Lotus Elan

Now Alfa Vs. Elan was Reply to Rohan Hodges

PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:01 pm

I've had my heart set on an Alfa GT (1600 or 1750) for many
years. Can you
or your woman compare/contrast the GT Jr. to the Elan?
Different but.....


Danielle might be better at the comparison, since I've only drove the GTA
Jr. a few times, and their Spider only twice (touring laps of a road course
then an autocross the next day).

Here are my impressions:

1968 GTA Jr Stradale (street) with bigger 1750 engine replacing the original
1300 which is safely stored:
Torquiest engine,
best brakes,
long throw shifter, but at least it is fairly horizontal,
racing steering wheel is tiny, so effort is high
straight hand and leg driving position
2000lbs - aluminum bodied street version of a racer
Neutral handling

1969 Boattail Spider 1750 engine much like the GTAs
Tail heavy I took out cones on both sides of the autocross course
in the same corner
torquey engine
good brakes
long throw shifter that is so verticle I yanked the shift ball off
on all but one run
even more of the italian straight arm driving position
2200lbs

Elan with too long (300degree) duration cam and balanced bottom end
stromberg engine
hardest to launch clean - tends to bogg then pulls hard when the
carbs and cam catches up
easiest steering
worst brakes - needs either really soft pads or booster to really be
trustable in autocrosses
Hard pedal, but needs even harder effort to stop
best shifting and shortest distance for all controls
Very Neutral handling
best driving position
1600lbs - you notice the lower weight in the enthusiasm to change
direction of the car

When I get the Weber engine built up for the Elan with a shorter duration
high lift cam and the brakes sorted or boosted the Elan would be the nicest
to autocross by quite a large amount. The GTA brakes are more trustable
allowing you to go into corners deeper and the torquy engine get on cam
earlier allowing better times. On the street I get out of the Elan with a
bigger grin than either of the Alfas partly due to the nicer driving
position, partly due to the lightweight way she wants to dance, and partly
because she is mine.

At most autocrosses Danielle's dad in the GTA is about a second faster than
me in the Elan and a second or two faster than Danielle in the GTA. Of
course after 30+ years of autocrossing he's often faster than other people
in their car. I didn't get comfortable in the Spider, but was still 3rd in
class at the autocross behind Danielle (~0.5 second) and her dad (>1second).

We'd be happy to have an Alfa GT join the elan in the garage although we
were lusting after a Giulia Ti and a Montreal at the alfa convention last
summer since it has a nice back seat for her son and future kids, and
Danielle has wanted a Montreal for years. Those are a bit hard to find in
the US, so we will probably end up with a spider or GT.


Rob LaMoreaux
Ann Arbor, MI USA
(734)-971-5583
Cell (734)-604-9280
Email: ***@***.***
Too many Hobbies.... Too Little Time
1969 Lotus Elan....It's not a restoration, it's a never-ending adventure.
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:59 pm

Here are Danielle's additions to the comparison with a little editing to
cleanup the mess her email system made to her comments:


> I've had my heart set on an Alfa GT (1600 or 1750) for many years.
> Can you or your woman compare/contrast the GT Jr. to the Elan?
> Different but.....


Danielle might be better at the comparison, since I've only drove the
GTA Jr. a few times, and their Spider only twice (touring laps of a
road course then an autocross the next day).

Here are my impressions:

1968 GTA Jr Stradale (street) with bigger 1750 engine replacing the
original 1300 which is safely stored:
Torquiest engine,
Danielle wrote:

Original fuel injection replaced with carbs (Webbers, I
think). The GTA likes to foul plugs when idling for too long (like in
traffic jams!)

best brakes,
Danielle wrote:


turns great under braking, very important for autocrossing!

long throw shifter (Danielle wrote: very common in Alfas), but
at least it is fairly horizontal,
Danielle wrote:

the close ratio gear box is very different from most Alfas,
makes for lots of low-end torque and which is great for autocrossing.

racing steering wheel is tiny, so effort is high
Danielle wrote:

- steering wheel is a 14" non-stock wheel, effort is high at low
speeds, but I find comfortable at speed and it helps on track and
autocrossing.
Very responsive steering, sort of point & shoot.

straight hand and leg driving position
Danielle wrote:

- more comfortable on the highway than on surface streets.

2000lbs - aluminum bodied street version of a racer
Neutral handling
Danielle wrote:

- The GTA is, by design, a well balanced car.

1969 Boattail Spider 1750 engine much like the GTAs
Tail heavy I took out cones on both sides of the autocross course
in the same corner.
Danielle wrote:

Spidy gets very tail happy with quick directional changes.
Drive smoothly and it is fairly easy to control, once you get used to it!

torquey engine
Danielle wrote: Original fuel injection removed, carbs don't like

the cold but run well once warmed up.

good brakes
long throw shifter that is so verticle I yanked the shift ball off
on all but one run
Danielle wrote:

- that is an adhesive problem we have not corrected!

even more of the italian straight arm driving position.
Danielle wrote:

On long trips I find my right knee gets very stiff and sore, but
for around town or out on a Sunday drive I am comfortable in both Alfas.
But then again, Dad bought the GTA a year before I was born so I'm
used to Alfa seating!

2200lbs

Elan with too long (300degree) duration cam and balanced bottom end
stromberg engine
hardest to launch clean - tends to bogg then pulls hard when the
carbs and cam catches up
easiest steering
Danielle wrote:

- I find almost too light at times
Rob Replied:
I had too much toe out so it was darty especially with the 175/60R13

autocross tires, it is better now.

worst brakes - needs either really soft pads or booster to really be

trustable in autocrosses.
Hard pedal, but needs even harder effort to stop
best shifting and shortest distance for all controls
Danielle wrote:

- of course its a short distance to all controls - the car is
tiny!!!

Very Neutral handling.
Danielle wrote:

I felt like it just settles into a corner and goes! Very stable
cornering.

best driving position
Danielle wrote:

Lots of leg room, I was very surprised that I don't feel
squished

1600lbs - you notice the lower weight in the enthusiasm to
change direction of the car


They are all fun and have their own personalities.

Rob LaMoreaux

MTS Systems Corp.
Powertrain technology Division
4622 Runway Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
734-822-9696
Fax 734-973-1103
Main Desk 734-973-1111
www.mtspt.com
Work email: ***@***.***
Home email: ***@***.***
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PostPost by: lotusno6 » Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:39 pm

--- In ***@***.***, "rob_lamoreaux"
<[email protected]> wrote:
... since it has a nice back seat for her son and future kids, and

Rob,

Is there something you need to share with us? Got a due date yet?

Larry
Wife due April 5
A Montreal is the Alfa I've always wanted.
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PostPost by: lotuselan2 » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:05 am

Rob
Yes, the Montreal has been on my post Lotto winning list as well! Damn hard
to find too.
Ken
'69 Lotus Elan +2 with Cosworth BDR
'84 Ferrari 400i
'94 Subaru SVX
'04 Audi allroad
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PostPost by: type36lotus » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:21 am

See http://adcache.collectorcartraderonline ... 340725.htm
there is one for sale $26,000.

Mike Geiger

--- In ***@***.***, "lotus" <[email protected]> wrote:
Rob
Yes, the Montreal has been on my post Lotto winning list as well!
Damn hard

to find too.
Ken



Mike Geiger
66 S3 Coupe', no more :-(
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