Lotus Elan

Trolling for Lotus folks, Garage Doors Open!

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:32 pm

I was home all weekend working on the bumper crop that I gel coated and cleaning a bunch of bolts for the sows ear special. Not a lot going on but the weather was great both days and all of the folks that I like to avoid were out. If it burned gas or diesel or even pedaled it was out and the traffic never let up all weekend. Being out on a day like today in the Elan is not my thing, give me an empty road and I'll have all the fun but fill the roads up with joy riders and I'll stay home and enjoy things here. I had both garage doors open (one only half way) and it's pretty obvious that someone sick lives here, Anyhow I see a Porsche 911 slow down and Beau starts barking and goes to see who's pulled over. I was sanding black gel coal and I am covered up to my elbows with black dust so I go around to see what Beau has got and the driver and his wife are looking in the garage and says "what year is the Elan". I figure he's cool and she asks "what behind the half open door" so I ask "do you want the 15 cent tour?" She says yes so I said pull in and went inside to wash off the dust, when I came back I open up the other door and show them the other stuff, She walks right into the garage and out into the back room where the White Coupe is and says at least you have them stored inside and I replied "I'm not married, Kind of obvious". So anyway Matty is from Ct. and lives in the next town and has a Austin Healey 3000 also. So after a few more minutes I drag them around to the Living room for a laugh were the Sows Ear Special and two bit Whore are and she get a big kick out of that. Real nice folks, glad they stopped by...

Gary
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PostPost by: elanern » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:42 pm

When I am working in my garage I typically leave the doors open (weather permitting) hoping someone with an interest in cars will stop by to say hello - and for the fresh air and light. Just the other day I was underneath my 1956 Chevy, replacing the oil pan gasket, and a guy stops in saying "don't get up", I just want to talk cars. He was across the street at a neighbor's and saw the back end of the Chevy. He is a member of a local Chevy club (he owns a 1957 210 sedan) and spent about 40 minutes talking cars and Harleys. I showed him the disassembled Lotus engine and he seemed very interested in the history and technology.

The downside to leaving the doors open is that unscrupulous eyes can peer into the garage and see the two BMWs, the Lotus, the Chevy, the golf clubs, the tools, the air compressor, the lawn mowers, etc. But the doors are only open when I am out there working, and with a visit like I had the other day it is worth it.
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PostPost by: elj221c » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:23 pm

elanern wrote:The downside to leaving the doors open is that unscrupulous eyes can peer into the garage and see the two BMWs, the Lotus, the Chevy, the golf clubs, the tools, the air compressor, the lawn mowers, etc.


My thoughts exactly. Just make sure you set the alarm!

Or, in Gary's case, make sure that Beau is kept just a little hungry. :lol:
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PostPost by: prezoom » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:27 pm

I'm afraid I have taken the opposite approach. When I constructed my house, 37 years ago, I built the living area at street level, and the garages are under the house facing away from the street. So, you have to drive down the driveway to enter the garages.

I tend to make a large mess when working on cars, what with body work and sandblasting metal bits, and I really do not want all of this advertised to the world passing by. Plus, it gave me a place to park my enclosed trailer and leave the future restoration projects outside. All out of sight from the street. What with trees and other vegetation on each side of the property, neither of my neighbors, can see, or be offended, by what I am doing.......... other than the noise from the air tools.

When it was just the race cars and the trailer, everything was fine. Then I started a hotrod project with a Datsun panel delivery, that never existed. Then I bought the Elan, then the Sabra GT, then the Elva Mk4T coupe. Ran out of garage working space, so time to add more garages. Everything is still not visible from the street and I like it that way just fine.

Rob Walker
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Owning a Lotus will get you off the couch
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PostPost by: lotocone » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:00 pm

[quote="prezoom"] Everything is still not visible from the street and I like it that way just fine.

I wish my garage weren't visible from the street, but it is. I guess it's not a big worry because the crime rate is pretty low here. Thieves are probably more interested in some tools than anything else.

One time a guy spotted the Elan when I was in the garage and walked up the driveway to chat, which was a lot of fun. He said his brother had an Elan at one time and he knew the car well.

A cop stopped me in the Elan one time when I was driving in the neighborhood and I couldn't figure out what the problem could be. He said I didn't "do anything wrong. I just wondered what kind of car you have. Never saw a car like that before." So I told him all I could about Elans in a few minutes and seemed to enjoy his little break from work.
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:26 pm

Amongst other things I'm still a bit paranoid on this subject...and sincerely hope the folks were for real and that casing, joint, and trawling are not on the menu. :(

Ref: free-parking-f19/what-the-garage-please-show-t23715.html

Tread carefully grasshoppers...

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: cal44 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:49 pm

That is why I like summer in San Diego. Garage door open, heat coming in and me under a car. It is hard too correctly identify good folk from bad sometimes.

I do keep an eye out for alley cruising clowns that sometimes need a viewing of a Smith, just as a gentle reminder.

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"Be Polite, Be Professional, But have a plan to kill everyone you meet"
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:17 am

I guess you can't be too careful but I didn't have a lot of choice on where to put the garage, it was where it is now when I bought the house in 1981 and to put the entrance around the back would have put it in the water twice a day. Around that time or shortly after I moved the Cortina Estate down here from where I was living in Chelsea and the locals busted ever pane of glass and the screens two. Those folks have groan up or died, I am sure that there are others that have replaced them but I have not had any further problems.

I guess theft is a real problem everywhere, that said I can't usually find the tools I am looking for in broad daylight, what make you think some thief would be able to find them? Besides most are tired and worn out like me and if you can't sell them and get a couple of percodans, why would you carry off some heavy old useless piece of shit? There better pickings in other parts of town and the traffic is a bit less too.

I can't say I am too worried about people stealing Lotus parts or cars, I think I have enough that if I lost some I may not know for some time, I guess I don't know anyway as its tough with my inventory control system, take it a part and leave it until I have tripped over it for a few years and then move it to where I can't find it without looking every where. Theres really not a lot of demand for hot Elan parts here, Christ I own nearly all of them within a 25 mile radius so there is a small market for this rusty trash. Do you think someone is going to try to sell that rusty Elan part back to me?

If its not money, drugs, or booze, then why the hell would you steal something that would not get you a couple of perc's to enjoy? I don't have any of that stuff so what's to worry about?

Gary
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:50 pm

Smith and his partner are valued companions.

I live on a private dead end road. That helps to keep the crime rate at a minimum. In the 37 years I have lived here, I can only think of one boat and trailer stolen, and most of that was the owners fault. One break in, and my good friend and close by neighbor found a fellow, who was running from the police and had ditched his car, in his garage, trying to steal his car. John Browning came to his rescue. The perp left in a hurry. The perp was soon picked up, trying to steal another car, after a call to the local sheriff as the individual was fleeing the garage.

Rob Walker
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50-0315N
1964 Sabra GT
1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
1954 Nash Healey LeMans Coupe

Owning a Lotus will get you off the couch
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:07 pm

To hijack a phrase, "You meet the nicest people in a Lotus". Without a garage or hard standing I have to do all my work on the +2 in the street, with cars whizzing past (have to remember to pull the legs in when I am working under the car). Whether I am just washing it or doing something more elaborate (like changing the head gasket recently), folks young and old stop and pass the time of day. I don't mind, and it keeps the car visible. Sure I get a lot of "Oi mate, you know what Lotus stands for..!", but I get just as many - "love the car, what is it?". Just as many women as blokes in tweed caps..... although the tweed caps know exactly how I should be fixing the car.. Sometimes they actually do. With Silverstone a few miles away, you get some folk who really do know what they are talking about.

So to summarise, my garage doors are always open. The car has become a local fixture. The local youth have grown up with it and leave it alone, the old codgers like to pass the time of day. Its not just the car, its a social club at the side of the road.

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