Lotus Elan

Fascinating Photo Taken in Cheshunt in 1963

PostPost by: Craven » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:09 pm

How would you set the wing mirrors for LHD.
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PostPost by: baileyman » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:32 pm

The white cars appear to have body color in the wheelwells. Though rockers do seem to be blacked.

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:46 pm

I believe the wheel wells were always body colour from the factory.
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:07 pm

Outstanding historical picture! It does seem to support the idea that the earliest yellow Elans (built during the transition from Elite production to Elan production) were painted in Primrose yellow matching the yellow Elites. In those days I think production was running at 2 - 3 Elans per day, which would mean these three trucks would represent a week of Elan production.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:30 pm

A few observations:

1. I can attest that the wheel wells were indeed body color from the factory. At least on my original S4.
2. There are several Federal cars present. Two rear lights plus the reflector (looks like 3 light cluster). Also, seems that you can make out the LHD.
3. The hoods(tops) on the DHC's seem rather ill fitting. Also note the lower edge of the rear window is straight. I thought this always indicated a replacement top but apparently not on these. I believe my S4 originally came with a curved lower edge.
4. The parked wipers seem to be in the same position whether LHD or RHD.

Great that you can pore over this photograph and pick up these details. Thanks for sharing.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:59 pm

What a magnificent photo!

Now everyone that pulled out a magnifying glass say "I" !

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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:27 pm

Hi 1owner69Elan,

Anorak ALERT:
These cars are all "roadsters" with roofs that didn't fold down into the body, which is part of the reason that the fit is so poor. (These must be early S1s) The DHC came in with the S3 body, which began as a coupe, with its roof cut off. I believe the S3 and S4 DHCs did (originally) have a curved lower edge on the rear window.

1owner69Elan wrote:A few observations:

3. The hoods(tops) on the DHC's seem rather ill fitting. Also note the lower edge of the rear window is straight. I thought this always indicated a replacement top but apparently not on these. I believe my S4 originally came with a curved lower edge.



Can anyone identify the black car parked at the back with the Cortinas?
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PostPost by: rcfurse » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:36 pm

Ford Corsair.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:05 pm

rcfurse wrote:Ford Corsair.


I can't see a Corsair anywhere in the photo, but I think the car you mean is a BRG Mk1 Lotus Cortina, one of three so I'm reliably informed,
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PostPost by: patrics » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:20 pm

Hi,
I thinks knockoffnut means the black car behind the Cortina's

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:44 pm

I still can't see it, must be going blind. I can see a BRG Elite with a white circle on the door two cars behind the BRG Cortina. To the right of that, past the Anglia, is a man in a long dark coating putting something into the boot of an Elan.
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PostPost by: Coupe » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:13 pm

I showed a copy of the photo to Warren King who worked as accountant both at Cheshunt and Hethel. Warren confirmed the following:

That's a remarkable photograph for several reasons.
It was taken from the window at the back of the original Accounts office at the right of the Admin block at the front of the Lotus Cars building. The Elan was clearly in full flow production, and there are Cortinas awaiting collection as well. It was probably in 1963 or 1964. It is a good view of the staff car park which by then was at the back of the field alongside Lotus. Activity had long outgrown the original staff car park at the rear of the main site.
As a further indication of increased activity, even more engineers and their drawing boards were employed, and the Accounts department was re-located from the office in the Admin block to an old Scouts Hut acquired for the purpose and placed in the field alongside. You can see the end of the hut in the photo.
You can also make out the back of my white Lotus Seven by the fence of the car park. I used the Seven as my everyday car as well as a little Club racing from the time I bought it in 1958. Now and then I had the use of another car for a short period during that time.
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PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:28 am

The Elites look like Bristol bodies sans suspension. Some of the white ?lans along the left look like possible shells for kits. My car was a white kit, I wonder if it is there.
The grey ?lans might be primer but I don?t think the gold Elan was a stock color, so why would they ship primer cars?
I had an early Elva Courier, it was dark green, but all the Couriers shipped to the US were white, and the dealers painted them to order. Not very good paint job either.
Ha Ha on the Lot/Us.
What I heard, which is one of a dozen stories as to the name, that it came from the first car being a Trials car, and ran through quite a bit of mud. There is an old east Asian saying, "Out of the mud grows the lotus."
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:11 am

Lotus14S2 wrote:The grey ?lans might be primer but I don?t think the gold Elan was a stock color, so why would they ship primer cars?


Anything to make a sale. Some customers requested a custom color, so the sales department would gladly do so for an additional charge. Dealers wanted cars shipped in primer so they could paint to local tastes or customer request and pad the sale.
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:40 am

I continue to learn many things from this Forum.

All these years, as an American, I never properly understood the term ?drop head coupe? (DHC) vs ?roadster?. Just thought they were interchangeable with convertible.

Thanks to knockoffnut?s post I now do understand the difference. Thanks. (Seriously, not being facetious).

Also, this forum has taught me the word ?anorak?. Not American English. Closest I can come up with is ?geek? or ?nerd?. Undoubtedly many of my posts qualify me for all the above.
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