Right guys - it's update time.
Read all the comments on the thread before posting. I must say - it's a well diverse bunch of guys on here! Anyhow, between all the preening etc that some members seem to do, there does seem to be a wealth of experience of owning Elites which is great to see and I am always pleased to take advice from those who are well versed in the Marque and model.
So I went up to the wilds of Scotland to view the Elite in question and after a 4 hour train journey and another 45 minutes drive, we finally arrived at the garage.
The car is indeed an S1, with all of the tell tale signs that you guys helpfully told me to look for. The logbook states that it is an S2 registered in 1982. Strange - but a mystery to resolve another day.
My main decision then was whether or not this S1 was worth £2050.
The engine was my first starting point - and what a beauty! It has had a top end rebuild by Willie Greig, who is a technical commissioner and scrutineer for the UK Motor Sports Association. This guy knows a thing or two about engines!
The engine fired up with spot on oil pressure and sounded fabulous through the new stainless steel exhaust. The twin Dellortos had been balanced to perfection. Bills galore for the engine dating back to 1986.
Now for that chassis. It has a fully galvanised chassis. This was done following a full restoration in 1996. There are bills for 8000 quid that year.
The bodywork was good with no crazing anywhere and the chrome looks in pretty good nick. Needs a few bits doing but nothing major.
The interior is where the car started to look tired.
The carpets were cheap and nasty replacements and an awful shade of blue. The leather dirty and very creased, although with no rips or tears anywhere. It was obvious that the seats would be coming out for a good clean up and the carpets replaced if I were to buy it. On a positive note the headlining was good if in need of a good clean.
The dashboard was old and shite but certainly had a wealth of patina!
So to decision time.
It's a no brainer - car bought and driven back 200 miles to home with no drama and no fuss.
Everyone strained to get a look at the car on the way back and both petrol stops got me into half hour conversations with interested people who loved the car.
2 grand for so much fun and putting a smile on everyones face including my own!
No doubt it will cost me packets to get it how I want and maintain it but who cares. What price this level of exclusivity?
This car will not be a pampered concours car but a car that will be used and - yes - abused with some hard driving and fun days in the sunshine! Oh and all the electrics and the period radio work too ;-)
Thanks for all the advice and now I just need to find a Lotus specialist in the North Lincs or South Yorkshire area to keep her in fine fettle. Any ideas?