Lotus Elan

Tales of a typical Elan owner

PostPost by: billwill » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:49 pm

I found this interesting tale today
http://www.martley.plus.com/elan01.html

Is that owner a member of this forum?

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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:31 pm

Yes, it's me Bill. (my username gives it away :D )

I've still got UAB and it's almost back together after yet another respray.....

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PostPost by: ken ob » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:10 pm

Brian, I read your story some time ago. When did all that happen ?

Ken
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Hi Ken,

I bought the car in the mid 70s, just after leaving university and getting a job. That photo is the car outside my parent's house where I was living at the time, just after I'd sprayed and fixed the drivers door/rear wing. The rest of the events took place between then and I'd guess about the late 90s, although it might have been 2000.

Most of the "falling apart" incidents were in the late 70s & early 80s. I had no money and I think I was pretty typical of an Elan owner at the time - bags of enthusiasm and quite happy to keep nailing it back together when it broke.

It really was a steep learning curve, when the gearbox went chips for instance I'd never seen the insides of one before. Nowadays I'd take a month to read books and search the internet before even thinking about starting, but back then I just pulled it out, extracted the knackered bearing and wandered off to the local motor factor on the Saturday morning.....

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PostPost by: pharriso » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:45 am

I enjoyed reading your website!
Phil Harrison
1972 Elan Sprint 0260K
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:53 am

Brian was a great help with my tach conversion. Thanks!

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PostPost by: a d price » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:24 pm

really enjoyed reading about your cars. My elan has been fairly painless so far-wont last! After having two 3litre metal chassis marcos I would love a wooden chassis 1800 Marcos- have you seen the prices?
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:26 pm

a d price wrote: After having two 3litre metal chassis marcos I would love a wooden chassis 1800 Marcos- have you seen the prices?

Thank you for the kind words, and on the subject of 1800 prices..... yes, I know and I really don't understand why. I could fill another website with tales of what fell off that car, it was far more trouble than both the Elan & Europa together.

I kept the 1800 for something like 17-18yrs, it ran alongside both the Elan & Europa at one point, so I was fairly well acquainted with it by the time I came to sell it. I spent a lot of time & money but frankly it never felt as accomplished as the Elan or Europa although the roadholding was probably equal or better on smooth tarmac, so I can see why people like them for track cars..

And although we grumble at Chapman and penny-pinching on his cars, virtually everything on the 1800 had that "home-built" look and it felt more of a kit car than any of my Lotus have. Ironically, for many years after my first visit to the Donnington gathering I used to look enviously at those steel chassis 3L...... electric windows, wow !

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PostPost by: Stratosboy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:32 pm

Hi UAB807F,
I also really enjoyed reading your elan owning history and experinces, and was struck by how many similarities they have with mine....spooky. I owned an S4 fhc for about 7 years, I had it stolen & returned, I replaced the chassis, with help from my dad, I was at Lotus Club meet (Bellsfield Hotel) in 1981, lots of bits fell off!! I resprayed my car.
I loved it...sadly it was written off in a bad accident, not my fault! - but have recently bought an unfinished S4 elan spyder zetec project and am enjoying the build again.
I don't suppose you still have the fhc roof from when you converted to dhc? - I'm looking for the rear vents.
Great post - thanks.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:11 am

Hi Dave,

Sorry, I don't have it any more. The old roof probably went into a skip outside Chris's workshop in Huddersfield because back in those days I never expected to go back to a fhc.

A Zetec elan sounds a good project. Hmmm, could you fit the vents from a broken +2 ?

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PostPost by: Stratosboy » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:52 pm

Thanks Brian,
I hadn't thought about +2's as a source, I'll do some research!
Cheers
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PostPost by: nico » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:54 pm

Hi Bill
Just a note to say really enjoyed your website and how your tales reflect the reasoning and why we love the lotus elan and the rest of the marque so much - superbly engineered and fairly easy to maintain once gone through some of the experiences and pains you mention as I have done during the 10 years of building my Elan and now enjoying it - but miss the fun of tinkering with it :roll:

Today manged to get the wife trained to start the Elan and move it - took 5 years to get her to do this never mind the hovering and housekeeping ! :D

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience

Have a great day
Nico
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