Lotus Elan

CBU, unit numbers, and the day book

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:39 pm

If you have any interest in the early production at Cheshunt then you may want to read Brian Caldersmith post over on the yahoo Elite forum.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Lot ... sages/4237

This may give you a better understanding of why things were the way they developed when the Elan started to roll out of the Cheshunt factory.

Gary
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:30 pm

Gary,
Thanks for posting this. I have been ignoring the Elite Yahoo discussion group email notices for a few days and I missed Brian Caldersmith's note. This helps explain why there is no information for my Elite, 1771, in the day list. I have invoices to the original buyer from both Lotus and The Chequered Flag, both dated 21 September 1962. The invoice from Lotus Cars is an "export invoice", apparently needed to avoid paying road tax. The original owner took delivery from The Chequered Flag in used it in England for a very short period of time before shipping it to the US for his intended purpose of touring the states in it. Perhaps the accounting office did not know how to resolve the two invoices and entered nothing in the register.
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PostPost by: LotusArchives » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:32 pm

piss-ant wrote:If you have any interest in the early production at Cheshunt then you may want to read Brian Caldersmith post over on the yahoo Elite forum.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Lot ... sages/4237

This may give you a better understanding of why things were the way they developed when the Elan started to roll out of the Cheshunt factory.

Gary


Gary,

Can you send me a copy of the discussion regarding the CBU, unit numbers etc. I tried to join Yahoo, and ask to be a member, but haven't heard anything. Any information about these old books that can be passed onto other customers is most useful to me as I have these books at work.
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PostPost by: bilcoh » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:19 pm

Agreed. I'd be interested, and have had trouble getting onto the Yahoo group as well.

Thanks,

Dave
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:48 pm

LotusArchives wrote:Can you send me a copy of the discussion regarding the CBU, unit numbers etc. I tried to join Yahoo, and ask to be a member, but haven't heard anything. Any information about these old books that can be passed onto other customers is most useful to me as I have these books at work.


Gary, sorry to preempt:

The Elite so called "Production List"

There has been a lot of discussion recently about chassis numbers and
interpretations of the list as first published in Dennis Ortenberger's books.
I know that the author of it covered the subject some years ago - prior to all
the chat lists and electronic newsletters that have since emanated, so it is
probably appropriate that it be explained again, because there does seem to be
some confusion and misconceptions that have developed over time.
The first critical thing to realise and understand is that it is NOT A
PRODUCTION RECORD. To quote Warren King, who generated the list, "It is a
register created from the sales invoices when the accounts copy of the invoice
reached me sitting in the Accounts Office. After I observed that the numbers
were not used chronologically but very erratically, I started the register with
the intention of accounting for every CBU number. This is why the only
references on the list are invoice numbers and customers' names."
The next and very important thing to appreciate is that the cars were NOT BUILT
IN NUMERIC ORDER. The chassis plates were attached to the CBU at Maximar and
Bristol then delivered and stored in racks awaiting assembly. This is contrary
to normal car production. "When the first assembly station required the next CBU
they loaded a CBU of the specified colour, without checking the number at all.
So number order was quite erratic, which ultimately meant that it is pretty
futile for current owners to try and draw conclusions as to production dates or
change of specification dates from the CBU number."
And we also need to appreciate that Colin Chapman had nothing to do with the
list - in fact he would not have known that it existed. He never got involved
in matters of administration ? "apart from job lists for Team Lotus after a
Grand Prix - By the time of the move to Cheshunt he had long since ceased to
have close involvement in production matters, and confined himself normally to
the Team Lotus workshop, all the engineering offices and drawing boards, and his
Managing Director's office."
I understand that this will disappoint some people, but we need to understand
that the Lotus organisation at the time was not a refined large corporate style
production company. It is only thanks to Warren that any records are available
at all.

Brian #1591
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