Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan "replica"

PostPost by: skelteanema » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:32 am

Hi y'all,

We have an auction site in NZ called trademe, which is the dominant auction site in the country (ebay is almost unknown here). Looking out for Lotus related material I came accoss the following auction:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-Me-Motors/Cars/Lotus/auction-293833525.htm

I have attached a couple of the photos in case the link doesn't work. I was surprised to find an Elan copy. I have not seen a replica like this before, let alone in NZ where the supply of Elans in very limited. It appear that only the boot (trunk) is a genuine lotus panel, with the rest on the body molded from an Elan S4. The window frames are home made, with wind-up windows. The body apparently has a steel frame to which componets like the doors are bolted. It has an elaborate home built chassis, that has a backbone arrangement somewhat similar to a Spyder chassis but with additional side rails.

The engine choice is interesting (Sunbeam Rapier). I would have though a Ford Kent based engine such as Cortina or Escort would have been more appropriate, as that would have allowed a change to a genuine lotus engine if the opportunity arose.

As Lotus Elans are rare on the ground here, I suppose this would be an option for someone who wanted an Elan but couldn't afford a genuine article (if you could fine one in NZ). By the way NZ$2500 would be a little over GBP1000 at current echange rate. Reserve hasn't been met, so interested to see whether it sells and what it goes for.

Has anyone else seen this type of replica? I must say its the first that I have seen.
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132292831[1].jpg
132292831[1].jpg (15.28 KiB) Viewed 3630 times
132605208[2].jpg
132605208[2].jpg (19.4 KiB) Viewed 3632 times
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:23 am

Now that's what I call enterprising.
The Man that built that must have really wanted to have an Elan.
Must have taken a tremendous amount of time & effort to finish the job.

Sort of on Topic:-
Didn't Christopher Neil offer Elan Sprint Replica Kits for a while?
I think they used Spyder Chassis & Suspension bits??
I wonder how many they sold & how many are around now :roll:

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:08 am

What an extraordinary thing to do!

It's probably a violation of Lotus copyright to do that.
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PostPost by: skelteanema » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:18 am

I for one wouldn't volunteer my Elan for somebody to make molds from in order to build a replica. I would be too worried about the damage that may be done if something went wrong. :oops:
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:44 am

Didn't Christopher Neil offer Elan Sprint Replica Kits for a while?
I think they used Spyder Chassis & Suspension bits??
I wonder how many they sold & how many are around now :roll:


John, I wish my memory was as good as yours. Is this what you were thinking of ? From the Club Lotus valuation reference it looks to be from around 1985

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CN Sprint Kit 001.jpg and
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:03 am

I know this should probably be in the Plus 2 section but I just found this in my archive - seems Christopher Neil did a Plus 2 Cabriolet as well as the Sprint kit.

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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:21 am

Yep, Christopher Neil certainly had those cars tested at the time. I believe that only the one Sprint was 'produced'. I don't know anything else on the +2 conversion.

It was around this time that the old Vegantune company produced a small number of Evante Elan 'updates'.

Then the classic car market crashed ..........

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:25 pm

Thanks Roger,

that's the Advert exactly as I remember it.
If I recall correctly I think they started running out of critical Parts like Window Frames & the Kit builders were left a bit in the lurch.
Maybe the Chassis stopped being supplied to Chris Neil as well, the one in the Photo looks like a Lotus part.
I also believe that Banks Europa's were originally to have Spyder Space frames but they ended up fabricating their own due to a clamp down on supplies.
Lotus instigated maybe? :roll:
Almost certainly all Cabrio +2's or the kits to convert to were Chris Neil products.

The +2 does belong here on this thread because it did start with a Home made Special & the Chris Neil offerings of the time were really no different.

I think that the Evante might have been some sort of joint venture between Vegantune & Spyder with Vegantune taking the lead role.
This was discussed on here a couple of years ago.

Has anyone attempted to get one of those "Sprints" onto your Register Tim? :roll:

P.S. I love Banks Europa's, bloody expensive though :cry:

Cheers
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:48 pm

D.J.Pelly wrote:Has anyone attempted to get one of those "Sprints" onto your Register Tim? :roll: John


Nope. If they did it would be as a curiosity more than a genuine Sprint, of course.

As you are aware, my register is concerned more with the original specification all Sprints left the factory, in an effort to replicate the missing factory records.

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:55 pm

You may well have one or two on there, Tim!

I enquired about their 'kit' at the time, and they said that the best thing to do was to find a crashed or fire damaged Sprint, and re-built it using their shell and bits and pieces. They offered to find me one!

It was more a marketing thing to sell their bits than anything else, as many of the parts used to make the car had to be from a donor of some sort. Things like the engine, gearbox, differential and rear uprights, together with instruments, switches, heater, wiper motor and a host of other stuff had to be sourced from a scrap car.

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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:40 pm

Well, if I have then I can treat them as 'rebuilt' I guess!

So long as I have the original VIN, engine number and paint code, then I have what I need. The registration number also helps but I know that they are easily come by - as it were.

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:29 pm

Hi Guys, The chap who bought my +2s 130 had the car DHC'd by CN... Ruined it in MHO. I had 1st offer to buy it back as a condition I sold it to him. He called me and said I'm selling do you want it back,which I did.Then I seen it.... :cry:

I did not buy it back & he was surprised I did not like it. :?

Sob... Reg' was / is LMP 413K. Anyone seen it ??

Alex B....
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Now Sprintless!!
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PostPost by: 512BB » Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:34 pm

LIMP Alex, thats not what your Misses told me when I chated to her at Malvern. Seems your bypass did you no harm at all!

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:08 pm

trw99 wrote:Yep, Christopher Neil certainly had those cars tested at the time. I believe that only the one Sprint was 'produced'. I don't know anything else on the +2 conversion.

It was around this time that the old Vegantune company produced a small number of Evante Elan 'updates'.

Then the classic car market crashed ..........

Tim


The Evante was a significantly different car & there are still quite a few around.

When Vegantune Spalding were doing the refurb of my Elan back in 82/83 I remember George Robinson standing on one of the Evante bonnets (on the floor) to demonstrat how strong it is. The key parts of the car were bonded kevlar rather than bonded fibre-glass and the moulded in front bumper has carbon fibre in it.

They are possibly bullet proof :shock:

Shame they had to get funding from an entrepreneur who know nothing about sportscars & 'managed' the business "Evante Cars" into oblivion and that took Vegantune Spalding down with it.
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:08 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Don't you start! I have enough problems with John.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Good job I sold that car! Did not suit me one bit :roll:

Thanks for the laugh....

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