Lotus Elan

Help on chassis number

PostPost by: atthelimit » Tue Feb 13, 2024 5:44 pm

Hi, I am restoring an early 1965 coupe and it has the chassis number 36/5096, on further inspection the chassis appears non standard, there is reinforcing to the front and rear turrets and the flat platform at the rear is also strengthened. Besides the normal chassis number I have found another number stamped on the top saddle just back from the gear box hole which reads 26 A 701, does anyone know what this number is? Chassis is poor in the normal areas but repairable and if the number 26 A 701 is of historical interest I would do it rather than replacing the chassis. Any help appreciated.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Feb 13, 2024 5:59 pm

Its just the Lotus number for a chassis.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Feb 13, 2024 7:15 pm

The chassis is standard and the reinforcing plates were done by a previous owner.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Feb 13, 2024 8:27 pm

I have never noticed the Lotus number stamped into a chassis in all the ones I have replaced. Maybe thats because I have never had one blasted back to metal before it went for scrap, and the number was hidden by paint, or the saddle felt.

I shall have a look at nos one I have hanging up. It is finished in red oxide so should be fairly easy to see, and was made in the '70s.

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PostPost by: Sadbrewer » Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:07 pm

atthelimit wrote:Hi, I am restoring an early 1965 coupe and it has the chassis number 36/5096, on further inspection the chassis appears non standard, there is reinforcing to the front and rear turrets and the flat platform at the rear is also strengthened. Besides the normal chassis number I have found another number stamped on the top saddle just back from the gear box hole which reads 26 A 701, does anyone know what this number is? Chassis is poor in the normal areas but repairable and if the number 26 A 701 is of historical interest I would do it rather than replacing the chassis. Any help appreciated.
PHOTO-2024-02-13-15-28-51 4.jpeg
[attachmentPHOTO-2024-02-13-15-28-51 4.jpeg[/attachment]
PHOTO-2024-02-13-15-28-50.jpeg


Non standard is one way to put it, it's been patched because it's rotting away...the steel around the towers looks paper thin...if it's like my old one the rust extended into the central cross member, which wouldn't hold a vacuum anymore...eventually you'll turn the wheel and the tower will collapse and punch a hole into the engine bay. After it collapsed I cut it up to see how bad it was and was quite shocked tbh.
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PostPost by: atthelimit » Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:48 pm

Thanks to everyone for their knowledge, the chassis is bad and I’ve already bought a replacement but I have been using it as a mule to put on my bodywork spit and a body mounted on it so I can spin it over to do all the bodywork repairs and prep. Just never noticed this number before so wondered if it was something special. Obviously not!
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Feb 14, 2024 12:53 am

Lotus sub-frame (aka Chassis) serial numbers are stamped into the top surface of the frame, near the left front engine mount..

Replacement sub-frame numbers begin with letters LR for Lotus Replacement.

Lotus Elans have UNIT NUMBERS not chassis numbers to identify particular cars. This is stamped on the registration plate which is mounted on the level surface in the engine compartment on the Fibre Glass. It is this PLATE that constitutes the car identifier, not the 'chassis' number.

If that plate is missing you may have real problems with the DVLA when you get the car back on the road.

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PostPost by: atthelimit » Wed Feb 14, 2024 8:29 am

Hi Bill,
yes I know how to play the game with DVLA but on this forum I think it’s safe to call a spade a spade or in this case a chassis a chassis rather than a subframe.

I’ve spoken to DVLA about building a classic from genuine old parts and there maybe some hurdles to go through but it will get registered no problem, even if it ended up with a q plate it wouldn’t bother me, it’s how it drives not what reg its got on. If some one is sniffy about that then that’s down to them,, yes it would effect the value if I ever want to sell it but I’m not too bothered about that, it would certainly fetch more than the cost of the bits I collected over the years, the engine for instance £400, the gearbox £50 Etc so if I could sell it for 10K I would be in front and at that price or even up to £20k there would be some one who wanted a bargain rebuilt reconditioned car at that price I’m sure. Obviously noe of that includes labour but I’m retired now, what else would I do with the time!

Ultimately if it did get a q plate there is a way around that, if I have anything to thank Graham Arnold for it would be that nugget of information. But as I say I’m not too bothered either way.
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PostPost by: nono17120 » Tue Feb 20, 2024 9:32 am

Great !!!
An early 1965 coupe, as mine !
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