Lotus Elan

45/6994 Elan S3 Rebuild

PostPost by: ethanlance » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:09 am

I would like to share my adventures rebuilding my 67 Elan S3. You guys all know this too, it's not just about the car, it's also about the people you meet along the way, the history, and the sense of meaning you get from doing.

My S3 was originally bought by my grandfather in 1977 while visiting England, he shipped two Elans back to New York. My Dad took over ownership of the one I now. He drove it and kept it for the 36 years. I was 6 years old way back in '77 and I remember going for rides in it, sitting on the transmission-tunnel behind the rear seat with my sister.

Three years ago I took ownership of it. And after getting it back on the road (it sat for 10 years) and driving it for a year, I realized it was going to require more than a tune up and brake rebuild to get it back to the way I remember it as a kid.

I'd like to update this thread with photos as the build goes on.

Here she is in 1977 in England
lotus_in_uk.jpg and

lotus_in_uk_2.jpg and


Then 26 years later she ships from Chicago to California after 10 years hibernation.
lotus_shipping_out.jpg and

lotus_drive.jpg and

lotus_yellow_cam.jpg and

And here getting DMV inspected by the CHP. Note the size difference between a police cruiser and an Elan.
lotus_chp.jpg and


After getting her back on the road and driving it for about a year, I realize a crack in the chassis near the motor mount needed attention. How bad can that be, right? So I decide it's time to take the body off for a quick inspection. Which then leads to a total rebuild.
lotus_body_lifting.jpg and


Next post I'll share the progress I've made in the last 6 months...
Last edited by ethanlance on Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:11 am

Great stuff. Nice to see the younger generation getting into 'our' cars!

Tim
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:02 am

Great to have you on board here, Ethan. Say Hi to your dad for me.
Thanks,
Greg Zelazek
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PostPost by: dgym » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:13 am

awesome.
36/6612
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original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:21 pm

Welcome, I look forward to your posts!
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:37 pm

Hi Ethan. Glad to hear you are keeping your Elan in the family. I'm hoping my son will keep at least one of my 3 Elans. I have friends in Ohio who have the original Elan bought new by Chris's father. It was a fixture of the OSU Sports Car club for years and probably one reason I had to have an Elan.

Roger
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'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: CBUEB1771 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:25 pm

Welcome Ethan, a great beginning to your story!
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PostPost by: S3DHC » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:44 pm

Hi Ethan,

You have some great history with your Elan.
Take your time and do a good job, it's so satisfying to look back on when complete.
I have 45/7047 and spent 18 months on a total rebuild, now has pride of place in my garage.
Colin.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:10 am

Welcome Ethan! Can't wait to see your progress!
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PostPost by: simonknee » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:13 am

Your DFC and my FHC 36/7002 probably knew each other at the factory given it is less than 10 chassis numbers apart. You should enter it into the http://www.elanregistry.org/
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PostPost by: stevebroad » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:37 am

Hi and good luck with the build. My 67 DHC is 6621 so they may have met in passing :-)

Have you considered converting to LHD while it is in bits?
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PostPost by: lance54 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:12 pm

Nice to see that Ethan is sharing his restoration adventure with the Elannet community. I know he will find lots of help along the way form the many knowledgeable Elannet contributors. Cars with long tern family ownership are always special and Ethan's Elan is a great example.

My nephew Ethan did indeed get acquainted with his Elan at age 6 and now he gets to experience it's re-birth.

And what a great looking 6 year old he was back in 1977. He's the blonde headed young man seen here in my SCCA Elan at Lime Rock Park.

lime-rock-september-1977.jpg and


Clark Lance
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:17 pm

Clark, didn't realize that Ethan was your Nephew, that's 3 generations with major Lotus involvement, awesome!!

So there's MLD - Multiple Lotus Disorder & now MGLD - Multiple Generation Lotus Disorder, must be genetic! :lol:
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PostPost by: lance54 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:20 pm

I'm East Coast and Ethan is West Coast so I'll be enjoying his Elannet Posts along with everyone else.

There has been lots of emailing so far. He is doing a great job much like so many others who have shared their Elan Revival Projects via Elannet.

And I think his grandfather would approve too.

Uncle Clark
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:03 am

lance54 wrote:My nephew Ethan did indeed get acquainted with his Elan at age 6 and now he gets to experience it's re-birth.


I'm so envious! My dad had Sunbeam Alpines all through my youth and eventually they dwindled down to one car and enough spares to almost build another car, including damn near a whole spare drivetrain, KO wires with hubs from one of the earlier cars he didn't keep, new top, seat covers, and carpets waiting in boxes. He planned to restore that last Alpine as a retirement project, but while I was overseas in the military he moved to another city when a hot job-opportunity came up and sold the whole lot so he wouldn't have to move it. He didn't tell me until I got back from overseas and asked where the car was when I didn't see it at the new house. I'll love my dad forever, and miss him terribly and wish he could have seen my Loti (he's been deceased since a few months before I bought the first one), but not even asking me if I wanted the Sunbeam before deciding to sell it is the one thing for which I'll never forgive him. Not that I could have dealt with it upon leaving the military for university, but as his former little helper in the garage he should have asked.

I'm sure that car is out there somewhere nicely restored, and who knows, maybe I'll meet it again someday. To this day whenever I see Alpines at the British car shows I stick my head down into the cockpit and breathe in those familiar smells. Will I ever have one? Probably not, what with how busy a Lotus can keep a person! :lol:
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