1964 Lotus Elan

1964 Lotus Elan

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.

Latest updates

Jul
20
Jul 20, 2018
Restoration Impossible: And the Winner Is...

When you bring a car to the Amelia Island Concours, you need to realize that just getting invited is the victory.

Jul
17
Jul 17, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Driving Our Newly Restored Elan

We are thrilled with how this project turned out and will add the occasional update as we use and enjoy our now finished Elan.

Jul
12
Jul 12, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Covering it With Covercraft

Once we had our Elan on the field at Amelia, it was time to cover it up with our cool new Covercraft cover.

Jul
09
Jul 9, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Making it to Amelia

Our Restoration Impossible had actually been possible, and having the car on the field at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance was the ultimate proof of concept.

Jul
02
Jul 2, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Detailing for the Amelia Island Concours

Time to detail it for the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

Jun
26
Jun 26, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Installing the Top

Our Lotus Elan restoration project gets a proper convertible top.

Jun
22
Jun 22, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Installing the Deck Lid and Hood

We were finally to the point with our project Lotus Elan where we could install the deck lid and hood.

Jun
18
Jun 18, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Building the Doors

The doors on an early Lotus Elan are like nothing we have ever seen.

Jun
13
Jun 13, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Finishing the Interior Trim

Our Lotus Elan's interior was a pain to install, but we are quite pleased with how it out.

Jun
07
Jun 7, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Installing the Dashboard

Our Lotus Elan project gets a beautiful wooden dashboard.

May
30
May 30, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Installing the Windshield

Like most everything else on our Elan, the windshield was cracked.

Apr
04
Apr 4, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Tackling the Engine Ancillaries

The engine accessories are added to our restoration project Lotus Elan.

Mar
23
Mar 23, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Let There Be Lights

Our 1964 Lotus Elan restoration project gets lights.

Mar
21
Mar 21, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Installing the Fuel Tank

Our project 1964 Lotus Elan gets a fuel tank installed.

Mar
15
Mar 15, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Beginning Reassembly

With our body bolted down, we could begin reassembly in earnest.

Mar
05
Mar 5, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Body Meets Chassis

The body of our Lotus Elan restoration project gets attached to the chassis.

Feb
27
Feb 27, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Painting Our Elan

With a color chosen and the bodywork completed, it was now time to actually paint our Elan.

Feb
26
Feb 26, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Time to Pick the Color

We search for Lotus's original shade of Medici Blue.

Feb
06
Feb 6, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Restoring the Heater

Time to set to work under the dash in our project Lotus Elan.

Feb
02
Feb 2, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Finishing and Priming the Body

This stage of the restoration took about 200 hours.

Jan
29
Jan 29, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Repairing the Small Body Parts

With the body now in Gelcoat, we could focus our attention on the smaller body parts

Jan
17
Jan 17, 2018
Restoration Impossible: Restoring the Headlights

Our 1964 Lotus Elan restoration project gets its headlights restored.

Dec
22
Dec 22, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Engine Meets Frame

After some coercing, our engine sits on the frame.

Dec
13
Dec 13, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Linking the Transmission to the Engine

What do you do when you can't find the right clutch alignment tool?

Nov
29
Nov 29, 2017
Restoration Impossible: An Alternator That Looks Like a Generator

Lotus Elans are legendary for electric gremlins.

Nov
21
Nov 21, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Finishing Off the Engine

We add the air box and air cleaner.

Oct
10
Oct 10, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Running New Lines

The final steps in finishing off our chassis were to replace the brake and fuel lines.

Oct
03
Oct 3, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Rebuilding the Rear Suspension

The rear suspension on a Lotus Elan is much more complicated than the front suspension.

Sep
27
Sep 27, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Rebuilding the Rear End

Before undertaking the rear suspension rebuild and assembly, we wanted to get the differential rebuilt.

Sep
01
Sep 1, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Rebuilding the Front Suspension

Our Lotus Elan's front suspension comes together.

Aug
03
Aug 3, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Rebuilding the Brake Calipers

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

Jul
18
Jul 18, 2017
Restoration Impossible: New Gelcoat for the Body

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

Jul
17
Jul 17, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Painting the Frame

Our 1964 Lotus Elan gets its frame painted with Eastwood

Jul
13
Jul 13, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Strengthening the Frame

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

Jun
27
Jun 27, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Removing the Rear Hubs

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

Jun
21
Jun 21, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Ordering the Final Parts

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

Jun
14
Jun 14, 2017
How To Straighten a lotus Elan Frame

We grafted three frames together to make a perfect one.

Jun
06
Jun 6, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Shining the Chrome

Our project Lotus Elan needs some chrome refreshed.

May
23
May 23, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Gauges Like New

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

May
02
May 2, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Dismantling the Chassis

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

Apr
04
Apr 4, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Fiberglassing the Bottom

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

Mar
15
Mar 15, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Starting Fiberglass Work

Learn how to make fiberglass repairs.

Mar
07
Mar 7, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Working on the Wire Framework

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

Feb
21
Feb 21, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Making a Trunk Mold

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

Feb
16
Feb 16, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Grafting in a Whole Quarter of the Body

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

Feb
09
Feb 9, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Getting the Door Hinges to Work

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

Jan
25
Jan 25, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Preparing to Cut the Body

Once you cut, you can't go back.

Jan
25
Jan 25, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Starting to Rebuild the Missing Back End

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

Jan
10
Jan 10, 2017
Restoration Impossible: Starting Work on the Body

We are getting back into our Lotus in earnest.

May
24
May 24, 2016
Our Elan Gets a Decklid

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

May
17
May 17, 2016
Our Elan Gets Blasted

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

May
10
May 10, 2016
One Fresh Elan Engine

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

Apr
05
Apr 5, 2016
A Look Inside Our Lotus Elan's Transmission

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

Mar
01
Mar 1, 2016
Incredible tranformation: Lotus Elan Carburetors

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

Feb
25
Feb 25, 2016
Lotus Elan Frame Dilema: Solved

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

Feb
09
Feb 9, 2016
Soda Blasting Our Lotus Elan

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

Jan
26
Jan 26, 2016
Our Lotus Elan Gets Stripped to the Bone

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

Jan
20
Jan 20, 2016
Restoration Impossible: A Look Inside the Elan's Engine

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

Jan
12
Jan 12, 2016
Lotus Parts Pour In

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

Jan
05
Jan 5, 2016
Finding a Windshield

Our Lotus Elan gets some fresh glass.

Dec
30
Dec 30, 2015
The Parts Search Begins

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

Dec
22
Dec 22, 2015
Figuring Out What We Really Have

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

Dec
15
Dec 15, 2015
Our Lotus Makes it Home

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

Dec
09
Dec 9, 2015
Our Lotus Elan's First Concours Award

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

Nov
03
Nov 3, 2015
How Not to Load a Lotus

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

Oct
21
Oct 21, 2015
Restoration: Impossible

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

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