Lotus Elan

Steering Wheel Identification

PostPost by: tscollins » Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:28 am

I am looking for an after market steering wheel to fit my Elan Sprint. I have posted a .pdf file of page 152 of Mike Taylor's book, Lotus Elan, The Complete Story in the Files section of this forum. Hopefully, the following link will get you there.

<a href='http://f6.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/kHk7QkptwcuXYoCTW03ZabfIoa5B6NiMJm_aKpOowlXJqpajnlLEVE0HV5CHYlNEZSS5jf9idkQ77bKio72M6Yb7EE4B/Taylor%20Steering%20Wheel.pdf' target='_blank'>http://f6.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/kHk7QkptwcuXY...ing%20Wheel.pdf</a>

The photo at the top of the page shows the wheel that I would like to purchase. Since this is mounted in a RHD car, I thought some of our UK experts might recognize the manufacturer. There is a name of some kind visible in the photo. Unfortunately, unless you have a copy of the book, it is not likely to be legible enough to serve as the basis for a guess at who produced this wheel.

This wheel is appealing to me because of its thicker cross section and slightly smaller diameter, but most importantly, it has a vintage racing feel that just seems to fit the character and age of the car.

Failing any leads on this particular classic wheel, perhaps I could get some referrals to a currently available equivalent. Thanks for your help.

Tim
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PostPost by: hetchins » Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:50 am

Tim,

I think it's a Moto-Lita.

Check this <a href='http://www.moto-lita.com/' target='_blank'>http://www.moto-lita.com/</a>


Bob
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PostPost by: boxer » Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:59 am

TIM,
I'll venture its not a Mota Lita wheel,but is a ASTRALI wheel,if,that is my eyesight is still any good.
I suspect that ASTRALI are no longer out there but good hunting anyway ! :)
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:26 am

Tim,

Not sure about motolita/astrali it's certainly one of these.

I fitted a new motolita to my +2. Feels and looks mighty fine!
To me they are an OK accessory because they were on sale when the cars were new. I had one on a Mini Coopes S in the 1960s.

If you decide to go the Motolita route they will want to know the number of splines on your steering column so they can give you the correct boss. Thees wheels really are worth getting - expensive - but worth getting.

My wheel is a dished 14", round holes with 3 polished spokes.


Hamish.
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PostPost by: ngs » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:46 pm

Hi Tim.

It looks like "astrali" to me.

They list several on-line UK distributors and one in the US on their web site.

<a href='http://www.astrali.co.uk' target='_blank'>http://www.astrali.co.uk</a>

Cheers, Nigel
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PostPost by: tscollins » Sat Mar 19, 2005 4:58 pm

Thanks guys. Now that I know the word "Astrali", I can clearly read that on the wheel that is pictured in the book. I am in contact with their US dealer.

One last question, Astrali only offer the wheel without holes in a 12" diameter. If I go with the model with holes in the spokes, I can get a 13" wheel. I am actually looking forward to moving down to a bit smaller diameter from the 14" stock wheel. But I have never driven an Elan with a 12" steering wheel. In your opinion, is 12" too small for an Elan used as a spirited Sunday driver?

Thanks again for your help.

Tim
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PostPost by: hatman » Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:44 pm

One point that you may wish to bear in mind before deciding on a smaller wheel with a thicker rim is that you'll find that the oil/temperature gauge is obscured and, as the information thereon is fairly vital, it may persuade you that Colin knew best.
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PostPost by: brassrngfm » Sat Mar 19, 2005 6:27 pm

Tim---I decided to install a 12" Moto-Lita from Dave Bean on my Elan. Because I got it from him along with hub and horn contact parts - it all worked fine. I love the feel. It does obscure the gauge a bit - but I don't care. It fits my hands better and a flick of the wrist makes the car move responsively. Not so much that the car wanders all over the road if I sneeze. A nice compromise from my standpoint. I still have my original wheel in case I ever feel like putting it back on - but I feel safer with the Moto-lita. Much stronger.
Paul
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sun Mar 20, 2005 8:39 am

Tim,

Just been out to the garage with a measuring tape.

The original wheel is 3 spoke, black with 4 holes each spoke and is 15ins in diameter.

My Motolita is 13.5 ins in diameter 3 spoke, 3 holes and is polished aluminuim. (there is an option for black spokes). The quality is excellent and I can't see any other make being better.

If you go for a 12ins wheel it may make the car a bit twitchy as the steering will be very quick.

Regards,

Hamish.


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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sun Mar 20, 2005 8:49 am

Tim,

Forgot this bit (they say it's something to do with age!).

The 13ins wheel does obscure the gauges a bit but you can still see the important one easily - the rev counter. Yes you can see the others if you move your head a wee bit.

I have fitted an oil pressure light switch and logically, an oil pressure light. The light is a tiny yellow LED mounted in a unit about 1ins long. This fits very neatly below the lip of the crash pad above the dashboard. You can't miss it when it comes on. Resolves the problem of not being able to see the oil gauge easily.

I'm also thinking of fitting an overheat warning light - blue this time.

Hamish.

PS - got the lights from Deamon Tweeks. <a href='http://www.demon-tweeks.co.uk/' target='_blank'>http://www.demon-tweeks.co.uk/</a>
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