Lotus Elan

Underside Crack

PostPost by: nckzck » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:53 am

I am a LOOOOOOOONG time lurker here, and am finally in the position to buy my first Elan. Have wanted one for over 35 years, since going to my senior prom, and I drove my sisters Triumph TR7 (crap car) but my best friend drove his uncles Elan S4 DHC. I was crazy jealous and impressed by that car.

Anyway....flash forward and I find this car:

http://www.carsauto.com/1966-lotus-elan ... ytype=ALL&

The price seems a bit steep for a non-running car that needs a full restoration, but I have a car they are interested in as a straight trade that would be OK financially for me. Question is, in one of the pictures, there appears to be a major crack running under the car. I would appreciate your opinions and input on this and the car in general.

Respectfully,

Perry
Attachments
lotus-crack.jpg and
nckzck
New-tral
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 30 May 2004

PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:25 am

Hello and welcome to the forum.

I have chassis number 4891.

The crack looks like it's at the point where the body skins join together. Lotus fitted a wire sill frame stiffener there, the wire frames can rust through, but they aren't too difficult to replace, but they do add rigidity to the body and form part of the seat belt anchorage. It could be the frame is rusty or it could just be that Lotus bonded the sections together badly.

The car does look like it would be an excellent basis for restoration and considering how original the car is the price isn't at all bad.
User avatar
Mazzini
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1895
Joined: 11 Dec 2010
Location: NE UK

PostPost by: nmauduit » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:36 am

Have you inspected the car in person and seen that it is indeed a crack, or could it be a poorly layered piece of fiberglass next to the sill? extra photos at various angles maybe be of help if you can't check in person. Fiberglass is relatively easy to repair (esp. in non visible/painted areas), though it would be better to understand why there would be such a long crack there... If it is a crack, check whether it can have been caused mechanically (e.g. by lifting the car from the underside) and if you can check the sill reinforcing mesh (has it rusted out or is it sound) : if the crack is from careless lifting, it should be easy to fix.
S4SE 36/8198
User avatar
nmauduit
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1481
Joined: 02 Sep 2013
Location: France

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:34 am

That's a car I wouldn't rip apart to restore. Just lift the body off the chassis, restore all the mechanical bits and the chassis,and drop the body back on and do some more fettling. With a little bit of local work the body might just come up as a good driver quality car, and retain some of the patina missing from fully restored cars. That car has a lot of original bits and pieces, and with a bit of care, could be a stunner with relatively little work.

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2897
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:50 pm

I've seen this exact car before for sale. I specifically remember the brown stain on the front of the hood/bumper area. Like it was stored under a car lift and the car above dripped onto this one.
where did we see this offered for sale before i wonder...
TED
"Driving a Lotus is a triumph of bravery over intelligence." Stirling Moss
"TaylorMadeClassicCars" on WWW and Facebook
tedtaylor
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 658
Joined: 09 Dec 2012
Location: Smyrna, Delaware, USA

PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:47 pm

It's currently on ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/282275515888?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Something seems fishy to me. I can't put my finger on it but I would be very careful.

Also, I don't ever remember seeing the plate under the car that goes side to side apparently under the seat area.

If I lived close, I go over and look at the car in person, and if everything seemed above board, I'd buy on the spot. That crack is a little scary looking.

S3 seats. And lots of little things have been changed. It appears to have a light layer of dirt everywhere, almost as if it was in a building fire and it has smoke damage or something. Odd!

Frank
Famous Frank

66 Elan S2 SE
65 Elan S2
66 Elan 26R
69 S2 Europa
06 Elise
67 Barracuda
User avatar
Famous Frank
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 698
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

PostPost by: nckzck » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:46 am

I have not seen the car in person. The dealer is about 500 miles away from me.If someone knows the car or its history, that would help me a lot with my decision. I asked the dealer for additional underside photos. If I receive them, I will post them here. I really wanted an S2 or S3 DHC car that is mostly original, and this one ticks most boxes for me.

Thank you all for your input!

Perry
nckzck
New-tral
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 30 May 2004

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:22 pm

WireWheel just had a blue one for sale for same price. Did you see it?
TED
"Driving a Lotus is a triumph of bravery over intelligence." Stirling Moss
"TaylorMadeClassicCars" on WWW and Facebook
tedtaylor
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 658
Joined: 09 Dec 2012
Location: Smyrna, Delaware, USA

PostPost by: tesprit » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:44 pm

Perry,
After looking closely at the photo of the crack, I don't think it is one rather it appears to be the edge of a layer of fiberglass that has lifted from the floor. I think what looks like a crack is actually the result of the flash of the camera catching the edge of the lifted layer of fiberglass and causing a shadow that looks like a crack. As mentioned earlier this area is where the floor and lower sill are bonded together so the question is whether this is the original bond from Lotus coming apart or a repair to the sill coming apart. Either way it would not be a difficult fiberglass repair, but you would have to make sure the steel lattice inside the sill has not been damaged if this was the result of an accident. The only real way to know what is going on there is to see it in person or have a trusted person inspect it.

I also agree with Frank that there is something weird going on with that piece of metal under the floor where the seat bolts are. This may have been someone's idea of how to reinforce the seat mounts, but it shouldn't be there. Again an inspection is the only way to know.

Like Frank said the car looks to be pretty much intact so if it passed a visual inspection it could be a decent car for the money. It looks like you might just have to make that 500 mile trip to see if this Elan is the one for you.

Dan
'66 Elan S2
'05 Lotus Elise
'96 Ferrari F355 GTS
tesprit
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 93
Joined: 13 Sep 2007
Location: Sharpsburg, GA

PostPost by: nckzck » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:10 am

Hey Ted, unfortunately....I did not see the S1 at Wirewheel. Wish I could have just as a reference, but I really want a S2. And Dan....I think you are right. It may be a weird effect from the flash. Is there anyone reputable in the San Francisco Bay area that can do a PPI for a reasonable fee? It would be good to get someone with a lot of experience with Elan's to give the car a good look.
nckzck
New-tral
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 30 May 2004

PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:37 am

I would not worry to much about the crack. There are probably many other things wrong that will be much harder and more expensive to fix :shock: . This is a 50 year old car that has been neglected for many years by its general appearance !!!

The crack appears to be on the line of the reinforcing lattice in the sill. It could be from an under floor impact or it could be from the lattice rusting and the rust pressure cracking the fibreglass. Either way it is not that expensive a fix, its just time to do the needed fibreglass repairs and replace the lattice if needed..

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7512
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: nomad » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:33 pm

I'm with Rohan 100%. When I first saw the car on flea-bay I recognized the crack immediately as the same one I dealt with on my S1. The body has been pushed apart by expanding rust in the lattice steel reinforcement. There are a few other things about the car that are questionable as well but as an S2 I would consider it a nice car to own. In my opinion, overpriced and needing quite a bit of work. Get it down into the teens and then its worth thinking about if you can do the work. Again, my opinion!

Kurt.
26/3754
nomad
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 940
Joined: 05 May 2012
Location: South Dakota, USA

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:51 am

why has no one ventured a guess at the cracked fiberglass floor as being caused by improper jacking up of the car??? I can just picture someone jacking up the car with jack under the floor and.....pump.....pump.....pump......CRACK !!!!!! :roll:
this is what i thought of immediately.
TED
"Driving a Lotus is a triumph of bravery over intelligence." Stirling Moss
"TaylorMadeClassicCars" on WWW and Facebook
tedtaylor
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 658
Joined: 09 Dec 2012
Location: Smyrna, Delaware, USA

PostPost by: ivor badger » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:10 am

From looking at previous cracks in fibre glass. It looks a bit like a bonded in layer that has not been properly ground back for the new glass and has delaminated over time. Repair coming apart?
ivor badger
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 64
Joined: 20 Aug 2009

PostPost by: Maulden7 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:02 pm

I found a crack in exactly the same place on the never repaired underside of my S2 when I bought the car back in the 1980's (albeit the crack was not so wide & more "hairline") It was definitely due to the rusting of the side lattice reinforcing (behind the side trims there was virtually nothing left of the metal - I yanked on the drivers seat belt & the bottom fixing just came away - car had an MOT & I had driven it home!)

After replacing the reinforcements & cleaning the underside thoroughly, I simply skimmed over the crack, rubbed this down, painted the underside, & nothing has ever reappeared.
Maulden7
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 275
Joined: 10 Aug 2004
Location: East Northamptonshire
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: Geoffers71 and 14 guests