Lotus Elan

New Elan Book by Brian Buckland - Initial Impressions

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed May 31, 2006 10:11 pm

I received my copy of The Rebuilding of a Lotus Elan By Brian Buckland, and although I?ve only spent 3 hours reading through it, I thought I would give some first impressions.

Firstly, 3 hours is usually enough time to read most of the books written about Lotus in general, and Elans in particular. I have all of them, and read them! They are usually lightweight reproductions of road tests, other peoples impressions and a couple of fresh photographs in addition to the tired old stuff we?ve all seen many times before. The exception to this, of course, being the Robinshaw / Ross ?Authentic Lotus Elan & Plus 2??. until now.

Brian?s book is 99% original work, obviously gained from a vast hands-on experience, and written with huge enthusiasm and authority. Even the bits that aren?t original work, are. More of that in a moment.

The title doesn?t do the book justice, nor does the sub-title ?Addendum Engineering Workshop Manual?, which sounds very dry. It isn?t. This is the first ?workshop manual? I?ve ever seen that you could actually read from cover to cover, rather than dipping into when the need arises.

Ahead of the workshop manual sections (organised in the same way as the original Lotus workshop manual) are sections concerning the identification of car models / engine types (UK and US models), general stuff on tools, buying the car, obsolete parts (a fascinating section identifying model variation & source of supply), specialists (6 pages!) and a superb chapter on interior upholstery. All specifically for the Elan.

Then comes the workshop manual section, the majority of the book.
When I read the Lotus workshop manual, I?m often left wondering HOW to do what they lay out in a simple sentence. Removing the diff, rebuilding the winder mechanism on electric windows, even replacing the chassis. This book explains the how, supported by original photographs and diagrams so that even an idiot like me can understand. Further, the ?gotchers? and pitfalls are identified, together with model variations. It?s a bit like having the expert there when you?re doing something, anticipating the dumb questions. But it isn?t superficial?it takes you through the process, explaining and illustrating the ?how? and the why?.

I was particularly impressed by the bodywork section, and as an illustration of the depth of this book, each bracket fitted to the Elan, with variations by model, is photographed and described. All 28 brackets! Each variation of badge is described and photographed separately (including an Elan 1500).

And the bits that aren?t original as I mentioned in the beginning? At the end of each chapter is a reproduction of the different adverts for the Elan that appeared in the then current magazines?a really nice touch which adds further to the richness of this book.

As you can see, I?m absolutely bowled over by this piece of work. It must rank as one of the best pieces ever written on one type of car. As some will know, I?m also an E Type nut, and there have been many authoritative works written on those cars. None of them come close to this.

Just for clarification, I met Brian today for the first time, and paid the full price for the book! And saw his 600,000 mile from new Elan S3, his everyday car that has greatly contributed to his total of 800,000 miles in an Elan 2 seater. That?s just a hint of the experience that has obviously been applied to create this book.

If you haven?t got a copy, get it ordered.

Mark
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PostPost by: John Larkin » Wed May 31, 2006 10:21 pm

I received my copy this week, and I too am bowled over by Brian Buckland's Elan manual. It's worth its weight in gold!

Just browsing through it gave me a renewed enthusiasm to sort out several old problems that seemed just too much of a bother. I've fallen in love with my Elan all over again!

Buy a copy before they're all gone.
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PostPost by: SADLOTUS » Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:16 am

Hi,
Anybody have an address or email for Mr Buckland?
Ta.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:28 am

Brian can be contacted at:-

[email protected]

and

Elanman Ltd.
9 Grove Avenue
Coombe Dingle
Bristol BS9 2RN

My copy was waiting for me when I got home from work last night. I didn't put it down until I went to bed.
I fully agree with the other guys, Brians done great job!

John
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PostPost by: Verve » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:10 am

I do have one criticism ...... I also think the title is far , far too Modest .

It should be Affectionately and Unofficially known as ,

" THE ELAN BIBLE " or maybe " BRIAN`S BIBLE " ; ) .

I`ll certainly give Testament to it !

Verve ( who`s not particularly religious ; ).
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PostPost by: andy73sprint » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:04 am

I too wish to offer my congratulations. As others have mentioned it is a very good read. I especially like the various tools Brian has made over time to make an Elans owners life alot easier.

Highly recommended for any owner.

Andy
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PostPost by: Emma-Knight » Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:56 pm

So many questions I had - simply - answered! And many, many pictures
added - so You don't have to run into the garage to see what is ment.
It sometimes is the "why" something has to be done a special way that helps to do it the right way.
It's not the first day I'm late at work because I found something interesting... ...and won't be the last!
Pure input... :wink:

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PostPost by: Evan Carpenter-Crawford » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:04 pm

Where can I order this book from in the US?
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PostPost by: wojeepster » Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:58 pm

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PostPost by: Evan Carpenter-Crawford » Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:09 pm

I wound up ordering the book directly from Brian. He is a very pleasant guy, and now that I have the book I can also say that he IS quite modest. This book is simply fantastic!

...only downside to calling him up direct was dialing an international call before my morning coffee had kicked in!
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PostPost by: Brian Walton » Fri Jul 14, 2006 9:42 am

I second that Evan. I've only had mine just over a week and Brian's book still impresses me. Lots and lots of useful reading and certainly information that would save money and time.

Brian
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PostPost by: WilST » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:07 pm

D.J.Pelly wrote:Brian can be contacted at:[email protected]
My copy was waiting for me when I got home from work last night. I didn't put it down until I went to bed.
I fully agree with the other guys, Brians done great job!John

I tried contacting Brian at the above email address, it came back as "undeliverable", and the various bookstores I've searched don't have it in stock. I really would like to obtain a copy of his book "The Rebuilding of a Lotus Elan". Can someone tell me how to get in touch with Brian or be willing to sell me an extra unneeded copy?

Thank you,
Wil
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:10 am

Alas that is what happens if an email address is published "in clear" on a website or forum, it get collected by spammers' gleaner programs and not long there-after becomes unusable due to the amount of spam pouring in.
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:40 am

WilST wrote:
D.J.Pelly wrote:Brian can be contacted at:[email protected]
My copy was waiting for me when I got home from work last night. I didn't put it down until I went to bed.
I fully agree with the other guys, Brians done great job!John

I tried contacting Brian at the above email address, it came back as "undeliverable", and the various bookstores I've searched don't have it in stock. I really would like to obtain a copy of his book "The Rebuilding of a Lotus Elan". Can someone tell me how to get in touch with Brian or be willing to sell me an extra unneeded copy?

Thank you,
Wil



Brian contacted me recently after I posted something similar to your query. If he doesn't within the next few days, let me know and I'll make sure you get in touch. He does have copies available.
Jim

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PostPost by: WilST » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:22 am

Good news! Thanks Jim. His book sounds a wonderful read. Hopefully Brian will get in touch soon.

Wil
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