Lotus Elan

Purchased 69' Elan S3 Coupe

PostPost by: lotustastic » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:14 pm

Hello All,

I'm glad to be on this forum and I appreciate all of the valuable information from everyone so far regarding vintage Elans, I am now adding a third Lotus to my collection (83 Turbo Esprit Special Edition, 2006 Lotus Elise (supercharged) and now the last addition to my collection, a 69' Lotus Elan S3 Coupe (appears to be an S/E (based on engine and headers). The car was originally BRG with last paint job being yellow and at one point black. The VIN is 367863 and is listed in the registry as an S4, but body is definitely an S3 (does have an S4 dash it seems) but this was one of the last 15 or so S3's off the line according to a book. I finally bought the final Lotus model I have sought after since childhood. I used to dream about the Sprint convertibles, but the more I began to look around, the more I fell in love with the lines of the S3 coupe. I also wanted a project. So, I purchased this late S3 (built in 67', titled as a 69') in December and transported it myself 2300 miles from Washington to TN literally through tornadoes, ice and snow storms. I will never take such a journey again with having two near death experiences in the middle of winter (tractor trailer jacknifing on icy highway directly in front of me), but I couldn't trust a transporter company in getting this project car to me safely with all of the bits and pieces alongside. The car had been disassembled (for body work) and had engine/tranny removed with engine disassembled at engine builder. I've attached some photos and I've already made significant progress in bringing her back to life, cleaning, restoring parts. I've pulled the body and the chassis after cleaning has the original red oxide paint on it with minimal surface rust in spots (suspension uprights are solid). It's in good shape. The car has about 70,000+ miles on it, comes complete with 98% of the parts and has a Weber headed twincam with high lift cams (S/E markings), headers, close ratio gearbox, with 040" pistons. Also, includes extra bumpers, elan 26R flares, dash top, pinto crank, etc. The body definitely needs work as the current state of paint is hideous as I continue to sand through 4 different paint jobs to get to the gel coat to begin repairing crazing/cracks. Anyway, I'm continuing my interviews/search for a competent twincam/engine builder in the TN area to review the engine and offer measurements, guidance, etc, so any tips are appreciated even if its 200 miles driving distance from Nashville area. I've attached some early photos (pre-cleaning, etc). If anyone knows any history on this VIN, please let me know as I don't know much about its past. In the meantime, I'm having a blast working on it to restore it to a good driver and can't wait to turn the key for the first time!! :D

Thanks again for all of the support and wealth of knowledge on this forum,

Later,

David D.
Attachments
elan under esprit.jpg and
chassis.jpg and
elan unloading.jpg and
lotustastic
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Location: Franklin, TN

PostPost by: jk952 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:16 am

Dave,
Welcome to the forum, you live in a nice part of the country, (work took me that way frequently some years ago :) ), hopefully some folks more local can advise on shops; suggest you "interview" any shops personally.
Lots of info already on the site for reading material, I presume you have found.
Cheers,
Jack
jk952
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 319
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Location: Ont. Canada

PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:04 pm

David,

I'll bet you have an elusive S3-Super Safety model. I notice in your bare chassis photo that you have dual brake system. Please send me a pic or post one of your internal door handles. That may be the key to identify it. There are several of us on the forum with SS, in fact, I have mine here in Florida. Another identifying feature is the seats are low back (no headrest) but have the hold down feature so they don't pivot forward allowing access to the area behind the seats, the way earlier S1-S3 models did.

I'll send you a PM so we can discuss SS of forum.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
Elan45
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 896
Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:26 pm

................that jackknifing truck got to me david - and if was there on ice in my elan (an nowhere else to go)
i would've tried getting under the trailer somehow. the elan looks like quit a bit of work BUT DAVID - there's
one true visible accomplishment: WHEELS READY FOR THE ROAD!!! alpine greetings and welcome to the lotus elan convention sandy (from OR 97403)
el-saturn
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1431
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Location: switzerland

PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:00 pm

For the motor, if you really get into a jam, I have a guy up here in Batavia NY that does my motors. Good and very reasonable. My latest one cost me less than 2k all the work. Motors are motors to them. Goes not matter whether it is a Lotus, Cummins diesel or Ferrari.
Tony Vaccaro
http://www.lotusowners.com
LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York)
Drive Fast Take Chances
71 Spyder Elan, ElanGTS, 93 Caterham, 05 Elise,
99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
User avatar
tvacc
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1183
Joined: 24 Dec 2003
Location: Buffalo NY

PostPost by: lotustastic » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:26 pm

Thanks for all of the responses so far. Roger has verified that it is in fact a Elan Super Safety as the door pulls are of different design and hidden beneath the trim but has the low back seats. I guess I'll have to look for that Chapman brake fail switch next! The more I dig into this car, the more fascinating it gets...

David D.
lotustastic
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Location: Franklin, TN

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:29 am

David,

Just think. Its at least twice as rare as the drophead Super Safety Elans. I don't recall ever seeing an SS/SE Coupe.

Regards,
Dan Wise
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
User avatar
StressCraxx
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1068
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPost by: tvacc » Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:04 am

I have been working on a very early coupe. Some of the things that it has I have never seen before are diff cooling ducts under the car. I don't have the car here as it belongs to a fellow LOONY and member of this website. So I cannot take photos of the door pulls. It also has mounts for bonnet locking pins as I recall. Car is owned by the original purchaser. Bought the car at the UK show. I have always thought it was a S2.
Tony Vaccaro
http://www.lotusowners.com
LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York)
Drive Fast Take Chances
71 Spyder Elan, ElanGTS, 93 Caterham, 05 Elise,
99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
User avatar
tvacc
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1183
Joined: 24 Dec 2003
Location: Buffalo NY

PostPost by: trw99 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:17 am

David

Your car 36/7863 left the production line on 26 July 1968 and falls within the range of cars that have some or all the Super Safety features. It was also one of the earliest cars fitted with an engine number that had a designation prefix letter instead of LP (Lotus Power). Your engine, G16087, is only the 4th Elan fitted with a G (Stromberg Federal Elan) designated engine. This got me doing some further investigation into engine numbers which I have continued in another thread, since I did not wish to drift away from your posting. (See thread "Engine Number Gap".

Have fun with your Elan.

Tim
User avatar
trw99
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2848
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK

PostPost by: lotustastic » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:29 pm

Tim,

Thank you for the info, this is interesting. It is a matching numbers car with the engine block numbered 16087 but there is no G prefix and no signs of it being a Stromberg, its currently a weber head engine. Other markings on the block include L, T1 and 3020E6015.

What features designate it as an S/E besides engine config, gearbox?

The car has bonnet lock pins which I figured was an aftermarket fitment, but not sure.
lotustastic
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Location: Franklin, TN

PostPost by: lotustastic » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:39 pm

Also the numbers are followed with a B, so its 16087B. I will look more closely for a prefix G, but its not readily apparent at first glance.

Thanks

David
lotustastic
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 08 Jan 2014
Location: Franklin, TN

PostPost by: Elan45 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:12 pm

David,

Head number is on the back surface, centered near the bottom edge. If it matches the block number, then it always was a Weber car from new. If it doesn't match, then it might have been converted by PO.
Super Safety models usually have Weber head and carbs, but a Stromberg bubble bonnet.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
Elan45
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 896
Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Location: Ohio, USA

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: kroseelan, Roland and 13 guests