Lotus Elan

Am I the only person who owns a non SE Coupe?

PostPost by: dgym » Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:10 pm

Every single coupe I see talked about or for sale is an SE.
I don't have those badges, but the car had a servo, wheel embellishers and other SE things I can't remember.

Info from the factory neither denies nor confirms 36/6612 is an SE, so why don't I just do what every other car has had done and buy an SE badge?

or perhaps I'll be happy with a very rare Coupe- being "the only non SE car ever produced by the factory"
that's worth money right?
36/6612
1967 S3 Coupe (left the factory in 66)
original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:39 am

My car is not an SE, but did come with some SE features such as 3.55 diff and servo. Also had rimbellishers, no idea if they were original.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 1:29 am

My 68 Elan FHC was definitely a non SE car. Bolt on wheels, no servo, standard cam engine, no SE badges.

i have not seen any other standard Elan coup that I recall However then all the Australian dealer imported cars were SE versions I believe so not many standard cars here. Mine was a private import. If you have all the SE features but not the badge I would fit the badge :)

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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:52 am

What in the day made an Elan an SE in terms of equipment?

Mine is in long term storage but it has rimbellishers, brake servo, knowk on wheels, what else is on the list?

No SE badge to my knowledge.

Ah, was this only on the earlier ?lans? Mine is an S4
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:02 pm

My coupe is an early one w/ the window switches in the doors and is a non-S/E. It has K/O wheels, but what I think would be a rare feature is a coupe w/ bolt-on wheels. I think I've only ever seen one, not mine.

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
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:38 pm

You are not alone.
On the Lotus Elan registry there are forty five Series 3 fixed head coupes that do not claim to be SE variants,
There are also many S4s.
Mine has K/O wheels, Type something camshafts (for SE), and brake servo, but no repeater lamps or chrome strips.
The diff. is 3.77, but I heard that the 3.55 was optional.
Also it has a Chapman steering wheel, but I do not know if that is right for an SE.
It may just be an upgraded S3 for all I know and a lot can have happened in 48 years and thirteen owners.
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC, Type 45
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PostPost by: foxoles » Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:07 pm

October '69 S4 Stromberg here.
Servo, bolt on wheels, side repeaters, Chapman steering wheel, but is non SE.

Jon
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:21 pm

My 1968 S4 FHC is not an SE, but has SE cams, knock on wheels no side repeaters, no servo, no rim belishers, and no chrome strip along the side. I thought one of the SE features was a closer ratio gearbox. Is that correct?

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PostPost by: dgym » Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:36 pm

I think the gearbox for SE was "semi close" as opposed to close?
36/6612
1967 S3 Coupe (left the factory in 66)
original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:42 am

I've owned at least one Elan since 1974, and before that, I wanted an Elan for years, perhaps since 1963. I was just about ready to trade off my faithful Bug-eyed Sprite autocrosser when I graduated and we moved to a small town southern Indiana. I pretty much gave up my desire, then one evening there was,my 67 S3-SS, and it was for sale. Up until that point in life, I had bought everything ever written on Elans. I wanted one so badly.. In some of that literature, I read that starting w/ the S4 model that all Elans produced would be built to S/E spec. Obviously when the Sprint came along that was no longer true, but...I digress.

Thinking back to the all S4 models being SE; I've never seen an S4 w/ bolt-on wheels, other than modified from stock.I think they must had dual servo, but just seeing one on the street, one never knew.I would easily believe that most if not all S-4s were fitted w/ 3.77 diffs

A few years later, the frame rusted and cracked in the front turret of my original Elan,and I bought a red coupe to go w/ my SS DHC, so I have owned my FHC since 1978.So, no servo, no chrome strips, no SE badge. A 3.77 diff and surprise, a 2.50 1st gear close ratio gearbox. Now that I am restoring the coupe, it will loan its CR gear set to my other S3 DHC modified to 26R, yet to be restored, and the coupe fitted w/ a 2.92:1 semi close gear box.

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
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PostPost by: nono17120 » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:51 pm

Mine is with a central nut on wheels, electrical windows, FHC 1965 and marked S2 on the plate.
For camshaft, I don't know the difference. I have no badge and think it's not a SE.
But it has brake servo, but I don't think it's genuine.
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PostPost by: DJ908 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:09 pm

I think I can probably help with an explanation as to the difference between a ?Standard? and a ?SE? specification. It applied to both the fixed head and drop head cars.

I ordered my "Standard" Fixed Head Coupe Elan new in 1968 from the Hallamshire Tyre and Motor Co in Sheffield in the UK. I was taken down to the factory where the specification was confirmed and where I was given the opportunity of watching the cars being assembled.

My Standard car had the following; Touring engine producing 105 bhp, a cast exhaust header and a 3.7:1 diff ratio.

You will see from the attachments that there were a number of so-called options available.

I have attached the Export Price list which I think was a little different from the Home market price list.
All cars were fitted with then then new Dunlop SP Sport Tyres but they charged extra for them and presumably if you did not pay the extra they would have removed them and fitted something cheaper. I paid the extra price requested.

The car came fitted with a radio which I did not order and we haggled later over the price. The car came with seat belts, knock-on wheels and as I remember the brake servo was a standard fitment as well. The standard specification car had a so-called signed Colin Chapman steering wheel with a vinyl cover. The SE spec cars had a leather covered signed wheel.

There is no mention of a close ratio gearbox and I suspect was something you changed later.

There was a bit of a racket going on midst the various dealers and their mechanics for as I remember the basic engines delivered to Lotus were selected from the Cortina GT manufacturing line and contained a GT spec camshaft which was retained on the Lotus engines as the jackshaft to drive the fuel pump and distributor. If the opportunity arose some mechanics would remove the GT camshaft and replace it with whatever they could find and sell the camshaft separately.

Later I fitted a four branch exhaust, kenlowe fan, air horns and I threw away the vinyl covered (signed) steering wheel and fitted the identical not signed but leather covered wheel for a few pounds less than what the factory wanted for it.

The signature on the steering wheel did not improve the performance of the car in any way.

My car, delivered December 1968, was one of the last S4 Elans to leave the factory with Weber carburettors, although it was fitted with a bonnet with the bulge in it for the Strombergs.

The difference between a Standard and SE cars was basically the difference in horsepower, the change in diff ratios and the vinyl/leather steering wheel. And an extra badge (or two).

Robert
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20151123-elan-specs.jpg and
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:25 am

The implications from the Specification sheet is the only SE specific difference was the engine specification and I presume the badge that went with it. Everything else appears to have been optional extra cost on either standard or SE cars. The SE cars sold in Australia at least had many of these options fitted as standard when delivered to Australia such as Knock on wheels and brake servos. Whoever bought my car originally in the UK back in 1968 was obviously on a tight budget as I don't think any of the options were specified.and originally fitted as far as I could tell when I got the car in 1975

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Rohan
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:18 am

Good stuff Robert. I do remember talk of the GT camshaft as well, and sure enough when I stripped my '67 S3 engine in the late 1970s, it was still in situ...and still is!

I think that the specification for S/E changed over the models, years and even months depending on cashflow at Hethel. Early S3 S/E Convertibles didn't have the 3.5 diff, but the Coupes did. That seemed to be rationalised later in S3 production when both cars had the 3.5 ratio, and dropped for both cars when the S4 was launched. .

The non-S/E S3 had the woodrim steering wheel with slotted spokes, whilst the S/E had the leather covered wheel with slotted spokes. Towards the end of production of the S3, both had the Chapman wheel with the holes in the spokes, plastic covered in the non-S/E, leather for the S/E.

All S/E cars to my knowledge had the engine upgrade, servo, knock on wheels, chrome sill trim, the front wing repeater indicators and the carpeted boot. And of course the S/E badge. For a while, the S3 S/E had uprated rear shocks, anti-dazle rear view mirror and inertia belts fitted as standard, but that seemed to be only for a short time!

These two brochures, one for the S3, and one for the S4, show some of the differences...

Mark Kempson
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:37 am

Looks like you could write a book on the variations to the SE specification cars overtime :lol:

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