Lotus Elan

Elan Wire Wheels?

PostPost by: snowgear » Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:33 am

New to Elans, My buddy wants to know if Elans ever had wire wheels.. Has anyone ever seen one with wires? I know the Elite had them, what does it take to put on 13" wires, Are they even available?? Or are wires on an Elan a NO No?? Thanks.
Also, what year and model Elan did Ema Peel (Diana Rigg) drive on " The Avengers" Thanks all.. Tim
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PostPost by: BillGavin » Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:53 pm

Elans never came from the factory with wire wheels - at least not in normal production. Spitfire parts could be used for the front, but for the rear splined hubs you're on your own.

Emma Peel had an S2 in the early episodes, and a blue S3 in 1967. The report is that Chapman wanted the latest car on TV, so he sent a brand new Elan over to the studio.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:05 pm

If you ever get a Groits Garage catalog, there is a wire wheel'd Elan shown on the page for a vacuum bleeder system for brakes. I've always wondered whose car that is.

For those who don't know, Groits Garage is a mail order outfit in the Tacama, Wa. area that sells high end cleaning and maintanance produces for your car. I believe they're at www.groitsgarage.com.
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PostPost by: sotul86 » Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:21 am

Hi

Here is a example from Sweden Borraniwheels it is I think, owner upgrade

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PostPost by: BillGavin » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:46 pm

I should qualify my previous post in two regards:

Spitfires, like most Triumphs, used bolt on splined adaptors on the standard rear hubs for wire wheels. These would probably work on an Elan, using the standard Elan hubs for bolt on wheels.

Bolt on wire wheels are available from a number of sources, including Dayton. IIRC the last of the Midgets and Spitfires used bolt on wire wheels: Spitfire bolt ons should fit an Elan, although the offset may need to be adjusted.

There were several reasons that knock on wire wheels fell out of favor:

Wire wheels are more expensive than simple bolt on steel wheels.

The K/O setup is heavier that B/O and is all unsprung weight.

Horse power and cornering power began to exceed the limits of wire wheels, especially in the smaller sizes: 15" wheels went from 48 to 60 to 72 spokes, but I don't think a 72 spoke 13" wheel would be practical. Cast or forged alloy wheels are a lot ligher, and hugely stronger than wires.

The use of tubeless tires make the use of wire spoked wheels problematic. Dayton makes wire wheels for tubeless tires, but from what I've seen it's not a perfect solution, especially for high load or competition situations.

Improvements in tires have reduced the need for frequent fast changes, so K/O may be faster to change, but it really doesn't matter.

Since power and cornering ability are big attractions of Elans, wire wheels wouldn't seem to be the first choice.
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PostPost by: tdafforn » Thu Feb 19, 2004 3:49 pm

As far as I was concerned, wire wheels were used on racers in the early days as the technology for welding steel wheels wasn't up to the job. Now it is and hence wire wheels our out.
Do look kinda nice though, although all that chrome to clean.
BTW Spitfire wirewheels come up on ebay V regularly
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Mon Mar 01, 2004 12:54 pm

If the Elan has knock on wheels to begin with it will be hard to find wire wheels for it since the Lotus Knock on hubs are very different from the british wire wheel knoock on. If the Elan has bolt on hubs than spitfire wheels will work.

I bought Panasports (minilite style) for my autocross tires and I have the stock knock on steel wheels for my regular street tires.
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PostPost by: petrolblood » Sun Apr 12, 2009 8:58 am

If someone still wonders of wire wheel on a Lotus Elan, here I found an advertise.
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Elan +2 S130 lhd disassembled and in wait for a BDG Block
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:58 pm

0ooh no not another Shape Craft advert ----when will the persecution ever end - :roll: --ed
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PostPost by: elj221c » Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:04 pm

Wires on an Elan?

NO!

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PostPost by: Old English White » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:30 am

... Another picture showing an Elan with wire ...
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Definitly not my cup of tea ...
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:45 pm

wire wheels always fail just when you need them most -under heavy load at the apex ----they belong on baby buggies ---ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:55 pm

sotul86 wrote:...owner upgrade

:? I don't think so...

:arrow: Matthew
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:29 pm

twincamman wrote:wire wheels always fail just when you need them most -under heavy load at the apex ----they belong on baby buggies ---ed


http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm28 ... ori_02.jpg

This car also had Rotoflex couplings. :twisted: :wink:
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:57 pm

very nice but I wouldn't sit in it in anger---- Ken Miles shouldn't have either --0ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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