Lotus Elan

Restore a early Elan steering wheel

PostPost by: loueelotus » Tue Aug 16, 2022 5:15 pm

Hi all, I am planning to restore my steering wheel this winter. Does anyone know a place that it can be done well.. preferably in Canada, then the USA , then international.. i know that spitfire wheels fit. am i correct?

Also I am thinking of getting a 14 inch steering wheel for the car with the same design in wood or leather


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PostPost by: 661 » Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:19 pm

To answer your question first, in the UK I've used Len Chandler. He's excellent.
But......, what's wrong with the beautiful patina you have?
Maybe a wipe with some Danish oil on the varnish that's coming away. Admittedly the picture doesn't tell a thousand words in this case, and it is your wheel, so you have to be happy.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Aug 16, 2022 6:57 pm


I can’t comment on restoration, but there is a company in Gloucestershire UK (Jacob engineering) who offer a replacement/replica for £595. The photos on their web site look impressive. One of the people on this web site ( elan in the forest) lives close by and may comment further.

Hope this helps,

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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Tue Aug 16, 2022 7:33 pm

OK this is for my fellow cheapskates out there. Wrap the wheel in bicycle tape. They use a good leather cover to finish it off.
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PostPost by: nrwian » Tue Aug 16, 2022 10:11 pm

I restored mine recently . Dismantled the hub , just undo the bolts in the back . Remove the 3 alloy spokes , each one has a screw thru the back of the rim . Then very carefully sand back to bare timber . Then apply 4 to 6 coast marine varnish . And reassemble , if you want have the spoke re anodised and the hub repainted .
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Wed Aug 17, 2022 12:03 am

one of the world famous steering wheel restorers is in Quebec, not sure name or exact location.
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PostPost by: zog » Wed Aug 17, 2022 11:40 am

If the wheel is totally shot, then Mike Lempert does a great job of replacing the wood with a metal insert inside of it.



If your wheel just need refinishing, It's not real difficult to take it apart, sand it down yourself and put a little stain on it if needed. Automotive clear works real well for me. I shoot it myself but I would think any auto body shop would shoot the clear for you.

Here's a picture of the wheel I restored on the Elan that will soon be auctioned on Bring A Trailer.....
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Fri Aug 19, 2022 3:55 am

I would like to second the recommendation of Mark Davies at Jacob Engineering (no affiliation). I bought a new 26R wheel from him with a quick release (FIA applicable but not in bright yellow) and it is excellent.

http://jacobengineering.co.uk/index.php ... -wheels-2/

Going back to the website I learnt that there were different timber finishes of the S1/S2 etc wheels per series of Elan by the original supplier (Peter Springall of Woodrims Ltd).
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