Lotus Elan

Tyres

PostPost by: dougal cawley » Thu Nov 18, 2021 10:57 am

Hi

I dont encourage it, however i know a lot of people like to fit a 175/70R13 tyre on an Elan. The Pirelli CN36 is the best handling tyre in that size for an Elan and Pirelli have just made a fresh batch.

https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/classi ... /elan.html

But really my recomendation is to fit the correct size for your car.

Apologies for the commercial post, i just thought you might like to know the tyres are back in stock. We also have 145R13 Cinturato, 155R13 Michelin XAS and i am still chasing Pireliil to make a 155R13 Cinturato.
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Nov 18, 2021 2:48 pm

Hi,

Any recommendations for 165/70 13 ? I have 26R-style wider arches and 5.5" wheels. 165 is on there now and I don't really want to go to 175 (although there does seem to be more choice), because (a) I think narrower is preferable, and (b) I don't want to risk fouling the arches given the current clearances.

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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:44 pm

Hi

There isn't currently a 165/70R13 tyre available. Sorry. I dont think it was a tyre that was made in the day.
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PostPost by: TBG » Thu Nov 18, 2021 5:49 pm

Lots of those if you Google it. D
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Fri Nov 19, 2021 3:30 pm

True, but not really a good classic tyre.
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PostPost by: TBG » Fri Nov 19, 2021 7:35 pm

Dougal - I am running on Nokian 165/70/13s and I don't much care what they look like as I do very high mileages - and they grip like muck to a blanket and are comfortable, wear extremely well and cost very little!! In the 60s I had Pirelli Cinturatos om my DB2/4 and they looked terrific and cost a bomb! They also gripped so well that I broke the axle coming out of a layby!!

I fully understand why some people want good looking tyres that are in period - I am a bit more practical than that. You have a brilliant company providing an amazing service to those chaps. Well done! D
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:07 pm

Hmm Thank you D for your kind words.

having that wide 165/70R13 tyre on your car is the best way of wearing the components out with no benefits other than the price of the tyre.. There is nothing like putting a wider tyre on your car to wear the steering components and load up the suspension and make that work too hard as well, and i guess it can help brake rear axles more than having the correct sizer tyre that girps more than the normal in a strsaight line. they dont go round corners quicker unless you mess with all sorts of other details that our freind Colin did loads of testing to perfect.

yep 165/70R13 will give you shorter stopping distances and less wheel spin. fitting over wide tyres is point and squirt tyre choice. Lotus driving is about handling. It will handle much better on a genuine period tyre of the correct carcass structure and size. and assuming you have an earlier Elan

https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/classi ... -ca67.html

Fitting a 145HR13 Pirelli Cinturato or 155R13 Michelin XAS is more practical than fitting a wrong size tyre for a different kind of car.

proper period tyres are for the driver. modern technology tyre carcasses do not handle as well on old cars and are there just for the concourse entrants who don't care what the car drives like.

Aplogies for the contradictory post, but fitting wrong size tyres that wear your car out and dont handle as well isn't practical. they are only cheaper.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biv_coAVy_o&t=13s

I know its not an Elan, but once it is off the start line it handles beautifully.
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PostPost by: 661 » Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:25 pm

Great video.
So much more pace than the Fezza into 'no name'
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PostPost by: TBG » Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:16 pm

Dougal - what a lovely car - the dashboard alone makes it so special. Regarding tyres on my 1966 Elan I have used this size of tyre for the last 36 years and well over 200k miles and have not worn anything out yet! What I noticed going bigger is that sticks better when really chucking it around in the Alps for instance, and certainly - subjectively of course, slides less in the wet and locks up far less. Hey Ho each to their own I suppose, but thanks for your advice. D
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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:32 am

Sorry to percivier, but what people dont realise is that wider tyres don't grip more in the corners on old cars.

Yes better braking and less wheel spin, but in the fast corners they lift the tread as the car rolls under cornering forces. If you have been running the same tyres for 36 years, then you haven't done a comparison. People wore flares back then. what was good then was determined by what was available at the time. that has changed with more manufacturers caring about their heritage and valuing the classic car market.

i get your point and their are far worse tyres out there on classic cars, but can i suggest next time your tyres are ready for a change, try the good stuff. I promis you, you will not be dissapointed. you will love the ride, the more precise, faster steering will be immediately noticable, then though it feels lighter you will find the fast corners dramatically better, because of the more progressive handling as you load up the suspension. and i would guess that Pirellis compounds will give you better wet grip.
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PostPost by: TBG » Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:54 pm

Dougal - all good stuff but of course I have done comparisons. This is the second Elan I have owned so I go a lot further back than 36 years!! I like your drawings, but the tyres I have on now are nicely rounded edge so I don't think I get tread lift. I jolly hope not any way! They seem to have nice soft sidewalls and give a very comfortable and forgiving ride - so my wife tells me who has an awful back. As to flares - I liked them on birds back then and would like to see them make a comeback. Remember Twiggy in flares? Of course you do!! D
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PostPost by: zog » Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:11 pm

I like this conversation and really appreciate a vendor who still sells Tires (Tyres) for our old cars.

I like to put some stiffer springs on my restorations with some adjustable spring perches and shocks. Then I use a cheap Chinese 165 X 65 X 13. Looks good, drives great. The Dave Bean book shows several options for spring sizes. It's a great reference book. RD enterprises or Tony Ingram will also sell you great upgrades.

So you can go really original with original sized tires or upgrade it a bit.

It's nice to have choices.

Thanks Dougal!
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PostPost by: TBG » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:29 pm

Zog - glad you like the repartee! I would never alter Mr Chapmans suspension settings but I am very happy to play about with tyres. I just feel that he got it so right at the beginning that it is not worth mucking about - unless of course you are going racing I suppose. The comfort and grip of the original is still mind blowing today. Have just booked our trip to the Italian lakes next year taking in quite a lot of Alpine passes - YEE HAAA!! D
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PostPost by: TomR » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:13 pm

One may certainly get better cornering grip from wider tires, not many race Elans on 145s, but at a mimumum the static camber must be adjusted which means modified suspension. The correct tire diameter is also important to the designed suspension roll center. If your Elan has stock suspension then best to stick with the same diameter of tire and pretty close to the same width. I don't think a generic 165 or even the very rounded 175/70 CN36 is going to reduce cornering force but it may reduce steering liveliness and feel.

I have 175/60s with a fully adjustable suspension and it "handles" great in my opinion. It also has >170 ft-lbf of torque so 145s would probably melt:-) But it might be a lot of sideways fun with 155 XASs

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PostPost by: dougal cawley » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:25 pm

I thoroughly enjoy being beligerant on forums about tyre fitment. I can't imagine there is anyone one who has lost as many customers as i have by making scathing remarks about peoples tyre choices. My strong point is insulting the fitment of white wall tyres on european sportscars like a Lotus or an E-type Jag. I also got thrown off a Triumph forum because i said that fitting modern wide tyres on light weight rear wheel drive classic sportscars was a missguided mistake made by cowards.

Yep if you are on a race track and you faff with the springs, dampers camber and caster so they keep their foot print in contact with the the track, yes, if you are a good enough driver, you might return better lap times, but it will make a dreadful road car. That Chapman boy knew a thing or two. His standard road set up with a 145R13 or 155R13 proper period tyre will be a much nicer road car than one that has had all sorts of adjustments made to it so it can fit 165/65R13 tyres because they are cheap.

It concerns me that you aren't taking tyre safety seriously enough so i made a tyre safety film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxx1Zn-NaW8&list=PLORxf0xWk2NBYrKx1W4HE7_ZSWsg0qkkh&index=1
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