Lotus Elan

26R Headlamps

PostPost by: knockoffnut » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:49 pm

Hi all,
I wonder if 26R owners (past and present, and anyone who might have pictures) could chime in here on correct headlamp fitment for 26R? I am looking specifically for the second series oval taillamp 26R with the smaller headlamps mounted behind small oval plexi covers (I am loathed to call them Chinese eye). I have either read or been told at some point that these 26Rs came with Lucas fully enclosed spotlamps similar to the SLD570 with a single stud rear swivel mounting, as used for driving lamps on Jaguar sedans, but other cars seem to have regular 5 1/2" standard headlamps mounted in normal flange mounted bowls, as found on many cars, with a chrome trim ring covering the mounting. Can anyone comment on original headlamp fitment for second series 26Rs? All input is appreciated.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:53 am

This is an interesting subject as I'm sure there are different views out there...and although I have bought mine...I have not fitted them yet as my project (S2 26R "continuation", not a S1) is coming along slowly!

I carefully consulted a few folks here by PM and two ideas pop up: either using the small auxillary lamps from a Mk2 Jaguar or 5 3/4 headlamps (146mm) '60s units.

I did not retain the former for reasons of cost, weight and effectiveness [the Lucas lamps with the chromed dome have a very annoying "black spot" which hides the scenery, not exactly handy on tight, twisty roads in the Ard?che in winter...when pressing on!]

As I was looking for LHD lamps for use in Europe (living in France) and I wanted to avoid any contr?le technique or gendarmerie headaches, I have opted for Cibi? lamps which fit Lucas headlamp bowls (plastic these days) and have the ECE mark.

As Cibi? as part of Val?o, these lamps are not too difficult to find in France, indeed I bought mine from "Yakarouler" for about 35? each (just for the lamp unit). They have Cibi? markings although they are sold in Val?o boxes. I believe Holden may stock these in GB, but were out of LHD units when I looked last. I did order Lucas chrome bezels from Holden, but I have not yet worked out how they fit the Cibi? units without modification (I was planning to seek advice from Nicolas Mauduit, my fellow Forum chum from the Paris region).

For bulbs I have purchased some uprated white H4s from Philips, but I'm alos tempted to get the yellow ones...
Last edited by Frogelan on Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:27 pm

Thanks for your comments. Someone told me once that the Lucas driving lamps with the chrome central "bullet" were the original fitment on these cars, similar to those used on the Lotus Seven series one cars (which originally used one spot and one flog with indicators as a later option), but with the rear single stud swivel mounting as used on Jaguar sedan driving lights, so I looked at period photos and found some evidence supporting this, and have sourced a pair of those Lucas lamps. Other reliable sources have since pointed me towards the standard 5 3/4" headlamps mounted in flange mounted adjusting pots with H4 headlamps as being original fitment, and a further search of period photos supports this as well. perhaps cars were shipped from the factory in both of these configurations? It is hard to find good period photos of 26R S2 cars to check, and even harder to know what was original versus a modification, so I am hoping that some of the folks on here have direct, original experience from owning 26R-S2 cars from new, and are willing to share that. All comments are appreciated.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:39 pm

Correct. The Lucas lamps with the chrome buttons were apparently fitted originally - Vaughan Stibberd's very original 26R S2 came like this with the fixing you describe.

I spent quite some time head scratching on this subject.

The next question we need to address is the correct number of screws on the oval covers... :D
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:36 pm

Thank you. I too have been looking at screw patterns on the oval covers. My research leads me to believe that the small oval covers were mounted with six screws (one top, one bottom, two on each side), though I do have one photo which shows only three screws on what appears to be an original S2 26R. The S1 style larger clear covers were attached (I think) with four screws on four L brackets, but I would be interested to hear feedback on this topic from those who know!

Frogelan wrote:The next question we need to address is the correct number of screws on the oval covers... :D
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PostPost by: 661 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:34 pm

I agree, 4 L shape brackets, although Kelvedon recommend 3 on their website.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:57 am

If you look at the period 26R Parts List you find that both ordinary headlamps or fog/spot lamps were available. This is borne out by looking at the attached period photos, too.

The Parts List and period photos also confirms that six screws were used to fit the Perspex covers.

Tim
Attachments
brand-new-26r-s2-is-deleivered.jpg and
1965-racing-car-show-jan-26r-a.jpg and
26-s2-34-a-john-miles-with-jeff-uren-at-brands-hatch-in-1966.jpg
26-s2-34-a-john-miles-with-jeff-uren-at-brands-hatch-in-1966.jpg (10.44 KiB) Viewed 558 times
26-s2-22-car-no-60-driven-by-karl-von-wendt-entered-by-jochen-neerspasch-in-the-flugplatzrennen-wien-aspern-um-den-donau-pokal-on-17-oct-65..png
26-s2-22-car-no-60-driven-by-karl-von-wendt-entered-by-jochen-neerspasch-in-the-flugplatzrennen-wien-aspern-um-den-donau-pokal-on-17-oct-65..png (66.84 KiB) Viewed 558 times
26r-parts-catalogue-lights.png and
26r-parts-catalogue-covers.png and
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:32 pm

Thank you, Tim. This is very helpful. The bulbs listed are 50/40 watt which leads me to believe that that they probably had high/low beam bulbs, even if using the "spotlamp" style mounting, especially when they say "converted". That all makes sense and explains what I have found in photos. Here is a recent picture of mine. Cheers, Andrew
img-20181123-02255.jpg and
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:12 am

Tim

Here is this month's anorak question from me...

The 2nd photo of your last post shows a (white?) S2 26R headlamp with a bumper equipped with the chrome trim.

Is this the photo of the 1965 Racing Car show car (in the Harvey book)...(a S2 26R with a full width bumper running from wheel arch to wheel arch) and if not could you post or send me a copy by any chance ?

Many thanks

Andrew
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:47 pm

Andrew, yes the same, as below.

Curious about the front bumper being standard? I was too until I realised that the shortened bumper was used later in 1965, the Ray Parsons S1 (which was a sort of S1/S2 26R anyway) being the first evidence of one that I could find.

Tim
Attachments
1965-racing-car-show-jan-26r-a.jpg and
26r-1965-racing-car-show.jpg
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:32 pm

Thanks for those pictures, Tim. It looks to me like that white 26R car has no heater vent air cutout, but does have the bumper trim strip and full width bumper, and the Elan name plates on the fenders. I think I have seen period pictures of 26R cars with and without the vent air cutout, with and without bumper strips, and name plates, and now we have heard that they were build with either spotlamps of normal headlamps behind the plexi covers. Is it possible that the factory offered both "road" and "track" versions of the 26R, or is it simply that these cars were built using whatever "Allen" chose to pick up or was at hand on the day that he was asked to assemble a 26R? I have heard from an ex-Lotus employee that Colin was often very short of funds and many build decisions were based on which supplier had been paid (or not) and cars were built using any available parts with alternate supply sourced in case of issues with a supplier. I have also heard that the "show" cars were often built to a higher standard than the customer cars which could explain the trim strip and name plates on the show car.

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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:35 pm

If there is any way that you could email a high res version of those two pictures of the white show car to me, Tim, so I can zoom in on them I would be most grateful.
cheers, Andrew
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PostPost by: jabingb » Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:31 pm

Here are a couple pixs of an S2 left headlight assembly and cover. I believe the headlight assmebly is a Jaguar driving light of some form. I agree the Perspec cover is attached with 6 fasteners.

What I don't have, as the DPO had screwed molded fiberglass covers into the inset for SCCA racing, are the clips/tabs that hold the original covers in place. If anyone has one of those I'd appreciate a pix and measurement of it? Thx, Jerry

s2-headlight.jpg and

s2-headlight-cover.jpg and
Last edited by jabingb on Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:20 pm

Andrew, I have never heard of road and/or track 26R versions and I?m pretty sure that if there been such, we would know about it by now.

Yes, parts were used up on cars; yes suppliers were left unpaid for ages and sometimes alternates had to be found. But these were exceptions rather than rules so we must beware of assuming all cars were bitsas.

The 26R was built by Components, not on the production line. Furthermore I?m fairly sure (though not certain) all 26Rs were built to order, so owners were able to specify the fit out of their car to their tastes. Which all makes it tricky to assume specifics on these cars!

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PostPost by: Frogelan » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:00 pm

Tim

Thank you for the pics of the 1965 show car. Higher resolution would be great if you have it.

Several questions:

- any idea of when this was built ?
- other pictures from the rear (Vauxhall rear lights?)
- the rear shows wider body work...have you a better image of the front wings ?
- low backed or high backed chassis ?
- is there any history attached to this car ?

Many thanks

Andrew (Frogelan)
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