Lotus Elan

Starting the Elan after 6 months.

PostPost by: jimj » Fri May 16, 2014 10:33 pm

Regular readers, yeah.....as if....., will recall that at the end of last year we drove down to Portugal in the Elan in the company of our pals, Eric and the delightful Erica. That`s not their real names, apart from the delightful bit. The plan was to shake down their recently acquired and recently restored Sunbeam Tiger, ready for the African Safari Rally, which, incidentally, they`re on right now. We were to leave the cars at Eric`s house in the Algarve and collect them in the New Year, splashing out the ?24 for the flight home.

February looked promising but, inconveniently, our daughter was threatening to give birth to our first grandchild just about then and Carole, with her expertise in obstetrics , as in all things, felt she must attend the birth, then spend some weeks goochy gooing so April arrived with other obligations.

So, to cut a short story long, 6 months have elapsed since we last kissed the Elan goodbye. Would it start? Will the battery be flat? Will the brakes be seized? Will the clutch be stuck to the flywheel? Will the high levels of ethanol in European fuels have rotted the seals and fuel pipes? The battery was switched off and Millers ethanol neutraliser added to the fuel. It must be good at that price. Per ml. it`s dearer than myrrh, whatever that is? God knows.

Having left summery items with the car, we were travelling light, flying from Manchester with just hand luggage. Now I'm sure the human race appreciates the security staff saving us from each other but didn't they know how many of were coming, that day? Why were half the desks closed? Why was the security hall like Mumbai on the busiest day ever? Why did they object to me carrying a tyre pressure gauge? What's wrong with a socket ratchet handle? Or a length of fuel pipe? Or a few jubilee clips? And surely every European traveller should carry a squeezy fuel bulb, shouldn't they? Well, they let me?.. eventually.

So, arriving at Eric's, the garage being down a steep drive, I summoned a couple of burly blokes, by setting off the burglar alarm. That aside it all went swimmingly. I reconnected the battery and gave the engine a couple of turns then checked the tyres and opened the bonnet half expecting to see fuel leaking from dissolved fuel pies, but all seemed well. The fuel pump being mechanical I slipped the squeezy bulb in line and a few squeezes had petrol in the carbs. Now the most important thing, all the fingers and toes in the neighbourhood were crossed. A burst of starter motor and the engine coughed, a second burst and brrrrrrrrmmmmm. Was the clutch free? Yes. Were the brakes OK? Yes. Were we laughing hysterically? Yes. Was there oil all over Eric's garage floor? No.

A few days of hood down motoring on first class empty roads, some lovely overnight stops and 1000+ miles later, we`re home, the Elan behaving beautifully, of course. Tempting fate, it gives a lie to those non Lotus owners who believe the unfair unreliable reputation Lotus gained, I think, largely by enthusiastic DIY owners with more enthusiasm than ability. Cars have personalities, don`t y`know, and if you love and cherish them it seems they reward your loyalty with their`s

I love that little car.

Here's a PIC. of Grannycarole with the Elan at a coffee stop, still looking good after all this time.............apart from a few dead flies on the windscreen.
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Fri May 16, 2014 11:19 pm

Brilliant. :)
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PostPost by: gherlt » Sat May 17, 2014 6:37 am

>apart from a few dead flies on the windscreen.
aaaah. so there really was a problem .... you should have confessed earlier. Bring the soft cushion !!
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat May 17, 2014 7:02 am

gherlt wrote:>apart from a few dead flies on the windscreen.
aaaah. so there really was a problem .... you should have confessed earlier. Bring the soft cushion !!


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PostPost by: gherlt » Sat May 17, 2014 8:35 pm

Yeeeeeeessssssssssss
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
gherlt
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun May 18, 2014 7:21 am

A man of excellent taste.
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PostPost by: gherlt » Sun May 18, 2014 8:33 am

Thank you, but that is obvious, as I have two Elans ...
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
gherlt
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Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Location: Weiden (DE) & Tarragona (ES)

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