Lotus Elan

S1 tail lights

PostPost by: Bluefield » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:49 am

Greetings,

I am confused about the original tail lights on the Series 1 Elan. As I understand it, the UK Elans had 2 lamps per side; Lucas 551 and 539. Those bound for US export had 3 per side; 691?

Now, my car was originally exported to Switzerland and currently have 3 lamps per side of the 691 type. I am not sure however what was the original setup. So, my question is - should I replace the flashers with 539s and keep the 691s or change also the 691s to 551s ? I kind of like the looks of the 551/539s :)

Any input from you experts out there?

/Bluefield
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:24 pm

L692 lamps are U.S.A. only and 2 per side (a total of 4) were used along with one RER31 reflector on the inner (2 total).

4020 rear no lamps.jpg and
No lamps installed


4020 with tail lamps lr 800.jpg and
Domestic L551 and L539 installed on U.S.A. import Elan 26/4020



Lamps are interchangable but there are 4 extra holes that are left when the RER31 reflectors are unused.

S1 taillamp holes.jpg and
Lamp holes with dimensions from Elan body 3709
Last edited by garyeanderson on Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:21 pm

For comparison sake another picture , this one a s1 federal set up.

As mentioned earlier this is a US/federal only configuration. These cars also had the floorboard mounted headlamp HB switch

George
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:32 am

It should also be mentioned that the third set of inside lights are actually reflectors. and there should be no hole in the body work for the wires. You will still have the 2 holes per light for the mounting studs.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:45 am

I would never say never with Lotus...or Switzerland!

If something was required in the USA (the 3 lights) then chances are it would also be required in Switzerland. They were a very early safety-conscious country, and quickly picked up the Nader ideas and Californian emissions restrictions.....if one country in Europe had the same requirements as the USA, it would be Switzerland.

But it may just be that an order came through from Switzerland and the factory happened to have a USA-bound lhd car in the right colour...and off it went.

I'd certainly leave it as is...adds to the period charm!

Mark
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PostPost by: Bluefield » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:58 am

I know that the car has had 3 lights per side at least back to late 70s, but of course I can't be sure they are original. Maybe some cars came with the small shark-fined 539 flashers together with 691/692? I have no reflectors, the inner lights are... lights :)

/Bluefield
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:31 pm

Bluefield,

Is the high-beam switch mounted on the steering column or the floor board ? you can also double check by looking in the lh side front fenderwell to see if the 2 mounting holes were ever drilled . Any chance you have the original headlamps ? ( don't laugh I actually have one with the original headlamps). BTW The blue car in the picture is 3 unit numbers away from yours . last question 2 piece or one piece dash ?

George
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PostPost by: Bluefield » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:33 pm

George - high beam switch on the floor, full width dash (just replaced with a refinished one in walnut veneer but the old one looked very original to me). I have no way of knowing whether the lamps are original but they are definately old ones :lol: The flashers are broken so I replaced them with cheap aftermarket ones until I decide on new ones. Will check for holes in the fender - the car is currently in its deep winter beauty sleep :)

Nice to hear your blue car and mine (also blue, although non-Lotus) are siblings - do you know what date it left the factory? Mine was apparently delivered 6th august -64.

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PostPost by: Tahoe » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:53 pm

Bluefield,

What color is your S1? I've been seriously thinking of going a dark blue on mine instead of a stock color.

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PostPost by: cabc26b » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:54 am

Blue -

my car was invoiced the week before. BTW another s1 I use to own , was numbered 30 units earlier and left the same week as yours, also a federal spec car but with a 2 piece dash....

Our finance guy tells me the snow has not come down the mountains into Geneva yet maybe you can drive around there this weekend ?

George
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PostPost by: Bluefield » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:02 am

my car was invoiced the week before. BTW another s1 I use to own , was numbered 30 units earlier and left the same week as yours, also a federal spec car but with a 2 piece dash....
Those were great times, just using what you had available on the shelf. Stands in sharp contrast to todays manufacturing. Are we just nostalgic or..?

Russ - the color is called designo-blue, used by Mercedes. Shifts from blue to green depending on the light. Not very original, but it shines :)

George - the car (including myself) is actually in Sweden. We still have no snow, but it sure is too cold and slippery for Lotus driving. Some say that Spring will come even next year...

/Bluefield
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PostPost by: Bill » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:39 pm

Guys

My S1, 0538, shipped to Canada in early '64 had 2 red #691 type per side, no reflector. It has a walnut oiled split dash which I reveneered 15 years ago.

Keep your stick on the ice.

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PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:59 pm

I would be interested in when U.S. imports were called "Federal"?

I have a '63 and it has the old style MG Magnet or Elite Tail lights with a reflector inboard.
It also has the two piece dash, and the controls are on the stalk, but it was originally sold in the U.S.

So there appears to be changes at different times among the S1 export cars.
My first Elan which I had years ago, back in the '70s, was an odd ball also, as it was a very early coupe, but it also had three tail lights and earlier trim. I called it a Series 2-1/2.

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PostPost by: Bluefield » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:05 am

Guys,

Thanks for the input. I am still not convinced whether I should keep the present 691s and add 539s as flashers or go for new 691 flashers?
I will at least keep the 3 per side configuration. Anybody seen cars with both 691 and 539?

Any thoughts?

/Bluefield
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:44 pm

Hi Tim,

I think that the Federal term is used in the original service manual ( i don't have it with me at the moment to check) and I recall the reference in the books as well. I also have a 63 with the 2 piece dash, 2 red lamp 1 reflector but with the foot dip-switch. any chance you have 2 ( #8) holes ( in the front fender well) for the floor switch?

George

PS what color are your front turn signals ?
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