The Almost Perfect Sports Car

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Sir,

In reply to A. F. Ratcliffe’s letter regarding the purchase of a Lotus Elan +2S, my advice is, “Go ahead and buy, Mr. Ratcliffe. You will never regret owning such a superb breed of motor car”.

Having owned an Elan S2 for six years and more recently a +2S, I regard them as the almost near-perfect modern sports car— simply constructed with performance, roadholding and economy but they do need to be looked after like any good woman! By this I mean no “Boy Racing” starts on a cold engine, the occasional tweek of the carbs and frequent changing of the disc pads. This treatment gave me almost 120,000 miles in the S2 with only the head off once for a burnt exhaust valve.

The points I would look for when buying second-hand would be a good check on the chassis and its uprights especially at the engine mountings (they cracked on both my cars but were easily welded without engine removal). Give the engine a compression test (about 160 lb./in.’). Check the plugs for oiling and the oil pressure 35-40 p.s.i, when hot. The rubber drive couplings need to be checked, as breakage at speed could be both expensive and dangerous. A good check of the bodywork will tell if its a smash job. Stay clear of these or any modified ones (they don’t need modifying!)

Having praised the car so much, it may seem ironical that I no longer own a Lotus, but as I said before, they were only “Almost Perfect”. The “Perfect” sports car—my Ferrari Dino 246!

Milton Keynes IAN CARTLIDGE

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