Lotus Elan

Whats with all this originality fetish?

PostPost by: elanner » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:28 am

I agree with Jim, it's interesting that such a simple thread can cause one to consider the many valid but different opinions people can hold.

At one end of the spectrum there are those who want a totally original car simply because that's what appeals to them over other considerations of reliability, performance or whatever.

At the other end there are those who are happy to upgrade everything in order to make the car perform as fast or reliably as possible.

Then there are the rest of us, somewhere in the middle.

On thinking about it I can now appreciate that there's a difference based on how long one has owned the car. If I'd had my Elan for 30+ years, with its original dynamo, points and Rotoflexs, all giving me solid service, then when one of them broke I would keep and fix them. Somehow I would feel an empathy for them, and that to jettison them after a long relationship would be disloyal. Why change now?

But for a car that one has only owned for a short time, all the stuff that Colin would have ditched without a second thought and that simply seems prehistoric carries no emotional connection. Sadly, there's no personal history going back decades that turns the dynamo or points into old, loyal friends.

The Elans I had back in the day were, naturally, original, and I realize now that if I still had them I would have probably kept them just as they were, or very close. But I've only had my current one for three years and I'm happy to upgrade anything that makes it more reliable and safer provided it doesn't detract from the driving experience.

But even in this I also realize that I'm not consistent. I'm happy to have a shiny modern alternator, but am slowly replacing the Jubilee pipe clips with the old style wire clips, because they just look appropriate. My car is a tribute to the cable tie (God bless the inventor), but I try to keep them out of sight. So it seems that I want a car that is both updated and original. Totally illogical.

Nick
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:40 am

peterexpart wrote:...........who would not want an AMG Modified Mercedes, an Alpina BMW or a Techart / RUF Porsche as an alternative to the standard offering !!


I wouldn't want either, overpriced, overcomplicated German Cortinas and stretch Beetles do nothing for me :twisted: :lol:


and the same applies to Elan shaped Sierras............Zetec/Duratec my *rse! :wink:

Happy Birthday old boy
John

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PostPost by: jcocking » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:43 am

Spyder fan wrote:Today is my birthday, so I thought I would act normally and write some inflammatory / controversial words.


Happy Birthday.

My preference is always the drivers. I like to see cars on the road and track being driven. I think it is the engineer in me that wants to see vehicles being used for what they were designed for.

I understand why some cars are treated as museum pieces, but for most cars, they should be driven.

From a purist perspective, I was wondering the other day, when I look at an elan chassis. I see a gas powered electric generator up front, a battery pack in the central tunnel and replacing the differential with an electric motor. Thoughts?
Jeff Cocking
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"Someday I will spend more time on the Elan and less time on the website."
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:59 am

Hi Jeff
I think that is the sort of thing Lotus would have built in the 60's if the technology and need existed like it does today (and the Elise had not already been converted to by an American electric car company).

Lotus today have designed and made a prototype of a very elegant and very compact 3 cylinder turbo engine to drive a generator to power the battery recharge of a car of that type.

One day some Elan fan will build an range extended electric Elan as like you observe as it fits so simply

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Rohan
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PostPost by: jcocking » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:09 pm

rgh0 wrote:Hi Jeff
I think that is the sort of thing Lotus would have built in the 60's if the technology and need existed like it does today (and the Elise had not already been converted to by an American electric car company).


It is fun to look at the "new" electric car companies like Fiskar, Telsa, Think and Lightning. They are doing what Colin was doing with Lotus in the 60s. It will be interesting to see who makes it long term and what they will bring to the general automotive manufactures.

So will battery upgrades be an originality fetish issue?
Jeff Cocking
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PostPost by: cal44 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:21 pm

There will always be guys that change things on cars. Some for the worst.
Do what you will folks...............but you'll have a car that is Lotus, in name only.

mike
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:45 pm

cal44 wrote:There will always be guys that change things on cars. Some for the worst.
Do what you will folks...............but you'll have a car that is Lotus, in name only.

mike


Most of a Lotus Elan was made by someone else - even an original Lotus is Lotus in name only :lol:

The legal identity of an Elan resides in that number scratched into a small pop riveted aluminium plate. The spiritual identity is somewhat harder to track down but it is certainly more than the sum of the parts


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Rohan
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:13 pm

cal44 wrote:There will always be guys that change things on cars. Some for the worst.
Do what you will folks...............but you'll have a car that is Lotus, in name only.

mike


Unless you modify your early Elan with later Elan standard parts such as front calipers, servo, uprights, drive shafts, rear discs, differential, radiator, electric fan, BV head, 701 block, etc., etc.

I have no intention of using any more of these Lotus parts to modify my Lotus (as stated previously I've just got the bigger brakes and the TT rad).

Lotus obviously thought that the original design became outdated with room for improvement - hence the continual "upgrades" to both performance and safety.
Steve
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'70 Morris Minor 1000 (Owned since '85)
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:26 pm

I really liked the "out colin colin"!! ---------- but as we all are aware of: the car is full of compromises! he would encourage us to make those mods (not new alien components, except maybe a TTR part) because he knew
we could afford them and he knew the car had lots of potential for basic improvement - WE have 50 years of additional engineering and material knowledge: LETS MAKE USE OF IT! cheers sandy :twisted:
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