Lotus Elan

Modified Elan with Zetec

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:30 am

Hello all,

Here's a car that many of you will remember on display a few years back at Donington. It's had one or two owners since then and to the best of my knowledge was last sold through UK Sportscars late last year.

From my up close inspection it doesn't appear to have been cherished these last 4 years and needs quite a bit of spannering to stop bits dropping off (literally) and there is paint damage to the front which needs sorting. The new owner has it in at Spyder for some remedial work and apparently wants to make the engine bay look a bit more sober, which I'm sure most people here would approve of. Hopefully the new owner got it for a good price, with a bit of work it will be a very nice car indeed.

I have blurred out the number plate a little, but you can see that it's K registered which makes it the right ballpark for a genuine Sprint, but using Tim Wilkes spotters guide there doesn't appear to be the extra lip on the body moulding at the bottom of the rear valence.
s2.jpg and

s3.jpg and

s4.jpg and
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:24 pm

'Accepted mods' are being discussed elsewhere, but I would suggest that it would be difficult to call this car a 'Lotus Elan Sprint' without the big-valve under the bonnet, irrespective of whether it has the correct bodyshell - unless the original TC is in the boot (would it fit?).

A seperate musing: if you took an S4, big-valved the engine, painted it two-tone, gave it reinforced doughnuts, changed the steering wheel, moulded a lip where it should be, etc. - is it then a Lotus Elan Sprint?

Anyway, I wouldn't mind going for a spin in the car in the photo - must be well nippy.

@+

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:43 pm

Hi Vernon,
Yes it very much comes under the heading of a "Special" the same as my S4 or +2 are "Specials". I mentioned it's probable status as not a genuine Sprint because some people especially Tim Wilkes are interested in surviving examples whatever their current condition or status.

The interior and bodywork generally are very good and to the untrained eye it looks like a very nice "Old Lotus Elan" with the added incentive that it will beat most cars in a traffic light Grand Prix and still retains that legendary handling for the twisty bits.

Quite a few S4's have been "Upgraded" to Sprint specification, but I don't think that anyone has gone so far as to add the lip to the rear valance. I'm pretty sure that Matty's had a car for sale in the last year or so that was badged, painted and striped as a Sprint complete with big valve cam cover, but it was correctly described as an S4 upgraded to Sprint specification. I happen to like the 1970's Sprint colour schemes, therefore I have my S4 in Sprint livery, but the stripes say ELAN SUPERSPRINT, which was meant to be a bit of a windup for the purists, but seems to have been accepted in good humour.

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Alan
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PostPost by: MickG » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:26 pm

Not all genuine Sprints have the molded lip :)
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PostPost by: Bob » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:24 pm

I think I have seen this one at the NEC, does it have a six speed box in a Spyder chassis? Could someone let us into the secret of the drive train, it cannot be standard Sprint otherwise it would never have got to Spyder under its own steam even with a very gentle foot.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:26 am

Hi Bob,
It wasn't built by Spyder but used their conversion parts. It's pretty much a "standard" Spyder Zetec conversion with 5 speed MT75 gearbox from a Granada Scorpio.

Spyder spaceframe Zetec chassis
Zetec Engine (supposedly 1800cc in this case although normally would be 2:0L)
MT75 gearbox 5 speed
Spyder propshaft
Granada Scorpio limited slip diff
Spyder double CV driveshafts
Sierra hubs all round
Sierra XR4i brakes all round
Spyder SRS rear suspension double wishbone setup
Spyder SFS zetec front suspension
Adjustable spring platforms all round

It's a very well sorted car that just needs a bit of fettling to put right a few maintenance issues neglected by previous owners.

BTW: well maintained standard Lotus dfrivetrain components can handle a surprising amount of power.

Regards

Alan
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:13 am

This car was talked about several years ago by the lister 'graffiti', whose brother owned it. See:

elan-f14/missing-the-point-t15511.html

elan-f14/the-sprint-rebuild-story-far-t16027.html

elan-photos-f18/who-has-building-zetec-elan-t18863.html

When it was for sale in Jul 07, it was described thus:

New Spyder galvanised chassis
Ford Zetec 1800 twin cam engine (180bhp) Scorpio 6 spd box
Full roll cage and sips
Emerald engine management system fitted
14? Minilites
Bespoke radiator
Bespoke fuel tank
4 point race harness fitted
Central locking
Alarm/immobiliser
Handbrake relocated between seats
New Burr walnut dashboard
New Hood & Tonneau
Radio relocated
Body stripped back to Gel Coat, 2 primers and 3 top coats, Gold Leaf colours
Formerly in one family ownership for nearly twenty years and just 3 owners from new
Mileage since rebuild approx 1,930

Regarding the rear valance lip, we have concluded that in general, earlier Sprints tended to come from the lipless mold and that the majority of Sprints came out of the lipped mould. However, replacement bodies seem to use the lipless mold and some Sprints were fitted with bodies from the lipless mold throughout production. Clear now?

Tim
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:52 am

Tim,
Many thanks for the links and the explanation regarding the lip or lack of, I think I'm properly confused now :?

I will ask Sean to confirm exactly what gearbox is fitted and report back, Bob obviously has a very good memory regarding this from the NEC. I have done a search and can't find any reference to a 6 speed gearbox ever fitted to a Scorpio, so maybe a special upgrade that none of us have ever heard of before?
I simply assumed an MT75 5 speed box was fitted, which was wrong of me. To assume is to make an ASS of U and ME :oops:

Regards

Alan (PS: lot's of wind for sailing at the moment :) )
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:38 am

Spyder fan wrote:(PS: lot's of wind for sailing at the moment :) )


Yep, a bit too much. We are the middle boat here!
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:10 am

8) Me, I'd have spinnaker down, half mainsail and be getting the distress flares ready! We see a lot of sail boats from our beach garden at Pevensey and I must say I'm starting to get tempted to join the local club.

here's the best we can manage at the moment though.

P1010566.jpg and
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:48 pm

I have just checked with Sean at Spyder regarding the gearbox and it is indeed an MT75 5 speed gearbox from a Ford Granada Scorpio exactly as I had assumed..... therefore I am not a complete ASS after all :shock:

UK Sportscars contacted Spyder last year asking for confirmation of the specification regarding the gearbox, as there appeared to be some confusion over the number of cogs in the gearbox. As Spyder actually supplied the gearbox, they were able to reply accurately that it was an MT75 5 speed.

The original owner has been described as a colourful character and perhaps mis-represented 6 ratios (5 forward & 1 reverse) as a 6 speed.

UK Sportscars original advert is here http://www.uksportscars.com/view/lotus-elan-sprint-dhc-with-zetec-engine-5-speed-gearbox-model-year-1972/

Regards

Alan
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PostPost by: Bob » Thu May 03, 2012 9:58 pm

Hi,

I currently have my +2 at Spyder, it will be a Zetec in a few weeks, it two will have a 2.3 Scorpio box that gives it a
hydraulic clutch and the starter on the correct side. I most certainly spoke to someone at the NEC I dont now think it was this car since the car I was looking at had a BDG engine in it and a 6 speed box.
I was interested since I have the BDP S2 and the 6 speed S4 but my S4 has a standard chassis with the MX5 GBox.

The S4 now has the 6 speed and a tall block 1700cc engine in it that came over with the S2 that was built by Lotus racing west CA its nearly on the road next cou0ple of weeks should see it back up and running very much looking forward to it.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu May 03, 2012 10:33 pm

trw99 wrote:
Spyder fan wrote:(PS: lot's of wind for sailing at the moment :) )


Yep, a bit too much. We are the middle boat here!

Tim,
Too much weather-helm, check your mast rake, ignore the boat behind. :wink:

Alan,
We stayed in Sovereign Harbour (for the third time) a few weeks ago and must have walked past your place a few times that week.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri May 04, 2012 10:41 am

elansprint71 wrote:
trw99 wrote:
Spyder fan wrote:(PS: lot's of wind for sailing at the moment :) )


Yep, a bit too much. We are the middle boat here!

Tim,
Too much weather-helm, check your mast rake, ignore the boat behind. :wink:

Alan,
We stayed in Sovereign Harbour (for the third time) a few weeks ago and must have walked past your place a few times that week.


Pete,
Hopefully see you at Castle Combe and I'll explain exactly where we are on the beach, we are there most weekends from now until the end of the season. We find Sovereign Harbour bustling and vibrant and great to sit down have a coffee and people watch (or boat watch). The coastline is pretty good for walking with safe sands at low tide, but you probably already know all of this.

I took this picture from my Kayak last summer, our house is second in from the right. It was an 8 metre spring tide which is about as high as they get, the houses look very close to the waters edge but are in fact over 50 metres from the high water mark. A lot of the houses like ours are original 1930's beach chalets that were only really envisaged as weekend retreats for middle class Londoners, but most have been extended to provide decent accomodation and many people live there all year round, ours has 3 bedrooms and more space than my house in Tunbridge Wells, the plot is over 100 metres long by 8 metres and includes the foreshore to the high water mark, therefore technically you were tresspassing when you walked past earlier this year :wink: Shingle beaches dissipate the seas power very effectively and it's a very rare occasion to get the right combination of a spring tide with an onshore gale and a deep sea swell that would result in the sea overtopping the barrier beach, one in 50 years chance apparently and the last time it happened was 1998 so we are not overdue another one. No damage to our house in 1998, the sea just went either side down the passageways and came out the other side like a pretty waterfall according to residents who were there at the time.

Little shack on the beach.jpg and


Hows that for thread drift Gary :roll:

Regards


Alan
Last edited by Spyder fan on Fri May 04, 2012 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri May 04, 2012 10:57 am

Bob wrote:Hi,

I currently have my +2 at Spyder, it will be a Zetec in a few weeks, it two will have a 2.3 Scorpio box that gives it a
hydraulic clutch and the starter on the correct side. I most certainly spoke to someone at the NEC I dont now think it was this car since the car I was looking at had a BDG engine in it and a 6 speed box.
I was interested since I have the BDP S2 and the 6 speed S4 but my S4 has a standard chassis with the MX5 GBox.

The S4 now has the 6 speed and a tall block 1700cc engine in it that came over with the S2 that was built by Lotus racing west CA its nearly on the road next cou0ple of weeks should see it back up and running very much looking forward to it.
Bob


Hi Bob,
I no doubt saw your car when I was at Spyder, was it the dark blue (poss metallic)? The person you spoke to at the NEC was most likely Tony Penzotti, he has a yellow Elan Sprint with a BDG and yes it has a 6 speed gearbox courtesy of an MX5, he originally tried an MT75 with the standard Spyder linkage but found it too harsh because the lightweight flywheel resonated all the noise back through the gearbox and through the all steel linkage to the gearlever. It took a lot of cutting and shutting to fit the 6 speed box due to the gearlever position being at least 10 inches too far back as standard on the MX5, he also needed a bespoke bellhousing adapter.

Was your S4 converted by Neil Myers/Vince Hayden, they don't seem to be advertising the conversion any more, perhaps too much work for too little profit, or maybe they have enough orders to be going on with?

Regards

Alan
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