Lotus Elan

Driving across Europe

PostPost by: simonknee » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:15 am

Drive it!

My 1967 S3 has spent many happy hours round Europe.

Gaffa tape and cable (zip) ties will see you through most things.

Here's a good thread where we all argue about what you should take:
elan-f15/holiday-touring-prep-t20653.html
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:28 pm

Nice looking car Phillip. I vote for driving it as well.

I drove my 'new to me' Plus 2 half way across Canada, and it worked out OK. We had a few issues that we had to sort out long the way, but made it home. My car was looked over by a mechanic before I arrived, so the basics were addressed before I set off. Do a bit of a function test of items, and be sure the ignition, charging & cooling systems are working, and you should be fine. I had had the Rotoflexes done before pick-up on the advice of the mechanic.

One bit of advice perhaps. Leave a bit of time to drive the car locally for half a day for say 50 to 100 miles. Stay over night, and set out on the big journey refreshed, feeling pretty confident your ride is going to get you home. We ended up doing it this way because after about 50 miles we ran out of battery due to a duff charging system. We simply returned to the mechanic, got it addressed, and set out the next day.

Failures we encountered didn't stop us. We had part of the exhaust system fail and had to push start the car for two days, but pretty minor in the scheme of things. Like Ross we got to go through a May snow storm. All loads of fun. Consider keeping us up to date with a bit of a blog post. :)

free-parking-f19/half-way-across-canada-lotus-plus-t16492.html

Cheers! Welcome to Lotus ownership. :)
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:02 pm

Morangles wrote: I am debating whether or not to drive the car back to Paris...


Salut Philip,

Go For It.jpg and


Bon journee!

Richard
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:18 am

Salut Morangles

Very nice car! Looking at the photos it looks like a car to be driven, and care has been taken with the cooling system - aluminium radiator and a remote header tank.

So if the rotoflexes are OK (no cracks) I'd say it's an adventure worth going for. Keep off the motorway, don't over-rev on the straights and take the corners fast.

Probably wise to go slow though - if the car has only done 50 miles since the engine rebuild it'll probably need running in. The other guys will tell you if you need to change the oil once in Paris.

@+

Vernon

P.S. Not sure about the side mirrors either, but the added headrests have been done well.
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PostPost by: Morangles » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:43 am

Thank you Vernon for your reassuring words. And thanks once again to all of you for your encouragement! Without it, I probably would not have tempted such a journey.
Anyway, to be on the safe side, I will buy some extra rotoflexes before leaving just in case disaster strikes. When I inspected them they appeared basically fine, but better safe than sorry.

So this is the plan. I have booked a ticket to Sweden on 7th September and will start the drive probably on 9th. I reckon it should take about three/four days.
Malmo to Copenhagen, and then ferry at Rodbyhavn to Germany and then onto Hamburg. I think for this part of the journey I shall probably have to use the motorway as there doesn't seem to be much of an alternative. I'll probably spend the first night near Hamburg.
Then onto Bremen, Munster and Cologne during which time I shall try to take A roads and not the motorway. Probably second night near Cologne, somewhere.
Then into Belgium via Aachen, Li?ge and Charleroi and into France to Cambrai, Compi?gne and Paris.
It seems like a long way, but if the car works properly I suppose it could all go quite quickly. If anyone has any nice hotels to recommend in Germany near Hamburg, Cologne or elsewhere along the route where I can safely leave the car, then all suggestions are welcome. Also any tips about driving in Germany would be great (even though after driving in France, Germany should be a doddle!!)
And of course, I shall take lots of photos to share with you!
Philip
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PostPost by: Old English White » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:32 pm

:mrgreen:
Morangles wrote: Also any tips about driving in Germany would be great (even though after driving in France, Germany should be a doddle!!)
And of course, I shall take lots of photos to share with you!
Philip


My only advice: "Ausgang" is NOT a city.
Christian. :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: peterako » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:39 pm

:mrgreen:

I'm seriouly jealous Philip!!

Bon voyage!! Lycka till!
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:07 pm

Morangles wrote:
So this is the plan. I have booked a ticket to Sweden on 7th September and will start the drive probably on 9th. I reckon it should take about three/four days.
Malmo to Copenhagen, and then ferry at Rodbyhavn to Germany and then onto Hamburg. I think for this part of the journey I shall probably have to use the motorway as there doesn't seem to be much of an alternative. I'll probably spend the first night near Hamburg.
Then onto Bremen, Munster and Cologne during which time I shall try to take A roads and not the motorway. Probably second night near Cologne, somewhere.
Then into Belgium via Aachen, Li?ge and Charleroi and into France to Cambrai, Compi?gne and Paris.

Philip



I had been planning much the same trip in my Elan but in the reverse direction - UK via Calais to Lund (next door to Malmo). My son had been offered a place at Lund university to do a post graduate degree and we thought it would a great trip for the car in the autumn. He's now decided to go to Amsterdam uni instead which is only about 400 miles e/w so definitively an Elan trip in the run up to Xmas.

With a new car (new to you anyway) it'll be a bit of a voyage into the unknown when you set off from Malmo. It could be worse though, you could have 30yrs of ownership where you know exactly what is wrong with the car and not even a previous owner to blame. :lol:
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PostPost by: Chancer » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:26 pm

If you have problems on the Cambrai/Compiegne part of the journey you can call on me for assistance, PM me if you want my details.

Good luck with the trip!
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PostPost by: DeanG » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:16 pm

I am looking forward to a good write up and lots of pictures. Enjoy the trip and your new car.
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PostPost by: gherlt » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:53 am

Hello Morangles,
good decision to drive your car home.
Is this your first Lotus ?
I have done this also on a car which (afterwards) wasn't up the task at all (brakes, engine, rotoflex).
Start using your "new" car carefully, apart from an apparent need of running the engine in
mantain your distance if the brakes are not great,
do not accelerate too hard,
on an autobahn do not try to keep up usual German speed levels (140+ kph),
better be patient, "arrival probailities" above all
etc.
Do what we would recommend our dauthers on their first solo long distance trip !

I would not care taking with me the rotoflex if the inspection was positive, of course, water and oil in small quantities and other small stuff you wont get usually. If you really need water or oil, you can buy it at service stations.
I would consider of higher importance to check where on your way are the Lotus specialists.

If you are in need of pieces, Brammer parts, very helpful, is in the D?sseldorf area, very near of Cologne.
Also, he once told me that in Hamburg was one of those he can recommend fully.

Regards
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: gherlt » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:49 am

Hi, thinking again, I would take a workshop manual with me, so you have all the necessary infor with you if you or a non-specialist garage need to look after something.
Regards

Guillermo
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:30 pm

I drove about 800km when I brought my S3 home. The brakes had a bit of a sticking servo so the brakes sometimes jammed on but a quick short stab on the pedal usually released them. I ran out of fuel about 10km from the ferry but still got there in time. The gauge still said 1/4 full! My interior lights weren't working so I spent part of the time with a small battery-torch in my mouth to see the instruments. I left the southeast of England about 10 a.m. on a Saturday and arrived home about 1 a.m. on Sunday with the only stops for fuel and awaiting the ferry.
BTW the instrument lights still aren't working four years later!! I don't do much night driving, however, so there hasn't been enough incentive to trace the problem. :roll:
Mechanical Engineer, happily retired!

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PostPost by: Morangles » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:17 am

Well, the big day has finally arrived. I am flying to Copenhagen today and then going to neighbouring Sweden to pick up the Lotus.

Sue Miller has very kindly sent me a survival kit of distributor cap, leads, sticking tape etc etc in case of trouble, so hopefully things should be fine.

The route from Malmo to Paris will take me through Hamburg, Munster, Aachen and into Belgium and France.

I have bought a camera and will take photos which I will share with you. I should be back by next Wednesday.....! I'll keep you posted.
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PostPost by: Etienne 7 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:51 am

It's been a few days now, did you make it? :roll:
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