Lotus Elan

26R and GTS, what's the difference?

PostPost by: Pete Shepherd » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:36 am

A simple question really but I expect the answer may be somewhat longer? My guess would be that a GTS car is an Elan built to 26R spec but started life as a normal Elan (S1/S2)? Is GTS the name given to these cars by the FIA?

I?ve seen cars for sale advertised as ?built to GTS spec? but they look like 26R?s which prompted the above question.

Thanks,

Pete
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:11 pm

Pete,
The facetious answer is
"about ?75,000"


I'm sure that the knowledgeable racers on this site will give the definitive answer.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: alan d bell » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:32 pm

our car started life as a gts, it was built in 1965 and we have been able to establish that it had a 26r body, a mike spence cosworth engine, (done before mike started to make his modified elans) it had all the 26r parts including the body with the following exceptions , chassis, wheels (wide steels instead of mags) and rose jointed suspension,( did 26rs have this?.). it is being rebuilt to a similar spec for fia app k homologation. we hope that given the provenance and racing history the difference in value will not be quite ?75k. so not all gts cars are rebuilt standard elans but no doubt there will soon be a production line for them if there is a profit in doing so.
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PostPost by: toomspj » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:51 pm

As i understand it, GTS is the classification given by FIA to an Elan (or any other GT car) modified to homologated spec. A 26R came from the factory already built for the track ( but I guess the FIA would still classify it as GTS).

An Elan may have been modified in period or any time since. The specifications and appearance of the cars are largely the same. However the perceived value of the cars depends on their history and their success.

There isn't a lot of profit in this if your aim is to have a competitive car. I reckon it costs around ?70 -?80 k (maybe more ) to have a top flight race car built. And that is about what a GTS fetches.

On the other hand you can buy a pukka 26R with history (for more than double the cost) then replace the body, chassis, most of the suspension and have the engine rebuilt - in my case I decided it was just as easy to convert an S2.

The only people making profits out of all this are the guys selling cars that claim to have a history - but that aren't truly ready to race.

Paul.
Turning money into noise!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:08 am

In Australia there is a clear distinction between historic cars raced in the period and maintained to their historic specification and historic production sports car racing based on allowed and limited modifications to an original production car from the period.

I race my Elan in the historic production sports category ( Group Sb) as the earliest competition I raced in was in 1981. It is actually eligible for an historic category based on that period of competition ( group R) but I prefer to race it in historic production sports cars as the competition is better.

The building of replicas to compete in historic categories against original race cars of the period maintained to their period specifications is not allowed in Australia unlike Europe by the FIA and is the current cause of much debate as people want to bring FIA compliant replicas to Australia to race in historic events

The FIA regulations are also strange as they only categorise historic race cars based on those types raced in major European series of the time and don't recognise car types raced in local more minor national events in Europe or any national events outside Europe in places like Australia or USA or Japan etc which just demonstrates the European centric nature of the FIA.

So in FIA terms you can race any historic car we like because it raced in OUR European history and you can also build replicas of them and race those also. In Australian terms you can race any car with a period history from anywhere in the world provided it is maintained to that period specifications and you can modify a production car of the period to race in production sports and production touring cars historic events but you cant build replicas. I think I prefer the Australian system!.

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PostPost by: Pete Shepherd » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:51 pm

Thanks for the replies, it sounds like my guess was about right but I had no idea about some of the other stuff mentioned, such as the cost to build a GTS spec car. I knew they were available for around 75k but assumed it wouldn?t cost that much to build one.

Thanks,

Pete
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PostPost by: Peter +2 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:12 pm

Possibly the two most expensive items in building a GTS or race Elan is one the donor car or title then the engine.

A professionally rebuilt engine for the road might be circa 5k but a top end competitive race engine would be multiples of that. It's relatively inexpensive to make an Elan look like as 26R or GTS but to perform like one is expensive. If you add up the cost of upgrading an Elan to track day spec as per TTR recommendation you can get an idea of the cost.

You practically replace everything.

Once done they look great and go like the clappers! The results of last years Historic road sports prove it as Paul knows.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:06 am

A professionally built reliable 180 plus hp race engine using all new components will cost you around A$25000 here and similar elsewhere in the world. Maybe as little cheaper as freight for the new head and block will be less.

You can build one for less if you do most of the work yourself but even if you use a sound second hand block and Stromberg head for a McCoy Conversion and the other various used non moving bits such as cam cover and front cover and sump etc you will not get much change out of A$15000 for a full 180 plus hp reliable 1600cc race engine.

You may be able to get 180 plus hp cheaper buy cutting a few corners but you will not save all that much and it will not last very long :shock:

You add to that A$25k to a similar amount for a very very rough S2 road car. Then do the rest of the drive train and chassis and repair and paint the body and fit the required race safety gear and you are close to the $75k asking price for a properly done car with all the right bits puts together properly

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PostPost by: elandoc » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:49 am

A GTS will be cheaper, lighter, and faster than a 26R.

26Rs are too expensive to do anything too radical to.

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