Lotus Elan

Is the Elan the worst race car he has driven?

PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:14 am

I had the privileged of having a lunch with Jackie Stewart at the recent Australian Grand Prix.

I of course had to ask him if he actually said that the Elan was the worst race car he had driven.

He said yes... as it was very tricky to drive fast and very fragile. He said he did not like the Cortina either. But he said they were both light and fast and as Chapman intended them to be !!! When I said I had been racing mine for 35 years he said.... be careful :lol:

img_2212-002.jpg and


cheers
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PostPost by: elanner » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:50 am

Great post. Thanks.

It's amazing that back in the day so many people (including me, I'm ashamed to say) used to think Jackie Stewart was a wuss for complaining endlessly about safety when so many drivers were getting killed. But he was oh so right and we were oh so wrong.

Be careful indeed!

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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:23 pm

Probably a good thing you didn't ask him about Super 7s. As I think back, I can't believe I raced one with A and B Production, A and B sedans. Can remember sitting on the grid at Santa Barbara for a standing start in about the third row. The only way I could tell if the engine was running was by watching the tach. Talk about ground pounders.......
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:50 pm

Hi

He was not obviously up to Jim Clark standards :wink:
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:42 pm

Rohan
What a picture! One of my heroes! And standing next next to Jackie Stewart to boot! :)
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:29 am

Great post, thanks Rohan.

I always admired JYS for being a champion clay pigeon shot.

But wee Jimmy was my hero, closely followed by Graham Hill.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:03 am

seniorchristo wrote:Rohan
What a picture! One of my heroes! And standing next next to Jackie Stewart to boot! :)


:lol:
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:46 am

Great post Rohan.

And a very cool race. We may have a season in the making with Ferrari back in the mix.

Stu

PS After 35 years I would say you are pretty careful. :D
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PostPost by: webrest » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:49 am

Great shot Rohan.
Sir Jacky looks like he is enjoying talking to you as well. :D
I'm sure that's not the case with half the plonkers he has to deal with at functions.
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PostPost by: webrest » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:54 am

Hawksfield wrote:Hi

He was not obviously up to Jim Clark standards :wink:

Remember what happened to Clark though.
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PostPost by: daverubberduck » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:18 am

Fragile I get, but why did Jackie find that the Elan "was very tricky to drive fast"? I'm not disputing the master, just interested.
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:04 pm

...not Clark's fault though.

To continue the Scots legend theme, Duns is not far from me and here are some pics I took at the Jim Clark day in 2015 :D

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:49 pm

daverubberduck wrote:Fragile I get, but why did Jackie find that the Elan "was very tricky to drive fast"? I'm not disputing the master, just interested.


By the Elan's nature, the wheelbase is short and the track is narrow. The combintation is less forgiving at the limit than cars with a longer wheelbase and wider track. The combination makes alignment, cornerweights and ride height critical. The earliest race versions used the Lotocones and rubber bushes which made the cars a handful at the limit.

Example: The Elite had a significantly longer wheelbase and was much easier to drive quickly.
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: daverubberduck » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:14 pm

Does that mean that the +2 is a better handling car?
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:52 am

daverubberduck wrote:Does that mean that the +2 is a better handling car?

Yes.
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