Lotus Elan

catch-the-bug - Again

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:40 pm

Ok, New-Old topic, the old one is archived so you can't reply but Kiyoshi has gotten a lot of miles out of the post and its a good one. Lots of folks that used to contribute to the forum have moved on or gone silent but all of the responces are great, you will see some folks names that are still die-hard contributors. If you haven't gone and looked at them the original post is

http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtop ... sc&start=0

Gary
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:42 pm

In brief, loved reading the car rags in H.S. and any mention of lotus had me doing more that looking at the pictures, I actually read the text...

I went to look at a Europa and after sitting in a well used one and not being able to work the clutch I canned that Idea. Under a tarp was an Elan and I was on a new quest. I ended up buying an Elan several months later, How about a little fire scare crow??? I bought an Elan with a bit of a carb fire, foot box and wing were burnt but the rest looked fair, and spent the next couple of months putting it back together. Drove it a hundred miles the first week and coudn't get it inspected because of a cracked windscreen, bought a couple of screens and seemed to get the wrong ones as it was ordered for an S2 and that was a bad thing. Its was a S2 Coupe screen and not a Roadster screen. I finally got the right screen and put it in, did some other maintenance and along come the blizzard of 78 to submerge the Elan and put my new windscreen back to the earth. That did in my desire for another 10 years. Things changed a bit and I had some time and money and was hooked again bad and still have a bit of a problem saying "NO" when it comes to most old things Lotius...


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PostPost by: chrishewett » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:19 pm

1971, I was with a pal in West hill road, Putney, London, in the pouring rain trying to get my 1959 Matchless to start. I was 16. Suddenly we heard a car coming down the road at great speed and with a great noise. We rushed to see what it was. A twincam Europa. At what seemed to be impossible speed it reached the 90 degree bend and unbelievably went round in a cloud of spray under perfect control and accelerated away. I still remember it clearly.
I bought my first Lotus, a +2, in 2000, which I still use. I also have an s1 111s elise set up for track and an M100 Elan for everyday use.
I could really use an Esprit turbo but where would I keep it?
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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:50 pm

I learned humility in my Fiat 1500 Cabriolet at Bay and Bloor one fall eve at 1;30 in the morning ---- I was sitting at the north bound stop light when a lotus elan sidles up beside me > The driver had a pea jacket a Greek fisher cap and the most enormous wrist watch I had ever seen -----[ I can take him ] thought I > Without even looking when the light changed his car was gone -him in 3rd and me still rowing in first ---- so after 40 years of child rearing-- mortgages-- race budgets I finally found mine in a barn ---ed
Last edited by twincamman on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:02 pm

1973 - Brighton, England. I had been very interested in British cars for many years but without specific focus. I was in England on a student exchange program at the University of Sussex for half of my senior year. I remember stumbling out of some pub out in the woods near Ditchling Beacon and seeing an S4 Sprint blast by at an impossible speed. Later in that period I was overhauled by a dark blue +2 one morning driving out to Lewes for classes. It was easy to overhaul me then, I had a 1961 Morris Minor with bad front wheel bearings and probably 60 psi compression in all cylinders (the Trafficators worked!). I will always remember watching the rear end of that +2 pull away on a sunny morning on an empty, winding road. Graduate school (another way to stay out of Viet Nam) held things up for a while longer but I finally bought 050 0170N in the summer of 1977. Things got worse many years later when I saw Elite #1010 at a US Lotus gathering. It was special to sit in the seat where Jim Clark raced on the Brands Hatch Boxing Day meet in 1958. So now I have Elite 1771 next to 050 0170N in the garage. My time at Sussex was a lot of fun. I went to a professor's office one afternoon to go over some homework problems and immediately noticed a Melmag F1 wheel on his bookshelf. This was one of the early Melmags with the aluminum honeycomb center section. On this one the honeycomb had failed completely and the wheel parted company from the car. The professor and I talked about this for a while and it turned out he was consulting for Surtees. A quick phone call and the lads and I got an extensive tour of the Surtees works later that week.
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PostPost by: Yum-yum » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:28 pm

Like so many in the first post, I had my first exposure through the Avenger series in the 60s. While in high school in the early 70s, I was kicking around a wrecking yard (something I love to do) and stumbled upon a complete elan rear drive, halfshafts, rotoflex, disks and all, languishing in the mud. I thought I'd better understand this more. That, and the Honda 600 carcass nearby were so different from anything else I was familiar with. It wasn't until well out of school in 1988 when I found my dream car, a 1969 DHC parked behind a Chinese restaurant in Oakland, the mice had a stash of noodles in their nest in the drive tunnel. I had the car repainted close to the blue of Mrs. Peel's and work on it as needed. I used to enjoy the odd track day and watching the historic races, lately I've been thinking of getting back into it all.
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:25 am

Well, my Lotus fascination started in the '50s with the Lotus 6, then the 8, 9, 10, 11, and 14.

I was a starving student, so wound up with a Super Hawk. Many modifications followed. I was in the service in Japan, and got some factory manuals which had different gears for the gearbox. Even then I was a gear ratio nut, and put together a close ratio properly spaced set from different wide ratio parts. Stripped and lightened, clip-ons and rear sets, ported heads, etc, etc. A pocket rocket a generation before its time.

My wife and I used to go riding in the Hollywood Hills and Mullholland back before these roads were more commonly known. One day, I came around a bend to find a stream of muddy water across the road. The bike slid across the road on full opposite lock (remember, clip-ons and rear sets). There was no guard rail, and it was a long way down. As the bike reached the side of the road, it had scrubbed off the mud on the tires, it picked itself up, and we went down the road.

The next day, my wife suggested we get a sports car.

I looked at Elites (Jay Chamberlain's original shop was up the street from me, Bill Young in Montrose serviced the JPL crowd).

But my wife liked the Elan. So I special ordered a FHC with 3.55 diff and CR trans from Bob Challman. Naturally, he took my money and delivered a stock car. Took awhile to get get it the way I thought it should be.

The guys at work thought I was daffy getting this little car instead of a Porsche or other proper car until they took it for a drive.

The Elan has turned out be a good daily driver and vacation car (People are amazed when I tell them we vacationed for two weeks in the car and came back with 8 cases of wine!) And the running costs are less than the sedans we owned, even factoring in rebuild costs every 80,000 miles or so.

Still have the car, although it is in small pieces due to a wrong way driver, confrontations with the insurance companies, the mechanic walking off the job, etc, etc. So I am learning to put together a Lotus from bits, many of which have walked away during the years, never having worked on a car.

David
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PostPost by: Jas » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:40 pm

I caught the bug when I was a child and my dad had first a Seven and later an Elan.
The best thing was getting picked up from school a Friday afternoon to go club racing, with the Seven or Elan and a Mallock on the trailer.
I now have a Elan of my own and it gives me a smile on my face every time I drive it, even sitting in it when it on stands in the garage for winter lifts the mood.
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Club meeting at Knutstorp raceway in Sweden
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