By Ian Loxton.
In August, Ian and Diane Loxton took their +2 on a unique road trip from Bungundarra (20 km northwest of Yeppoon) to Brisbane along the now notoriously bad Bruce Highway.
In over 50 years of travelling the Bruce Highway, the condition of the road is shocking and particularly so from Rockhampton to Marmor and Gunalda to Gympie. Interestingly, the condition of the ‘Bruce’ is worse travelling northbound, compared to travelling southbound. For those of you experienced in long distance travel in Queensland, this is not uncommon and is noticeable on other highways to north Queensland. Regardless, the +2 survived the journey each way without any damage or further scarring.
After a hard 18 months of mechanical removal of paint, hard and soft filler bog (up to 20mm thick in places), road grime, grease, fractured fibreglass, the body was bare and ready for fibreglass repairs.
I had been receiving valuable support from Alister Rees, Brisbane over the last 12 months with 1 tutorial session in Brisbane, followed by over the phone advice on the body preparation ready for repairs.
However, in order to make real progress, Alister needed to see the bare body. A plan was formed to trailer the bare body to Brisbane in August, 2022. I had previously fabricated a ‘spider’ frame that picked up on 8 of the chassis mounting point bobbins.
It was a very simple job to push the body on its frame onto our car trailer, strap it down and head off to Brisbane. While a reasonably slow trip due to the bare body and the condition of the Bruce, the +2 created a lot of interest each time we stopped along the way. Questions like what it’s off, or I know it’s a Lotus but which model. Plenty of interest along the M1 north of Brisbane, with one Porsche 911 driver slowing down in the fast lane to have look then accelerating away with a thumbs up.
The ‘hands on’ tutorial with Alister was invaluable, while Alister went over every panel to give me advice on the type of repair required. Alister summed up the condition of the body quite aptly when he said it was one of the most damaged intact Elans he had seen during his career. It is quite beyond Alister and I to understand how someone in the +2’s past had treated the car.
After the tutorial and some repairs by Alister, the +2 commenced its road trip home to Bungundarra, once again with out any ill effects or scarring from the journey.
I very much wish to thank Alister for all his efforts towards assisting me to complete the hardest task of my +2 restoration. I also wish to thank Craig Wilson for his ongoing support and advice on the restoration of my +2.