Lotus Elan

S4 Steering Wheel

PostPost by: 106500 » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:37 pm

Astonished to see an original steering wheel to go for >?500 on Ebay a few days ago. Does anyone think realistically that these will be re-manufactured at any point? must be money to be made...??
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PostPost by: adigra » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:13 am

They are climbing, but they've been in the ?400 region for a while. I've been wondering the same thing about them being re-manufactured as, I assume, it'd be impossible to tell... The S3 SE wheel is madness as well, going for close to a grand.

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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:54 am

The idea of having a batch of steering wheels made has been mooted on here in previous years. If I recall, a batch were made up but getting the signature done proved too tricky for some reason. Then a few years ago someone on here investigated & costed getting another batch made; the conclusion from that exercise being that the wheels would be just as expensive as they are when they come onto the market now.

I guess it comes down to supply and demand. Currently there is a limited supply of all Elan original steering wheels, allied to a consistent demand, thus the prices are high. Increase the supply and the price will in theory, drop, which would be great for us as consumers, not so good for the poor fellow who decided to go to all the trouble of having the wheels made. Having said that of course, one might apply it to any spare part that needs re-manufacturing. We are lucky that there are still enthusiastic suppliers like Paul Matty, Susan Miller, Dave Bean and the Elan Factory, who are willing to have items made up so that we get to keep our cars on the road.

For any make of classic car there will be items that become rare, hard to find and uneconomic to have made anew. So we end up having to pay the price when we need to get one of those parts for our car.

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:20 pm

I suspect that it would be a violation of copyright to copy Colin Chapman's signature and that copyright will be owned by his heirs for 70 years after his death.
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PostPost by: adigra » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:47 pm

I think Bill is definitely correct as I would imagine the signature is a registered trademark. But if wheels were to be recreated without the signature, I can't see why the engraving itself would be an issue...

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PostPost by: gherlt » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:49 pm

Hi,
I engraved the signature on two steering wheels, no problem at all if you look at industrial suppliers,
not the typical aound-the-corner cup engraver. Both cost about 250 EUR.

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1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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