Lotus Elan

What is this missing piece of interior trim next to dash?

PostPost by: Pastapesto » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:17 am

Brian

Coupe no 36/4510 was I think was the Medici blue car that was the "prototype/development" car that has appeared at Donnington a few times. It was the car that has Mr Chapman standing next to it in the press photos & it also had the famous "chrome" bumpers & also white walled tyres (well they has a wide white stripe in them) IMMIC.
Not sure of the actual production start number but it was around five or six months later at around "36/4900" which was Sept/October '65.

That's my understanding of it, hopefully someone knows more than I do & can put me straight!

All the best

Adam
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:57 am

Hi Adam,
Here is what info I have on the S3 Coupe production but whether it is correct I dont know, going by my books the time line is something like this:

S3 Coupe introduced at # 4510.

Air Flow roof grill introduced at # 5811.

Dashboard air vent introduced at # 6600

If this is correct it would mean Coupe's between 5811 and 6600 would have the roof vent but not the dashboard air vent.

ps. did you ever have a chat with John W. with the S3 with red interior?
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1.-s3-production.jpg and
2.-air-roof-grill-copy.jpg and
3.-air-roof-grill-pic-copy.jpg and
4.-dash-vent-copy.jpg and
5.-dash-vent-copy.jpg and
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:46 am

All interesting stuff, I notice in the illustration that the outlets on the heater box for these vents are shown on the back, toward the engine, it changed from the front position somewhere along the line.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:57 am

Do not confuse Unit Nos and Production dates. In looking at the introduction of changes, it is better to look at when the car was invoiced (the only accurately recorded and extant date for most cars that we have).

This gives the lie, oft repeated, that 'all cars after Unit No #### are fitted with such and such a widget'. Better to say that all cars invoiced after ##.##.## [date] are likely to have the widget.

One of the anorak-like tasks I am currently engaged with is producing an annual list of Elans by invoice date via the working week. This entails drawing up as accurate a list of all cars invoiced in a particular year, putting it into chronological order and then sub-dividing the list by working week.

I have so far done a handful of years for the Elan. I'll have to do separate lists for the Plus 2 afterwards. One of the things I identified was several invoices dated on a Sunday, especially whilst Lotus were at Cheshunt. I asked Warren King if the firm ever had 'working weekends', something we had in the early 1970s when I was in the army, but apparently not. I can only assume that some invoices were thus dated on a Sunday either due to a clerical dating error, or for some long forgotten other administrative reason.

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PostPost by: Pastapesto » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:03 am

Thanks Brian, that's all very interesting. I think although the Coupe was "introduced" at 36/4510, it wasn't " productionised" until around 36/4900. As I'm sure you know, the first 100 or so Coupes had a few S2 parts in them that were not carried forward after that 100 or so cars. The Medici (prototype coupe) car also had chrome wheels & I think a black bumper infill strip rather than the normal chrome type. It also had a small "fold-down" opening in the back board so that Chapman could put his golf clubs in the boot (or so they say) as I think he ran it around when It was newly made & I think from memory, Graham Arnold drove it for a while after Colin got bored with it.

Later on in it's life (36/4510) was painted black (I was told but have no idea if its true....you know how rumours/gossip can grow so bear with me on this one!) for Jim Clark's funeral. I don't believe it myself, probably more of an idea of Graham Arnold's just to make it look different I would imagine. Then it was "discovered" 20+ years ago in a small private motor museum in the West Country somewhere.......I came across it in a bodyshop in Biggin Hill many years ago and was told some of the above by the guy restoring it at the time. The rest is mostly common knowledge of it's history........not sure who owns it now or where it is but I think it is probably still in the UK (it was in Japan for a few years - I think the very knowledgeable & well travelled Rob "Mazzini" saw/visited it there after it was exported there by it's new owner who purchased it from Nutley Sportscars). It is a lovely car......I think the pre airflow Coupes are the prettiest of all Elans (IMHO).

If anyone can fill in the "gaps" or correct me then please feel very free to do so!

Now removing my "anorak" and having a lay down.

I never did talk with John W about red interiors...could I have his number again please by PM & I will call him pronto.

Thanks again

All the best

Adam
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:07 pm

You are talking about two different cars. The blue car, LNK 120C, Unit No 4915 was the prototype Type 36 FHC. More in this thread: lotus-elan-f19/coupe-prototype-the-market-t12292.html

NAH120F was Graham Arnold's black S3 FHC, which was road tested a couple of times by UK magazines. The registration number was then transferred to one of the early +2 road test cars.

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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:17 pm

From 1st Jan to 7th March 1974 the government introduced a 3 day working week to conserve electricity during the coal miners? strike. There were time limits set for working hours but many firms used unusual working practice to keep production going.
If any Sunday dates are in this period it may be an explanation.
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PostPost by: Pastapesto » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:44 pm

Thanks for putting me correct Tim.....I must be losing the "plot"........but that's what I was told about LNK 120C when I saw it in Biggin Hill back then & it was "Black" & was being re-painted back to Medici.....I saw all the previous layers of paint as it was being painted. He (the painter) told me the sales director had been driving it earlier in its life (whom I assumed was GA). It has the "flap" in the backboard and was the car pictured with Chapman. I didn't check the chassis number as I was at work & couldn't at the time I posted earlier but from memory yes, It was a much younger chassis number so I am sorry for misleading anyone.My early coupe is 36/4970 which I have always believed was the tenth off the production so I am very surprised that if that were the case, production started much earlier than I would have previously understood (as far as chassis numbers go). I have seen very few Coupes with an earlier chassis than mine, do you know of many Tim in you records?

Applologies for moving away from the original topic of th post.

A
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:00 pm

Adam, I have records of 6 Unit Nos prior to yours as Type 36 FHC Series 2 Elans.

However, of those only two were invoiced before yours, including LNK 120C. The other four were invoiced after yours.

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PostPost by: MrBonus » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:00 pm

I'm 7472 so does anyone know where to get the piece with the vents?
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:34 pm

The vent is a separate item and a hole has to be cut into the new corner piece, as previously mentioned the corner piece can be obtained from Paul Matty but dont think vent is available any longer.
They sometimes pop up on ebay but they are usually quite expensive, they are also fitted on S4's and Sprints.
The small pivoting disc to open and close the air flow can sometimes give problems or even fall out so if you find any vents just check the discs operate ok.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:21 pm

They were also fitted to some Rover cars of the same period, P6 I believe.

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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:54 pm

Craven wrote:From 1st Jan to 7th March 1974 the government introduced a 3 day working week to conserve electricity during the coal miners? strike. There were time limits set for working hours but many firms used unusual working practice to keep production going.
If any Sunday dates are in this period it may be an explanation.


Last Elan produced was in March 1973...
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:33 pm

Anomaly continues then.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:26 pm

The Sunday dates I was referring to were all in the earlier years of Elan production, 63-66.

We had never had it so good then.

Apparently.

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