Lotus Elan

My restored S2/SE

PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:36 am

Lovely car! Great photos.
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PostPost by: quaybook » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:23 pm

Hi Phil

Your car looks great, well done.
If I've managed to attach a photo of my Yellow S2 to this, you will see the reason it particularly caught my eye - Reg Nr HVT 692D! My car is Unit No 26/5614 first registered 15/06/66. I checked with Andy Graham, the Lotus Archivist, and all he can tell me is that my car left the factory on 15/06/66 in kit form. One would have thought the proximity of our registration numbers suggests both cars were registered in the same batch, so I'd be interested to know the Unit number and original registration date of your car. I guess registration of component form cars must have been carried out by the factory rather than by the purchaser as both the registration and 'left factory' dates of my car are the same. Can anyone throw any light?
Mine does not appear to have been built as an SE, it has no side indicator repeaters or chrome strips on the sills, but it has a 3.55 diff and knock on wheels. It has the conventional S2 style badging on the rear above the offside tail light. It appears that my car was originally white, but I guess yours was not Lotus Yellow LO7 originally either, as I believe that colour did not come in until after S2 production ceased.

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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:48 pm

Vernon

Your car VIN 5514 was invoiced by the factory on 17 Mar 66, which makes sense as it may have taken the purchaser several weekends to put the car together and then registered 3 months later on 15 Jun 66, in Stoke on Trent. Phil's car was registered the previous day, 14 Jun 66.

I know of the car before yours, VIN 5513 a FHC in the US.

Tim
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PostPost by: Coupe » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:04 pm

Very nice !!

So Lotus were still making S2 DHC when they had already begun making the Elan FHC with the extended boot lid? My 'pre airflow' Coupe (VIN 5358) is mid Feb 66.
I referred to it once as an S3 Coupe and was told by an ex-Cheshunt worker 'pre-airflows' were neither S2 or S3 (or S2.5 as Paul Matty refers to them as) but just an Elan Coupe.
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PostPost by: PhilGreen » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:37 pm

Hi Vernon and Tim, plus all others. I have the original Log book somewhere with all the other paperwork. Until I track it down it seems Tim knows more than me. I would love to know more about mine. I can remember the previous owner to me as I worked with him. Although it's not a genuine Lotus yellow now, it always has been yellow as far as I know. I aquired the chrome sill strips myself not being aware at the time that some S2s were fitted with them. There were no drill holes in the cant rails for the gutter strips and the way some parts were fitted led me to believe it could have originally been a kit build from new. I'll let you know the unit number later hopefully. At a Lotus show back in the 90s I was told by someone it was the penultimate S2. I've been through various phases with this. Originally when first taken off the road in 75 I had plans for a dash with 11 dials ( I completed that ). I looked into making the side widows electric as I did not like the fixed frames S3 onwards. Even got Paul Matty to visit and value in the 90s when I was looking for an Esprit. But pleased to say I came to my senses and decided not to sell and try and return her to near original instead. Still ended up with an Esprit. 1 of 7 convertibles that's currently going through what the Elan went through for 40 years. Hopefully I'll get there in the end.
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PostPost by: PhilGreen » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:44 pm

OK on the original Log book it has LP5467LBA. Not sure if that's the vin or not. Also although your initial date is spot on Tim, the first information I have is from it being sold from a garage in Oct 67. When I tap in VOSA with the registration, no recognition comes up yet I was able to get a new registration document as a change of address. Also according to various books from what I can make out, a rhd would have the battery box behind the passenger seat and vice versa with a lhd. Although some have the fitting on both sides this one has it only behind the drivers seat. So was it originally a lhd. What was it's life between June 66 and Oct 67.
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PostPost by: quaybook » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:38 pm

Hi Tim, Phil

Thanks for the info Tim, my VIN is 5614 not 5514. Do your comments still apply?

Phil, my battery box is also behind the drivers seat. My car has the S3 style flat floor, not the S1/2 ribbed one. I guess once the S3 (S2.5?) coupe was being built, they used the S3 style lower moulding with the S2 upper moulding on the open cars. My upper body is certainly S2, not only because of the boot lid, but also the tell-tale difference in distance between headlight opening and bumper on left and right sides.

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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:41 pm

Vernon, no, Andy was spot on with his date, so invoiced and registered on the same day, presumably before the car was made up and inspected by the dealer.

Phil, the number you quoted is an engine number, not a VIN. Please keep looking for that as there may be a story behind your Elan!

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PostPost by: PhilGreen » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:41 am

Tim thanks for that, I was reading it off the original Log book. The current registration document is in Welsh so made for hard reading. On checking the plate on the car the unit number is 5797 with 26/5797 under it. I'm hoping that should give someone enough information to tell me it's life between being first registered in June 66 and the first owner on the original Log book being a garage in October 67.
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PostPost by: PhilGreen » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:22 am

Hi Vernon, I'm finding out more as I go. On looking through my limited photos I have found one during the restoration showing mine has a ribbed floor. I found my unit number 5797. Yours looks great by the way. It seems they had S2 bodies available while the S3 came out and made it up as they went along with what they had available at the time.
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PostPost by: quaybook » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:23 pm

Phil , your ribbed floor is a surprise. I thought they must have run out of S2 lower mouldings before mine was built, but as your car is later than mine and has a ribbed floor that is clearly not the case. I wonder now if my lower moulding is original, I know the car was accident damaged and had a major rebuild in the 80s.

Tim, I have some history for my car from 1972 on, provided by a previous owner, but know nothing prior to that. It is of particular interest as it seems the car may have been modified to have wide arches before that date. The wide arches were replaced with standard ones during the major rebuild in the 1980s. Andy Graham can tell me nothing about the car other than the date it left the factory and that it was in component form. Have you any thoughts on how I might find out more about its early life?

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PostPost by: PhilGreen » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:27 pm

Vernon let's see what Tim can find out. It's going to be interesting in both cases. Mines been off the radar since 1975.
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PostPost by: bill308 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:14 pm

My S2 SE 265327 also had LOTUS letters along the back of the boot and I thought this was incorrect.. Apparently it is correct, so I will now have to re-drill the holes and remount the letters.

Other idiosyncrasies I noted were basket weave covered black seats and burgundy colored carpeting that covered the door armrests. The exterior was Lotus Yellow with gold/copper colored bumpers. I've never seen these details on another S2 but I liked it.

Phil, can you identify the exterior mirrors fitted to your car? Is there enough adjustment to see the necessary blind spots?

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PostPost by: PhilGreen » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:33 pm

Bill,
I bought these mirrors in the 70s so not quite age related to the car. There is a sticker on them with Champion in yellow writing on them, there would have been a blind spot fitting them to the body but fitted to the doors they are fine.

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PostPost by: bill308 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:05 am

Thanks Phil. I think they look similar to Vitaloni California style mirrors. Anyway, they appear handsome and functional.

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