Lotus Elan

How do I know if mine is an SE?

PostPost by: JerryBoone » Fri Jul 21, 2023 4:52 am

I'm working on the body of my Federal '69 (built late in '68) S4. I noticed the remnants of a single hole in the rear passenger fender. I assumed it was for a world champion badge or such, but now I'm wondering if it is where an SE badge should go. It's a '69 with the recessed switches in the dash and the chrome trim strips below the doors. Are there other things I should be looking for?

The car had been repainted decades ago and whoever did the work then filled in the hole, so the fender has been unadorned for most of the car's life.

Thanks for any insight you can offer.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jul 21, 2023 8:01 am

All Federal Elans were to SE spec by the time your Elan rolled off the production line at Hethel. Early 1968 was when the factory introduced that spec, from memory.

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PostPost by: smo17003 » Fri Jul 21, 2023 8:19 am

This old topic should cover S4 badges for you. viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17649

Put "S4 badges" in the search box and there's a few more.

The rear fender badges are fixed with two pins, not one. Sometimes you can find their original locations by looking inside the boot, at the inner fenders, while shining a torch (flashlight) through from outside.

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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Jul 21, 2023 8:23 am

This thread will help. Note the S4 sales sheet which lists S/E specific extras.

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=22182

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PostPost by: skyarch » Fri Jul 21, 2023 12:17 pm

Actually SE was also 1967
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PostPost by: JerryBoone » Sat Jul 22, 2023 4:09 am

Thanks everyone. Looking at the list of things included on an SE, I can say, without reservation, that isn't what I've got. She's just an everyday mixed breed of S3 and S4 parts that seem to play well together. Now, back to sanding.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Sat Jul 22, 2023 10:36 pm

When (!) you remove the cam cover, a single groove round the boss that the sprockets bolt to will define it to be an SE engine. Here's the picture from the master of the Twin Cam engine's book: Miles Wilkins.

Cam i.d. (Wilkins).jpg and
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PostPost by: DrinkMan » Sun Sep 10, 2023 6:59 pm

There were a few 1966 S2 S/E Roadsters as well. (we have one with the original sales paperwork)
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PostPost by: l10tus » Sun Nov 19, 2023 11:16 am

I have a 1966 S2 se, too.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon Nov 20, 2023 12:00 am

l10tus wrote:I have a 1966 S2 se, too.

Time to update your postscript! Any pictures of it, please?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Nov 20, 2023 9:30 am

The SE package was introduced late in the Series 2 production run. Here is Lotus own advert:

The Series 3 was introduced fairly soon thereafter and the SE option was immediately popular.

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1966 S2 SE Intro Sheet.pdf
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Nov 20, 2023 1:47 pm

Tim, it says on the sheet that the S/E had inertia reel seatbelts, but my S4 S/E doesn't. Is it another case of Lotus fitting what was to hand, and how can I fit them myself?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Nov 20, 2023 3:34 pm

Inertia reel belts were indeed fitted by the factory to some late S2s and mostly early S3s.

However, for some reason, lost in the mists of time, they appear not to have been too popular, were too difficult to fit on the production line or what have you. Lotus soon reverted to the static belts we all love so much.

The attached photo shows the Lotus Junior Elan seat as well as the inertia reel belts, in this case fitted to a Series 2.

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Junior Elan Seat a.jpg and
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:44 pm

Gosh, a “Super Safety” seat!

I can imagine a child catapulted over the windscreen in a front end collision… lethal.
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PostPost by: l10tus » Mon Nov 20, 2023 10:24 pm

Different!
I also notice the polished aluminium rail around the rear of the cockpit area, appears to be in the wrong place?

Seems the rail was positioned about 40mm down from the top edge, but your one appears to be flush with the top???
Interested to know - does it also have carpets?
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