Lotus Elan

Restored Steering Wheel

PostPost by: mac5777 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:08 pm

Hi guys, thanks for all of the photos of the wheel. I would take the wheel off and rotate it. So when driving straight the metal spokes do not block the instruments and adjust the horn emblem. The wheel that sold had it right.
I'm about to list my wheel on EBay.
Sarto
lotus elan 1966 S3 FHC
36/5785
LHD
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:39 pm

[quote="ardee_selby"][quote="type28jp"]I used to own very early Elan S1 in USA and the steering wheel is as shown on the artwork.
The spokes are shaped upside down "Y". I have actually seen one other Elan had same steering wheel in USA.

I sold the S1 to friend of mine in Japan 10 years ago and he restored the steering wheel recently.

type28jp[/quote]

Interesting! But from the nominal straight-ahead position, with some bendy bits in the road, don't the instruments get obscured? Appears to give a better view of ones knees![/quote]


Several observations come to mind...

Visibility of the instruments depends on other factors beside the steering wheel spokes, in fact it could be argued that the vertical spoke does not obscure either of the two large instruments as it site between them in the straight ahead position. Another factor is the height of the driver!

I think the setting of the wheel shown in the picture looks unacceptable to European or British eyes, to an American it may be quite normal. In a UK house a room light switch is always fitted so that UP is OFF and Down is ON. In the USA the ones I have seen are OFF in the Down position. In the S1 Elan dashboard picture the switches all appear in the down position, I wonder if Lotus did this to all of the USA bound Elans?
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:22 pm

Mk1 Locort wheel orientation doesn't follow S1 Elan, or vice versa...think you sit a bit lower in an Elan....See pic in Marks' excellent site

http://www.lotuscortinainfo.com/?page_id=430

Did Locort wheels get turned round for the USA market?
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:49 pm

I have some wheels that live in the house. This one is a Chapman wheel and broken clean through at the spoke. I had my friend weld it but this wheel just sees the inside of the living room now.

as the title of the photo says

Be Careful...
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:40 pm

Lotus Cortinas weren't officially exported to the USA until mid '65 Richard, by which time they had long lost their 120 degree separation spokes, along with the Elan. The new style was the one we are most familiar with, with (almost) 180, 90 and 90 degree spokes, allowing beter visibility of the instuments.

The 120 degree spoke design with 'rivet' grip changed very early on to the 180, 90 and 90 degree type for Elans and Cortinas somewhere around March '63, and then the rivet grip changed to the 'grip undulations' type at about the end of '63.

I think!

Mark
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:30 am

Mark,

FWIW - I have a 1963 new years eve elan with a rivet steering wheel, so end of 63 is right , the question is what went on them in January of 64 ?

George
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:38 am

Then they went to the wheel as in Sarto's picture above (the '180 / 90 / 90'), and that stayed through S2 and into S3 production, until the Chapman signed wheels came in late in the S3 production. The exception being the S/E leather rim wheel fitted to the S2 S/E and S3 S/E.

It looks like the Elan and Cortina wheels had the same style at the same time, but were of different dish and of course had a different hub...but I haven't figured out the details of all that yet!

Mark
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:57 am

All the earliest Lotus photos of the 1962 Elan in 1500 announcement guise show the the single spoke in the 12 o'clock position. John Bolster's Autosport road test Elan of March 1963 also has the spoke up there.

I'll bet most early owners asked the dealer to turn the wheel around to the more conventional position.

Tim
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:15 am

Perhaps Lotus were once again ahead of the times, back then?

Nowadays the "go faster boys" & "off road" wrap a bit of tape around the top of the wheel so that they can see when the wheels are centred in difficult situations.
Lotus put the spoke there :wink:

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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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