Lotus Elan

Our roomy cars

PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:19 pm

At 6'5" (on a tall day) and with a 36" inseam, I just fit in the Elan. I have always wondered how I would do in other Lotuses.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to sit in two: a type-14 Elite and a Seven S2. In the Elite, with the large steering wheel, I couldn't get my feet on the pedals at all. It was only slightly better in the Seven with a racing wheel. I don't think I could have driven it.

This past weekend, I was able to try some newer cars for size. First up was an Exige. Getting in is similar to the process in the Elan, but much harder due to the wide sill. Right leg first, butt, duck under the door frame, and drag in the left leg. (I never was all that flexible.) Once in place, my right knee was firmly wedged between the wheel and the shift lever. I will not be driving an Exige (and by extension, an Elise) in this lifetime.

Surely the huge Esprit (Turbo V8) would be more capacious, and sure enough, my feet were on the pedals with room to maneuver. However, my head was hard up against the glass sunroof. Cross the Esprit off the list.

I didn't try my friend's Caterham (memories of the Seven) or Eurpoa Twin-Cam. I did sit in an Evora at LOG 30 last year and that was fine (although overhead traffic signals would be merely a rumor).
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:27 pm

[quote][/quote](I never was all that flexible.)

But Andrew, you are RotoFlexible :roll: The two Lotus cars in which you would be comfortable in addition to the Evora are the Plus 2 and the Elite/Excel/Eclat series. But only in the front seats not behind that!

It never fails to amaze tall folks at car shows about how much room there is in our tiny Elan roadsters when I say "sure you can sit in it". Now as for the coupe...
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:01 pm

Andrew,

Don"t give up on the Caterham, they made a long cockpit version. I would not be too quick to cross the europa off the list either. Lotus made room in the twincam ( type 74) passenger compartment for taller folks by dropping the floor. I just fit at 6'2" in the type 46/47 ( cushion out with a helmet on) with the pedals moved forward the later cars are easier for me.

George
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:40 pm

Andrew, you and I are exactly the same size and share the same frustration! I?m restoring an Elite currently and having to take a lot of care getting a seat lowered sufficiently to be able to drive the car comfortably. Even then it won?t be anything like the Elan due to the rear suspension tower occupying driver space! As long as I can make a 100 mile or so blast I?ll be happy.

I bought an S4 convertible Elan a few years ago on ebay as a little tuck-away project. When I went to pick the car up, the owner, who was a doctor in the local hospital, looked very concerned. He was 6ft tall and the reason he hadn?t used the car for the last 20 years of his 28 year ownership was that he couldn?t fit in comfortably, and he just gave up trying. He looked very worried and told me that there was no way that I would be able to drive the car.

When I looked at the car the seat was at its furthest back adjustment, but in the front recess. I unbolted the seat, put it in the back position, bolted it up and invited him to try the car?he couldn?t quite reach the pedals!

He was amazed, and a little embarrassed that he?d suffered the car for 8 years and given up for 20. I did offer not to buy the car, but I think that the previous 28 years had convinced him that he just wanted to sell!

I would love a Seven, and an early Esprit, but there?s just no way. I?ve never tried a twincam Europa though?. Thanks George!!

Ross, I've had my Coupe for 36 years now, and I can still walk!

Mark
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:01 am

Why some of our cars are roomy -

Mike Kimberly is 6'5" tall - first project from Colin, redesign the europa - what did he do ? make it fit the project engineer a guy 6'5" tall.

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PostPost by: andyelan » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:52 am

Hi Andrew

You'll be OK with the Europa Twin Cam, once you're in it that is. Don't expect to get out of it in any sort of elegant manner though, it is very very low.

That said, I always thought it was shoe size rather than height which was the limiting factor with our Lotus

You could also try a Plus 2, there's loads of room inside them

Regards
Andy
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PostPost by: Mark B » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:44 pm

You'd fit in a wide body westfield or sv caterham, and you probably would fit in a superlight standard body caterham because of the tillet (shell type) seat as there's no padding to push you forwards, I'm 6'3" with size 14 feet & I fit in them (wearing karting boots).

There's hope yet.... :wink:
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:44 pm

Do you over 6 footers look through or over your Elan windscreens? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:59 pm

D.J.Pelly wrote:Do you over 6 footers look through or over your Elan windscreens? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Taxi !!!



Most of the extra length seems to be in the trouser department. :roll:
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:33 pm

elansprint71 wrote:
D.J.Pelly wrote:Do you over 6 footers look through or over your Elan windscreens? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Taxi !!!



Most of the extra length seems to be in the trouser department. :roll:


You are of course relating to your own physical proportions?
Well endowed anoraks are probably, I expect, a rare breed :lol:

Where the hell is that Taxi?
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