1991 Lotus Elan: Cheap Exotic

What’s amazing to me is how a car with a badge like Lotus can fall down the slippery slope of deferred maintenance and accident damage to become a rather dirt-cheap project. It joins the ranks of Porsche 928s and Mercedes SL-series convertibles, vehicles that cost a fair amount new but now are hard sells in rough condition. This 1991 Lotus Elan here on eBay is every inch of a project car, but that hasn’t stopped bidders from chucking up some low numbers to see what the reserve might be (or you can hit the BIN for $3,750). The Elan featured an engine sourced from one of my favorite turbocharged hot hatches, the Isuzu Impulse, but handling was entirely engineered by the geniuses at Lotus. Despite being front-wheel drive, the Elan was still considered one of the best handlers of its day; the question now is, have they gotten cheap enough that examples like this deserve rescuing. I’m on the fence with this one – what about you?

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