Lotus Elan

Elan chassis 36/6810

PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:27 pm

After all, how many people know where Cheshunt or Hethel are located, especially on this side of the pond!

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PostPost by: cadwell » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:31 pm

Absolutely, that’s probably what they were counting on!
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:26 pm

Back in the day, I don’t think Lotus could careless about the address on the chassis plate.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:14 pm

Interestingly, I came across this article whilst sorting out some car magazines I’m moving on. From Classic and sportscar March 2000. Doesn’t help with your provenance questions, but thought you’d like to see it.

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E61E8B7C-AEAE-41DC-AA6F-1ADDF448BB40.jpeg and
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PostPost by: cadwell » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:24 pm

Thank you for that Richard very interesting and definitely not an S4
Rob will be very interested in this
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:28 pm

Guys,
I have not headed out yet to see the car. Been busy with my computer business. Where are on the Elan chassis is the unit number stamped? When I go out there, I just want to make sure I am looking in all the right places.
Tony Vaccaro
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PostPost by: cadwell » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:35 pm

Tony
It is not on the chassis, it is an easily seen plate under the bonnet near the bulkhead. Very obvious when you open the bonnet. Have you seen Richard's post on Graham Hill's car. Chassis number 6810!!

Peter
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:57 pm

cadwell wrote:Tony
It is not on the chassis, it is an easily seen plate under the bonnet near the bulkhead. Very obvious when you open the bonnet. Have you seen Richard's post on Graham Hill's car. Chassis number 6810!!

Peter


I know it would be on the VIN plate attached to the left side, top of the footwell., I thought it was in a secondary place on the chassis frame that I could check. I am pretty sure when I go out there it will be on the VIN plate. When you bring cars in from overseas to New York State, you must have the car inspected by the State Police and they check the VIN on the paperwork against the VIN on the car. Car is here so i suspect it was checked and they matched between paperwork and VIN plate.

What I don't understand is there is no question 36/6810 was sold to my guy by Lotus. I have the paperwork here. It was brought to the states sometime in the late 70's or 80's. Rob's car was in Maine in the early 70's.

I remember hearing or reading that Lotus would make two cars with the exact same VIN for people close to Lotus so they could have two cars in two different places without paying twice the tax. I guess my next move if the number is on the VIN plate is to send this to the Lotus archivist. See what his thoughts are.
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99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
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PostPost by: cadwell » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:07 pm

If the car is only 20mins away why cannot you go and check
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:17 pm

Hi Tony,
There should be a chassis number stamped into the top, right hand chassis rail just forward of the right hand engine mount.
Cheers,
Colin.





uote="tvacc"]
cadwell wrote:Tony
It is not on the chassis, it is an easily seen plate under the bonnet near the bulkhead. Very obvious when you open the bonnet. Have you seen Richard's post on Graham Hill's car. Chassis number 6810!!

Peter


I know it would be on the VIN plate attached to the left side, top of the footwell., I thought it was in a secondary place on the chassis frame that I could check. I am pretty sure when I go out there it will be on the VIN plate. When you bring cars in from overseas to New York State, you must have the car inspected by the State Police and they check the VIN on the paperwork against the VIN on the car. Car is here so i suspect it was checked and they matched between paperwork and VIN plate.

What I don't understand is there is no question 36/6810 was sold to my guy by Lotus. I have the paperwork here. It was brought to the states sometime in the late 70's or 80's. Rob's car was in Maine in the early 70's.

I remember hearing or reading that Lotus would make two cars with the exact same VIN for people close to Lotus so they could have two cars in two different places without paying twice the tax. I guess my next move if the number is on the VIN plate is to send this to the Lotus archivist. See what his thoughts are.[/quote]
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:12 pm

Tony, you need to take a rag to get rid of any gunge on the induction side chassis rail to read the the Unit No, if you can get in there.

If you can, it may be better to look for a crayoned on Unit No in either headlamp bucket or, if you’re up to pulling the door card, on the inside skin of the door.

I know there have been several stories of duplicate cars, tax dodges and underhand dealing at Lotus in the Cheshunt years. Whilst there may have been one or two such instances, it is my belief these were very isolated cases. Furthermore, if there had been such widespread abuse I’m pretty certain it would have been uncovered by now.

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PostPost by: elancoupe » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:25 pm

This is certainly an interesting saga, hopefully the outcome is good for all concerned.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:27 pm

cadwell wrote:If the car is only 20mins away why cannot you go and check


Well, I am in the service business. Normally we close on Saturdays in the summer. With the Covid-19 thing going on our business has really picked up. I tried to go out this morning but got called into the store by people wanting to pickup and drop off computers. I need my son to go out with me as I cannot move the car by myself and while he was able to help me this morning, he could not help me when I was able to go.

I will try again tomorrow morning. Sorry for the delay. I find it very hard to live with my new situation. I used to just hop in the car, drive hours to get cars, move stuff, etc. I am very upset at how my life has been flipped over but there is not much I can do about it. If I don't watch myself it won't make much difference what I do with my cars as I will not be the person enjoying them :). It is a bitch to get old but the alternative really sucks.
Tony Vaccaro
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99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:18 pm

trw99 wrote:Tony, you need to take a rag to get rid of any gunge on the induction side chassis rail to read the the Unit No, if you can get in there.
Tim


Tony, here is mine:
ChassisNumber_0260K.JPG and
Carbs removed...
Phil Harrison
1972 Elan Sprint 0260K
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PostPost by: Thornts » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:11 pm

Guys, calm down. Tony will get to it when he gets to it. As I said before, health is more important.
In the mean time I've had a fairly busy day digging through paperwork that Tom sent to me when he shipped the car so I'll fire off what I believe to be the case here.
I'll put money on Tony finding that the S4 he has does not carry VIN 36/6810 on either the plate on the top of the footwell or the chassis near the engine mount but time will tell.
Within the paperwork I have there is reference to Christopher Young, who Tom bought the car from, buying it from "an oriental gentleman". Having never been able to track Young down (come on lotuselan.net, work your magic), I was not able to verify this and sort of believed it to be a potential red herring. Until today. Peter 'Cadwell' gave me the surname on the 1969 Lotus Invoice (the USAF guy) so I googled that name, USAF and 'obituary' and found a quite moving YouTube clip of a USAF chap's memorial gathering. Guess what, he turns out to be, and I apologise if my terminology offends, Japanese or of very strong Japanese decent. Maybe I have a totally different guy but if the deceased gentleman had the initials EKK and nickname 'Tojo', I'd say I'm on the right track. He also apparently had a penchant for JD so I'll be having a shot to his memory shortly! It is also clear from the various eulogies on the YouTube clip that he was a 'car guy' and owned multiple machines.
OK, so where are we?
What is clear is Lotus definitely supplied Graham with a yellow (in case you are wondering how I know it was yellow from a black and white photograph, I checked with Norfolk County Council's archive of vehicle registrations) Series 3 SE fixed head Elan, Chassis Number 36/6810. I have numerous letters from Lotus over the years, a copy of the the Factory Chassis Records and Certificate of Vehicle Provenance from Andy Graham all confirming this so I suggest we take that as fact.
Though I haven't yet seen it I understand there is paperwork proving the USAF guy bought 36/6810 from Lotus and he took it back to the US as proven by the NY registration document which also states it is a 1967 car.
Beyond this we are possibly into a bit of conjecture but Young buying my car from an 'oriental gentleman' and the paperwork for it being with the estate of just such a person seems to me to be beyond coincidence.
Perhaps the simplest explanation is that the USAF guy had more than one Elan over the years, sold 36/6810 to Young but didn't pass the Lotus invoice/warranty on to him. With his passing the paperwork for 36/6810 got mistakenly associated with the S4 Tony bought in good faith. Is there a way of checking with the estate to see if my theory holds water?
Let's see what Tony finds when he pops the hood and go from there. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if it was a totally legitimate Elan S4, just not Graham's S3.
Cheers all
Rob
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