Lotus Elan

Information on S3 hard tops

PostPost by: Greg Foster » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:47 am

Recently a friend gave me an original hardtop for my S3 elan. I have no idea how this mounts to my car and I need to obtain a parts list for the mounting brackets, window seal and base sealing strip. Also some idea as to how the top was linered and what type of materials were used.
The top need a total refurbishment as it was in a rollover, fortunately the rear screen is in excellent shape but there are tears and stress cracks in the grp.. It seems incredibly light especially without the rear screen installed. Very......flimsy! So any information regarding installation and parts will be appreciated. Pictures welcome!
I need to mount it on my car to align the areas needing repair.
Thanks

Greg
'67 s3 SS
'72 +2 S130
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:35 am

The Lenham Motor Co Ltd still exists, although under relatively new ownership. They began resupplying S3/S4/Sprint hardtops back in 2012 and appear to still be doing so. Here is a link to their website: http://www.lenhammotorcompanyltd.com/20 ... -hard-top/
They say: 'Supplied as a kit which will include the unpainted fibreglass shell, rear screen, window, rubbers and all fittings and brackets. Hard top may require slight alteration to fit.'

This is my understanding about fitting: Mounting is by a lip fitting to the top of the windscreen rail (same as the soft top) and by a simple J clip on each side. The J clip fits under the hinge of the soft top frame hinge. The rear of the hardtop sits on the rear bodywork with no other fixing. The fit tends not to be tight so use foam to fill any gaps. The fit around the doors is such that in heavy rain some drips do enter the car. You can apply a layer of near transparent film under the hardtop rear seal to protect the paintwork; Expel is a self-healing film that would work well.

The original Lenhams had a grey synthetic felt like material (polyester?) glued into the inside..

Tim
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PostPost by: Greg Foster » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:27 pm

Thanks Tim,
I have tentatively placed it on the car and yes it does fit into the lip hook of the windscreen. Sort of kind of doesn't rest on the rear cockpit surround that well. was wondering if the soft top needed to be removed :?
'67 s3 SS
'72 +2 S130
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Location: Flint Hill, VA USA

PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:47 pm

Hey Greg,

I'm responsible for 2 of the S3 HT in the US. The airfreight shipping for two HT was the same as 1 when I placed the order in 1976. I got a friend here in Columbus to buy the 2nd one.

They were shipped in a big cardboard box, little if any packing. They were packed sorta like 69 and each one had popped out the window in the other. I ordered them to be both painted BRG and they had been trimmed inside w/ a felt like grey cloth. I don't remember if there were rain gutters.

I had to go to the customs office at the airport to retrieve the shipment and the box was breaking up. So, the little "J" hooks to hold the top down to the top bows had been lost and I had to contact Lenham again to have them replaced. I still have one if you'd like to use it as a pattern. Since there were 4 big items in the box, I can't believe the back glass wasn't broken. It did however damage the glued-in headliner in one more than the other.

One also had the exterior finish damaged and I noticed that there was a high level of talk filler under the paint. But the biggest problem was neither would fit the contour of the top edge of the windscreen.

When I got the Elan out of winter storage next spring, one day I drove to work fine in the morning, but returning home that night, something happened (pot-hole) and I soon found that the RF turret had cracked the rest of the way round. So I put plan B into place which was to buy the FHC I had looked at on a business trip the previous year in Arkansas. My wife said you don't need a coupe , you've already got the hard top, to which I replied that I would sell it. I sold it to another friend who must have felt slighted he didn't get in on the original order. It was gone the next day and over the hotest ever 4th of July weekend we borrowed a Suburban and open trailer and drove to Little Rock. I don't know what happened to either of the HT. I've often wondered where they ended up and if they ever got installed on an Elan
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'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
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'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
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PostPost by: Greg Foster » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:35 pm

Roger,
This one is white with what looks like coarse yet thin T Shirt weave material somewhat remaining on the inside. Apparently the car was rolled sometime back in history, with the hard top on. Lots of stress cracks and a few tears. The glass is in good shape. The guy who owned it died a few years ago....not from the accident.
Greg
'67 s3 SS
'72 +2 S130
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