Lotus Elan

Elan DHC and burr walnut dashboard

PostPost by: JonB » Sun Nov 26, 2023 8:58 am

Sorry for the odd question… I’m having a dash made for my S4 as the old dash isn’t reusable. I was going to keep it in teak veneer but I’m thinking about walnut as it looks so much better. So I have a question or two: does a walnut dash devalue or have other unwanted effects on the originality of the car? I mean, it’s not as original but do people care about it, like it is some sort of big no-no? It’s my car now and I can do anything I like, but I might want to sell it in future hence the question. I suppose it’s about soliciting your opinions more than anything else!

Also, anyone got any pictures of a walnut dash in a DHC?


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PostPost by: 512BB » Sun Nov 26, 2023 11:01 am

' I was going to keep it in teak veneer but I’m thinking about walnut as it looks so much better'

In who's opinion? Certainly not mine, and I have a Sprint with a walnut dash, but wish it did not. I don't like the darkness that walnut dashes are usually finished in. I think they look great in a +2, but not in an Elan. It might be the size of the interior in an Elan as compared to a +2, I don't know.

'So I have a question or two: does a walnut dash devalue or have other unwanted effects on the originality of the car? I mean, it’s not as original but do people care about it, like it is some sort of big no-no?'

If I was looking to buy another Elan, I would never consider one that was fitted with a walnut dash, unless the price reflected the fact that it had one fitted. So yes, in my opinion, it does devalue a car, and people do care about it. To flip the argument, as one is surely about to break out :lol: would a prospective buyer think 'I won't buy that car because it has a teak dashboard'. I think not.

I have said it before, the more you alter these cars away from factory spec. today, the less desireable you make them. Even she who must be obeyed in Saxmundham says, 'You can have walnut, but it is for the less discerning'. To true.

The body looks very nice Jonboy btw. Don't mess up your restoration now with a walnut dash. I will have to cast my beady eye over it when I am next over your way.

L or if you prefer, M
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sun Nov 26, 2023 11:15 am

Good morning John.
You asked for an opinion. I will give you that and an example.
A deceased friend fitted a burr walnut dashboard and it looks very nice and goes well with his red leather seats, flared wheel arches, red mohair hood and wide tyres. Altogether it is a beautiful car. Now after his sad death we have not been able to find a buyer yet. Those who have seen it want to cut it up and replace the arches etc. After an Option 1 paint job that is such a waste. Seats were and should be black plastic, dash was, and should be teak and that is the way I like it and apparently many others. Don`t change what is correct and works well.
Your car, your choice but you did right to ask.
If anyone out there fancies a lovely but a bit flash white S4 DHC please contact me.
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Nov 26, 2023 11:29 am

Modifications are personal while orginality is general. There will always be more buyers for an original car but a modified car may get more if you find the right person who wants those style of modifications. e.g You will generally always get more for a mechanically modified higher performance car that an stock standard car except from the few "I want it totally orginal" ( what ever that is) even if it drives worse.

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PostPost by: Sadbrewer » Sun Nov 26, 2023 12:11 pm

It's all down to personal taste of course, but from the answers above I would be more in Eric's camp than Rohan's ( no offence intended).
40 years ago I lusted after Oatmeal seats and trim and a walnut dash...I even bought the walnut veneer to do the job...fortunately I never got round to doing any of it.
For me a walnut dash would not be a deal breaker providing the rest of the car is broadly original spec...I wouldn't though touch a car with mechanical mods unless I knew who had done them, when, and why... I wouldn't buy a car that has had it's electrics modified ( butchered is often a good word)...unless by a competent auto electrician. The biggest danger to the health of a car is the owner and his dumb mods of the wrong wheels and fat tyres, I've read stories of people grinding bits off to make them fit or messing about with the electrics without a clue of what he is doing...the number of threads on here... '' I've fitted electronic ignition and LED lighting...and now my engine cuts out when I press the brake pedal..can anyone tell me which wire goes where?'...if you don't know you shouldn't be playing with it.
You wouldn't buy a Bugatti Atlantique and customise it...why do it to the best sportscar of it's generation?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Nov 26, 2023 12:41 pm

+1 well said.
I follow the market and look at Lotus for sale.
If i wanted to buy another Elan and it had a "burred walnut dash i would change it for teak.
If it has a Spyder Chassis i wouldn't even consider buying it unless it was alot cheaper to allow to fit a "Lotus Gartrac Chassis".
Well that's opened up the Tin of Worms.
Alan
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:06 pm

When I rebuilt my Elan 43 years ago the original teak dash veneer was badly split and I replaced it with a new teak veneer on the original dash plywood as I liked the look and it has lasted much longer than the original one that was bad when I got the car when it was only 8 years old, so I must have done something non orginal when I reveneered it :). I also did it better than Lotus and matched the grain in the glovebox lid to the rest of the dash veneer.

So not original I know did it devalue the car ???

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:16 pm

Maybe you put an extra coat of marine varnish adding weight. I don't know if "chunky" would like that lol.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:58 pm

Well I did ask!

Should’ve known better… hahaha

I think I’ll do it in Teak or Leslie will send the boys round.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Nov 26, 2023 4:35 pm

alan.barker wrote:+1 well said.
I follow the market and look at Lotus for sale.
If i wanted to buy another Elan and it had a "burred walnut dash i would change it for teak.
If it has a Spyder Chassis i wouldn't even consider buying it unless it was alot cheaper to allow to fit a "Lotus Gartrac Chassis".
Well that's opened up the Tin of Worms.
Alan


What about painted stripes? :D
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Nov 26, 2023 5:20 pm

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Nov 26, 2023 6:01 pm

elanfan1 wrote:
alan.barker wrote:+1 well said.
I follow the market and look at Lotus for sale.
If i wanted to buy another Elan and it had a "burred walnut dash i would change it for teak.
If it has a Spyder Chassis i wouldn't even consider buying it unless it was alot cheaper to allow to fit a "Lotus Gartrac Chassis".
Well that's opened up the Tin of Worms.
Alan


What about painted stripes? :D

I'm going to hang the yukky sidewinder on the wall, just like my painter suggested. He said it very politely
Alan
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Nov 26, 2023 7:02 pm

alan.barker wrote:I'm going to hang the yukky sidewinder on the wall, just like my painter suggested. He said it very politely
Alan


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PostPost by: ElanDNA » Mon Nov 27, 2023 10:26 am

Hello Jon
I still like mine today. I made it myself in 1993 from elm burl veneer. It was very light in colour when hand-sanded, so I tinted the clear lacquer black. The whole manufacturing process was a long, long story. The friendly gentleman who searched his company's warehouse full of veneer worth millions with me back then was right, because he said: Buy two, one will break. And so it was.

Spring 1993 with artificial light:
A28.jpg and


November 2023 in different daylight:
20231114_161448.jpg and


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PostPost by: Bitsilly » Mon Nov 27, 2023 12:18 pm

If it is a keeper then I’d do whatever you like.
If it’s not a keeper then I’d do whatever you like.
I build a concors 1967 MG roadster but sprayed it in my favourite colour which was not original. First viewer bought it because his wife loved the colour!
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