Lotus Elan

My Personal Disaster

PostPost by: EPA » Fri May 05, 2017 8:13 pm

Really sorry to hear about this - I hope you can find a way to get it fixed.
All the best whatever you decide to do
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PostPost by: Bart Jan van der Ceelen » Fri May 05, 2017 8:32 pm

Really sorry for your loss. I had a similar experience two years back. I have been reading a lot about engine bay fires in Elans on this forum.
My impression is that these fires are a major risk for all of us.
Once you have had some time to reflect, it would be really beneficial for the community if you are able to find and share the root cause?


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PostPost by: elanner » Fri May 05, 2017 9:13 pm

To reiterate earlier responses, I'd really like to know:

1/ If you know what caused the fire. Carbs leaking? If so, from where? Not fuel related, but an electrical short circuit? Some sort of overheating?

2/ If you used a fire extinguisher on it? If so, how large was the extinguisher? What type? If not, how was it put out?

3/ Did you open the bonnet to extinguish it? Was that the right thing to do? (Not that I know what the alternative would be.)

4/ How long was the entire episode? 1 minute? 15 minutes? I have no idea how long such things take.

5/ What was the first sign of trouble? Smell? Smoke? Flames? Hot toes?

Apologies for the cross examination at such a miserable time. But you have experienced what all of us dread.

FWIW, I agree with the others. Try to fix. Even if you have to wait a few years to save the spondoolicks. Coupes are too valuable to part out.

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri May 05, 2017 10:08 pm

My car looked worse than that after a fire in 1983ish.
Repair at that time cost about 5.5K?

Extra cost was caused by the delay while the insurance company faffed about before the repair was started and the initial problem was not helped by the fire brigade deciding to fill the fuel tank with water to avoid a vapour explosion. (the fire never got anywhere near the rear of the car).

Interior was smoke damaged but not burned. Instruments were OK, but the Webers were thought to be distorted & were replaced with Dellortos.
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PostPost by: 661 » Fri May 05, 2017 10:40 pm

Glad you are Ok.

Whatever happens from now on I hope you are content with.
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PostPost by: Briggs1 » Fri May 05, 2017 11:59 pm

I lost a Europa about 7 years ago to a fire.

buy it back from the insurance company and part it out if you do not have the heart to rebuild.

You will profit from it.

Remember - it is only a car. They can be replaced. It's the inhabitants that really matter.

Sorry for your loss.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat May 06, 2017 1:56 am

Sorry to see such a nice car damaged.
The engine bay fire I had in my Plus 2 around 4 years ago now is costing approximately A$10000 for paitning and minor fibreglass repairs and around A$5000 for damaged engine bay components plus my time all paid by the insurance company for repairs. Similar engine bay damage but no interior damage like on yours. They are all repairable even after a disaster like this

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PostPost by: ceejay » Sat May 06, 2017 3:43 am

Sorry to hear and read about your loss... car fires are terrifying. Hope you can see your way forward to rebuild/refurbish.
I think it is fair to say that from years gone by, we have all heard about engine bay fires in the lotus elan.
For the sake of all current elan owners, can you pin point what actually caused the fire?
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PostPost by: AHM » Sat May 06, 2017 5:24 am

1 You are OK - The car really isn't important. Think positive - It's a hobby and this is just a good excuse to do more office!

2 there isn't a third party to sue so it's down to whatever you agreed with the insurer.

3 make sure that the insurance company don't take it away - It is yours not theirs. Once they have it you are in the machine

4 do as David says but try to get a specialist to quote before the insurer writes it off.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sat May 06, 2017 5:31 am

You have my sympathies as well, to see something you've looked after for years go up in flames is a nasty experience for anyone.

Galwaylotus wrote:
pharriso wrote:Oh my :cry: :cry: :cry:
I am so sorry for your loss.

"My insurance company only wants to pay what was listed as its value nearly nine years ago"

Can't you fight that with comparable values today?

Apparently not as I hadn't revised the value upward over the years. They'll only pay the lower of market value or the value listed on the policy.

By coincidence my insurance is up this month and I'm getting the "you must send pictures/get valuation/etc" line again, which seems to happen almost every other year. Reading the above it makes me wonder if it's not better just to record the condition of the car and go for "market value" instead. I suppose if you have a concours car which is higher than the market average then agreed value works, but for the average Elan with prices seeming to rise every year perhaps the agreed value route is no longer relevant ?

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat May 06, 2017 10:44 am

Sorry to see this..... I had a similar incident 10+ years ago but i was lucky enough to stop outside a Pet shop who's owner ran out with a Fire Extinguisher. Since then i've put two 1kg extinguishers inside the car (behind the front seats) and a 3kg in the boot, i know it's a bit overkill but it's the worse feeling in the world seeing fire and not being able to do anything about it.

As for the Insurance, work deals quite a bit with Insurance Company's and the agree'd value is a trap that has caught many people out over the years. It seemed to be a regular occurrence that owners would have to add quite large sums of money to the Insurance to complete repairs.
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PostPost by: Gray » Sat May 06, 2017 11:51 am

Sorry to see this, having experienced it myself many years ago its not a nice experience. As others have said it can be rebuilt, mine was a lot worse but I repaired it myself after reaching a settlement with the insurers. If you do keep the car try to ensure it is not written off as a category C/D, although I'm not sure if insurers are allowed to settle without informing DVLA these days.
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PostPost by: patrics » Sat May 06, 2017 8:44 pm

Your okay and that's all that matters, but your car still looks in good condition compared to say the bag of bits 69 Elan on eBay that sold for approx ?17000
Love to know how much you would have to pay to keep it.

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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sat May 06, 2017 8:49 pm

I'll find out when the insurance company gets salvage bids. Unfortunately I have no place to store the car or to work on it and this soon after the loss I must admit I don't have the heart to start a restoration. Considering the history represented by the Elan I really want to find someone who will restore it as I'd hate to see it scrapped. I'm certainly on the lookout for any expressions of interest.
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PostPost by: patrics » Sat May 06, 2017 9:03 pm

Space is alway a problem for normal people - I have two play cars but only space for one - can't see the wife let me store my +2 on the decking for to long!
Do think carefully because a bag of bits fetches serious money and your car still looks good

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