Lotus Elan

Poduction number questions

PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:55 am

I have the original build plate for my 1964 Elan S1 with the vin # 26/0379. Chassis number is 26/0739 and Borne body # 26/0304

So the vin numbers starting with a 3 must have happened later on?
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65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:21 am

[quote="lottex"]Does anyone know as to when these early S1's started to adopt for example the aforementioned unit number, eg 3071
We're all the very first cars identified this way.[/quote]

As I wrote earlier in this thread:

As I wrote in the article "... cars carried on coming off the production line with VINs indicating 26/0100, 26/0200 and so on for a while. The point at which that was changed by the factory and the 3 substituted for the first 0 on the actual VIN plate is not known." I should have made it clear that reference then was to Chassis Nos.

What appears to have happened is that the VIN plate, which tended only to carry the Chassis No on these earlier cars, continued using the 26/0### sequence, whilst the accounts and sales departments immediately started using the new 26/3### sequence for the Unit No.

Meanwhile, Chassis Nos carried on in the 0## sequence. Subsequently, the Unit No began to be scribed onto the side of the VIN plate and it was always shown in 26/3### sequence.

I hope that in fact that is the answer you were seeking to your question, lottex?
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:19 am

Tim, sent you a PM with the details of my car. Here are the actual numbers and plates that are on my 1964 Lotus Elan ( the original engine is long gone). What do you make of the various Number sequences?

img_0791.jpg and
Build Plate

img_0764.jpg and
Bourne Body Plate

img_0781.jpg and
Chassis Number
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:15 pm

Certified Lotus wrote:Tim, sent you a PM with the details of my car. Here are the actual numbers and plates that are on my 1964 Lotus Elan ( the original engine is long gone). What do you make of the various Number sequences?

Hi Glen, it is very interesting that your chassis plate shows 26/0379 and your chassis shows 26/0739. I wonder if that is because of a replacement chassis being fitted very early in the life of your car (possibly in the first year), or if it was simply a typo when your (original) chassis was stamped? It is very unlikely that Lotus would have had 400 chassis in a pile and pulled a number that far forward. They did appear to grab the nearest chassis, out of sequence, and the nearest body of the correct colour for a build order, but that much stock would have been precluded by lack of funds. I don't recall when the Lotus body molds entered the number sequence (I do know there was an overlap in production where both Bourne and Lotus bodies were being assembled). Does anyone on here know? The body number 304 on chassis number 26/0379 indicates that either the chassis numbers skipped ahead, or the Lotus body production had already entered the numbering sequence by chassis 26/0379. Does anyone on here have an early non-bourne body S1 with a chassis number prior to 26/0379?

IMG_0791.JPG

IMG_0764.JPG

IMG_0781.JPG
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:00 am

Unit No 3353 is the first Elan I am aware of with a Lotus body number, 3018. It was invoiced in January 1964.

Unit No 3377 has the highest Bourne Body No that I am aware of, 438. It too was Invoiced in January 1964.

Mid February 1964 is when the last Bourne body was fitted, that I am aware of. This indicates that there was a one and a half, perhaps two month change over period when both Lotus and Bourne bodies were being fitted.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:19 am

knockoffnut wrote:
Certified Lotus wrote:Tim, sent you a PM with the details of my car. Here are the actual numbers and plates that are on my 1964 Lotus Elan ( the original engine is long gone). What do you make of the various Number sequences?

Hi Glen, it is very interesting that your chassis plate shows 26/0379 and your chassis shows 26/0739. I wonder if that is because of a replacement chassis being fitted very early in the life of your car (possibly in the first year), or if it was simply a typo when your (original) chassis was stamped? It is very unlikely that Lotus would have had 400 chassis in a pile and pulled a number that far forward. They did appear to grab the nearest chassis, out of sequence, and the nearest body of the correct colour for a build order, but that much stock would have been precluded by lack of funds. I don't recall when the Lotus body molds entered the number sequence (I do know there was an overlap in production where both Bourne and Lotus bodies were being assembled). Does anyone on here know? The body number 304 on chassis number 26/0379 indicates that either the chassis numbers skipped ahead, or the Lotus body production had already entered the numbering sequence by chassis 26/0379. Does anyone on here have an early non-bourne body S1 with a chassis number prior to 26/0379?

The attachment IMG_0791.JPG is no longer available

The attachment IMG_0764.JPG is no longer available

The attachment IMG_0781.JPG is no longer available


I have always wondered if a dyslexic Lotus assembly line mechanic stamped the chassis incorrectly or if the chassis was replaced. I assume the out of sequence chassis Number was due to an error when stamped as the numbers are just out of order, but the same. The question is, when did Lotus stamp the chassis numbers? Was this done at the foundry where they were made or when the chassis was ready to be used to build a car?

The lower body Number suggests that the body was in a place that was not convinient to reach before they finally got to it or (maybe) it was sent back to Bourne for some repair work and then returned to be used out of sequence. I suggest this because my car has a Bourne label fiberglassed into a panel in the boot and it seems this is unusual.
img_0815.jpg and

img_0814.jpg and


It's all a mystery.
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:29 am

trw99 wrote:Unit No 3353 is the first Elan I am aware of with a Lotus body number, 3018. It was invoiced in January 1964.

Unit No 3377 has the highest Bourne Body No that I am aware of, 438. It too was Invoiced in January 1964.

Mid February 1964 is when the last Bourne body was fitted, that I am aware of. This indicates that there was a one and a half, perhaps two month change over period when both Lotus and Bourne bodies were being fitted.

Tim


Tim, if you had to guess, what might you suggest is the reason for the out of sequence different numbers on my car?
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:21 pm

From what I have seen in the early years all of the chassis numbers from car to car are out of sequence. From the photos there were maybe 6 cars being built at any one time, and production was averaging 2-3 cars per day. The unit numbers run generally in sequence, but whoever was building the car grabbed the nearest chassis off the pile of chassis available, and the nearest body that was in the correct colour for the order, from the bodies available in the factory, and began to build an Elan around it. Throughout the unit number sequence the body numbers and chassis numbers jump all over the place. My S1 has a chassis number 60 lower than the unit number (if I ignore the "3XXX" of the unit number). The engine numbers have a slightly more consistent progression with the unit numbers, than the bodies or chassis have, keeping in mind that not all twincams went into Elan production. Some twincams went to racing, spares, and some to Cortina production. Presumably engines were fairly expensive so fewer were kept on the floor of Lotus, while bodies and chassis were ordered in bigger batches and shipped to Lotus so as not to fill up the suppliers' works. My guess would be that your 739 chassis number was a stamping error at the time of first build. There many mistakes made early on, including two cars with the same chassis number (more than once). In addition I am sure that chassis and bodies were also pulled out of the production sequence to be sold separately as spares for the repair of damaged cars.
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PostPost by: chrismseely » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:23 pm

Could someone help me identify the tag that came off of my car? I know it is a 1965 S2. I was told at a show this past weekend that this is a rare car, 1 in 250 to be exact. I am having a hard time finding anything else that says that.

26/4272 is what the tag says
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:09 pm

Hi Chris,
Does it have knock-on wheels or bolt on wheels? Can you possibly post a picture of the car?
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PostPost by: chrismseely » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:34 pm

So I walked onto the project about a year ago, the guy before me did a lot of bad work on the car that I've been trying to fix. Right now the hubs are for a bolt on wheel, but there is a set of knockoff hubs and wheels as well. Originally there were three cars, this 65 S2, another S2 I believe, and then a type 36 coupe which we still have but has been wrecked pretty badly. The knock off hubs could have gone on the coupe or the other roadster, although I haven't found any parts from the second S2 other than a few body pieces that were grafted onto the 65.

The car also has a hardtop.

img_0949.jpg and

img_1322.jpg and

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img_1329.jpg and

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