Lotus Elan

Remanufacture of original spec S1 & S2 crash pads

PostPost by: TBM66 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:26 pm

Many fellow enthusiasts restoring S1 and S2 Elans will be scratching their head thinking of how to restore a cracked original crash pad, or indeed where to find a good second-hand or new version because their restoration project does not have one!

Whilst crash pads can be repaired, the end result is never very satisfactory. These items are a very ?visual? component of the car, so they must be ?right?.

I was driven to research the remanufacture of crash pads because the three cars I am restoring have badly damaged ones, certainly beyond repair.

Because of the demand for correctly made type 26 (S1 and S2 Elan) crash pads, the type 26 register have looked into this in some detail and have identified the (probably) only company left in the UK that specialises in this manufacturing process. They manufacture crash-pads for virtually all the British Classic Car industry, e.g. E-types, Triumph, Sunbeam Alpine/ Tiger etc, which are sold through the normal specialists for these marques. They have seen my original crash-pad and are keen to have the work.

Issues such as shrinkage are well known to these people, and they use ABS with the correct surface texture. They manufacture by digitising the 3D shape of an undamaged original item, which I have, to produce two tools - one for the ABS and the other for the foam-fill.

So the specification will be as close to the original item as possible, i.e.:
? Vacuum formed black ABS outer with correct grain pattern
? Foam filled, with correct profile at bottom to correctly fit on top of scuttle
? Built-in wooden blocks at each side to correctly secure crash pad to bodyshell

I would make the point that this is a premium product for picky road car restorers, whilst other suppliers offer lightweight ABS shells for the racers and 26GTS folks.

However - the big issue is the large cost of tooling which I would need to recoup over a relatively small production run - compared to an E-type!

So the selling price would be ?295. (plus shipping)

I have already had the commitment of ten people, mostly by word of mouth, and I now need another fifteen before I invest in the tooling.

So, I wish to begin the promotion of the crash-pad and get peoples commitment with a ?50 deposit, which, of course would be refundable should there be insufficient interest. Assuming I get the necessary commitment I would be looking to have them available during Q2 2010. I will keep everybody up to date with progress by email.

Please contact me by PM or at t[email protected] if you are interested in supporting this project.
Regards,
Tim
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visit http://www.type26register.com

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PostPost by: Tonyw » Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:31 pm

Tim,

I am very surprised that these have not been made before, any chance that the S3 crash could be re-manufactured?? I imagine most of us currently undergoing a rebuild would want one.

Tony W
Second childhood? no just an extension of my first.
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PostPost by: TBM66 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:46 pm

Tony,

As you know, the S3 (and also the later S4 - because of the small seperate windscreen vent grilles - from unit number 7400) has a different shape crash pad to the type 26 type. Because of this, seperate tooling would have to be made, and this is expensive, as I'm sure you will appreciate. Unfortunately the tooling for the type 26 version cannot be adapted for S3 crash pads.

So I guess the answer is that if enough interest can be drummed up to justify commisioning tooling for a foam filled S3 crash pad, these too could be remanufactured, or the other option is to use an "ABS shell" type (with no foam fill).
Regards,
Tim
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visit http://www.type26register.com

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