Lotus Elan

Dr. Terry Bennett's 1970 Elan SE

PostPost by: Primeaux » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:32 pm

I bought it sight unseen this past weekend at the auction in New Hampshire. My first Lotus. I am quite excited. Picked it up yesterday. Appears to be quite a bit of work, though nothing too scary. Backbone looks great, which was my main concern, after having to deal with chassis rot on other projects. First step is to figure out what to do about an ignition key, as the car did not come with one. I look forward to being a part of this community, after reading quite a few posts it seems like a pretty good group.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:34 pm

Congratulatios! Keep us posted

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PostPost by: Primeaux » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:11 pm

After looking at a bunch of pictures, it seems I am missing the front bumper. Though, I kind of like how clean it makes the front end.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:18 pm

Welcome to the forum! Lovely looking car - I even like the colour. Love to see some more photos of the rest of the car.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:28 pm

The front bumper is probably there, just moulded in with either bondo or 'glass to the rest of the body.

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PostPost by: Bill » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:22 pm

I would suggest replacing the ignition switch with new - including key.

On behalf of the many curious folk on the forum may we collectively ask - whats it worth $$$?

We know you will enjoy your Elan - I had mine painted Porshe orange many years ago - accident prevention colour!

Bill

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PostPost by: Primeaux » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:06 am

Bill,

I paid $7500 plus commision, probably a bit high for not seeing it, but I feel good about it. Engine turns freely. Oil is full and spotless. Tires still have the little nubs on them. Poking around today I discovered that the rod going to the clutch master off of the pedal was snapped. I'm hoping, dreaming, that this is why it was parked. After talking to a couple of locals in NH, I learned that this was a regular driver until about two years ago.

Is the clutch master off the shelf and fits other cars, or is it specific to the Elan? And any good parts suppliers in the US?

I think ignition switch is probably fine. The car just didn't come with a key.

Some more pics:
Attachments
elan6.jpg and
Nice butt
elan5.jpg and
and some cleaning.
elan4.jpg and
Needs tidying...
elan3.jpg and
Scary?
elan2.jpg and
Left side
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:41 am

Hello Terry?
I think you did OK price wise for the Elan. Even with commission 20%? I would be happy.
A good paint job can cost that amount.
There are a few Lotus suppliers in the US. Some of the forum guys based on your side of the pond will have more info and recommendations.
There are a few british suppliers such as Sue Miller who specialise in the Elan and sometimes have parts that the others dont.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:44 am

Welcome! I would second the opinion about getting a new ign switch and keys (available from the UK and probably also Dave Bean in Ca.) Get Dave's catalogue, a Lotus shop manual and parts list and Brian Buckland's book is a must. Loads of info about these in the archives but if you can't find what you need ... ask! :D
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:39 pm

Primeaux wrote:And any good parts suppliers in the US?


There are several, I would start with Ray at RD Enterprises:
http://www.rdent.com
He is in eastern Pennsylvania. JAE and Dave Bean are in California. All are good.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:26 pm

Terry,

I would say that you got an ok deal. As long as the motor is running good, you really are doing well.

The parts you mention are all readily available. And not that expensive. Elans are still relatively cheap to repair compared to other cars that offer the same performance.

I second the recommendations on the suppliers. I have used and still use them all. I try to spread it around the usual guys as I have asked them all for support in the past for Lotus club activities.

If I can help you in any way, send me an email. Not much I cannot help you with, and the guys on this forum are great. They recently helped me figure out why a newly acquired Elan was getting no oil to the top of the motor. They were bang on. Car is now running, although with a few issues which I am going to post out today and ask about.
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PostPost by: nhhiker » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:38 pm

I saw this car in person. The body and paint are fine. It looks like if you can get the engine working and the brakes checked, you could be driving it.Yes the inside needs work. But most of us have driven a Lotus with work still to be done.

The key problem, if you want to keep the same key for all locks. Take the switch out. You can than remove the tumbler by pushing the pin on the side. The tumbler will have a 3 digit number ( 888 or 567) this is the key number. These numbers are use on all British cars. I have a shop in NH that has the blanks and the cutter to use that number to make a key. I have done this a number of times. Best to have a lock with you to try the new key. I am sure a there must be a shop near you in Ct. can make the key. If not PM me and I can help you.

Best of luck

Bill
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PostPost by: mrob » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:44 pm

It looks like an interesting project car. I would replace the spark plug wires. They look like they came from another engine. Unless there is interference with the bodywork or exhaust manifold, you should have the heater water valve mounted properly.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:37 pm

mrob wrote:Unless there is interference with the bodywork or exhaust manifold, you should have the heater water valve mounted properly.


It appears that the exhaust manifold prevents the heater water valve from being installed in the normal fashion. I don't think I have ever seen a fabricated exhaust manifold for an Elan put together that way.
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PostPost by: Primeaux » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:51 pm

Thanks all for the interest and support. However, I am not Terry Bennett. I purchased the car from his auction. My name is Justin.

So I have a custom exhaust manifold? Interesting.

Actually ran into a guy I know who collects cars. I told him about my purchase and showed him a picture. He actually knows the car and is friends with a mechanic who did a bunch of work on it. It was pretty remarkable as this car lived 3 hours away from me. Small world, even smaller petrolhead world.
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