Lotus Elan

The Grand Tour

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Thu May 03, 2018 11:39 pm

As I am approaching my dotage, I figure I have one last big Road Trip in me so here is the plan for my swan song grand tour which I hope will cross paths with some of you on here for a meet up along the way. If you are along this path at these approximate times, please let me know at lotusross at comcast dot net to make arrangements for a lunch, dinner or just a coffee or beer if that is what works for you. I would just like to put some faces with the names.

May 24, 2018: Depart Colorado Springs, CO and take Us 24 and I-70 to Colby KS then on secondary roads (US 83 and 183) through Norton KS and Alma, Holdrege, Kearney, Grand Island, Columbus and Norfolk, NE for the night.

May 25, 2018: Depart Norfolk, NE through Vermillion (Kurt Appley?) and Sioux Falls, SD, Marshall, Wilmer and Brainerd MN to Brainerd International Raceway for the vintage races there and a visit to family nearby

May 30, 2018: Depart Brainerd, MN through the Twin Cities, down the Great River Road to La Crosse, WI and east to Stoughton WI.

May 31, 2018: Drive to New Glarus, WI for the Fuelfed MotorGearo 250 Rally. Enjoy three days with Midwest car guys.

June 3, 2018: Leave New Glarus and drive through Monroe and Newark, WI, past Blackhawk Farms Raceway to Crystal Lake IL to visit friends.

June 5, 2018: Depart Crystal Lake to meander through the Blue Highways of IL and IN, to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Continue meandering through KY and TN to a friend?s home in Hendersonville, NC by June 7th in the evening.

June 10, 2018: Depart Hendersonville for Greenville, SC to join the Classic Motorsports ?Smoky Mountain Tour? which will include the Tail of the Dragon and lots of miles around the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Maybe even Dollywood :D

June 15, 2018: Depart Greenville, SC and make a beeline back to Colorado Springs using I-40 as the primary route to Nashville, TN then through St. Louis, MO and I-70 back to CO.
Ross Robbins
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 493
Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri May 04, 2018 9:11 am

Looks like a great trip! Hopefully you'll have another book in you, too, about the trip. Taking the
+2, I presume?
Greg Z
45/0243K Sprint
36/5727 pre airflow coupe
User avatar
gjz30075
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2973
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Roswell, Georgia, USA

PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri May 04, 2018 10:37 am

Wish I was retired Ross, I would join you!
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
User avatar
Certified Lotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: 04 Aug 2014
Location: Princeton, NJ

PostPost by: webbslinger » Fri May 04, 2018 3:31 pm

Sounds fantastic Ross. Last month we did a 10 day 3000 mile drive from Washington down to California and then came back up the PCH. It was a wonderful experience even though we hit some epic bad weather in the Bay area. We brought 20+ pounds of tools but we didn't have a single issue with the car, an S4 Coupe. Ten days weren't enough; we were sorry when we had to come home. Have a great trip!
webbslinger
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 145
Joined: 23 Jun 2012
Location: Friday Harbor, WA USA

PostPost by: The Veg » Sun May 06, 2018 12:39 am

Greenville is only two hours from where I live!
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
User avatar
The Veg
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Location: Atlanta 'burbs (southeast USA)

PostPost by: 69S4 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:28 am

A couple of years back my wife and I plus a couple of American friends from NJ did coast to coast and back again on two motorcycles. I recognise many of the places on Ross's itinerary so our routes must have (will) crossed a few times - except the other way round as we started from the east coast and went west first.

I've been (slowly) writing the book of the trip. It was supposed to have been ready for a motorcycle travel gathering next month but (mumbles into coffee cup) you know how things are, It will get finished though and my new deadline is another overlanding event at the end of August.

Anyway, the point of all this is that some years ago when I was puzzling over the mechanics of book writing / printing / publishing etc Ross took the time to phone me and spent an hour - at his expense - explaining how it all worked. I was able to get my first book into print shortly afterwards and the one mentioned above will be my third. So, Ross, a huge public thank you. I hope the trip is everything you hope it'll be and I look forward to seeing the results in print at some point in the future.

Oh, and if you do go to Dollywood I'd be interested in what you thought. It was on my wife's must do list (along with Graceland and a few other places) but got bumped due to time pressure. We might be over in that area next year on the bikes and she's bound to want to tick it off.
Stuart Holding
Thame UK / Alpe D'Huez France
69 S4 FHC
Honda GoldWing 1800
Honda CBX1000
Kawasaki H1 500
Yamaha XS2
69S4
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1211
Joined: 23 Sep 2004
Location: nr Oxford UK

PostPost by: kpcseven » Sun May 06, 2018 9:54 am

Ross,
Make sure that you allow time to check out the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville. Well worth the visit. PM me if it could fit into your schedule.
Ken
kpcseven
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 26
Joined: 10 Feb 2012

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Sun May 06, 2018 8:59 pm

Hi Ken,

I tired to send a PM but without any luck. I have not been very successful with them as it keeps asking me to do something more and no matter what blank I fill in it doesn't seem to work. So...

I would like to see the Lane Museum and it is on my path coming home. Can you email me at lotusross at comcast dot net or call me at (3O3) 829-6O4I to discuss further since it will be easier to do while on the road rather than logging in to elan.net.
Thanks,

Ross
Last edited by Ross Robbins on Sun May 06, 2018 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ross Robbins
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 493
Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Sun May 06, 2018 9:04 pm

Stuart,

First I am glad I was able to help with your first book. Now I need to know the title and where I can buy a copy to take on the road with me for those lonely nights without Ann as I traverse the country. In fact, you should post a notice with your new book (actually all of them) as I have with my second one which includes a round trip of the UK including the North Coast 500, called Highways, Byways and Racetracks...available on Amazon UK or USA. :D
Ross Robbins
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 493
Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPost by: nomad » Tue May 15, 2018 12:36 pm

While wandering the "blue" highways you might want to swing through Auburn Indiana and check out the Auburn, Cord, Duesenburg museum as well. Where the finest American cars ever built were built. Far cry from Lotus but if you are a car guy......


Kurt
26/3754
nomad
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 940
Joined: 05 May 2012
Location: South Dakota, USA

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:09 pm

Well the LOTUS cliche of Lots of trouble, usually serious has kicked in. I had a wonderful trip through the Minnesota leg but noticed I was losing coolant each day. I kept topping it up but by the time I finished the Motorgearo rally, it required almost a quart at each mealtime. So when I visited my friend Tom in Crystal Lake IL, he called a race engineer he knew who said the hard mounted radiator was flexing enough to crack the tube ends in the header tanks. Being aluminum it is not repairable.

So we did the final option...added Bars Leak sealant to the coolant and the engineer called a custom radiator shop in Indianapolis to fab a new one. The shop found a stock item of about the same dimensions and set me up with some ways to mount it to fit then referred me to a race shop.If you need fabrication done on a special car, Indy is the place to find it as there are literally hundreds of race shop operated by former Indycar mechanics with every skill set imaginable. The shop I found removed the now ruined radiator and test fitted the new one but despite tilting it, twisting it and even thinking of notching it, the clearance between the steering rack and bonnet was just 1/2 inch too small. So now I am having a custom radiator fabricated and waiting for it to be made and installed to get back on the road.

As I said, the two most important tools I carry are a mobile phone and a credit card! More to come as it develops.
Ross Robbins
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 493
Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPost by: SENC » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:41 am

Always an adventure! Good luck with the radiator and look forward to more reports, particularly tail of the dragon.
Henry
69 Elan S4
65 Seven S2
SENC
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 634
Joined: 30 Dec 2015
Location: NC

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:07 am

An alternative to Barr's Leak:

My local "Radiator Man" told me to carry a 4 oz tin of ground black pepper (available at your local grocer). If your rad or other item springs a leak, pour a handful of pepper into the radiator. The leak should stop within a few minutes. The pepper swells in the coolant and seals up the hole. When the repair is made, just flush all of it out with water.

This method has saved two race weekends for me when the radiator on my Crossle was punctured by stones. My son used this method on a cracked plastic radiator tank on his toyota MR2.

My Elan radiator is held in place by the hoses and a pair of loose bolts with rubber faucet washers between the brackets and the radiator frame.
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
User avatar
StressCraxx
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1035
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:29 am

I called the Bob McKee recommended custom radiator shop in Indianapolis, C&R Racing, that he had used to solve tough problems on CanAm cars and asked how fast they could fab a new one. When I called out of the blue on Monday, I got really lucky?I got Cary Bettenhausen. Cary comes from a racing family; it is a famous name in Indy. He listened to my tale of woe and my tight timeline and said he?d see what he could do.At 10:00 on Tuesday, I called Cary back and said it would not fit; what can we do. He asked for dimensions again and went to work. When he thought he had something that could be built quickly, he came to the race shop on his own lunch hour to pick up the old radiator to assure proper fittings and size. Later he called and told me they had a core that could be built into a custom sized radiator that would simplify and speed up the process. Of course I pressed him on when it could be ready and he simply promised to do his best. The engineering and production guys must be as dedicated as Cary because what should have taken three weeks was done late Wednesday afternoon ? a day and a half!

The finished product was not only perfectly sized it was almost a work of art it was so lovely. Then Steve and Norm at Car Vault stayed up until 1:00 am Thursday to fabricate a soft mounting system and button everything up so I could be on the road Thursday morning. I was!

So thank you to C&R Racing and Car Vault for an amazing effort?as I said it was a minor miracle. It proves that there is still a handful of companies and people who follow the mantra of the Seabee?s from the Army Corp of Engineers that states: ?The difficult we can do right away. The impossible takes just a little longer.?

Now, after a nice rest at our friends house in Hendersonville, NC I am off to do 1,000 miles more in the Great Smoky Mountains over the next four days then home to Colorado. I have done just over 3,000 miles so far and expect to have done 5,500 by the time I get home. More later. Cheers!
Ross Robbins
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 493
Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:53 pm

Ross Robbins wrote:I called the Bob McKee recommended custom radiator shop in Indianapolis, C&R Racing, that he had used to solve tough problems on CanAm cars and asked how fast they could fab a new one. When I called out of the blue on Monday, I got really lucky?I got Cary Bettenhausen. Cary comes from a racing family; it is a famous name in Indy. He listened to my tale of woe and my tight timeline and said he?d see what he could do.At 10:00 on Tuesday, I called Cary back and said it would not fit; what can we do. He asked for dimensions again and went to work. When he thought he had something that could be built quickly, he came to the race shop on his own lunch hour to pick up the old radiator to assure proper fittings and size. Later he called and told me they had a core that could be built into a custom sized radiator that would simplify and speed up the process. Of course I pressed him on when it could be ready and he simply promised to do his best. The engineering and production guys must be as dedicated as Cary because what should have taken three weeks was done late Wednesday afternoon ? a day and a half!

The finished product was not only perfectly sized it was almost a work of art it was so lovely. Then Steve and Norm at Car Vault stayed up until 1:00 am Thursday to fabricate a soft mounting system and button everything up so I could be on the road Thursday morning. I was!

So thank you to C&R Racing and Car Vault for an amazing effort?as I said it was a minor miracle. It proves that there is still a handful of companies and people who follow the mantra of the Seabee?s from the Army Corp of Engineers that states: ?The difficult we can do right away. The impossible takes just a little longer.?

Now, after a nice rest at our friends house in Hendersonville, NC I am off to do 1,000 miles more in the Great Smoky Mountains over the next four days then home to Colorado. I have done just over 3,000 miles so far and expect to have done 5,500 by the time I get home. More later. Cheers!


Where's the "Like" button? So glad to hear C&R and Car Vault took great care of you.
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
User avatar
StressCraxx
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1035
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests