Lotus Elan

LHD - Tach vs. Speedo orientation

PostPost by: 1963 S1 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:43 am

Hello all, would you know which is the factory orientation/placement of the Tachometer and Speedometer on a Left Hand Drive? Is the tach located to the left of the speedometer, similar to that of the Right Hand Drive cars? This would be for a Series 1 Elan. Would also be interesting to know whether the orientation would differ for the later models and Plus 2s. Thank you.
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PostPost by: JohnCh » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:55 am

Based on photos in period road tests, all S1-S3 cars had the tach on the left. With the S4 the tach moved to the right on LHD cars, but remained on the left on RHD cars. I'm not sure if there was a transition period with LHD placement either with late S3s or early S4s. Anyone know?

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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:37 am

My 69 S4 SE LHD Federal has the the tach on the left. Original, as delivered to me at the factory.

So, contrary to the statement that it was transitioned to the right. At least on my car.

CORRECTION: My LHD S4 was indeed delivered with the the tach on the right. Sorry for the confusion. My car has been away for paint and I got it wrong.
Last edited by 1owner69Elan on Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: JohnCh » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:16 pm

I found several road tests of S4s (from introduction through Sprints) and each had the tach on the right for LHD cars. I wonder if your car is an anomaly or if this means the factory wasn't rigidly following a set build process during manufacture? It's Lotus though, so I can't see that happening ;) Curious if there is a definitive answer for the S4?

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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:47 pm

Federal Sprints have the Tacho to the right of the Speedo.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:49 pm

?My 69 S4 SE LHD Federal has the the tach on the left. Original, as delivered to me at the factory.

So, contrary to the statement that it was transitioned to the right. At least on my car.?

CORRECTION: My LHD S4 was indeed delivered with the the tach on the right. Sorry for the confusion. My car has been away for paint and I got it wrong.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:56 pm

1963 S1 wrote: ...Would also be interesting to know whether the orientation would differ for the later models and Plus 2s. Thank you.


My various Plus 2 manuals all show the LHD facia with the tach on the right. Certainly set up this way on the Federal cars.

Having fiddled with an aftermarket loom that was originally configured for RHD I can?t imagine there being much assembly variation if the correct model wiring was being installed?

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PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:18 pm

tach on right for mine as well
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PostPost by: Citromike » Sat Aug 31, 2019 4:19 am

3efd4d85-f8a0-43e6-add0-429665163dce.jpeg and


I?m second owner since 20k miles. I?m sure this is original.

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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:52 am

my blue '68 s4se has tacho on the right, I'm ashamed to admit I still have not taken out the dash in spite of severe varnish cracking (red lettering)... I got it with 18kmiles, last on the road prior my restoration was 1977.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:16 pm

On LHD cars, having the speedometer on the left allows for a smoother transition of the speedometer cable to the instrument, lessening the chance of having a bouncing needle.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:29 pm

Original, just as I was starting dash renovation:
tach-location.jpg and
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:39 pm

Tach on the right in my federal Plus 2.
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PostPost by: SGO 2F » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:29 pm

I think you will find that the tach will always be to right in a LHD car and to the left in a RHD car.

This is necessary to accommodate the path of the trip odo reset cable from the odo to its fixing position in the dash support.

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