Lotus Elan

I wanna Elan because

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:39 pm

So its laundry day and I have some rambling thoughts about why folks would want to buy and own an Elan. I have a narrow view of this type of thing and wanted others opinions. We are all from different parts of the world and it?s quite obvious that we see things differently. Help me out here if you would.

A) I have always wanted one to drive like I stole it.

B) I always wanted to restore and make it the way I wanted

C) I want to restore to the way it came from the factory including the defects (options) that were unique to this specific model

D) I like the Elan, but those options drive me crazy and I need perfection in all aspects, a show car, better than the best.

E) I just want a rat to go and enjoy every day.


Ok, so where do you fit into this scheme. I may have missed or exaggerated some views but you can add your own if you would like. This is not a pole as poles suck. This is a topic for opinions, everyone has one. You can?t be wrong if you never say anything but this isn?t about being right or wrong it?s about having fun. The common language thing that was mentioned seems to be going strong of late. We seem to have at least 3 groups on this forum. Maybe a few other splinter groups and the past members the may or may not be out there. I wish that talk of Elans was a bit higher priority then most, but trash is easy and can be done from nearly anywhere now.

I like A and E but I like them all and posing with ones ride is just as much fun (well not really, but it costs a lot less). I love all original Elans and ones that are restored to that standard if you are paying the bills, but with the "new found economy" I can see the day coming when the 36/9686 becomes a driver.
"Rats are me" could be just to cool painted dark flat grey (like 4597 when I first owned it). With the Buick V6 out of the Grand National stuffed in the S3/S4 Coupe with chopped top and a wind deflector. Maybe the 1500 pre-crossflow would be easier, in stock and not really much of a swap, just carb and a exhaust manifold change.
36-9686.JPG and

First load in the washer is ready to hang on the line, I?ll be back for all of your thoughts in a bit.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:57 pm

F-- Because it is beautiful!

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:14 pm

G. After I drove one I never wanted anything else.

When I was 17-18 I wanted a +2. I had the sales picture on my bedroom wall , the white one under the cliff complete with pretty girl in long dress ....you know the one :wink:

Then having saved sufficient funds I saw a Sprint for sale locally. I drove it, bought it, was bowled over by it and have never wanted a +2 since (nice cars though they are)

I've had several periods in my life when I couldn't afford an Elan (yes I foolishly sold the first one to fund other things) but have always loved them.
John

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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:51 pm

I never expressly wanted an elan , it just followed me home all abandoned and forlorn and needing some one to care for it......ed
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:26 am

Hmm. If I'm honest the Lotus I wanted most as a youngster was the Europa and as soon as I'd passed my driving test that was what I looked for. I didn't get one at the time because I could only afford the Renault one and coming from a motorbike it felt really slow.

When I bought my Elan I honestly expected it to be a 12 month car which was par for the course in those days, but it sort of hung around. Like Twincamman says, it looked lost and forlorn and clearly needed someone to look after it.

Brian
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PostPost by: elj221c » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:36 am

Gary,

You know what mine is.

E

Sadly, as you know, enjoying it every day isn't possible at the moment!

Like john, I originally wanted a +2 but a friends neighbour wanted rid of elj and it was so cheap (he needed the money quick!) that I couldn't resist. Of course it looked a lot nicer then......
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:27 am

So 6 loads of wash yesterday and I got almost everything done. took till nearly 6 pm to finish. I like Summer, no laundry till September. thanks to all for your thoughts.

I got my Elan back in 1976, I had been in a bad jeep accident and lost my left leg below the knee. I had a bit of money left after paying off the doctors and hospital so I went looking for an Europa. Like Brian I thought they were just the thing. I called about one in Somerville, Ma. and my father and I went to look at it. I had never driven one and this one was not going to be any different. But I did get to sit in it and realized immediately that the Left leg was not going to work with a bottom pivot clutch pedal. Scratch the Europa off the list. Luckily (unfortunately for everyone else) for me, there was an Elan there buried under a tarp. It didn't run either but I pulled back the tarp and was able to sit in it and work the clutch with ease. I made an offer for the Elan of $1500 which was rejected. We left and several weeks later I found 26/4597 and bought it. A month or two later a friend of mine bought the Elan in Somerville for $1500? I guess my timing sucks and still does but I have 4597 and Jack sold his Elan to another friend Jim and we ended up getting it going many years later.
green_21.jpg and
In behind a freshly painted bodyshell of 27/4597 is a TVR Grantura and behind that is the upside down S2 shell. That was the first Elan I ever sat in and 16 years later it was in my shop for paint, it was owned by another friend of mine at the time.

Gary
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PostPost by: Old English White » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:14 am

I used to play with the Corgi Toy #319 when I was a child, later, on historics I discovered that it was a winning car. So,
I first wanted to built a racer from "OEW", but both story of the car, its options & money stopped me.
But yes, after the car gently being warm, I tend to drive it back home like I stole it... So A!
Christian. :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:28 am

Option B.

I saw one of the first +2's back in late 1967, it drove past my school gates looking outrageously modern and sleek, I didn't know what it was but I knew I would really like one. Fast forward 38 years and I have bought a +2 but the reality doesn't fulfill the dream of ownership, a full restoration to original just exposes the flaws of the original design, underpowered and underdeveloped. Elans being lighter don't really expose the flaws so much, perhaps if I had bought one of those first I might be option C.

Solution: Change the mechanics to suit personal taste and change the body to suit personal taste.

Mechanics: My taste is well known.

Body: My taste is tweaked original for Elans, which means doors that on an S4 didn't fit originally are made to fit, side repeaters are removed, the chrome strip between front bumper and body is removed and the gap made good. Modern paint and very loud period colour scheme with a nod towards original Sprint sidewinders, Lotus made DHC's and FHC's and below the roofline they are exactly the same, I can't see any reason why an owner shouldnt choose to alter what he has. The +2 bodywork doesn't require any tweaking whatsoever and is one of the most elegant looking cars ever made.

Interior: +2's maybe change the front seats but leave the rest well alone, Jaguar XJS seats fit nicely as do MX5, I have the original seats in mine, but sometimes wish for a bit of side support on cornering.
Elan's don't need anything doing to the interiors apart from maybe a walnut dashboard and a Moto-Lita

Safety: A full roll cage and side impact protection bars is a necessity, this is an upgrade that everyone should seriously consider.

C'mon you all know where I stand! :wink:
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:08 pm

Diversity is best when when I think about it. If for example Say all of the type 26 Elans were the same except for the 4 or so colours that they originally came in, and they are all restored that way. If you had 20 or 30 at a show that would be great, organized by year and colour. But say after a year or two at the same gathering there are another 15 or 20 that get completed and start attending the show. Does something start to happen just like it did 45 years ago where its not too cool to be all the same and someone comes to the show with some new paint scream or a stripe. If you have ever been to the British Invasion in Stow, VT. the Sea of MGB's or TR6's is somewhat akin to what I am trying to describe. What I like about going to shows now is you see it all, original, modified, total race rats. Those that attended Log30 in Gettysburg know what I am talking about. Everyone comes out to play and they all bring their toys and no two are the same. Even for those that left their yet to be completed rides at home, they all left the show with what an Elan or plus2 or what ever their weapon of choice should look like as built and in other forms where they can see what the changes add or detract from the original.

Gary

I had a model of a 56 Corvette when I was a kid, I didn't get one. A friend has one and it looks great but I wouldn't want it now.

Elans are so cute :D
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:18 pm

piss-ant wrote: Elans are so cute :D


"With their light weight, sensitive handling and small displacement engines, there?s an almost feminine character to Lotus road cars, but maybe not too feminine. Like the pretty girl next door who?s got a tat and a piercing that you can?t see with her clothes on."

Ref: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/0 ... innovator/

8) :wink:
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:22 pm

piss-ant wrote:Diversity is best when when I think about it. If for example Say all of the type 26 Elans were the same except for the 4 or so colours that they originally came in, and they are all restored that way. If you had 20 or 30 at a show that would be great, organized by year and colour. But say after a year or two at the same gathering there are another 15 or 20 that get completed and start attending the show. Does something start to happen just like it did 45 years ago where its not too cool to be all the same and someone comes to the show with some new paint scream or a stripe. If you have ever been to the British Invasion in Stow, VT. the Sea of MGB's or TR6's is somewhat akin to what I am trying to describe. What I like about going to shows now is you see it all, original, modified, total race rats. Those that attended Log30 in Gettysburg know what I am talking about. Everyone comes out to play and they all bring their toys and no two are the same. Even for those that left their yet to be completed rides at home, they all left the show with what an Elan or plus2 or what ever their weapon of choice should look like as built and in other forms where they can see what the changes add or detract from the original.

Gary




Gary, I wholeheartedly agree! For me, if the Elan experience was like those rows and rows of identical MGB's at the big Brit car shows, I would have bailed long ago.

Elans are usually very individual. Whether or not I like the mods/lack of on other cars, I still love to check them out. As you noted above, LOG 30 was a prime example. From beautiful, totally original cars, to modded examples, there was a lot of diversity.

I was talking with Jeff from JAE at the LOG, I think we agreed that there were no two cars on the field with the same throttle cable setup!
Mike
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:34 pm

elancoupe wrote: <snip> Elans are usually very individual. Whether or not I like the mods/lack of on other cars, I still love to check them out


Any carbon fibre dash boards on show?

Per:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150655401166? ... 1423.l2649
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:22 am

ardee_selby wrote:
elancoupe wrote: <snip> Elans are usually very individual. Whether or not I like the mods/lack of on other cars, I still love to check them out


Any carbon fibre dash boards on show?

Per:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150655401166? ... 1423.l2649


Hey RD

Did you ever want an Elan?

Gary
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:36 am

piss-ant wrote: Hey RD Did you ever want an Elan? Gary


Not the one I bought!

However, I travel in hope... :wink:

download/file.php?id=15312

Cheers - RD
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