Lotus Elan

S4 FHC soon to be DHC : Please see new MODS forum for update

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:08 pm

Steve G wrote:It does seem quite strange, to feel that way about replica Lotus Cortinas when you were contemplating putting an S2000 engine (or even a supercharged Buick V6!) into an original Elan! But then you are from Tunbridge Wells and two of the strangest people I know are from there. :lol:

I think every classic car enthusiast sits on a scale of purity, like the autistic spectrum. But there are a lot of grey areas. For instance; concourse restorations that make a car look exactly as they were new int he showroom but by replacing practically every part with new. I am contemplating fitting a Burton EWP and my car already has an electric fuel pump, but I would never consider replacing the twink with a Zetec, some would say there is hypocrisy in that viewpoint. I think an important classic car should be maintained in a way that doesn't alter its fundamental character, that where visible only period modifications should be made. But at the same time, I love Hot Rods which are custom cars that 'destroy' an original chassis and shell.

The way I see it is you are building a Hot Rod based on an S4 Elan and it will be interesting to follow the project's progression. The most important thing is that you will enjoy the car, I think that's better than leaving an original car rotting away in a barn, for someone to 'restore' the car years down the line with all new 'original' parts, then put it back in another barn.


Hi Steve,
If I'm building a hot rod, does that mean I have to leave the paint in grey primer? :lol:
I wasn't really expecting this thread to get the level of interest that it has and was basically expecting a bit of banter from the same old names and faces, it looks like a lot of people are following it with interest and a few are joining in and adding help and advice (some more welcome than others :roll: ).

We all have our modification versus originality threshold to maintain, the problem is that mine appears to have been bypassed in all areas apart from the interior and bodywork. I like an original inside and out look, I think the Americans call this 'Retro-Modding' (Gary, Frank please help here?).

The roof chop is a bit controversial it appears, but it will please Mrs Thomas to have a DHC and she won't see the significance in a vin number that starts with a 36 instead of a 45. I'm not that bothered about that aspect myself either.

BTW: those electric water pump conversions are a really sensible upgrade that come under the heading of 'no brainer'.

Regards
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Bahamayellow » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:10 pm

Spyder fan wrote:Hi Mike,

I don't like fakes, I too can spot most fake Cooper or Cooper S recreations a mile off...... sometimes it's quite amusing to spot the glaring errors. A standard 2 door cortina shell seems to be worth an awful lot of money for some reason, can't think why as the 4 door is much more practical and quite rare these days :roll: And there seem to be almost as many mk1 coopers on the road today as there were in the 1960's, they must have made them from special non rusting and crash resistant steel :wink: I used to be in the old Mini scene and got the V5's as part of another deal, they will remain in my file until my conscience allows me to do something with them which means thats where they will remain most likely.

I don't feel the same way about Lotus Elan's, the modifications that I am making are so drastic that nobody with at least half an ounce of sense wouldn't know that my cars aren't original. Or if I built a totally standard 'original' car from a pile of bits and assigned a V5 to it, the car would be worth no more or less than any other similar condition example. The problem with Mini's and Cortinas and other similar cars that had a sporting item in the model range is that the surviving standard cars with quite low value can be "upgraded" to the same specification as the highly sought after models with all the associated problems and opportunities to hoodwink and basically con the unwary.

Keep spotting those fakes and let me know when you find a real one...... I might be interested!

Regards


Alan

Here's an original. History back to when it was purchased.

Image

With Mini Coopers the problem is there are usually 2 cars knocking around with the same registration. The original ones that were exported to Japan and the copies made using the retained V5's.

Look forward to seeing photos of your Elan. I am I admit in the original camp but I am not precious about it and always interested to see evolutions of classic cars especially if it gets the cars on the road more often.
Mike
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PostPost by: Steve G » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:12 am

That's a beautiful Mini. I helped a friend renovate a Pre-93 Mini Cooper for the Minis by the Sea show in Worthing a few years ago. We were up most of the night before getting it ready and replaced all the carpets and dashboard and countless other bits in one weekend. Then we junked the EFI system and put carbs on it, instant improvement, even in fuel economy! My favourite bit was driving the car down the road from the rear bench seat before refitting the front seats, it was a perfect driving position for me!
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PostPost by: richgilb » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:54 am

If I had a Mini, it would have receive even more non-purist treatment than my +2.
I am now an ex-Elan owner but will drop by from time to time with some suitably inappropriate comments.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:24 pm

richgilb wrote:If I had a Mini, it would have receive even more non-purist treatment than my +2.


I think that some even put Twin Cams in 'em.
Would that suit? :lol:
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:32 pm

John,
A red top vauxhall 2.0 16 valve would be a much better option, there's a company that sells the ready modified subframes....... couldn't recommend doing this of course, it would spoil a classic. :twisted:

http://www.hybrid-mini.co.uk/vauxhall/AllSpeed.htm
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:22 pm

Spyder fan wrote:John,
A red top vauxhall 2.0 16 valve would be a much better option, there's a company that sells the ready modified subframes....... couldn't recommend doing this of course, it would spoil a classic. :twisted:

http://www.hybrid-mini.co.uk/vauxhall/AllSpeed.htm


Hmmm; not a bad bit of kit!
I built one to 195 BHP to go into an S2 Europa with Banks 47R Body but sold it as a part finished Project.
Decided to cut my outgoings & I didn't like the driving position anyway.
Interestingly the Water Pump Pulley is used to tension the Cam Belt, now that's got to be one tough Water Pump Bearing hasn't it :wink:
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:36 pm

Hello to all who are following this thread, sorry there hasn't been much to show for the last couple of months, but progress has started as follows:

Extract of email from Sean Reeve at Spyder:
We have carried out modifications to the body and pre-empt what may need doing
in the engine IE lowered the foot box as the injection will be on the opposite side if
we can squeeze in the Duratec.

We have now delivered the rolling shell to SMS to have the engine bay painted & the roof
chop carried out.

We have fixed down the body to the chassis so its all in its final position,we have left the chassis
self colour for the time being in case of any mods that we may need to do.



The pictures are a little boring in places, but I think that some people will be interested. The build has been going slowly due to my funds being comitted elsewhere, but I'm really hoping that we can crack on now and be finished late Autumn.
DSC04123.JPG and
DSC04125.JPG and
DSC04126.JPG and
DSC04128.JPG and
DSC04130.JPG and
DSC04131.JPG and
DSC04156.JPG and
DSC04157.JPG and
DSC04158.JPG and


Regards
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:01 am

I like an original inside and out look, I think the Americans call this 'Retro-Modding' (Gary, Frank please help here?).

Alan,
Although I am not Frank or Gary, I am a Yank and I believe the term is "Resto-Mod" which is just what it sounds like; a Restoration with Modifications. Usually it is an old car with that same maker's modern underpinnings such as a 1963 Split Window Corvette with new Z06 engine suspension and brakes. Or a '34 Ford Victoria with modern Mustang running gear. Frequently modern air conditioning, sound system and other creature comforts are implemented as well.

There is an enthusiastic group of fans for this type of work and though my Elan is fairly original, I count myself among them. It permits an old classic to be used in modern traffic. Keep us posted as progress continues. It looks to be coming along nicely.
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PostPost by: Mark B » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:55 pm

Hi Alan,
Coming on well mate, I hope the engine fits in after all this! (although I think sean secretly hopes it doesn't so he can have it for his elise!)

When I've been speaking to sean over the past few months, I ocassionally ask how your car's going. I saw it in May when I picked my "kit" up from them.

I have a rolling chassis built up now, the engine & box should be in by the end of the week & then I'll get the bodyshell down & start modifying it to suit.

All the best,
Mark.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:07 pm

Ross,
Thanks for the info:- 'RESTO-MOD' makes a lot of sense.

Mark,
Great to hear from you, pleased your build is coming along nicely and I look forward to seeing pictures (hint to post something up here :wink: ).

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PostPost by: Mark B » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:46 pm

Spyder fan wrote:
Mark,
Great to hear from you, pleased your build is coming along nicely and I look forward to seeing pictures (hint to post something up here :wink: ).

Regards


Just for you Alan I will post some up in the next few days, when hopefully there's an engine and gearbox in place!

Cheers,
Mark. :wink:
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PostPost by: Mark B » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:56 pm

Ok Alan and anyone else interested, here's (hopefully) some pictures of my progress so far-
The rolling chassis (or it would be if I had any wheels and tyres on it!) with various options inc fully adjustable front & rear camber & toe, lsd diff, wilwood brakes with drilled + grooved discs
Image
Close up of the engine -an 1800cc silvertop zetec built & modified by myself approx 170 -180hp
Image
One of the wheels, just clears the wilwood calipers by about 3 -4mm, should look nice on a red car
Image

Still a long way to go yet, but progress is progress....

All the best,
Mark. :wink:
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:09 pm

Mark,

Why is it that Elan's always look so good undressed?

That looks a very nice build so far, I like the Chinese rug on the garage floor...... Obviously nothing is too good for your Lotus :lol:


Regards and keep up the good work
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Mark B » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:33 pm

Cheers Alan,

Yes I like the look of it so far, which is a good job as it won't progress as quickly for a bit now, I have a few other things to do before I bring the bodyshell down here.
One of the first things I did when we moved here was strip the garage, dryline it, carpet it etc, I do like myself and my cars to be comfy!

Cheers,
Mark.
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