Lotus Elan

Evante

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:52 pm

I've been following the Spyder +2 rebuild in "Classics Monthly" & noticed that in the next issue they will be publishing a comparison test between an MX-5 & an Evante.
Do any of you own an Evante?
I saw one that was badly smashed up in practice at Mallory park late last season.
It had a Zetec cobbled into it with the wildest stainless exhaust manifold which wrapped itself around the front of the engine & exited down under the driver's side of the car (RHD).
It also had a most unconventional rear anti-roll bar that was fitted into the boot.
Also at last years Donington one of the stands had an Evante Vegantune engine for sale.(Belt drive twin cam)
Does anybody have any idea of how many of these cars / engines were made or any other information that may be of interest?
Beware of the Illuminati


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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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:29 am

No idea on how many actually made but attached is the orginal sales information from Vegantune. I posted a while ago a separate article on the engine

cheers
Rohan
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Evante001.pdf
Vegantune Evante - original sales information
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PostPost by: Rob Mahoney » Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:29 pm

Hi I saw you old post about the Evante. Maybe you know this now but there only a few. Less than a hundred, I believe. I bought one here in Australia in April and if you can find one,they're still cheap and well worth the money.
People here love it. It has real presence for such a tiny car and is very strongly built and fast enough! I have the 160TC version. Just a bit more power than standard. Mines the dark green colour that suits the car so well and has done 20,000 miles. The suspension needed an overhaul through lack of use and salty British roads but the parts I needed were easy to find. Spydercars built the early Evante chassis so their parts fit and are attractively priced.
Happy motoring!
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:44 pm

Well done Rob, and great to hear about your Evante, sadly John Pelly aka GrumpyBodger passed away early last year, but I know he would have been pleased to get your reply. John was a Rolls Royce trained engineer who finished his working career designing gearboxes for BMW at their Dachau plant, he certainly wasn't a bodger and not always grumpy!
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Rob Mahoney » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:52 pm

Thanks for that, I'm sorry to hear about your friend John. He must have been a good man to know. I'm going to take the Evante to a skid-pan soon to get better aquainted with it.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:54 am

Rob,
If you get a chance it would be great to see some pictures. I have seen a few Evantes over the years at Spyder every single one of them was different in some way, the early ones with the Vegantune twin cam and later ones with Zetecs, but they were all very well built.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Rob Mahoney » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:07 pm

Hi Allan,

I haven't got any good pictures to show you. It looks sensational though. I'll take some when I get the car back, hopefully in late September.

I didn't know I'd be up for a suspension rebuild but the car will be great when I get it back.

Cheers, Rob
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:36 pm

I asked Vegantune of Spaldingto refurbish & repaint my Elan in 1982/83 and I recall that on one of my visits to the works, they were just developing the Evante and had made perhaps 2 prototypes.

George Robinson delighted in telling me how much stonger it was than an Elan because of included carbon fibre in the mix. And he demonstrated the strength by standing on one of the bonnets on the floor, with no hint of damage.

They launched the Evante a year or so later but alas it was a bad time to launch a new sports car and as far as I am aware the 'money men' who invested in Evante Ltd, interfered too much and it went bust.

Some time later Mr Marshall et al in Finchley bought the name, some of the rights and tools (?) and became Vegantune (of Finchley), who also did some works for me. They serviced & modified Evantes but did not build new ones. Alas they too went bust around 2004 ? and the name now belongs to another person, Symon Nicholas Jago . He is actually a member of this forum, but I've been unable to contact him recently.

http://vegantune.co.uk/index.php?option ... &Itemid=30

Bob Morley, who was the main engine man at Vegantune at Finchley left them to create Protune Racing in about 1998 http://www.pro-tune.com/home.htm in Potters Bar. So if you want work done on a Vegantune engine or a Lotus Twin Cam he is a good man for the job.
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PostPost by: Rob Mahoney » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:34 pm

Hi billwill,

If I need work done on the engine, I'll have to get it done here in Melbourne, unfortunately, because of the unattractive frieght costs, even if it travelled by sea. Thankfully there are still parts available and I will be starting to stockpile them once my wallet has recovered from buying the car and re-building the suspension. The Protune rebuild would be great however. More power! I feel tempted to get a set of hotter cams for later on but will probably be sensible for a change...

Do you still have the Elan? There were never many in NZ when I was growing up. if you saw one, it was a pretty special occasion. it's all changed now but back then duty, markup and freight made fully built imported cars nearly twice what they cost at home. At one stage a company called Steele Brothers built a number of Lotus 7's from kits which sold quite well and are highly prized over here to this day. A company bought in a few Europas which mostly ended up looking pretty sad. A friend of mine spent years re-engineering one with a stronger chassis and a Mazda rotary attached to a Porsche gearbox. He took it to the track and it had so much grip on its racing tyres that he ruined the engine through oil surge on Manfields repeated high-speed loops. He gave up in disgust, the only thing he hadn't considered was going to a dry sump layout.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:41 am

Yes, I still have my Elan. Bought in early 1969 that's 47 years ago ?
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PostPost by: Rob Mahoney » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:54 pm

Hi Bill,

George Robinson sounds like he was a character. It's a shame that his business went under but Spydercars have kept going strong it seems and have everything available for the Evante.

47 years is a long time, you must love that Elan and who could blame you! I'm really looking forward to getting the Evante back from it's suspension rebuild and giving it the use it needs to maintain it's health.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:25 am

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