Lotus Elan

Were Elans/Plus 2s tested by the factory?

PostPost by: lotocone » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:08 pm

I hope I didn't miss something in the archives on this.

Once the cars were assembled at Lotus in the 60s and 70s, were they tested at all on the road or a track? My guess is that they were not tested, but if anyone knows, please let fill us in. Thanks.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:14 am

It's a good question! My understanding is that there was some testing on the local roads around Cheshunt and one of the attractions of Hethel was the old airfield perimeter track for testing.

However, I guess you are after knowing whether every car leaving the factory was given a test drive, rather than the obvious development testing that inevitably went on. I shall have to do some asking around, though like you, my suspicion would be that selected cars only would be given a quick whip around the track.

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PostPost by: hatman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:38 am

Wouldn't the fact that many were sold in kit form suggest that Lotus probably regarded test-driving of the factory-built versions as unnecessary/not required?
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:32 am

When you built a kit car you had to take it back, either to the workshop at Cheshunt or your local Lotus dealer, for a proper PDI inspection and signoff in order to validate the warrantee. That included a road test.

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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:59 am

Elanintheforest wrote:When you built a kit car you had to take it back, either to the workshop at Cheshunt or your local Lotus dealer, for a proper PDI inspection and signoff in order to validate the warrantee. That included a road test.

Mark


Mr. Mazzini was kind enough to upload this certificate, a while back...

download/file.php?id=11956

(Ref: elan-f14/handbooks-etc-t21641-15.html)

I was going to ask what "standards" were measured exactly...prior to being "signed off"

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:09 pm

I've always wondered if factory-built cars had to undergo some test equivalent to the PDI. I have a fully stamped service book for the S4 but there is no evidence of a sign-off by a dealer. From what I was told by the PO it was a home-built kit.

Mark, any info on what the factory did when they had built a Cortina?
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:37 pm

The early ones....sell 'em and run. The back axle wouldn't last too long with the (Lotus 7 style) 'A' Frame rear suspension fitted.

But no, I don't. I guess that it was much the same as the Elan, with a quick whizz around the block. Remember that Lotus only finished off the assembly of the Mk 1 Lotus Cortina, after Ford had delivered a trimmed and painted shell. Pretty much like us buying an Elan kit....add engine, box, front and rear suspension, bolt in the seats, bleed the brakes. About the only difference was that Lotus had to put the dash and instruments in as well....a sod of a job!

The Mk 2 was all Ford produced, with Lotus providing the engine from Hethel, so standard Daganham testing.

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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:47 pm

Elanintheforest wrote: The Mk 2 was all Ford produced, with Lotus providing the engine from Hethel, so standard Daganham testing.

Mark


There were a lot of signs about the place...a bit like:
the end of the line.jpg and


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PostPost by: lotocone » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:59 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. I enjoy reading all of them.

As Tim said, probably only selected cars were driven by someone from the factory. If Lotus had a thorough road test of the factory built cars, it would have been advertised. I've never seen that in their literature though.

This reminds me of working one summer at Pontiac Motors north of Detroit. I had a temporary job on the assembly line in '68. I worked at a few locations on the line and training was only about 10 minutes for each job I did! The jobs were fairly simple, but I know I did some shoddy work while I was learning. I wonder if there were young guys like me working at Lotus at the same time making trainee mistakes.

Bob
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:04 pm

I think that the difference was that for Ford it was an inbuilt part of the culture which ran through everything they did. For Lotus it was a ?150 marketing exercise put together by Graham Arnold to flog a few more cars!

Mark

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PostPost by: Bud English » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:22 pm

The guy that inspected the chassis welding is missing from the picture. You know, Fred, the tall guy with the cane and the dog.
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PostPost by: frearther » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:21 pm

[/quote]Mr. Mazzini was kind enough to upload this certificate, a while back...

download/file.php?id=11956[/quote]

I wonder why the certificate is dated in 1968; I own 26/4934, and it was built in 1965. Could it have been a long time building a kit car?
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:28 pm

frearther wrote:Mr. Mazzini was kind enough to upload this certificate, a while back...

download/file.php?id=11956

I wonder why the certificate is dated in 1968; I own 26/4934, and it was built in 1965. Could it have been a long time building a kit car?


Art,

I read it as '65

It's a date.jpg and


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PostPost by: frearther » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:35 pm

ardee_selby wrote:
frearther wrote:Mr. Mazzini was kind enough to upload this certificate, a while back...

download/file.php?id=11956

I wonder why the certificate is dated in 1968; I own 26/4934, and it was built in 1965. Could it have been a long time building a kit car?


Art,

I read it as '65

It's a date.jpg


Richard


I can't disagree. Where did I put my eye drops????

A.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:26 pm

frearther wrote:I can't disagree. Where did I put my eye drops????

A.


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