Lotus Elan

Is it possible to have a relaxed drive in a Elan?

PostPost by: tdskip » Thu Aug 12, 2021 3:38 pm

Let me hasten to say that I’m not complaining but this thing (S4 DHC) is just so alive and fizzy that I can’t imagine just cruising in one...

I know that this is not new news to more experience owners what it’s like having a quad shot of espresso every time I get in it.

Huge fun (That is only something I’m able to enjoy because of all the help the community has asked)
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PostPost by: billmoore42 » Thu Aug 12, 2021 4:45 pm

Unless you have a 5 speed, I believe you are referring to the lack of a high enough top gear. I purchased a 3.1 CWP and plan to install it in my differential when I get the time. I hope this will lead to more relaxed cruising, and not worrying so much about the engine at a constant 4000 rpm just to keep up with traffic on the freeway.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Thu Aug 12, 2021 5:12 pm

or maybe you are referring to a elan, rather than a +2 which might feel more stable because of more rear toe-in?
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:51 pm

Sounds like He's just having fun to me....And yes, I'd say its not a relaxing drive....which is a positive to me.
If I want to relax while driving I take the exceedingly boring reliable appliance that my wife has. Also known as a corolla.
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:20 pm

It's easy to go fast in a Lotus on the right kind of road. Speed limit is 45 the curve up ahead says 35mph, easy to take at 40 mph. A nice relaxed drive.
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PostPost by: baileyman » Thu Aug 12, 2021 9:08 pm

Currently in Manhattan Beach sans Elan, but I cannot imagine it being relaxing around here, or even fun without being relaxing. Too many tall vehicles racing for stoplights. Next week we are back in Massachusetts, where the answer to the first is "possible" and the second "always". Interestingly Bob Chalman's shop was a walk from here, so I guess it must have been different then. John
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Aug 12, 2021 10:48 pm

Having just completed a 300 mile round trip drive to the Monterey Car Week, these are my comments:

Note that I have a 5 speed Voigts gearbox with a 0.75 overdrive 5th.

1. I could comfortably cruise at 80+ mph as far as the revs are concerned. High speeds are readily achieved with no strain on the engine. I had to resist going 90 or more. No issue of keeping up with any fast moving traffic.

2. Wind noise is substantial with top up. This is probably my biggest "complaint". What's funny is I don't remember this from the past (I've had the car for 52 years but didn't have the top up since 1980 or so.)

3. Driving the car in heat and traffic, definitely not comfortable. Car behaved well but we (my wife and I) were exhausted after a 150 mile trip. No creature comforts (e.g. air conditioning).

4. I have issues with a low hanging exhaust. With the poor state of California highways it was still possible to occasionally ground out even on what should be a smooth road.
On the trip down after having driven about 125 miles, as I exited the highway, my exhaust pipe and muffler (silencer) actually got pulled off completely. I was able to retrieve it from the road and thankfully no other cars were involved. But it was damaged and I drove to our destination with no silencing whatsoever. After many hours of work, with only a hacksaw, hammer, and crescent wrench, I was able to reinstall the exhaust system to survive the rest of the trip.
I can't blame the Elan for this added stress as this is a consequence of my modified big bore exhaust. I will be redoing this to avoid the problem in the future.

5. Saving grace for the trip, and any stress experienced, is that I was able to garner a 1st Place in the Monterey Kickoff car event. Lots of great cars and great people celebrating classic cars.
https://classicmotorsports.com/news/bea ... -car-week/

IMG_6277.jpeg and

IMG_7678.jpeg and
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Fri Aug 13, 2021 12:31 am

Wow
Congratulations 1owner69
you do have a special car and history!!!
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:27 am

Congrats again on your 1st place, Naury

Yes, the Elan soft top is noisier than with the top down. I use foam ear plugs either way.

How were your stiffer springs and dampers on our NorCal roads? Yes heat and traffic are miserable in any top down car.

The original exhaust was a flat oval, made by inserting an piece of wood or metal into the exhaust pipe and pressing it flat on a press roll. I'm tempted to repeat that on my Elan.
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:39 am

It most certainly is possible to have a relaxing drive in an Elan but only if:

1. You have the right road. This means any road where it is the longer way to somewhere so the folks in a hurry and the truckers in 18 wheelers don’t use it much. If you are where they are it will most certainly NOT be relaxing.
2. You are not on a schedule with a defined arrival time. If you can “motor” rather than drive to a schedule it can be very relaxing.
3. You embrace the hummingbird nature of our little cars that are, in fact, “just so alive and fizzy” but like a hummingbird that migrates 10,000 miles a year it is cruising of a different kind in one...

But then how would I know after just an 11, 544 mile relaxing cruise in the spring of this year. :lol:
I did have a 3.55 diff ratio which helped. :wink:
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:49 am

There is probably no one more qualified than Ross to address this question.

His experience makes my last weekend pale in comparison. Not even in the same universe.

I am in awe of what he accomplished.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Fri Aug 13, 2021 5:58 am

Well done Naury and again, double well done Ross!
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Fri Aug 13, 2021 11:08 am

While I'm not in Ross's league I have done a number of 1500 mile trips (mainly in France) in my Elan and found it a very pleasant drive, particularly on the back roads. It does feel somewhat frantic when you first get in, and in that respect it's like many four cylinder motorcycles, particularly Japanese ones. There is a kind of adrenalin boosting characteristic built in to the way they feel. With the Elan though it is possible to get through that and, for want of a better term, relax. It's then a very enjoyable drive. The 1500 mile trips mentioned above are ones I've done using a variety of vehicles, both two and four wheel , and the Elan rates as one of the best compromises. I'd rather use it than my Land Rover for example - as long as you stay off the autoroutes (3.77 diff makes for a slow noisy time).
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PostPost by: RichardS » Fri Aug 13, 2021 11:47 am

tdskip wrote:Let me hasten to say that I’m not complaining but this thing (S4 DHC) is just so alive and fizzy that I can’t imagine just cruising in one...

I know that this is not new news to more experience owners what it’s like having a quad shot of espresso every time I get in it.

Huge fun (That is only something I’m able to enjoy because of all the help the community has asked)


I know what you mean. Did about 20 miles yesterday, eyes constantly glancing to check oil pressure and water temperature and heightened awareness of every little rattle and creak! And as soon as the road clear foot down and that lovely sound of the twin cam. And the way you can take the bends with such poise and balance. The Elan is so compact compared to everything else that the narrowest of roads can be enjoyed. Agree - huge fun every time.

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PostPost by: TBG » Fri Aug 13, 2021 11:50 am

Anyone else fitted a 3:1 CWP? We have done 800 miles in a day with only exhaustion the problem!! The 3:1 transforms the experience. D

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