Lotus Elan

911

PostPost by: dgym » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:06 pm

Is a 60's 911 better than a 60's Elan?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:42 pm

Better at what?

Which Elan/+2?

Which 911?

Looking at the contemporary road tests it was the +2 that got compared to a 911T most often. In fact, after a rapid flick through the road tests I could find none between Elan and 911.

So how did the Porsche compare to the Lotus back in the day? The only quantitative area in which it excelled was in top speed, the Lotus being better at acceleration, fuel consumption and braking ability. But of course that does not cover the whole story, since there are two other areas that require comparison, and rather subjective they are too! That is handling and ride. Inevitably we are going to find more favour with the +2 on both. However, I have never driven the two back to back so am ill-equipped to make the comparison any further!

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PostPost by: Tahoe » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:00 pm

That's a tough question. I think you'll find that each is better than the other depending on what your measuring/analyzing/comparing, however having never owned a 911, but having driven several early cars I would give the edge to an early 911. I love early Elan's, but I also love the early 911's. I can't afford one now, but when it was a possibility I did consider buying a couple cars, but after careful examination found very expensive rust repairs were needed. Rust is one area the Elan has a major advantage over the 911. If the 2 cars were the same price and both were in comparable condition, I'd buy the 911 and not give it a second thought.
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:03 pm

Salut

Never driven a 911 but a mate who has some Elan racing experience recently did the 'Tour de Corsica' as a 911 co-driver. He said an Elan wouldn't have stood up to the week of punishment and that taking corners was a completely different technique.

@+

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:28 pm

Having owned a 1973 911 Carrera i'd say its not a sports car in the same way the Elan Sprint is, the Carrera is closer to the +2 as it's more a GT car, it had more torque lower down so i'd use the 911 as an every day car and it would cruise about reliably (barring the odd flat battery i can't think of a time it wouldn't start)

I wouldn't say the 911 was exactly fast but then i don't really think the +2 is quick either. I think if i had to pick a car to use for shows it would all day be the Sprint, as a Project rebuild car +2 or Sprint (you have to be confident with your metal work skills if you buy a 911 to rebuild geez do they rot in some bad places) but if i had a decent budget and was going to use it the 911 all day (maybe fit a 5 speed box).

Thing is with a 911 you have too love the way its set out inside because the dash is a bit plain and most early ones had shocking coloured interiors (mine was black but i had to really search through the Brown and green ones to get it) you also have to sit in one because mine had a bit of a arms out stretched driving position that i never got used to (suppose that could be fixed though) but if you can get round all that they are bullet proof.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:56 pm

if you can get round all that they are bullet proof.
And doesn't the air-cooled flat six sound fabulous when worked hard!

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PostPost by: dgym » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:20 pm

thankyou all I enjoyed those write ups :)

I asked as I'd noticed quite a price difference between the two cars. I wondered If the 911 really was that much better or If it was just more well known=higher price.
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:18 am

I've owned a couple of 911's. The early ones have a strange floating front end about them. They bounce around unless driven very hard and then you have the rear end to worry about coming around.

My current Lotus is the only "old school" Lotus I have owned, but I have to tell you it's much more pleasurable to drive than a older 911. Much better handling and communication with the road.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:24 am

TroonSprint wrote:
if you can get round all that they are bullet proof.
And doesn't the air-cooled flat six sound fabulous when worked hard!

Mike

:) O yeh, mine had no air boxes on and a performance exhaust so when you woke it up it sounded like some thing from Lemans.

I wouldn't say there bad handling but they feel weird because of all the weight past the rear wheels it takes a bit of confidence to drive one quick, i never had mine bite me but then i think the power was well withing the handling capabilities (not sure i'd enjoy driving a 930 quick)

My 911 was a 2.7 RS lookalike it wasn't the cleanest 911 and was a bit of a rolling restoration but every where i went it got attention (was one i should have kept tbh but i swapped it for a badly rebuilt 4.2 S2 E-type that some one had put v12 panels on, seemed like a good idea at the time :roll: )
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PostPost by: toomspj » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:12 pm

911 is the better by miles in my opinion for a dependable fast road car ( just not as much fun as the Elan).

Elan trumps the 911 for going quickly - there's no comparison on the race track, an Elan is much quicker.

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PostPost by: Gray » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:49 pm

I had a 1977 2.7 911 Targa for a couple of years, body was not rigid, it started to rust - despite being a galvanised model, not that predictable handling and could go sideways at high speeds, gearbox was poor, leaked and it was only 6 years old and low mileage when I bought it. Some of the Elans/Plus 2s I ran in the seventies were more reliable if looked after. 911s do have an attraction and a late 997 PDK appeals (but my Audi or a Golf R is probably more sensible for everyday) but I would still want to keep the Elan, must get on with the restoration.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:57 pm

toomspj wrote:- there's no comparison on the race track, an Elan is much quicker.

Paul.


I think it depends on which Elan and which 911 and what is allowed in the class.

A lightweight 26R clone versus an early 60's 911 to FIA App K yes I agree easily beat

My 68 FHC Elan at standard 700 kg production weight and a 1968 911S in our production sports car class are about the same. I used to beat them but they have got quicker in recent years (or maybe I am slower :lol: )

Any Elan you would like to name versus some of the 1973 911 3 Litre Carreras we have out here and they would win by a long way on anything except maybe but the tightest of tracks

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:29 pm

I like tight tracks. Keeps the Porsches at bay. 8)
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PostPost by: roblotus79 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:45 pm

Rohan,

But even then you can pull the cost car and have a competitive elan for a fraction to 50% if a true 26R for the price of the 911s.

My own experience is a little apples and oranges as I have an 86 911 and a 69 Elan Plus2 and a 90SE. I feel tha t the 911 is the by far the better built car and is easier in daily driving due do the visibility and torque. THe steering has slightly more feel, but less accuracy than either Lotus.

THe 911 handling is just as good, but at much higher levels of concentrations. TO me the Lotus has always been a car that you can get into and drive at 9/10ths with very very little seat time.

Lastly, especially on the old ones, I've had a 70 Europa as well, the ride quality and ability to soak up bad surfaces is far superior. You need stiffer springing (well torsen bars) and damping to get the same level of roadholding and handling out of the 911.

I am strictly a street car owner with a couple of track days.

Cheers


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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:50 pm

roblotus79 wrote:Rohan,

But even then you can pull the cost car and have a competitive elan for a fraction to 50% if a true 26R for the price of the 911s.

Cheers


RobD


If you are also talking cost the on a $ per unit of fun on the track or on the road the Elan wins by a mile.

My race engines cost me about $14000 in machining and parts to build from scratch. The race engines in the Porsches cost maybe 10 times as much.


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