Gets Stripped to the Bone

Jan 26, 2016

With our Lotus Elan’s engine refresh underway, it was time to start disassembly of the rest of the car.

Jan 20, 2016

Restoration Impossible: A Look Inside the Elan's Engine

Jan 20, 2016

With the help of Twin Cam Sportscars, we tear our Elan’s engine apart.

Jan 12, 2016

Lotus Parts Pour In

Jan 12, 2016

We find lots of parts for our project Elan thanks to our friends.

Jan 5, 2016

Finding a Windshield

Jan 5, 2016

Our Lotus Elan gets some fresh glass.

Dec 30, 2015

The Parts Search Begins

Dec 30, 2015

Our Lotus Elan needs a lot of work and parts. Here’s the initial list of what we need.

Dec 22, 2015

Figuring Out What We Really Have

Dec 22, 2015

After lots of cleaning, we organize our project and assess the situation.

Dec 15, 2015

Our Lotus Makes it Home

Dec 15, 2015

After dragging our new project to Florida, we begin cleaning it out.

Dec 9, 2015

Our Lotus Elan's First Concours Award

Dec 9, 2015

Still in pieces, our impossible restoration project attends its first show.

Nov 3, 2015

How Not to Load a Lotus

Nov 3, 2015

We had to get three-quarters of a lotus from Michigan to Florida.

Oct 21, 2015

Restoration: Impossible

Oct 21, 2015

Meet our new restoration project: a very rough 1964 Lotus Elan.

Sponsored by

Classic Motorsports House Ad

1964 Lotus Elan Specs

Body type:Convertible
Country of origin:England
Displacement:1557cc
Stock horsepower:105 bhp
Torque:108 lb.-ft
Engine configuration:Inline-4
Transmission:4-speed manual
Drivetrain configuration:Rear-wheel drive
Brakes:disc/disc
Body width:None in.
Curb weight:1500 lbs.
Wheelbase:None in.

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