Lotus Elan

Steering wheels

PostPost by: RobertCrooks » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:06 pm

I was wondering whether the steering wheel on an S3 would have been the same or at least very similar to that on an early +2? My S3 has come with non-standard wheel that is also in very poor condition, and I know where I can lay my hands on a steering wheel from a +2.

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:01 pm

The S3 had three different wheels. The non-S/E had a woodrim wheel with slotted spokes, the same as the S2, and the S/E had a leather covered wheel with slotted spokes, the same as the S2 S/E. The last S3 cars, from about June 67 onwards had the Chapman signed leather (or plastic) covered wheel where the spokes had holes instead of slots. This is probably the one you're thinking of as being similar to an early Plus 2 wheel, but on the S3 it was 14 inch diameter, and on the Plus 2 it was 15 inch diameter.

Unfortunately, any original steering wheel for a S3 is expensive...from ?250 for one that can be restored, to ?800 for a mint S/E wheel. But there are some good alternatives that take the original boss and horn push, like the Tony Thompson Racing (TTR) 26R replica wheel.

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PostPost by: adigra » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:34 am

I didn't know that the later S3 cars used the Chapman wheel.

Actually, who made/makes the wheels which look just like the Chapman ones but have no signature? Someone I know has a wheel like that in their S4 and I've always been curious about it.

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:34 am

The one you saw could well be from the same manufacturer, Adi....Springall. They made the Chapman signature wheel, and the same wheel with different diameter and dish to fit any car. My very early Plus 2, from Sep '67, has the wheel without the sig, but it is 15 inch diameter.

Why some had the signature and others didn't seems to be another of those Lotus mysteries, but I would assume stock issues.

Other possibilities are the MotoLita, as the originals would take the original boss and horn push, the Les Leston wheel and of course the cheap and cheerful Astrali....I'm sure that there were many others.

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PostPost by: adigra » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:22 pm

Thanks Mark! That has to be it as it's identical in all respects except for the signature.

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PostPost by: Seamus » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:55 pm

interior.jpg and
I am looking to replace the 12 inch Mountney wheel on my S4 with a Moto Lita (I am a big fan of their wheels). My conundrum is whether to go for either a dished or flat version. I am inclined to go for a 13inch flat but I would appreciate your opinions.............
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:16 am

Seamus wrote:I am looking to replace the 12 inch Mountney wheel on my S4 with a Moto Lita (I am a big fan of their wheels). My conundrum is whether to go for either a dished or flat version. I am inclined to go for a 13inch flat but I would appreciate your opinions.............


Whatever diameter you go for it must be dished; if not you'll be clicking onto your turn indicators/dip switch whenever you come to a corner. I've (over the last 40+ years) had every diameter of wheel from 11" to the standard ones. I love Moto Lita too- the original Colin Crapman ones hang on the wall, plastic and leather covered.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:11 pm

If you hunt out an older Moto Lita wheel / hub you can use the standard horn push which looks right. A modern Moto Lita has a large space for the wheel centre, and they only supply a large black plastic thing with a Lotus badge in the middle. It's looks a bit cheap and nasty to me!

Here's what the modern one looks like, and my earlier one with original horn push to compare. Mine is 13inch diameter, which is just about perfect for me.

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PostPost by: Craven » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:25 pm

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PostPost by: Coupe » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:21 pm

My red 'Moto Lita'. Maybe not suit the traditionalists but it is a really well made wheel (and early Team Lotus racing cars did have red steering wheels).
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:25 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:If you hunt out an older Moto Lita wheel / hub you can use the standard horn push which looks right. A modern Moto Lita has a large space for the wheel centre, and they only supply a large black plastic thing with a Lotus badge in the middle. It's looks a bit cheap and nasty to me!

Here's what the modern one looks like, and my earlier one with original horn push to compare. Mine is 13inch diameter, which is just about perfect for me.

Mark


Moto Lita also supply an aluminium centre "thing" which looks much better; I sourced an old-font Lotus badge and stuck that on.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:44 am

I'm not sure which steering wheel you are after but other than the inevitable Ebay, you could possibly check out the new steering wheels (NB: no affiliation) being sold by Kelvedon Lotus and Mark Davis / Jacob Engineering: http://www.jacobengineering.co.uk.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:35 am

wowzers!!!!!!! my steering wheel I S pretty valuable: it's a small diameter MOMO Prototipo (1970?) sandy
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