Lotus Elan

S1 found...what to do next...

PostPost by: mdwracer » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:01 am

Hello all,
I have always wanted a "round tailight" Elan and I have stumbled across one and bought it. It is my first Lotus: an early 1964 S1 Unit # 3342 ; Engine # LP 1029 ; Chassis # 260391. It has not been licensed since 1978 and I know history currently back to the early 1970's, and am working on the rest..
The car does not appear to have been wrecked or ever had the body removed from frame. I have looked for rust on the frame at all the places the forum threads have indicated and it is virtually perfect!! The driveline is totally original in appearance-but the engine won't turn over.
The car was parked for repaint in 1979 and was not driven since. I have removed some of the tape and paper from the repaint now some 34 years later. It appears to be an original light blue, then painted British Racing green and then painted black in 1979 by the guy I got it from (or the estate you might say as he is no longer with us)
I think the car is a cross between a survivor and a great warehouse/barn find!! In my opinion it is worthy of an all out concours restoration. I would like to ask the forum how do I go about restoring and getting all the details right? Are there specific shops that specialize in restoring elans? I am located in Louisville KY USA and would love to see some restored cars...I like cars that are kind of "over restored" where the chrome is a bit nicer, and frame and suspension are concours quality,but in period colors and finish. I know these cars are far from perfect ,but would like to make it kind of what Lotus wished they could of done if you know what I mean.
It appears to be a post "Bourne" body car as I have no Bourne body tag and my chassis # is 391 and I've read that they ended around the 350 mark. I have the original key for the car, wooden shift knob, and original steering wheel although I have not seen any with "holed" steering wheel spokes. I am including pictures showing car as it came out of an old industrial storage warehouse!!
Give me your thoughts of where to go next...
Thanks
Mike Winebrenner
email [email protected]
cell 502 303 6836
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lotus 2.JPG and
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:49 am

Looks like quite a find....much nicer than mine when I found it!

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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:48 am

what would I do?
get it running and leave it as it is!!!!!!
I like it like that!
fred
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:46 am

Hi Mike, well done on a great find.

Looking at the records I believe what you have is 26/3342 (Type/Unit No), which left the factory fitted with engine no LP1020 (if that last digit is in fact 9, as you read it off the engine, the typo is with my records) and your no 0391 is the body or chassis number. Bourne bodied Elans started to be phased out from unit 26/3200; Lotus were producing all bodies by unit no 26/3400. There is no invoice date in my records for your car, or the cars on either side of it numerically, but it would have left Lotus around December 1963 or January 1964.

For further information on the Elans of that period see the late Tim Mees' site http://www.type26register.com/

Tim
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:17 pm

Mike, Congrats on the find, it looks great. I would tend to support the opinion to get it running first, then sort out the restoration part of it later. You'll learn a lot about the car and how you use it, which will inform your ultimate restoration. You may want to join http://www.lotuscarclub.org/ and get a list of local of local owners, so you can take a look at their cars and also find out who the local suppliers are. I made the mistake of taking my car to the local british car shop, who did great work on my friend's TR6 (as they do hundreds every year), but a very poor job with my elan. While not complicated, there are differences and it is better to have an elan expert if one is available. I ended up having to have my engine rebuilt twice, because of my rush decision. You are going love it, not just when its done, but the process to get there is equally as much fun. Good luck. Dan
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:16 pm

Welcome aboard Mike. Lovely car!

First books you will need (if not included with the car) is a Workshop Manual and Parts List. The Parts List is great for its exploded diagrams. You can use the on-line ones here in the meantime to assess things.

http://www.rdent.com/manuals/index.html

I would also recommend "The Rebuilding of a Lotus Elan - Addendum Engineering Workshop Manual" by Brian Buckland. Here is a brief review.

lotus-elan-f19/new-elan-book-brian-buckland-initial-impressions-t12980.html

Here is a link (that still seems to work) to Foster's site. He distributes the book in the US.

http://www.totlanelit.com/Buckland_Elan_WS_Manual.html

There are also a couple of classic references for the engine and the fibreglass body repair if you are taking on these items yourself.

Dan has already provided a link to the Lotus Ltd National Club, which is great. Would add that upon your membership being processed they send out a list of members with their cars listed, which makes local contact easy. Looking ahead, the club national gathering, called LOG34, is only five or six hours away in Asheville NC next September. Do consider attending even if you don't have the car running. Folks have been known to trailer in projects as well. :) Note that they have already sold out the host hotel and have booked an alternate, so I am expecting it will be well attended next year.

http://log34.org/

I am sure there will be some folks that are more expert in the early cars along shortly. The resources on the Forum are great. Again welcome, you have from the looks of it a very nice and complete early car. I agree with the advice above to try and initially go through the car and get it running without taking on body and paint.

Stu
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:51 pm

If I were lucky enough to be in your position I would first get the hydraulic's working and then, gently, try to free up the engine. Mine was stuck as well and been sitting since 1980. My recommendation to free the engine would be to pour a little mixture of automatic trans fluid and acetone down each cylinder. Mix about 50 50. It got mine free. after it soaks for a while put the car in 4th gear and gently rock it back and forth.
You might get lucky but its likely that you will have to tear down the engine to free up stuck rings and give the bores a honing at the very least. Still trying to get it going without doing that would be worth the effort.

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PostPost by: EnfoKen » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:04 am

Very cool. I'm glad to see another S1/S2 saved and put back on the road.
http://thegaragista.com

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PostPost by: SpeedModel » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:19 pm

There's a fellow in Louisville that is familiar with S1's. He sold a gorgeous S1 about 2 years ago and had owned it since 1964. I'll try to find his contact details. I'm in Cincinnati and have an early S2 (an S1 tail lamp model).
Eric
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PostPost by: mdwracer » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:46 pm

Tim,
I'll refer to my car as 26/3342 from here out. My engine number is LP 1029 as indicated on the data plate...but where should it be stamped on the motor? I'll check it and see if its 1029 or 1020. Do you have record of what my cars color was originally?
Mike
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PostPost by: mdwracer » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:49 pm

Eric,
Thanks for info; pm , text ,or email the Louisville S1 contact person. Is your car restored? I would like to come to Cincy and see it sometime.
Mike
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:07 pm

Mike,

The engine number should be stamped on the flat surface just above the right hand engine mount.
Steve
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PostPost by: mdwracer » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:09 pm

I posted in the wanted section as well...
I need a gas tank with neck and cap; hubcaps ; top framework ;carpet...and the list will go on and on

Who is a good dash restoration specialist and guages? I used a place up in New York years ago on Smiths guages and had good luck...
Who can take the entire body from me and restore complete ...all off the frame?
Wiring harness options? I can make my own, I just want it to look period correct...
I would like to see pictures of some S1 inner door panel areas to see how accurate mine are?
Mike
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PostPost by: cal44 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:12 pm

I'd spend a bundle and restore the hell out it................you lucky dog.........

mike
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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:11 am

Type 26 register has good pictures of inner door panel's and you can also look at past listings of S1 Elan's on "Bring a Trailor". The nice S1 that sold in Louisville a couple of years ago is shown there. Inner door panel's were commonly sort of a beige but could be black as well. Other trim grey or black was common.

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