Lotus Elan

Wheels

PostPost by: Ianashdown57 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:31 pm

Just some idle thoughts . .

What modern wheel looks best on an Elan?

I know this is always down to personal taste and I'd like to see others thoughts, ideas etc. It is probably difficult to get many in 13" so I think 14" could be an option.

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PostPost by: gordont » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:00 am

Minilies (or replicas) or 26R style would be my pick
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:30 am

Minilites every time.

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PostPost by: stevebroad » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:20 pm

I think that Wolfrace look pretty good:

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PostPost by: gearbox » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:33 pm

Anybody try fitting a set of wobbly webs? I know TTR has them re popped and they were one of Chapman's flash of genius designs. but my vote is for the period correct minilites, they look just so right. But then again, I like the steel wheels in matte black with a chrome trim ring as well.
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PostPost by: elj221c » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:58 pm

ianashdown wrote:What modern wheel looks best on an Elan?

It is probably difficult to get many in 13" so I think 14" could be an option.

Ian


Spyder do 14", or they used to, Minilite pattern

stevebroad wrote:I think that Wolfrace look pretty good:



Hardly modern!

gearbox wrote:Anybody try fitting a set of wobbly webs?


The originals were typically Chapman. Made so light they broke very easily!
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:47 pm

Remember, 14" Minilites are quite heavy compared with our original 13" wheels.

If you have (or convert to) bolt on hubs, Superlite (http://www.superlite-wheels.com/) have 26R look alike wheels in magnesium in 13", 14", and 15" sizes. 185/55-15 has the same rolling diameter as our more common 155/165-13 tyres and is often more easily available. Adding aluminum front hubs decreases the unsprung weight even more.

S1, S2, or S3 cars are probably going to have trouble fitting other than standard wheel/tyres as has been covered before, unless you relieve/flare the fenders. S4 and later cars can be done, with some fettling, depending on the peculiarities of your car.

Pick and choose your own poison.

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PostPost by: Ianashdown57 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:31 pm

Hi,

I'm not really looking to go much larger, a little would be good, but not out of character. I will be adding quite a bit of HP if I decide to go ahead and build this car so a little more rubber will probably be a good idea! I have a set of period Cosmic's on an S1 that will be getting original steel wheels soon, so the cosmics are an option. I like the minilites, but I was wondering if something more contemporary might look OK.

I think 14" might be OK, but I would plan to keep the rolling diameter as near to original as I could.

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PostPost by: stevebroad » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:45 pm

With regard to Wolfrace not being modern, they are still available so still curent which sort of makes them modern :-) Minilites are not new either.

I think modern styles just don't look right on the Elan.
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PostPost by: gearbox » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:03 pm

ianashdown wrote:Hi,

I'm not really looking to go much larger, a little would be good, but not out of character. I will be adding quite a bit of HP if I decide to go ahead and build this car so a little more rubber will probably be a good idea! I have a set of period Cosmic's on an S1 that will be getting original steel wheels soon, so the cosmics are an option. I like the minilites, but I was wondering if something more contemporary might look OK.

I think 14" might be OK, but I would plan to keep the rolling diameter as near to original as I could.

Ian


Hi Ian, If you are going north of 150HP you might want to look into the 26R body work which tastfully flairs the fenders and allows a much larger/fatter tire. Finding a performance 13" is almost impossible, but if you go to 14" and a 60 series, your options widen. Also finding a KO wheel drastically limits your options as the peg drive Lotus system is only available on a handful of wheels that are still being made. It's your car, so do what ever makes you happy. But if you are looking for what is "Cool" from this board, I guess most responses would be for wheels that were period in the day. Most of us are in our 50's or older and knew these cars when new, and I doubt anyone here gravitates towards "Gangsta" or High Tech wheels, plus it would just look silly and out of place IMHO. I have a set of NOS Spyder 14" x 6" Minilites that are a bit shelf worn and will most likely buy a set of 13" minilites with 155 tires to use for my project or use the steel wheels if they restore well. Go with the Minilites, they are cool, period, and available. If you want the 14's let me know, I'll give you a great deal on them. Good Luck Allan
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PostPost by: Ianashdown57 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:46 pm

Hey! I resemble that remark!

I too am north of 50 and well remember these cars back in England when I was a kid. I have a totally original, unrestored 64 S1 (also totally original unrestored MGTC & MGA) which scratches my itch for originallity, but I have a car that has already beed bastardized and can never be original again so whilst I love restoring to as near original condition and spec as possible, I feel a little liberated with this project do do something a bit different. I'm not looking for a 'Gangsta' style wheel, but something like a BBS or some other tasteful design. Some 26R wheels might be very nice, but I seem to remember they are serious $'s!

I am thinking of fitting 26R style wheel arches, as the car will have a BDD Ex-Formula Atlantic motor (with softer cams, about 185-190 BHP), probably fuel injected, crank triggered ignition etc. I'm also thinking about fitting a 5-speed so I don't have to run at constantly high revs on all the insufferable freeways here in SoCal. A LSD, CV's or Tripods and some nice wheels and tires would finish it of nicely! Brakes will get some attention too, although I'm not sure to what yet, maybe the period AP Alloy calipers. I'm thinking to keep the interior basically the same, but might upgrade the vinyl to leather.

Basically what I'm thinking of is an Elan the Lotus might have built as a 'continuation' of the elan if they'd kept building them. Updated, but not modern. OK, not everyones 'cup-of-tea' but done right I hope no purist (me) will be offended.

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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:53 am

Ian, they used to be able to take porsche 15 inch wheels, machine the center and make 3 piece rims with any offset. If the same could be done with a set of minilites the would look really cool on you car. Super light (from Midland wheel http://www.midlandwheels.com ) look like the do a bolt on 3 piece version for the Mk1 Mk2 escorts in 13 inch.
You could possibly use a knock on center with similar design.

There are alot of 13 in tires in the UK that are not sold in the Us I like the Nankang AS1 175x50x13. They would look great on a hot elan. The site has several 13 in rims and tires, but bolt on would be easier. Not as cool :shock: but easier!

James
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PostPost by: gearbox » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:02 am

Ian, so I see you are building a hot rod lol. But I like it. Still period correct. I haven't seen any other types of wheels that fits my fancy, but while not a true dyed in the wool concour guy, I do like to stay traditional. If you go with the 26R flairs you have some options, but I would seriously glean the collective wisdom from this board for size and fit as many has traveled this road before you with fustrations. The other thing that we had not touched upon is handling and matching up the right wheel tire combination that works with the Lotus frame and suspension. Yet another thread lol. But again, search the archives, much have been discussed. I'm looking into real minilites that will be 13 x 5, which is 0.5" wider than stock. I like the delicate feel of the stock car on 155's, but seriously looking into doing all the TTR updates. Have already modified the rear shocks with the TTR set up and adjustable coil overs/narrower spring (which you will have to do if you want fatter tires) matched with their Fast road front adjustable shocks and coil overs. If you are still in the UK, my friends have been buying from from this company http://www.tyresave.co.uk/minilite.html and even with shipping to the US it's very inexpensive. They even sell mounted tires. They have a minilite and wolfrace copies among others. Take a look, but again figure out the right wheel size and tire combination you want first, then it'll be a lot easier. Good luck Allan
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:21 pm

gearbox wrote:Anybody try fitting a set of wobbly webs?


Interesting thought, but wobbly webs were at the end of their lifespan by the time the Elan went into production.
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PostPost by: gearbox » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:57 pm

CBUEB1771 wrote:
gearbox wrote:Anybody try fitting a set of wobbly webs?


Interesting thought, but wobbly webs were at the end of their lifespan by the time the Elan went into production.


Yeah, but it would be so "COOL" don't you think? Plus TTR still makes them, and I think Lee Chapman has them in the US, a bit pricey, but very light following the Chapman rule of thumb. Just a thought for the money is no object guy lol.
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