Lotus Elan

Any Alfa fans amongst us?

PostPost by: Bob » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:34 am

I seem to remember a very long time ago reading an article about a baby Elan fitted with a 4 cylinder Twin Cam Alfa Engine and 5 speed box. Anybody ever tried this?
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:46 pm

Bob wrote:I seem to remember a very long time ago reading an article about a baby Elan fitted with a 4 cylinder Twin Cam Alfa Engine and 5 speed box. Anybody ever tried this?
Bob


I haven't seen it done, and I am not sure why you would do it unless you went to a 2.0L which would be a bit tall for the Elan. The non-twinspark Alfa fours are not as good a combustion chamber as the Lotus Twincam, and my experience is the synchros on the Ford tranny are better than the Alfa tranny although 5 speeds would be nice. The height of the alfa engine would be an issue and I am not sure the gear lever would be in a decent spot.

Oh yeah and then there is the issue of whether that big winged sump that always wants to hit the gound in the Alfa will fit between the Y of the chassis. I'd have to measure it to be sure.

Thye Twinspark Alfa fours have an combustion chamber almost identical to the Lotus Twincam, with the addition of a second spark plug to prevent knock. This is the 2.0L engine my wife's Berlina has and while the 1989 vintage Bosch EFI isn't the greatest in the world (1 injector driver) it is a relatively nice engine.

Personally I'd rather got to a Pinto 1600CC bottom end for 1700cc Lotus-Ford TwinCam to get more torque than the Alfa route, even though the Alfa engine would reduce the weight of the car some.

Boy I can't wait to finsh the MBA so I can get back to getting her car more useable, and less like a former race car. With a new Odyssey battery the Elan just needs carb adjusting so I can spend time on the Berlina if I ever get time for the toy cars.

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PostPost by: Chrisrich » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:50 am

The October issue of Classic & Sports Car magazine has a cover story comparing a Duetto to an Elan. It's a terrific side-by-side comparison of styling/performance/ergos/value. Very well put together, if you want to see how your Elan stacks up to the twin-cam competition. (spoiler alert: the Elan wins by a nose).
1970 Elan S4 DHC 45/9780 1972 Triumph TR6
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1991 Ducati 900ss 1989 Honda GB500
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PostPost by: 64LOTUS » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:22 am

I am amongst. Owned 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato from 1963-1966, raced in SCCA C Production from one driver's school, three regionals, three divisional's, 3 national's, to SCCA and FIA license. Lovely fun car, if a bit understeering. Then traded it back to my racing partner seller even up for the 1964 Lotus Elan S1 that I have had since 1966 (when I got married and left town for a new job). I will have to say that it was even more unusual than the Elan, since there were only five SZ's in the US at the time (not imported by Alfa) and I have never seen another one to this day. While racing I enjoyed an Alfa factory subsidy of $300/$200/$100 for respectively 1/2/3 place Alfa in class per race entered. All I had to do to get $300 was to finish, since their were no other Alfa's in C Production (just Corvettes, bathtub Porches, Healys, etc). I restored the S1 Elan frame-up in 1990. It has been a daily driver since 1966. Today I registered with this group, with my first two actions of posting a "wanted RH front door", and responding to your post. By the way, since 1992 I have lived in Chapel Hill, NC, an hour from the VIR track in Danville, VA, where I ran the Alfa twice in my busy three years of SCCA racing. I wish I had been able to afford to keep the Zagato, since I would now have two cars which most people have never seen before. Many thanks for unexpectedly taking me back on a trip down memory lane.
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PostPost by: ebc699 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:32 am

When you just can't decide........
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:42 am

Yes - me too.

I've had the Elan since '73 and the Spider since '77.

I hope to get the Alfa back on the road next year after lying dormant since 1978 (I think)
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:08 pm

We have owned 3 Alfas over the recent years and they are fantastic cars to drive with great engines. There is however one big similarity between Alfas and Lotus cars - All suffer from electrical problems :)
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PostPost by: RedS4 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:55 pm

pereirac wrote: There is however one big similarity between Alfas and Lotus cars - All suffer from electrical problems :)


Magnetti Marelli is Lucas' (The Prince of Darkness) Italian half brother - I am convinced of that... :|
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:47 pm

wielandb wrote:While racing I enjoyed an Alfa factory subsidy of $300/$200/$100 for respectively 1/2/3 place Alfa in class per race entered. All I had to do to get $300 was to finish, since their were no other Alfa's in C Production (just Corvettes, bathtub Porches, Healys, etc).

Well, since the only time I've seen a porch move is in a flood, that's not so impressive! 8) 8) 8)
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PostPost by: GreekS1 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:26 pm

Thinking of buying an S4 spider for longer journeys to complement the elan... more of a GT car than the lotus.
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PostPost by: bengalcharlie » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:25 pm

yes,

Still have a giulietta spider that is almost finished after a complete bolt and nut restoration. I love the shape and now fitted with a 1600 guilia super engine I am confident it will be a lovely drivers car. It will rub shoulders with my plus two which is also a fantastic drivers car. Ideally the garage should house the alfa with a type 14 elite but price level of the elite and practibility of the plus two will prevent this from happening. :oops:
I would consider fitting an alfa engine to the lotus, you can not beat the raw crisp alfa snarl from the exhaust!
cheers
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PostPost by: LotusFan90 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:03 am

Image

Here is my GTV on a recent 1500 mile road trip to Yosemite. It really is a great touring car. May be trading it someday for another Alfa with a Twinspark engine instead of the 1600cc ~90bhp engine Im currently using. It has just over 43k original miles.
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PostPost by: bast0n » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:31 pm

Perierac

There is however one big similarity between Alfas and Lotus cars - All suffer from electrical problems


I have had my latest one (S3 SE DHC)for twenty three years and apart from coil failure - sorted by moving it to above my feet to keep it cool - I have never had an electrical problem. Use it throughout the year is the key to sorting electrical problems................ :D
David

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PostPost by: DJThom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:34 pm

Occasionally when I'm strapping one toddler into the S2 and see the sad eyes on the other toddler that's being left behind I wonder about exchaning it for an early GTV...
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PostPost by: richard sprint » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:19 pm

Lotus fan 90 - great photo!
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