Lotus Type 50 - Elan +2
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Model History

Produced between 1967 and 1974 the +2 evolved through four main incarnations, adding further refinement, more power and eventually a five speed gearbox, before being phased out and replaced by the unloved Elite and Eclat models. 
Within each model there was further variation in detail, most notably "Federal" cars intended for export to the US, which featured emission reduction modifications and additional safety features. Each successive model is featured on a page of its own, which I am gradually building up.

Model Production run Notes
Lotus Elan 
September 1967 LPW 120E with chasis number 00001
Lotus Elan 
September 1967 to March 1969 Essentially a stretched and re-bodied version of the two seat Elan, the + 2 used the Lotus twincam engine. This was the last Lotus to be sold as a kit of parts to avoid purchase tax.
Lotus Elan
+2 S
March 1969 - December 1970 An updated version of the +2 which moved the car away from its kit car image, by providing a more luxurious interior and additional ancillary equipment.
Lotus Elan
+2S 130/4
1971 - 1974 Arguably, the best plus 2, this model boasted the 126 brake horsepower big valve twincam engine from the Elan sprint. Set apart by its distinctive silver roof, this model has been much sought after in recent years. Sadly, the fashion for spraying the car in a single colour has made the original two colour scheme something of a rarity. At one time it seemed as if every other Plus 2 was carnival red, with a silver roof, where have they all gone?

Lotus Elan 
+2S John Player Special

1973 A run of 50 special edition Grand Prix Elan plus 2s produced in 1973 in order to celebrate 50th Grand Prix victory scored by Team Lotus, which was achieved in Spain that year. It is suggested that to boost flagging sales that 86 examples of this car were produced, despite the published intention to produce a limited run of 50 examples.
Lotus Elan
+2S 130/5
October 1972 - December 1974 The final version of the + 2 featured a 5 speed gearbox, answered the critics who had considered the previous versions. Ideally geared for acceleration and for speed-limited countries," but less at home with the high cruising speeds then allowed on continental motorways. It is true even on the modern British motorway, with its 70 mph speed limit, that the high engine revs required, the 4 speed cars can be noisy and wearing after a while. Using gear clusters obtained from Austin housed in a Lotus manufactured gearbox, the 5 speed Elan plus 2 offered an overdrive fifth gear ideal for motorway cruising, whilst top speed was achieved in fourth. My own view is that the crispness of the 4 speed box suits the car better, whilst the clumsy position of the extra fifth gear made it awkward to select.


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