Lotus Elan

Bringing the Elan home

PostPost by: wthode » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:22 am

I started this saga under the old thread, where I found and agreed to buy Paul Quiniff's '65 Elan DHC. It was suggested I move the description of the drive from Illinois to Boise, Idaho, where I live, to a new thread. First, here's yesterday's post, from the old thread:
OK, after assurances from Zog and conversations with Paul, my friend and I (both of us named Walt) flew to Chicago, spent Sunday morning with Paul, and drove away in the car about 12:30, heading for our home in Boise, 1800 miles away. So far we've made it to Toledo, Iowa, just past Cedar Falls. (Ever notice how many towns in Iowa get their names from other well-known sources.) we discovered ow water-resistant an Elan with slide-up windows is when we hit one of the heaviest rainstorms I've experienced--it doesn't rain much in Boise. Suffice it to say that we had moisture-assisted cooling to help us keep cool in the 68 degree temperatures. It looks like we'll make it home Wednesday night, barring any adverse circumstances. So far our only concern is an odd clunk from the right rear whenever the brake pedal is depressed. Our concerns about undertaking this trip have been allayed somewhat by the assistance of Ross Robbins, who not only urged us on, but also provided a list of names of Elan aficionados along our route who might be able to help if trouble strikes. Both of us Walts are previous Elan owners, so we're not unfamiliar with the cars--but we were both 30-50 years younger then. I hope to post more updates as we go. Wish us luck!

Today (Monday) we made it out of Iowa and through most of Nebraska. We stopped in Gordon, a small town on U.S. 20 in the northwest corner. No car issues, although we did finally check the accuracy of the speedometer. The speedo (standard Smiths) tends to fluctuate wildly over a 20-mph range, so we decided to check it against the mile markers, trying to keep the middle of the fluctuations on the 60-mph mark. We discovered that yesterday, in trying to stay under 60, we'd actually been under 50 much of the day. This shouldn't have been surprising, since the car is riding on 185/60 series tires, quite a bit smaller in circumference than the 155-13s that were stock in 1965. So we cranked up the speed a bit today, and managed about 600 miles. We have to say that the Nebraska highways we've seen are generally in much better shape than either Illinois' or Iowa's. We're about halfway home, and back in our "home" time zone. We're optimistic.
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PostPost by: zog » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:56 am

You guys are doing great! I talked with Paul yesterday and we calculated that he drove the car maybe 3,000 miles over his 12 year ownership.

As for the tires, if I recall correctly, those tires are shaved take offs from a Sports 2000 race car. An OLD Sports 2000 race car. Check them regularly.....
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PostPost by: zog » Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:10 pm

Here is a shot of the car from when Paul was rebuilding it. It's dated December 2003 so maybe I got my dates wrong and Paul has owned the car for longer than 12 years....
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:54 pm

Well Done Again Walt and Walt!! 600 miles is a hell of a day in an Elan so you are well ahead of the curve. :shock: I agree with Zog about the tires. Almost any Discount Tire store (Chadron, Douglas, Casper??) will have Kumho Solus 155X13 tires which I have on my car and like just fine. With these tires you will increase your safety margin quite a bit and lower your revs per mile quite a bit. Good Luck fellas :D :D
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PostPost by: danielmo » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:12 pm

Stock tires on the S1-S3 Elans would have been 145R13, so that makes the 185/60R13 only about 0.35" smaller in diameter. It shouldn't be a huge change in the speedo reading (less that 2%).
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PostPost by: wthode » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:53 am

We're now in Jackson, Wyoming. We made it out of Nebraska about 10:00, and almost through Wyoming. No incidents of note, although we missed a turn in Casper, where seemingly all the roads in town are being repaired, and spent an extra half hour traversing roads under construction, dead ends, and forests of construction pylons. We decided, after two nights of tiny towns with one motel, substandard food, and no entertainment, to splurge, so we reserved a motel in Jackson that cost more than the other two nights combined, and headed for U.S. 26 and the back way into the Yellowstone/Grand Teton park complex. Our way was eased by my companion, the other Walt's familiarity with Grand Teton and Jackson. We were treated to a panorama of mountain scenery. If you've ever seen the Tetons, you know what I'm referring to. The environment in Jackson (the Jackson Hole name is now frowned upon) is about as different from our last two stops as possible, with masses of tourists, expensive shops and cars everywhere, and many options for good food and good beer. After too many of the latter, we've managed to stagger back to our room. The only car-related issues of note are the windshield wiper knob, which has come loose from its mooring (we did see a bit of rain this afternoon) and the engine idle, which has diminished to the point where it's difficult to keep the engine running at a stop light. I'm going to have to see if I can remember, from my last Elan experience 30+ years ago, how to adjust the idle on a set of Webers. We're in good shape to make it home tomorrow.
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PostPost by: GHill » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:05 am

Well done guys - makes my 800 miles cross Europe Prague to London seem like an Sunday cruise!!

Good luck for the rest of the journey!!

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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:42 am

Fantastic stuff keep us informed.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:39 am

I'm going to have to see if I can remember, from my last Elan experience 30+ years ago, how to adjust the idle on a set of Webers. We're in good shape to make it home tomorrow.


One screw on the left hand (rear) Weber, pushes down on the throttle lever.

Image


It's the screw at the left side of this photo:
Image

Though to be accurate.. this is a Dellorto (I think), on a Weber the screw is a bit nearer the cylinder head.
Last edited by billwill on Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: wthode » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:02 pm

[attachment=0]image.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]image.jpg[/attachment]Here's the iconic Grand Teton photo, with Elan, from my phone wherein the photo resides.
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Iconic Tetons photo
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:29 pm

wthode wrote: The environment in Jackson (the Jackson Hole name is now frowned upon)


I didn't know this. What's the story behind this?
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:17 pm

Diner at the Mangy Moose?
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:10 pm

gjz30075 wrote:
wthode wrote: The environment in Jackson (the Jackson Hole name is now frowned upon)


I didn't know this. What's the story behind this?


Probably same reason no one wants to be called an A** hole ....
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PostPost by: wthode » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:29 pm

We made it. Drove into my driveway at 5 pm. More will follow when we recover.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:15 am

prezoom wrote:Diner at the Mangy Moose?


A family restaurant now, I believe. It was quite the saloon for skiers 40 years ago, er, from what I can remember....
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