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Are you planning to do the work yourself?

worst case buy a salvaged engine from Lotusbits £1600 say £400 of incidentals hire a hoist etc and you at £3400 

assuming the cars in good condition that sounds like a good deal 

(+ sell existing engine you should recover a sizeable part of the outlay) 

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Depends on the conditions of things like body and interior. If just carpets and a clean of the leather then £200, but if the leather is rotting then that's more like £2k. If paint generally OK and just touch up on chips,  then  few£s, if needs complete respray then few £1000s.  So, yes engine needs assembling and fitting, but depends on the views of the seller as compared to your views as prospective owner as to what's necessary.

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Just go for it. There aren't many around,  and although it's a gamble, there's a lot of  fun to be had fixing lotus stuff.

Otherwise buy an mx5?

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