Lotus Elan

The Case For Under Restored Cars

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:30 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:I've been following this thread & associated "over-restored" thread with interest, so I thought I'd put my two-pennarth in.

When I was first looking for an Elan I wasn't particularly bothered if it had a Spyder chassis or original...if it was the original colour or not....etc etc.

However, I ended up being the 2nd owner of a Sprint which at the time had a genuine 29000 miles on it. It needed re-commissioning but wasn't a basket case by any means. Still, once I started appreciating the car I realised that I was, in many ways, the custodian of it. There was no point in ripping it to pieces to upgrade it.

Only now am I getting it resprayed, and even that was a decision I agonised over for at least 2 years !!!!

So in my 'umble opinion there is no such thing as an over-or-under restored car - there is just a car you like & are happy with.

Ramble over.

Regards
Richard.


One of the few and rare voices of reason.... bravo, well said :wink:
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: bast0n » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:31 pm

Richard

So in my 'umble opinion there is no such thing as an over-or-under restored car - there is just a car you like & are happy with.


How dare you bring sense to this erudite discussion, Sir.........................
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:18 pm

Interesting further comment on the case:

"When people ask what return they will get from their investment, the primary return should be pleasure. Secondly, you?ll get back most of your money when the time comes to sell, which is not bad when you compare them to ?investments? such as boats, planes and modern cars! Then thirdly, if you have bought the right car, they have historically often yielded sound, and in some case significant, profits.

Every market is based on supply and demand, and one of the key demands finds its roots at the very core of where the old car ?business? grew from, something that we all know ? historic cars provide abundant pleasure! Modern cars fail to deliver the advertised escapism in this world of speed restrictions and electronic gadgets that cosset and anaesthetise the person at the wheel. In a finely engineered old car, the most mundane of journeys can be an adventure, and responses are increasingly enjoyable the more developed your driving skill. A favourite road doesn?t need to be an autobahn and, with a certain amount of care, no value will be squandered in your four-wheeled investment for using it.

Happily, in the last two decades, the emphasis of ownership has shifted decisively from a ?storage mentality? to a ?usage mentality?. The trend today is for even the most famous collections in the world to make regular ?working? use of their cars. Indeed, regular exercise is essential to their all-round ?health?, just as in a racehorse.

The market base is evolving year by year. We are at the axis of the generational change between enthusiasts, as the old guard mixes it with super-keen newcomers from emerging markets. The market is certainly never dull or stationary and there is always something going on." Courtesy Fiskens

In conclusion, don't over restore!

Tim
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:09 am

bast0n wrote:Mazzini - sorry you are not Italian!

We all agree that white Elans look pretty, I don't really mind black bumpers or clear indicator lenses, but a lack of wheel arch indicators on an SE is unforgivable


I suspect mine went through when Mr Chapman had one his regular shortage of bits. There is no wiring in the car for them, nor holes in the body. They also spoil the purity of line of an S3 that is soooo much purer than an S4 :wink:

I suspect that there are very few Elans of any breed out there that have all the bits intended - mix and match seemed to be the way they went. My first S3 had an S2 loom with bits added to suit!

David

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I'm sorry I'm not Italian either, if I were I'd probably be better dressed and I could have the bragging rights on the foundation of western civilisation.

We digress, onto more important matters - Elans.

I couldn't agree with you more, Elan's were hand built and subject to the whims of Chapman's creditors. My old S3 was built in late '66, it had a close ratio (S2) gearbox and a 3.9 diff. We all have seen S2 boot hinges on early S3's and S3 boot locks on early S4's and power bulge bonnets on late S3's the list goes on.

The S2 and the S4 are fine cars; the S2 being the pure form of the Elan; the S4 has a degree of sophistication and refinement...and I'm not going to say anything about S3's till I own one :)
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:54 pm

Mazzini wrote:
The S2 and the S4 are fine cars; the S2 being the pure form of the Elan; the S4 has a degree of sophistication and refinement...and I'm not going to say anything about S3's till I own one :)


The S3 is comfortably in the middle, with some of the benefits and shortcomings of each.

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Dan
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PostPost by: bast0n » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Dan

The S3 is comfortably in the middle, with some of the benefits and shortcomings of each.


How dare you Sir...............................it is the envy of all clear thinking great men. Especially with bla.............................etc! :wink:
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PostPost by: Bill » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:04 am

Mazzini

I beg to differ!!

You are in error with your comment that the S2 was the purist form of the Elan!! It is a bastardised form (thru the early transition from the origional 1500, 1600,S1) Vanguard tailights, non teak dash etc.

I own a '65 S2 as well as my origional '63 1600 (26/0538)

However; Emma Peel would never have been able to leap over the door of a Yankee version of the S3 - S4 in our youth.

Keep your stick on the ice!

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:32 am

To be quite honest I don't think that there is a bad Elan, that is unless I don't own it. I guess I have my preferences like everyone and I bought what I liked, That said I wasn't very picky and I bought almost every one I went to look at. I didn't buy them all as some people actually thought they were worth more than I had with me at the time I went to look at them. I love the roadsters, the coupes, the drop head coupes. Early late in the middle are all good stuff. I am sorry I sold a couple but sometimes you make mistakes lusting after other Lotus, I am guilty and have done that, Sold a very nice 1700 cc early coupe that I will regret the rest of my life. Luckily I kept two others, both airflows. My favorites always seems to be the next one I am building and this one is no different. bigger Twin Cam , alloy block (displacement has yet to be decided but it wont be any smaller than 1845cc but maybe a 1950cc as I need a crankshaft anyway), alloy ultra close gearbox and alloy diff, Less weight on the front. sub 1200 pound all up street rat roadster. I haven't decide on which body it will have but one thing for sure it will be a roadster and a halfbreed at that. These are the best looking and most appealing to my eye and I get to seem them each and every day. Even without paint it just gets me thinking that you really couldn't improve on it.
40 dollars.JPG and

At least not for $40 :D
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PostPost by: S2Jay » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:38 am

Well, I to did not know that we had a ?white Elan club? on this forum [or anywhere else], and I am more than pleased to be member, if only temporary. I am planning to abandon the lot of you for the BRG branch of Elan owners later this summer. I would far rather belong to the ?Drivable Elan owners? group, but mine is still in pieces and that is another story.

Colin [since you started this],
Your car is very similar to mine: late S2 [26-5009], LHD, Cirrus White, silver bumpers, black interior [of course], KOs, California car, 42K miles, mostly original. I may be the 2nd owner, but more likely 3rd or so, previous history not entirely known.

Yes, it is always a struggle for some of us as to whether to modify, and if so, how much. I have had this internal conversation about my other cars, as well. I usually end up with the thought that I did not buy the car to preserve the history, nor am I qualified to do so.

When I was young and needed that first car for work, I would always look for something that would also have some performance. I needed to drive my car on the street, sometimes everyday to work, and I also wanted to make some departures from the original to "personalize", in some cases to add features [usually a radio & speakers], and sometimes to improve reliability.

Fortunately, there are many others far more qualified than I to do correct & proper preservation, and there are some who also possess the facilities and maybe the financing, but certainly the devotion, the drive, clearly the passion, and even the scholarship and the patience to handle this important task for the rest of us.

I am very pleased to know that others are preserving the history of cars like our Elans, and a number of them are on this forum. I am left with a clearer mind [well, about this anyway] to make some prudent, if selfish upgrades to my version. Almost always, my changes can be reversed, and I try to keep any original parts for the next owner, should my wife need to unload the beasts when I am past automotive pleasures and endeavors.

Hmmm, apparently I needed to vent a bit, and this forum has provided a comfortable spot to do that. Sorry if I have bored anyone, or gotten a bit off topic.

Jay
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:37 am

Hi Jay

Please don't paint it, there are enough BRG elans amongst us. I have painted a couple of Elans white over the years and they are some of the best looking, I have a couple of green ones too so I have a bit of history with them. One thing about me is I don't have much of a hard on for red unless she drop dead gorgeous. :D
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PostPost by: bast0n » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:26 am

Bill

However; Emma Peel would never have been able to leap over the door of a Yankee version of the S3 - S4 in our youth.


I think Emma jumped over the door into an S3 that had had its door frames cut off - but no doubt someone out there knows the truth of it.

By the way all you white Elan owners - should the strip along the bottom of the body be painted black? You know - the vertical bit about and inch and a half high. I think it looks better if it is. And thank goodness we don't have that nasty rear hangydownbit that S4s have under the body to worry about.

Piss-ant - is that carpet that car is sitting on in the lower picture?
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:55 am

bast0n wrote:By the way all you white Elan owners - should the strip along the bottom of the body be painted black? You know - the vertical bit about and inch and a half high. I think it looks better if it is. And thank goodness we don't have that nasty rear hangydownbit that S4s have under the body to worry about.

Pissant - is that carpet that car is sitting on in the lower picture?


Hi David

Piss-ant has a hyphen otherwise it does not read correctly.
Factory Elans had the vertical flat bit on the sides painted black but the ones I built are not factory built. These are mine and I did only one like that and it was Solar yellow, it needed it. I end the black on the flat undertray.
body_install.jpg and

Photo was taken when I installed the body, this is a another of my single handed installs, why wait for friends to come over and drink all the beer? The black belongs on the underside, Color of the bumpers is always body color with my Elans. This Coupe is April 1970 and none of that ugly hang down stuff to spoil the line for the squirrels to see. Yes, wall to wall carpeting but its getting a bit long in the tooth now, getting over 20 years now so if the coupe ever gets moved its coming up and out.

Gary

p.s. - I have been meaning to start a topic on what does your garage floor look like (where your Elan pees itself) but I have been busy building some new loudspeakers and every time I go out to the garage and move the Elan to get a photo the light is wrong.
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PostPost by: bast0n » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:40 pm

Gary

Sorry about the "-". I enclose this one "-" as an unsolicited gift!

I envy you your Elan builds. I just sit here with the one and only. Just collected 60 litres of wine in it this morning so that should keep me going for a day ot two. Wonderful cold sunshine today - and the electronic fan controller is playing up. Ah well - something to do on a rainy day.
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:01 pm

Under restored, over restored, repurposed, modernized, Hot Rod, Race Car, white, BRG, red, S1, S2, S3, S4, Sprint, Coupe, black accent, bumpers painted the body, colo(u)r, ..........

Bottom line is have fun whatever it is. I dream of a 100% restoration on my transition S2, and I dream of a resto rod S2, and I dream of a... well I think you get the point. I can't have a 100% restored S2 because it has a Spyder frame, Spyder roll bar, ugly fender falares (I'll fix those one day), wrong block (it is a rope seal though), a head off of a '68 +2, a TR3 gas cap, absolutley nothing on the dash is original to the car except the gauges, it has some wierd ass shifter I've never seen before, it came with panasports, 2 original wheels and 3 TR7 wheels, it has one lexan window and one glass window, etc. etc. etc.

So what I've been doing is collecting as many original parts as I can, so someday me, or someone else someone might have a chance at getting it somewhat under restored. I look at it this way I saved a drivable car from being parted out by the previous owner and even though its very far from perfect its driveable and it has another chance to someday at least look somewhat original. I'm not sure that will happen in my lifetime as I'm leaning toward 26R arches, bigger motor, 15 inch wheels, factory hardtp, etc. Here's a few pics of where it stands today, who knows where it will end up in a couple years, or another 50 years. I think it will still be driven though.

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:07 pm

bast0n wrote:
By the way all you white Elan owners - should the strip along the bottom of the body be painted black? You know - the vertical bit about and inch and a half high. I think it looks better if it is. And thank goodness we don't have that nasty rear hangydownbit that S4s have under the body to worry about.



Yes it should, regardless of body colour (unless it's black of course) You need the visual impression that the sill is not there otherwise it spoils the side view.

PS My S4 doesn't have the dangly bit. I think Tim and others concluded that it's only the late S4/Sprint shells which have it, but I may be remembering it incorrectly. I agree they look neater without it :wink:
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