Lotus Elan

Driving across Europe

PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:11 pm

I too am with the majority and say go do it. These cars can be quite reliable and 800 miles should be a breeze.

I've now done nearly 9k mls with my restored Sprint without missing a beat.

Have fun and remember the Camera.

Alex... 8)
Alex Black.
Now Sprintless!!
User avatar
alexblack13
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2357
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Location: Fife Scotland

PostPost by: Jon.ford » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:19 am

alexblack13 wrote:I too am with the majority and say go do it. These cars can be quite reliable and 800 miles should be a breeze.

I've now done nearly 9k mls with my restored Sprint without missing a beat.

Have fun and remember the Camera.

Alex... 8)
You know you have a good car when your wife hates it.
User avatar
Jon.ford
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 73
Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Location: Bottom of black mountain Wales

PostPost by: Morangles » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:35 pm

Hi everyone,

Apologies for taking so long to tell you how I got on, but since I got home life has been one mad rush.

Anyway here goes! The great news is that I got home safely after completing 1,300 km in the Lotus Elan from Sweden to Denmark and into Germany and then France. The terrible news was the weather, which was appalling with gales of wind, storms, rain, rain and more rain. Being philosophical, this was I suppose, a great way to get to know a new car, even if at times particularly in Germant, I had to pull off the road, as I couldn't see where I was going. Anyway, at least I discovered that the hood doesn't leak!! But I got home safely and that is what counts, and the Lotus was GREAT!!!

So here's what happened. The vendor told me the car did not have a valid MOT and told me to tell the police if I were stopped that "I am on the way to the test centre now!" My Swedish friend G?sta said I could possibly have my car taken off the road if stopped by Swedish police so ought to get it done. He booked me an appointment and the car passed with flying colours (even though the MOT tester said the pollution level was twice that authorized on Swedish roads!) Next the Elan went to Bertil Carlsson, a Swedish Lotus guru who did some work on the carbs, connected up the horn which wasn't working and gave the car a tune up. I can really recommend Bertil who is in Angelholm, as he also has a large collection of Lotus cars, including several Elans, Europas, Caterhams and even an Elan estate and knows every Lotus inside and out. Bertil was lucky enough to have even met Colin Chapman!

So finally, the next day, September 11th (!) it was time to set off for Paris from Helsingborg. It started raining before I reached Malm?. Over the bridge into Denmark and then onto Rodbyhaven for the 45 minute ferry to Puttgarden in Germany. There was quite a lot of rain on the Danish portion of the route, but the roads were mainly clear so it didn't really matter.

Into Germany and direction Hamburg. The clouds decided to declare war on the Lotus as soon as we arrived in Germany and the rain began to fall in buckets. Coupled with this were repeated roadworks shifting us from one side of the carriageway to the other. There was much more traffic in Germany including dozens of heavy lorries shooting past at 150km an hour, throwing spray into the windscreen. At times this was quite scary as the heavy rain and spray from other vehicles meant I couldn't see where I was going, so I pulled off the road to wait for the rain to stop.

I finally made it to Hamburg at 7pm after driving 450 km from Helsingborg. Here the Lotus was loaded onto an Auto-Train direction L?rrach close to the border with France and Switzerland, giving me the chance to sleep off the stressful day.

The next day, September 12th the weather was better with less rain despite the still dark cloudy skies. The car started with no trouble and I quickly made it off the train, to a caf? where I could check the oil and water levels. The water level was fine, but the oil needed a top up. I also noticed that one of the boot hinge studs had come off, (probably due to vibration on the road) so I stopped at a local garage in L?rrach to get it replaced which proved a five minute job. So with levels checked and stud repaired it was over the border into France and onto the autoroute. I must admit I felt immediate relief to be back in France, even though I still had another 650 km to go. My Google map was working on my mobile phone and my French is certainly better than my German. So onto Besan?on, then Dijon, Troyes and finally onto Paris through some rain, and even some sun (!) but by this time I didn't really mind what the weather did.

But you were all right to tell me to drive back. It was a great experience.

Total distance covered 1,250km. Total fuel costs 150 Euros. Total number of extra grey hairs 0.

Photos to follow.
User avatar
Morangles
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Paris, France

PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:00 pm

Good Job! ... It sounded fun too!

Waiting on the pic's now, so don't keep us waiting too long.

Alex B...
Alex Black.
Now Sprintless!!
User avatar
alexblack13
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2357
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Location: Fife Scotland

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:19 pm

Good man!
On reflection, one thing that none of us told you is that sometimes the wipers can have two speeds- slow and very slow. I always thought this was normal until I rewired my car and put in extra earth wires; actually the fast speed is now pretty fast! If yours are a bit slow, you could just run an extra earth.
elansprint71
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4092
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:30 pm

Morangles wrote:Hi everyone,


Into Germany and direction Hamburg. The clouds decided to declare war on the Lotus as soon as we arrived in Germany and the rain began to fall in buckets. Coupled with this were repeated roadworks shifting us from one side of the carriageway to the other. There was much more traffic in Germany including dozens of heavy lorries shooting past at 150km an hour, throwing spray into the windscreen. At times this was quite scary as the heavy rain and spray from other vehicles meant I couldn't see where I was going, so I pulled off the road to wait for the rain to stop.

But you were all right to tell me to drive back. It was a great experience.

Total distance covered 1,250km. Total fuel costs 150 Euros. Total number of extra grey hairs 0.

Photos to follow.


Glad you made the trip! There is a product made here in the US, called Rain-X. It is an alcohol based sealer applied to the windscreen while dry. It makes the rain bead up instantly and the wind carries it up the windscreen. If you get splashed, the windscreen clears almost instantly. Above 45mph, you don't need wipers! I learned about it when racing in the rain in Colorado thundershowers. It also makes it easier to remove frost or dead insects from the windscreen. A bottle of this stuff lasts forever.

http://www.rainx.com/product/glass-and-cleaners/rainx-original-glass-treatment/#.UF9_GFEpXAw
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
User avatar
StressCraxx
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPost by: alexblack13 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:17 am

Well reminded Sir! ... We should still have a bottle of that product tucked away in our kart racing kit. Essential for karting in the wet. Works very well from memory..

I love the German Autorail system too. (Used it often to ship us and our Bikes from Austria up to Dusseldorf). We will let you of with that little 'cheat'... LOL... Put it down to the weather. :roll:

Well done again. Now. Where's our pics?

Alex... 8)
Alex Black.
Now Sprintless!!
User avatar
alexblack13
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2357
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Location: Fife Scotland

PostPost by: Etienne 7 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:02 am

Great job ! Well done ! Looking forward to the pictures now...
User avatar
Etienne 7
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:57 pm

Great, very glad you made it! Shame about the weather. I look forward to the photos, too.

@+

Vernon
User avatar
vernon.taylor
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 927
Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Location: Vaugneray, France

PostPost by: Pistacchio sprint 72 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:38 pm

Congrats! I did not have your bravery. Mine was Located in Rome Italy, 700km from my home. I decided to pay a transporter instead. It worked fine also! :mrgreen:
Cooled down by CliveyBoy!
User avatar
Pistacchio sprint 72
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 776
Joined: 12 Sep 2012
Location: French Riviera...

PostPost by: gino1 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:47 pm

Hi Pistacchio Sprint,
I think I know the car you bought as it is the Green one I imported for my friend Giuseppe.
This car is in amazing condition.

Gino
Milano
Italy
1965 Elan S2 Roadster
1965 Elan S3 Coup?
1967 Elan S3 Coup?
1968 Elan S4 Coup?
1969 Elan +2
1968 Lotus Seven S3
1982 Lotus Esprit S3
1961 Ford Anglia
User avatar
gino1
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 586
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Milano - Italy

PostPost by: Morangles » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:46 pm

Here at last are the photos of my across trip from Sweden to Paris. I really apologize for having made you all wait so long, but I have had the worst time trying to upload them all. Anyway, it is finally done, so I hope you enjoy the ride. It was exhilarating to say the least, thanks notably to the almost non-stop wind, rain, storms and spray from lorries not to mention the roadworks.
But anyway I made it home and looking on the bright side got to know the Elan rather well in the process. She behaved perfectly and got me home in one piece.
So once again thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement and in particular all those of you who volunteered to help if something went wrong along the way.
I would have loved to have met you all.....but maybe it is just as well that at least on this occasion that I didn't have to call!
Philip
Attachments
Karmann Lotus.jpg and
Day 1 and after picking up the Lotus, my friend G?sta joins me for a photo with his Karmann Ghia. The coast of Denmark can be seen in the background.
Bertil.jpg and
Day 2 and a trip to see THE Swedish Lotus expert Bertil Carlsson in Vejbystrand. He says the words that are music to my ears "this is very good car"!!
MOT Test.jpg and
Day 3 and a 7am visit to the "Carspect" MOT test centre. Everything is fine, except the pollution level which is twice the authorized level for Sweden
but the inspector says "it doesn't really matter as this is an old car!" Well, that's a relief!
Road to Malmo.jpg and
Day 4 and the journey finally begins! Not much sun, and even though I am hoping for fine weather, 20 minutes into my journey and with 52km still to go to Malmo, the rain is already beginning to fall
Bridge to Denmark.jpg and
Onto the fantastic suspension bridge in Malm? to say "Bye bye Sweden, hello Denmark!"
Queue for ferry.jpg and
Four hours into the journey and after the quiet roads across Denmark, I am now waiting to sail across to Germany
On board ship.jpg and
Safely on board ship ready for the 45 minute crossing from Rodby to Puttgarten
Germany rain.jpg and
Off the ship and into Germany where the headlights are no longer obligatory for road use, but are still on due to the dark skies and threatening black clouds which are about to burst.
Hamburg sign.jpg and
The rain was even worse rain in Germany and with 150km still to go to Hamburg it forces me off the road and into a service station while I wait for it to stop.
Lotus on train.jpg and
22h00 hours and the Elan is safely loaded onto the night train from Hamburg to L?rrach. As day 4 comes to an end, the Elan like me, is ready for a well-earned few hours rest!
User avatar
Morangles
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Paris, France

PostPost by: Morangles » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:18 pm

Here is part 2 of my journey from Sweden to Paris...
Attachments
Arrival in Lorrach.jpg and
Day 5 at 8am and I have arrived in L?rrach. Time for a few engine level checks before hitting the road again.
Oil level.jpg and
Oil level is a bit low....
Back on the road again.jpg and
Oil and water topped up and I'm back on the road with not much sign of any sun today either.
Fast food stopoff.jpg and
The generation gap. I don't suppose there were very many McDonalds in Europe in 1967!
Back in France at last!.jpg and
Over the border into France but still 550km to go to Paris
Vineyards.jpg and
Vineyards near Chablis in Burgundy...and 150km to go! Not quite, but almost home ground
Arrival in Paris.jpg and
Finally...7pm and after two days on the road after driving 1,300km the Lotus and I finally make it to Paris.
User avatar
Morangles
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Paris, France

PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:00 pm

Brilliant. Well done again...Great pictures of an exciting trip..

I have a small story about the bridge from Sweden (Malmo) to Denmark.

We were on Motorcycles in a group of around 15 machines. The Swedish guide wanted to pay for everyone and then wave us through the barrier one after the other. This did not work! The barrier came down on us and almost knocked us off our motorcycle. The ensuing holdup whilst they fixed the broken barrier lasted about 20 Min's..

Not our fault!! :roll: ...... LOL...

Fantastic bridge.

Alex B....
Alex Black.
Now Sprintless!!
User avatar
alexblack13
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2357
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Location: Fife Scotland

PostPost by: Etienne 7 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:36 pm

Great pictures, thank you!
User avatar
Etienne 7
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Location: Bristol, UK
PreviousNext

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests