Lotus Elan

My book, "The Lotus Chronicles," is now available on Amazon

PostPost by: thehackmechanic » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:02 pm

Hey, folks. My new book, "The Lotus Chronicles: One man's sordid tale of passion and madness while resurrecting a decade-dead 1974 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special," is now available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998950734?re ... _397514860. The book—all 510 pages and 470 illustrations of it—describes my buying the '74 TCS with the seized engine that had been sitting since 1979, my feverishly ripping out the drivetrain, tearing down the engine, and trying to figure out how to rebuild it without paying more than I did for the car, then the project sitting for years as I dealt with job loss and career change. It's a deep dive into the passion involved in buying, resurrecting, and owning a car like this, particularly the intestinal fortitude required to bring a 40-year-dead car with a seized boutique engine back into the light, something you folks understand better than most. It's also sophomoric, profanity-laced (as anything about working on the Europa should be), and, I'm told, howlingly funny. I specifically thank this and other forums on the acknowledgements page, as I never would've been able to do it without you. Note that I came here for most twin-cam-related issues, and you folks saved my bacon multiple times.

So, thanks!

--Rob Siegel
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'74 Europa TCS, 20k miles, stored since '79, resurrected in 2019
'73 BMW 3.0CSi
'72 BMW 2002tii, '73 BMW 2002
'72 BMW Bavaria
'79 BMW 635CSi
'99 BMW Z3M Coupe
"The Hack Mechanic," six books available on Amazon
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:01 pm

Purchased! I look forward to reading it Rob :D :D :D

I always enjoy your colum in the BMW CCA mag ( I have a 2006 M3 Cab as well :oops: )
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:12 pm

Nice to know as I really like your writing style having bought your other hack books but about BMWs which were never my fancy, thanks Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Bombay Racing Green » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:38 am

Well done Rob. Just ordered it now. As my Europa is almost finished I’m looking forward to hearing your tales.

Thanks!
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PostPost by: mwhitaker » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:11 pm

Hi Rob- just purchased your new book once I saw this post. Always loved your column in the BMW CCA when I subscribed- still have the 95 325ic that was originally my dad's, in great shape with 130k miles on it. Looking forward to enjoying alot of laughs reading your new book.

Cheers, Mark

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PostPost by: USA64 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:18 pm

Rob,
I had an uncle that put out a few books comprised of compiled monthly articles. I enjoyed a few of your articles in Hagerty News and would guess those would be chapters? I anticipate getting your book for Christmas!
We are supposed to be having fun, are we not?
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PostPost by: thehackmechanic » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:59 pm

Hey, folks, thanks for the comments on the book. Here's an excerpt:

MAY 1, 2019, 7:35 PM

The Lotus Chronicles, Day 2152:

Freaking booyah.

History will record that, today, nearly six year after it was rolled down the inclined driveway and into my garage on June 20, 2013, the Lotus backed out under its own power and saw the sun on its smiling little fiberglass face. The first back-out, shot with the phone in the car, is shown in the second video. I gave the car a quick wash, put it back in the garage, and then, when Maire Anne came home, had her hold the phone and shoot the first video, which is much smoother and thus looks more impressive.

What enabled this momentous occasion—in addition to the nearly non-stop work since Christmas eve—was functional brakes, and what enabled THAT was bypassing the brake servos (boosters). I’d posted the question “After bleeding, the brake pedal still goes to the floor. How do you tell a bad master cylinder from bad servos?” to one of the Lotus forums, and the answer made perfect sense: Either bench-bleed the master and see if it pumps up, or bypass the servos. Each of the two servos has one goes-into and one goes-out-of connection, so I thought I could simply unscrew the in-and-out lines and connect them together with a union, but when I tried to do that, I would’ve had to bend the metal lines to get them to meet and I imagined them snapping. Rather than take the risk of cutting off my retreat, so to speak, I bought a couple of brake lines and bent THOSE to connect the ins to the outs. I then bled the brakes for the third time, and this time, to my surprise, the pedal came up rock-hard. I played with the brakes a little in the garage and found that they did in fact function well enough to stall the engine.

And, huge bonus, when I pulled off the vacuum line coming from the boosters to plug up the port on the intake manifold, brake fluid POURED out from the line, which answered the questions 1) How bad are the boosters (answer: fucked) and 2) Why was the engine still belching clouds of white smoke, particularly at startup (answer: it was sucking brake fluid).

It’ll still be a while before a test drive, as the gauges quit working (I said nice things about Lucas a bit too quickly, and I REALLY want a functioning coolant temperature gauge before even a short test drive). Plus, it’s still running like shit when I rev it (probably the Strombergs), and I really do need to concentrate on Vintage prep for Bertha.

But running like shit is still running, and backing it out of the garage under its own power, six years after we rolled it in, and seeing it there in the driveway next to the azalea bush, almost ready to drive down the street like a real car, was all kinds of awesome.

[search YouTube for “The Lotus Chronicles first back out” and “second back out”]

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998950734?re ... _397514860
Signed book link: www.robsiegel.com/lolita2.htm
'74 Europa TCS, 20k miles, stored since '79, resurrected in 2019
'73 BMW 3.0CSi
'72 BMW 2002tii, '73 BMW 2002
'72 BMW Bavaria
'79 BMW 635CSi
'99 BMW Z3M Coupe
"The Hack Mechanic," six books available on Amazon
thehackmechanic
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:52 pm

My copy arrived this weekend, look forward to reading it!
Henry
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Wed Oct 07, 2020 1:39 am

And enjoyed it and at the end you say you’d like a +2, this is the one that I got an 89 and totally redid, but without chronicling so I appreciated yours, and you’re right it’s a great car. Gordon Sauer
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