Lotus Elan

Early Stearing Wheel conundrum ?!

PostPost by: cabc26b » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:56 pm

I cleaned up the Steering wheel and column for the S1 this weekend and it got me to thinking about the steering wheel again - it's unusual for an early car , its both right and wrong - See the pictures

I guess the question asked here is opinions/info on if the factory had a hand or would do a special request such as this ?

Before we go down the path of it never happened - - There is a picture of one in the Chris Harvey book on Elite Elan and Europa.... Interesting to see who's car had it done -
Attachments
Steering-1.JPG and
Execution of wrap is really well done , not a home job - I only have pictures of the car going back 28 years , showing this wheel -
steering-2.JPG and
Scars are there but minor , has patina - all i did was to clean with Lexol leather cleaner followed by Lexol hide food -
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:30 pm

It looks very similar to my S3 S/E wheel, which was original to the car, and to the late S2 S/E I believe. Yours maybe a little thicker in the rim, but that's not a bad thing! It's period, it's the right style and looks right on the car. My Elite has something similar, although it's 14 inch diameter and for me, nicer than the woodrim. I'm sure my car didn't come out of the factory with this wheel, but it's certainly staying!

Mark
Attachments
zS3 SE Wheel.jpg and
zSteering wheel & keys.jpg and
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:03 pm

Mark that Elan has either got a prescription windscreen in or the driver has a very big heed (with acknowledgement to Billy Connolly!).
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PostPost by: Leo Leentvaar » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:07 am

elanfan1 wrote:Mark that Elan has either got a prescription windscreen in or the driver has a very big heed (with acknowledgement to Billy Connolly!).



Wasn't that the story that he told his father that with modern technology you could get a windscreen with prescription glass and his father did fall for that one by going to the dealership afterwards to enquire?
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PostPost by: paddy » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:30 am

Ford did an April Fool on that theme last year:

http://www.talkingmotors.com/industry-n ... creen.html

I liked the comment below from someone who fell for it:

My wife and I wear different glasses how will this type of screen deal with two differing prescriptions, does that also mean that I will have to change the windscreen every time my prescription changes! More cost for the motorist!


:)

Back to the question of early steering wheels, you do see two distinct arrangements of the spokes, one where they are equally spaced (ie at "ten to two") and one where the upper spokes are more spaced out (nearer to "quarter to three"). I believe I've seen both kinds in photos from contemporary test reports - but does anyone know if either one or both is "authentic" ? I've also seen ebay sellers say that the very earliest ones had studs in the rim (and of course these are the most valuable of all :) ) Any opinions on this?

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:21 pm

The early wheels were indeed studded, and common to the Elan and Lotus Cortina. It's the Cortina boys, who seem to be crazy about originality, who have pushed the price up. If you're going to Donnington, Paddy, make sure you meet up with the Type 26 register lads. They will be very interested to talk about your car, and tell you what's original, if that's your thing.

Here's the original brochure showing the early wheel....mounted in an unusual position!

Mark
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z62 1500 5.jpg and
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:17 pm

Original or not, that wrapped wheel looks great and is bound to feel better than the thin wooden rim. I will have to look into having that done to mine. The original rim will still be there underneath if someone wants to unearth it.
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:15 pm

On wheels - I have run the original wood wheels in the past and while I liked the look, the small cross section rim was not comfortable for me. I suspect like Andrew that if I were to take the leather off that I would find a wood rim, but am in no hurry to do so, I like the feel of this one and odd as it is the fact that the wheel shows use by the previous owners.

One last point , The Cortina wheel had more dish to them than the elan wheels and that is one way to to tell - here is photo, not real clear, but this wheel is a Cortina wheel - Mark, don't tell the fun police over in the 26 registry - I did not have an option at the time as this was pre-internet and you took what you could find... On the brochure - IMO this particular piece is a pre-production artist's conception of the car. It misses on large number of details for the early cars.

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263777pg.jpg and
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PostPost by: SpeedModel » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:36 pm

Mark,

The leather wrapped wheel in the above photograph (on the table) is a 26R steering wheel.

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:30 pm

SpeedModel wrote:Mark,

The leather wrapped wheel in the above photograph (on the table) is a 26R steering wheel.

Eric


'ere we go lads; should be fun :D :D :D
Taking cover now.

Nothing personal meant here Eric :wink:
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PostPost by: SpeedModel » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:33 pm

Fire away...
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:14 pm

Eric, I had an email from a mate last night who is restoring a 26R...a real one...and he said the same thing. So my Elite has now become a 14R :D

I'll bet there are a few 26R cars around with less original 26R parts on than my 14R now!!

Thanks for letting me know, Eric. I certainly didn't know until last night, but it will be staying with the 14.

Mark
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PostPost by: SpeedModel » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:39 pm

Mark,

It's an extra cool item indeed and looks great. I believe the horn button is from a type 14 rather than a 26R though.

Eric
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:44 pm

Uh, that's actually a shapecraft wheel .....

Kidding aside if you look at the road test of the SMART racing elan in the march 1965 issue of CAR , you will see a wheel very similar to this one ( no horn button). The Bary Wood surbiton Motors car had a drilled wheel, Graham Warner's LOV1 ran with a wood wheel, The Miles/Wilment car , wheel looks like this one or the pattern being reproduced as a the 26R wheel... so only if you have S2 ?
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PostPost by: SpeedModel » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:32 pm

Original - 14 inch

Image



Reproduction type 26R wheel sold by Tony Thompson - 13 inch

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