Lotus Elan

Please allow me to introduce myself

PostPost by: JC33supreme » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:46 pm

as Sir Mick once "sang"

Hello everybody, I hope I've put this in the correct forum.

I've been a Lotus owner virtually my entire driving life, having scrimped to buy an S4 FHC when I was 22 - a sort of royal blue, index no EJJ 693J (the numbers may not be correct, but the letters definitely are). I wonder whether it still exists. It was a really handsome car which I bought from a friend, so naturally it came with .............................................................................................................................................................................. no front brakes at all, which I quickly discovered on the drive home when a car pulled out right in front of me. That was a really good time to discover that the Elan's legendary agility was truth not myth. It was also time for me to discover that when you bought standard Elan parts, you needed to file them to fit (front pads).

I couldn't really afford it, being just an articled clerk (old fashioned term for student accountant) and it bit me a couple of times. I used to do a high mileage in those days, visiting clients all over England in order to earn the important mileage allowance which helped pay for the car. I was cruising back to London from Liverpool, and just going over Spag Junction, and I was actually looking at the tacho, when the tacho needle dropped to nil and I realised the engine had cut - the jackshaft drive had failed.

I was towed to a local garage by Alcoholics Anon, and a week later went to collect it. The jackshaft was repaired, but the local garage had been having the time of their life with and had destroyed the valve gear, which I found out as I drove it away. I took it back, and was told by the mechanic I didn't know how to drive it properly "these are racing engines, they need f******g revs" (well I wouldn't, having only been driving it for 6 months without any problems), so he showed me. Well, I suppose he was quite a good driver (provided you ignored the safety of everyone else on the road), but he must have been a lousy mechanic to show such little mechanical sympathy. That little experience resulted in my driving home on the M1 in the slow lane, getting my own back on all those smokey lorry drivers, and an immediate top end rebuild.

All went well for a few months until MoT time arrived, and it was failed on the doughnuts, so I had Sprint couplings installed by Hammonds and Oakwoods, Keston (near Bromley, Kent) unfortunately, long gone, but very enthusiastic at the time. The Sprint couplings were fan-bloody-tastic; it was time to show off. I collected a fellow Lotus enthusiast, and did some standing starts outside the house of the girl-we-all-lusted-after-but-was-too-pretty-to-approach. The standing starts were very impressive. Well, I was impressed, by the first two. The third was a "bit" disappointing, just a dull thunk - yep, output shaft failure, so I was towed into H & O, just 40 minutes after I had left. Business was good for them in those days !!

I did many trips to Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham, usually with a colleague with extra cases stuffed behind the seats, and I enjoyed them all - sheer pleasure, with the eager and smooth T/C, limpet-like grip, agilty and (for those days) comfort. I'm naturally skinny, so even the seats were good, and the driving position very JC like - elbows resting on the centre console and the arm rest in the door (exactly the right position), so you could just "think" the car round corners.

I had the car for nearly two years, but it was time to get somewhere to live, so it had to go. But not before I knew what I wanted when I could afford it. I got it too, but you'll have to wait for next post(s) to hear about that, and hopefully I will have understood how to post pictures by then.

I started off by saying I was going to tell you about myself, and then just told you about my S4 FHC - sadly, I can't find any pictures of EJJ 693J, but I hope it's made it - a very pretty car that gave me enormous pleasure.

Until my next post, regards to you all, you seem to be a very helpful and knowledgeable bunch of nutters

John

Sorry to have bored you with my ramblings, but I was enjoying recalling my first Lotus days.
John

If something is worth doing well.................................................... it's well worth undoing
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 3:59 pm

Hi John and welcome. Thanks for your wonderful reminiscences!

According to the DVLA your old S4 is currently white and still running. It was first registered on 17 Aug 70 in Canterbury.

Tim
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:51 pm

Hi John,

an amusing & interesting introduction; sounds like you are a "blooded" Elan nutter :roll:
You're in good company here :wink:

So what are your plans, going in search of another Elan & re-live your youth as we all do?

I don't suppose you married that pretty girl or maybe you did if she happened not to be watching your antics from the front room window?

Thanks for the good read.
John
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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: UAB807F » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:51 am

Hi John,
An elan that falls apart ? Someone buying a car they can't really afford ? and the details still burned forever in your memory ? You're in the right place here John, you'll feel well at home. :)

A great first post and a good read. When's the next installment ?

Brian
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:18 am

JC33supreme wrote: <snip> Until my next post, regards to you all, you seem to be a very helpful and knowledgeable bunch of nutters

John

Sorry to have bored you with my ramblings, but I was enjoying recalling my first Lotus days.


Greetings John,

Not in the least boring...a good read! And one that many will relate to.

But from my experience on here..."Helpful"? Certainly!..."Knowledgeable"? Definitely!..."Nutters"? ermmmm wellll. I can't imagine where you got that from :wink:

Cheers - Richard

Edit: There is always something new to learn on here. I've just learnt that the forum allows you to send yourself PM's...Doh! :)
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:15 am

ardee_selby wrote:Edit: There is always something new to learn on here. I've just learnt that the forum allows you to send yourself PM's...Doh! :)



There is a reason for that... it's something to do with the average of forum members but... what was I saying... damn.....


Will the next installment be a Fleetwood Mac lyric? "Shall I tell you about my life; they say I'm a man of the world......."
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PostPost by: jono » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:14 pm

...or the pistachio green manalishi?
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PostPost by: JC33supreme » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:54 pm

Hi everybody, thanks for bearing with my boring monologue.

No, I didn't marry her, but she is the twin of a friend of mine, so I occasionally see her.

A very appropriate reply posted earlier, which I'll explain tomorrow.
John

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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:33 pm

Hi John, and welcome.

Small world isn't it. The original invoice for my Sprint is from Hammonds and Oakwoods

Regards
Richard
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