Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan "Car SOS episode"

PostPost by: tcsoar » Fri May 03, 2013 4:42 pm

I quite enjoyed this program, better than many of the previous examples but could do better.

One thing you have to remember though, and it has been said here, it is 'Made for TV'. You can pick holes in this program all day long, but it made me smile, so much so that I checked out some of the other episodes and there is one thing I did notice that has been mentioned here yet and it backs up the 'Made for TV' persona.

Each car they undertake to restore always has a three week deadline and they are always flat out to complete with in the deadline. But when they are filming at the workshop take a look at the background and you will see some of the cars from other episodes in various state of restoration. I spotted the Elan in at least two other episodes.

Another vote from me to get Mark Evans to do a 'An Elan +2 is Reborn' 8)

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PostPost by: tonyabacus » Fri May 10, 2013 7:23 pm

This is my car and I can perhaps clear up one or two points raised above.
Firstly as you might imagine a lot of what took place from the moment the car was collected to my getting it back ended up on the cutting room floor. As became apparent the program was very much the Fuzz and Tim Show to try and make it entertaining as well as trying to give owners a leg up with their cars which up to that point probably had little chance of being restored.

There was a set budget for the series in terms of cash and man hours allocated equally to each car, which meant the most important issues were addressed to each within the cash constraints. For my Elan as you might imagine the biggest proportion of money and time were taken up with the body restoration. Once assessed by Mike the body professional with over 25 years experience in glassfibre restorations, the car had to be left in the spray ovens for some time I am told to gently allow all the moisture to be removed from the gel coat prior to work commencing. I 'lost' the car for the best part of three months which was all crammed into a 50 minute video. Most of you restoring cars will perhaps realise the time it takes to do different jobs and why therefore so much had to be omitted.

I too cringed when I saw some of the methods applied to some jobs having been involved with both classic and race car build for many years. But Fuzz is time served and acts as a consultant to Practical Classic magazine so presumably knows his job and to be fair many of us have probably resorted to 'interesting' methods to complete a task.

The car was subjected to a full service before it was taken to Aldon Automotive where Roger then set about some final tuning to set up the carbs and ignition etc. From my discussions with Fuzz afterwards it seems a large amount of work was completed that could not be included in the programme due to programme time constraints. I can tell you that I did a tremendous amount of waiting about at Lotus whilst the film crew set up for different shots (so perhaps being a film star is not so enjoyable after all !!) and most of that went in the bin.

I am sure that many others would welcome the opportunity to have their car go through this process especially given that I may soon not be able to do it myself and at the same time give me a small chance of using the car before I go into a wheelchair. So for me they did ok and I am very grateful that they have given me that window of opportunity. It may not be the perfect show but is better than some of the others I have seen and thanks for all the kind comments.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Fri May 10, 2013 7:40 pm


I sincerely hope that what sounds to be the inevitable degeneration of your condition will be very very slow and that you enjoy life to the full including your Elan, it could not have happened to a more deserving guy.

It goes without saying (and indeed you didnt mention it) that the whole surprise thing and them taking the car without your knowledge etc was just "entertainment" :) .
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri May 10, 2013 11:33 pm

Thanks Tony, for filling us in on the real care expended and the real time scale of your 'secret' renovation.

I do wish these programs would not use these pretend time scales.

{I bet Time Team often spend more than 3 days on an Archaeology dig}.
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PostPost by: PC777 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:39 pm

Tony I too would like to offer you my best wishes, the program was only aired here in Australia last week and I was bombarded with SMS's to alert me to it as I am currently working on my own Elan rebuild.

I found it very entertaining and have watched the recording I made of it several times.

But I think if your sensible you realize there was a huge amount of work that went into your car and it looked a million dollars at the end. The fact that you can get some use and enjoyment out of it makes it all worth while.

Incidentally my car is the opposite of yours, in that it was red and over painted yellow, I think I prefer the yellow.

All the very best to you.


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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:22 am

I had never seen the TV show SOS, so it was with great interest that I found the show on YouTube and watched the Lotus Elan show thru the end. I always smile at the end result of these shows, some unsuspecting but well deserving person gets his car that has been neglected restored to some level and at a minimum is drivable and far better looking than it was originally. Gotta love that concept no matter what!

Having been in the film industry early in my career I do understand that what you actually see (either on TV or the movie theater) is not what was actually shot, its a well edited version with limited time to tell the full story. So pure entertainment with a bit of reality is what I always expect.

I learned something new, there is a company called Classic Silicon Hoses in the UK where I can source my period looking but very modern hoses for my own Elan. Good stuff!

When they were using a hydraulic press on the strut I said to myself, that is going to turn out wrong when "bang" goes the fragile casting. Even a novice knows not to do that. Must have been for effect.

More importantly, they get to take a quick trip down the lane and find unobtainable Lotus Elan parts (here in the US it takes months) just by ringing the parts bell. I'd be in heaven!!!

Entertaining and all good in the end for Tony. Congratulations Tony!

For those of you else where in the world, we have a number of shows here in the US that are similar in style, with one of the best being "Overhaulin" with Chip Foose and the A team. These guys do some of the best body work and customizing of cars to unsuspecting owners that you have ever seen. I could only dream to have my car "taken away" by Chip's gang and be able to realize the end result, no matter how long it took.

Of course, I also enjoy Wheeler Dealers and always feel sorry for Mr. China doing all the real work in his garage. It is entertaining and I usually learn something worthwhile.

There are many other shows: Bitchin Rides, Fantom Works, All Girls Garage and Gas Monkey Garage. All in all, great entertainment if your bored. You have to admit, its a great time to be a motor head and car enthusiast as there has never been so much programing of cars and car related shows in the history of broadcast television.

It's all good :D
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:42 pm

Was this the shop of classic car parts that appeared in Car SOS, when they were repairing a Cortina ?

http://www.collectorscarparts-heathrow. ... p/about-us

Looks useful, I wonder if they have any Elan parts.
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