Lotus Elan

What is a 'FIA 26R'?

PostPost by: dunclentdr » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:28 pm

I get thoroughly confused by this type of car -

http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C773403

Does the seller mean a 'genuine Elan now built to 26R spec and FIA registered' or is this an actual 26R?

Surely the former at ?62k - if so can anyone explain how a non-26R can be registered as one with FIA ?!

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PostPost by: Chancer » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:52 pm

Just watched the video, the ad says that it is a straight cut gearbox, someone please tell me that means it is a dog engagement and not synchro gearbox, it was making me wince seeing him shift gears.

And was that the tyres I heard screeching on each downchange?

I bet he was not running rotaflex couplings.

A friend took me for a fast spin on traffic filled roads in his very hot MK1 Cortina with a dog box, it was absolutely brutal and a horrible experience, I dont know how he can drive it on the road except for at ten tenths and the traffic around Gatwick where he lives would never allow that.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:25 am

Basically a stock elan built into a GTS car. A genuine or even one of the hundreds of faked 26R would be north of ?140k thesedays.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:41 am

Definitely a GTS. No 26Rs left Lotus Components in LHD.

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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:04 am

On a trip to a hill climb in Jersey last year there was an entry - "Lotus Elan 26R". This obviously caught my interest, & when I had a chance to look around the car during scrutineering I noted that the car had a series 3 VIN!

"And was that the tyres I heard screeching on each downchange?" I get this all the time on track with a syncro CR box / solid drive shafts / HD clutch / Quaife LSD when changing down & releasing the clutch from speed? Is it not due to the drive shafts & speed of clutch release?
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:39 am

The FIA allows replicas of historic cars to be built to the homologated specifications and raced. So an Elan built to the homologated specifications of a 26R can be raced as a 26R compliant car. The FIA seems to not be to worried about ensuring replicas are clearly distinguished from the original cars. But even under the loose FIA approach I dont think a S3 is a replica 26R

In Australian historic racing you can't race replicas, you can only race genuine historic cars with a provenance to prove it. There is a lengthy process to go through to get a "certificate of description" that allows you to enter an historic race car and controls its specification of that of the period.

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Last edited by rgh0 on Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: elj221c » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:51 am

Exactly who 'invented' the term GTS?
Another confusion to add to the mire......
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PostPost by: theelanman » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:08 am

rgh0 wrote:The FIA allows replicas of historic cars to be built to the homologated specifications and raced. So an Elan built to the homologated specifications of a 26R can be raced as a 26R compliant car. The FIA seems to not be to worried about ensuring replicas are clearly distinguished from the original cars. But even under the loose FIA approach I dont think a S3 is a replica 26R


I think theyre a little more stringent when its something like a GT40.......
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:19 am

As I understand it individual race promotors can be more fussy and the big historic meetings want original cars not replicas but the general FIA regulations allow replicas to be built and raced. There are lots of GT40 replicas that would not qualify as a true period spec replica in FIA terms. Its much easier to build a 26R replica from a S1 or S2 car as all the required mods are relatively easily available a relatively low cost.

There has been pressure in Australia to adopt the FIA approach but so far the local authority ( CAMS - Confederation of Australian Motorsport) has resisted

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PostPost by: redcarandco » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:56 pm

I would like to add (with my so poor english) that you must not focalize on 26R which were dedicated (normaly) to "connoisseurs" In this period a lot of people made race cars with road elan ...I have done and I can tell you that a lot of 26R do not have a palmares that some of these cars can show I still race my elan of this period which is not a 26 R ...The problem is that for common people a race elan is always a 26 R what is far from being exact...An other problem is also that organizers of ""big"" events only accept now authentical 26 R and I can tell you that there is now an enormous demand for these cars (I own one and at least 3 times a week I am asked to sell it at really impressive amounts at a point I think I will not dare use it when refurbishement will be done (it is almost finished...)
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PostPost by: redcarandco » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:07 pm

Just to answer to Chancer, a straight cut gear box can be synchro... straight cut just mean that pinion are "cut" straight by opposition to helical cut...Quaife sells for elan straight cut with synchro much more reliable than dog engagement but not so quick in gear change what is not a problem with a not too high reving engine as a twin cam FIA correct must be and because it has a relatively good power band (not sure that's correct english...) As to tyres crying at every gear change to go down that just mean that Dunlop tyres are not the best in adherence and that driver makes a common error for a lotus elan driver that is to use motorbrake too strongly (ask to Tommy Brorsson what he thinks about that way of braking .... ( I consider mister Brorsson is the ever best lotus elan driver of all the times..)
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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:21 pm

Yes I am aware of both types, it was the brutality of the drivers gearchanges that made me hope that it was a dog box, you can shift that quick with a synchro box but only by beating the synchro which results in a graunch that I didnt hear and subsequent damage to the gear engagement flanks, - I have forgotten all the terminology :(

You cannot double de clutch with a dog box (unless i am mistaken) a heel & toe blip of the throttle could soften things a bit but then you would lose all the time gained in the swift gear change.

I have a motorcycle engined Caterham 7 that I engineered and its the same to a degree with gearchanges on that but there is a lot less inertia in the engine and the gearbox, but more inertia and backlash in the twin propshafts and reversing gearbox, the smoothest gearchanges in that are lightning fast full throttle ones with a momentary lift just at the right time, difficult to get right but never unbalances the car or squalking the tyres, slow gearchanges like on a synchro box sound like you have thrown a bucket of bolts into the transmission.

The dog box Cortina i went in made great clanking noises from the driveline as each gear was engaged because the gearbox input shaft had to instantly change to a very different rotational speed and its inertia, and that of the clutch centre plate resists that, everything clatters including the prop and the diff, with a synchro box it is gradually accelerated and the gearchange made when the rotational speeds are synchronized, unless you beat the synchro. The 2000E box will take quite a lot of that abuse, the type 9 very little before the 3rd gear baulk ring fractures (it has a a narrower section and a stress raiser) which usually leaves you jammed in one gear.

Ask me how I know :D I ended up stuck in 4th gear at Lydden hill and had a really epic battle with a backmarker, he would leave me for dead out of the corners and I would get him on the entry to the next one, he said it was the best race he had ever had, I didnt have the heart to tell him of my handicap!
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PostPost by: toomspj » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:03 pm

I really should stay out of this but I can't resist. I race an Elan GTS car which has FIA Appendix K papers. The car was an Elan S2 that came from California as a basket case and I rebuilt it to '26R' spec. I've never pretended it was a 26R. I would guess that my car would fetch around ?80 - ?90k which is roughly what it would cost to recreate. A proper competitive 26R with provenance will be around double that

I thought about buying a genuine 26R but there are problems. It's really hard to be sure that you're buying a genuine car - at the time I was looking, the most famous 26R car was for sale at ?180k (7 years ago) but everyone knows that that car was completely destroyed in a fire - so what would I be buying? And anyone I know who has bought a 26R has almost immediately replaced body, chassis and most of the running gear. So when is Grandfather's broom the real thing?

As for the term GTS, that is the classification given by the FIA to the racing variants of GT cars. To comply and get the FIA papers, you must conform closely to the homologation papers from the period.

Dog boxes are not permitted according to FIA regulations. Straight cut synchro boxes are. You can heel and toe in either case. Dunlop tyres actually have pretty good grip and if they're locking up during gear changes either the driver is being heavy handed (heavy footed maybe) or is deliberately trying to kick out the rear end on downshifts. You can crash through a synchro box pretty quickly but it just won't last as long. With a dog box you can get away with minimal use of the clutch but again life of the box and drivetrain will be compromised.

I quite like the FIA approach that allows existing cars to be modified. If only the cars that were actually raced in period were allowed, classic or historic racing in Europe would be restricted to the uber rich - and they'd simply build clones to race, keeping the original safely cocooned (as some do anyway). I would run around in a Radical or a Caterham instead. And my S2 would still be a basket case.
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PostPost by: elj221c » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:03 am

toomspj wrote:I really should stay out of this but I can't resist.


:lol:
toomspj wrote:As for the term GTS, that is the classification given by the FIA to the racing variants of GT cars. To comply and get the FIA papers, you must conform closely to the homologation papers from the period.


Ah, the FIA! I should have known! I just don't remember them being called GTS when I was at the races in the '70s and '80s.

Ta for the info.
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PostPost by: toomspj » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:37 pm

Well, in the day I guess people probably just called them Elan or 26R. I think the term GTS is used more widely now wrt Lotus Elans just because people like me want to be clear the we are not claiming that our cars are 26R's. They're simply Elans that have been modified to the permitted homologation of that period.

All the E-types, Cobras etc etc are also GTS cars if they're running according to FIA rules.

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