Lotus Elan

Elan Race car Build ... where to start ?

PostPost by: cph » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:00 pm

Hi
Have just joined this Forum , but have been around the Lotus scene for a number of years .
Currently have a 2007 2-11 and a 2003 S2 Elise ... both of which are Track only cars .
My Interest is around track and race cars and now looking to get involved in an earlier model Lotus to use in Classic racing here in NZ .
To that end I am hopeful that someone on here will be able to offer good advise about the car of choice for this project ... the Elan
Would like to state up front that I have next to zero knowledge of these cars so its going to be a steep learning curve .. in much the same way I did with my other cars some 10 years ago and that has [fortunately] worked out well.
What I would like to know is the best place to start .. as you may have guessed NZ is not particularly endowed in Lotus Elans for sale , but currently there is one car that has caught my attention ..
http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/lotus/auction-810907404.htm
[Price is approx UK 12,000 pounds ]

I would like to know if this is a good starting point with regards to the engine and chassis .. by that I mean ..is there a variant that would supply a better starting point ?
I guess I should state my intentions and goals .
As with my other cars , I like to strip them down and do a complete rebuild , upgrading any parts that are required to make it safer/ faster / more suitable for the track.
I will be looking to replace/upgrade... Engine / Brakes / Suspension / Uprights[?] Fuel system / Electrics / Roll cage etc etc .
As with my other cars I do most of the work myself and bring in a mechanic etc as required .
Any advise offered would be greatly appreciated ...
Cheers
Barry

A few Pics of my current cars ...

[url]<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s1213.photobucket.com/user/cph6/embed/slideshow/Car%20stuff/Elise"></iframe>[/url]
[url]<iframe width="480" height="360" src="http://s1213.photobucket.com/user/cph6/embed/slideshow/Car%20stuff/2-11"></iframe>[/url]
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:32 am

Barry,

Welcome to the land of lunatics! At least that's what my wife thinks.

IMHO - an Elan is a terrific and fun car to race. The one you referenced would not be my first pick. As you may know the Elan was available in numerous styles, shapes, and size. The one depicted inn your thread is a model called the "Elan +2", also sometimes known as the "Elan Plus 2". The other Elans available were the Elan S1, Elan S2, Elans3, and the Elans4, which also was available in a "Sprint" configuration. The Elan and the Elan+2 utilized the same drivetrain. So if the drivetrain is the same, one the Elan+2 is longer, wider, and heavier than the Elan, which one is faster? The Elan +2 is a good riding, fun touring car but it is longer, wider, and heavier than any of the Elans in the S1 thru S4 configuration. As such, it's not my first pick to build into a race car. Additionally, the one depicted appears to be in such wonderful condition, it would be a sin to strip it and turn it into a race car.

My personal pick would be an Elan S2 Roadster with a factory hardtop. A clone of the loved race winning "Elan 26R". Search under 26R on this site and you will find a multitude of information regarding the 26R. A real 26R is quite pricey these days, but a clone will only take the same amount of money as any other race car.

Also, you can purchase most of any part needed for a 26R from TTR (Tony Thompson Racing) in the UK. There is something magical about a small, 1300 lb, 200 plus horsepower, car taking on the big iron!!!

And there is one more coincidence, one of my best friends here in the States has the name Barry and he too is from NZ. He is also my engine builder. PHP Race Engines in Wauconda, Illinois, USA.

I'll finish with a couple of pics, because, well I like pics!!! One of my Twincam on the dyno, and one of a 26R.

Famous Frank
Attachments
26r 1.jpg and
Elan engine at PHP LS REDUCED.jpg and
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65 Elan S2
66 Elan 26R
69 S2 Europa
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:39 am

Which Elan or Plus 2 you want to use as a starting point depends a little on your local historic regulations and classes and how much money you have and how competitive you want to be and to some extent the types of tracks you run on.

An Elan is most competitive if the class either limits you to relatively non sticky historic racing tyres and / or allows an increase in track width and also allows only limited weight reductions ( 26R's start off with a light weight to begin with ). This is why the 26R's are so competitive under the European FIA regulations

The best starting point is certainly an early S1 or S2 Elan as it starts out lighter. If your allowed to remove the windscreen even better. If you have to run windscreens then there is not much difference between an early S1 or S2 with a hardtop and later FHC cars as long as you can take out such things as the electric window motors in the later S3 and S4 cars.

A Plus 2 starts out a lot heavier but if your allowed to do lots of things to reduce weight you will get close to an Elan but still end up maybe 100 kg heavier which can be a killer in a small capacity engine car. The Plus 2 is a much sweeter handling car and on fast circuits with long sweeping corners and limited braking and acceleration it can be just as quick or quicker but on slower circuits or ones with lots of stopping and acceleration it will be slower.

If you truly want to be competitive in late 1960's or early 70 sports car racing then an S4 seven is probably the best option from Lotus especially if the tracks are tight. There are quite a few of the NZ assembled cars still around in NZ I believe and probably a much cheaper starting point than an Elan. A twin cam Europa is also an option but again the weight reductions allowed are the key to making it competitive.

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:51 am

Rohan,

I totally agree with you and your racing knowledge shines through! But I'll be shallow and just say I love a picture with a tiny little Elan out running the Cobras, the Vettes, and the Jags! It's like watching David and Goliath!

Frank
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65 Elan S2
66 Elan 26R
69 S2 Europa
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:54 am

cph,
Welcome to the forum! Rohan is the man here to listen to when it comes to Elan racing and fortunately he lives just next door to you. ;-)


Here's a photo for Frank; I like to think that the Gold Bug was about to lap the Cobra. :twisted:

Image
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PostPost by: cph » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:49 pm

Thanks to all for the replies ... just the info I needed .
Looks like the +2 is a no go at 100Kg heavier . sill start a search for a suitable S1 or S2 but highly unlikely in NZ .
If anyone has any leads in the UK that would be appreciated . Was trying to avoid the hassle of importing but it may be the only way
Thanks also for the info on parts etc ... all much appreciated .
Will keep this thread updated with progress
Cheers
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PostPost by: mazlot » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:41 pm

.
Last edited by mazlot on Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: mini64 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:53 am

I, like many, consider the cars to be what vintage racing is about, so I'd recommend you pick the Elan type you like best. Yes, all else being equal the +2 would be slower, but in vintage racing the fastest car isn't always the winner. Its generally the fastest car/driver combo. Having been fortunate enough to have raced a S4 7, elan and +2 elan I can say all are equally wonderful to drive!

Here is a video of me starting mid-pack in our +2 after a spin in the previous event.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNeOw65jlL8
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PostPost by: PaulFinch » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:05 am

Great video and great racing.

What spec is your plus 2? Do your race regs allow for the complete removal of interior trim, window motors etc? What does it weigh?
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PostPost by: elj221c » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:48 pm

There haven't been many +2s racing but they do make a change to the usual hords!

This my chum's one. I don't have any involvment so I can't help you with the spec.

Not as quick as the best Elans but better than the slower ones.....

+2  Brands 7;10.JPG and


P1010763.web.JPG and
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PostPost by: mini64 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:40 pm

Our plus 2 (video above) is pretty well stripped inside. Has a plexi rear and passenger side window. But overall is isn't much lighter then stock with the cage weight added. Engine is bored out to 83mm pistons but stock big valve head. I catch people with the handling and braking abilities of a Lotus, not the power. In the video you see the Porsche that I passed at the green flag re-passing me by the end of the front straight. And when I'm chasing my wife in the 7 she takes off from me at every straight. I am surprised I passed her at the end of the front straight on the second lap- a combination of drafting, the 7 having terrible aerodynamics, and probably her lifting a bit since there was a car in front of her.

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PostPost by: bobc_5 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:26 pm

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PostPost by: davidholroyd » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:07 pm

Good Question.

You need to start with 65 car .. or older.

New 26r body and chassis from TT + other parts you need ? 25,000

new engine from Craig beck racing ? 15 to ? 20 K

Then about 200 to 300 hours work plus another ? 10,000 in parts

You have a great car ......
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PostPost by: 661 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:08 pm

My understanding is that '66 S2's can be used as they are the same as the models that were build pre '66??
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PostPost by: bigvalvehead » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:58 pm

any type 26 is eligible. My first Elan was H reg built in 1970 from a kit but if it was still about it would be eligible as it was a type 26 S2 car.

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