Lotus Elan

RHD or LHD in USA

PostPost by: zog » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:15 pm

I'm in the middle of rebuilding a 1966 S2 drop head. It's a right hand drive but I was thinking of converting it to a left hand drive. I had a real hard time selling the last RHD Elan I had. I ended up selling it to a Japanese fellow in Detroit who was going to drive it for a while there and bthen ring it back to Japan when he returned to his homeland.

I bought a used LHD steering rack from a Triumph. The dash is trash anyway so I have to build a new one there. The only thing left is the pedals.

Thoughts?
Thanks!

Bob
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PostPost by: gino1 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:21 am

I'd convert it to LHD and thinking of doing the same to two of mine already have the new dashes, pedal boxes and steering racks.
The hardest part to source, unless you buy one new,(but not original) is the pedal box.
Lots of admirers like the look of the RHD when they see the elan on the road, but when they wish to buy one it's a different kettle of fish, and becomes an excuse to haggle the price considerably.

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:30 am

Hi Bob

I don't know what the question is. Is it the value, or what do you need to complete the job, or the difficulty? Lots of things at play here. If the car is RHD and was registered in the U.K. then it can go home with out paying some of the taxes due on the "new value" This is a plus for sales as they seem to be worth a U.K. pound to a U.S. dollar. If you want to sell it here, than that?s a different story. Coupe's are perceived as harder to drive, Mike Braun will tell you different. I think if you want to race the car than a RHD setup is preferred as the greater weight (driver) is on the inside of most corners on the tracks in the U.S.
There are lots of topics on the conversion. a search of "pedal box" or "RHD LHD" will keep you busy for a while when your waiting for these two topics to re-develop again.

http://www.lotuselan.net/cgi-bin/search ... oom_sort=0

quite a few topics, 222 listed in this search. Looks to be covered almost as much as tires and ash trays and radios.

Bob, are you going to the LOG in Gettysburg?
Last edited by garyeanderson on Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: ripley » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:43 pm

Bob, I think there are as many advantages as disadvantages whether building a RHD or LHD Elan. If you're not located in UK a LHD would be perhaps the better choice. I've made the same thing. If you are in need of (original) LHD pedalboxes, tell me and I can give you the address of an ex-Lotus dealer in Belgium who still have had some units when I bought mine last year.
Fred
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PostPost by: andyelan » Fri Sep 10, 2010 5:21 pm

Hi Bob

Be aware too that a Triumph steering rack isn't a direct replacement for the Lotus item, it requires modification. As least that the case with RH drive cars

Andy
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PostPost by: zog » Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:56 pm

Thanks for the input. I will be seeking a LHD pedal box and inspecting my Triumph rack to see what needs to be modified.

I am planning on attending the LOG in Gettysberg but my wife and I will be just be "Tourists", leaving my Elan at home.
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:45 pm

Bob,

I would echo the sentiments already expressed and suggest the value difference might be $3-5,000 for a road registered car in the USA. I also agree that the UK has the hots for S1 and S2 cars and if you want to reach that market Gary has a very valid point. And you save the cost of conversion :lol:

On another note, I still owe you big time for helping me with my Plus 2 during LOG 25 so find me in Gettysburg so I can buy you a steak dinner...and let you drive a Lotus you tourist, you!

Ross
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:18 am

I wonder if anyone has ever built a BOTH-HAND-DRIVE. with two steering wheels & two pedal boxes.

:lol: 8) :lol:
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PostPost by: Dennis 45/9760 » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:25 am

Wait a minute. . .

Two steering wheels, two sets of pedals . . .

This brings back High School memories.

Are we talking driver's education here?
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PostPost by: zog » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:30 am

Hey Ross. Although I like steaks, helping you out with your plus 2 was a matter of good will to a fellow Lotus owner. Just pass on the good will next chance you get. Who knows, the good will may get back around to me someday on the side of the road......
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PostPost by: archigator » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:49 am

I've got a RHD Sprint Coupe in the US and love it. I have also had a Japanese Lotifile leave a business card on my window, with an offer to buy the car. I've had it for 23 years and don't plan to sell it.

When my son was about 8 years old, we'd go for a drive and startled pedestrians thought he was driving! :lol: Great for a laugh. It's always considered at local British car gatherings as a "true" British car. In my opinion a RHD car should stay RHD... (I have also been told that RHD is the preferred layout for racing in the US.)

Gary
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:33 pm

A number of years ago, on one of my annual road tours, I was driving a RHD coupe. Part of the tour was through Hunter Liggett military reservation in California's central coast. To enter the reservation, you need to show proof of current registration, insurance, and drivers license. When we pulled up to the guard station, the guard asked my passenger for his license and the rest of the paper work. My passenger replied in his best Mexican accent, "I don't need no steenking license". With a pause, the guard was getting his dander up, he then stated, "I ain't got no steenking steering wheel either." The guard took a second look, laughed and walked to the other side of the car. As we drove away, we laughed about how he was going to react when the mid 30's totally open Lagonda, behind us, came driving up.

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PostPost by: Elan45 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:56 am

If someone in the USA is converting a RHD car to LHD, I need a RHD steering rack for a non-Elan racecar project. I will need to shorten the rack housing, so I'd be happy to have two, so I could convert two of them at the same time.

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