Lotus Elan

Lotus Replacement Chassis Number

PostPost by: JJ66 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:17 pm

Hello All, I am still digging into detail on my Elan +2 (had it for 4 months now) and I have been replacing the rubber boots on the upper ball joints (that will be a separate post!), whilst in the air I spotted a number engraved into the chassis, it is LR1137. I know that my car had a Lotus replacement galvanised chassis in 1982 as I'm lucky enough to thave the invoice from the job in the excellent history file I got with the car, and even better, it was done at the Lotus factory. So, does this number mean that it was the 1,137th chassis to be replaced, or did the numbering system start part way towards 1,000? It doesn't matter too much but just for interest it would be nice to know. Thanks a lot! Jonathan
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:48 pm

Jonathan, it means simply that your car is fitted with Lotus Replacement chassis number 1137. I have found that LR chassis numbers are sequential, but that the year they were sold/fitted are not. For example, from my records LR1133 was reported to have been fitted to an Elan in 1980.

!982 is when the galvanised LR chassis appeared.

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PostPost by: JJ66 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:03 pm

Hi Tim, Thanks for the quick reply. The invoice from Lotus is dated 7th June 1982 if that helps at all, and the chassis is definitely galvanized. Interesting that they didn't necessarily fit them in order, but if thats the case, 1133 was in 1980, then 1137 (mine) was half way through '82, was Galvanized and is only 4 numbers up from the 1980 record, does that suggest that only 4 chassis were changed in 2 years? And surely they can't have changed 1137 chassis in only 8 years (after production finished)? I guess Lotus records perhaps aren;t that clear?

Thanks and Regards, Jonathan
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:08 pm

My galvanised LR subframe #1802 was bought directly from the factory in late 1984.
Last edited by MarkDa on Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:15 pm

5249C5E2-9FA8-4064-931A-7398646CD570.jpeg
5249C5E2-9FA8-4064-931A-7398646CD570.jpeg (70.78 KiB) Viewed 342 times

My non galvanised chassis from the late 70s/very early 80s.

LR1019.

Still in excellent shape.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Plus 2S

BLL 315H in white.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:43 am

The date a LR chassis is fitted can be years after it was made. They may have sat at a suppliers for months or even years before being bought and fitted by a home restorer, for example.

The Lotus records only have the date of sale. After the LR chassis has been delivered to a dealer or parts supplier, there will be very limited data on when it gets fitted, if any.

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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:47 am

I've just twigged that the OP is talking about a +2 chassis.
This begs a further question about numbering - ar they separate for the two types?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:25 am

The LR xxxxxx number is just a Batch N° for traceability that's all :? :?
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:32 am

alan.barker wrote:The LR xxxxxx number is just a Batch N° for traceability that's all :? :?
Alan


so is the original Lotus Chassis number if you want to consider it so - yet at the Factory some found interest in tracing it on VIN plates for ease of reading...

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:02 am

The original Chassis is part of the cars Build Identity and is checked as part of MOT (en France contrôle technique frappe à froid sur chassis).
A replacement chassis is a replacement part with a ref traceability N°/ Batch as part of ISO 9000 (cahier de charge).
This is the number when you tell registration centre they give you the "Q" reg :shock: :shock:

If there was a problem with a Batch then the supplier e.g. Miles Wilkins would be informed. Who then would look at who he sold Chassis to from same Batch and contact Customers for Recall or Inspection.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:38 am

So are we saying that the LR number is not unique?
The numbers seem large for batches?
Was the same true of original 'chassis' numbers?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:41 am

Sorry but i did not say they can't have unique numbers.
You have the Drawing N° and Issue + any modification references.
The first Production Run/Batch would be identified as Group 1.
In each Group or Batch e.g. of say 100 items each item can be numbered N°1 to N° 100 for first Group.
The next Run would be Group 2 and start at N°101 onwards.
On Each Item you can have engraved " Drawing N° followed by Serial N° followed by Batch N°."
This was the system i worked with in the distant past.
Sorry if it seems a bit heavy but it was roughly like that.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:11 pm

Ah! Penny dropping - thanks.
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PostPost by: Donels » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:33 pm

I have +2 chassis, sorry subframe, LR1141 fitted in 82 or 83. When I contacted Andy Graham to get a manufacturing date he told me Lotus didn’t record the dates for LR subframes until Dec 83 when they started with LR1635.

I think Tim said mine was made around 1980.

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:57 pm

I understand ALL Chassis/Sub Frames were supplied through Miles Wilkins or at least Lotus as far as i know.
Gartrac Chassis/Sub Frames.
I'm sure someone here knows the details.
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