Lotus Elan

Elan vs Elite Interior Room

PostPost by: maxminshull » Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:55 am

Hi everyone -
I have a question about the Lotus Type 14 Elite. As an Elan owner, I'm considering one, but being tall (6'6 and 36in inseam), I was hoping someone could pipe in about the legroom on an Elite vs Elan, as I fit fine in my S3 Elan.

Thanks!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:35 am

I'm 6ft 5inches and fit into my S3 Elan Coupe quite comfortably. I bought an Elite for restoration 10 or so years back and after trying a few configurations of seat, and trying to drive a couple of standard cars, I concluded that I couldn't really drive it with any degree of comfort!

I didn't measure the difference between the Elan and the Elite, but the roof on the Elite seems to be a fair bit lower, and the seating area a fair bit shorter, The seat can't go back as far as the Elan seat due to the large rear strut fibreglass housings projecting into the passenger space.

If the car had been up and running I would probably have kept it for the occasional 15 minute blast, which is about all I could manage. But the prospect of spending 1500 or so hours restoring a car I couldn't really use lost it's appeal....although the car still appeals hugely!

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:01 am

Well Mark, when we're living in a post Covid world and the weather gets better come up and pay me a visit.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Dec 12, 2020 12:13 pm

It's looking gorgeous Rob. But I still won't fit!

It's a shame that someone like Peter Wheeler, chaiman of TVR in the 1990s, didn't have input into the design of early Lotii for lanky gits like me. He was 6ft 7inches tall, and when I sat in my old TVR Griffith with the seat fully back, I couldn't reach the pedals. Anybody under 5ft 6inches has to have a booster seat to drive the car....the way things should be!

Here she is at Malvern Club Lotus show in April 2010....

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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Dec 12, 2020 12:33 pm

Elanintheforest wrote: Anybody under 5ft 6inches has to have a booster seat to drive the car....the way things should be!

Mark



Six foot six!!!, six foot seven!!! What's going on ? Have I stumbled into some kind of Brobdingnaggian enclave? I'd have to go and live up a mountain just to look you all in the eye. Whatever happened to the advice I got from the 1950's Joe Wickes equivalent my primary school brought in to give us a talk on fitness and err ... 'healthy' living. I remember him saying that the perfect human being was 5' 8" tall and the same between outstretched arms (by coincidence, his measurements :roll: ). If it was good enough for him and good enough for ACBC it's good enough for me. Not only are my legs long enough to reach the ground, they seem to reach the pedals in the Elan quite easily as well. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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PostPost by: Mike Ostrov » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:38 pm

maxminschull, good morning. I have a few Type 14 Elites (used to have 9) in my little Lotus hobby shop and a local lad's S4 Elan FHC with electrical issues. If you wish, I will do some interior measurements today after we all have lunch, Al Fresco, under the Bay Leaf Trees. Something we have done for 30+ years on Weds and Sats.
Cheers. Mike, in the San Francisco Bay Area, near Berkeley.
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PostPost by: maxminshull » Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:39 pm

Thanks to everyone for the advice and recommendations, I am truly grateful. Looks like a long shot but may be worth trying either way! Just glad that somehow the Elan was made to be the smallest dimension yet tallest fitting car of all time.


Hey Mike-
Thanks for the offer. Honestly, if possible it may be even better if I stopped by the shop next time I'm in the Bay, which I will be soon to be fitted into a Formula Ford from the 80s for racing (yes, another small car!!).
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PostPost by: Mike Ostrov » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:40 pm

Sure, please give me a ring or email when you are up this way. I am 31 minutes (between 02:00 and 04:00) from Sears Point Raceway. 40 of us built it in 1967. Buckets of fun...........not much profit. I am in El Sobrante. Ran a FF Winkleman WDF2 for a number of year and other SCCA Lotus car. Cheers. Mike.
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