Lotus Elan

Please Introduce your self and welcome to LotusElan.net

PostPost by: csjohnson » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:17 am

Lotus?s started with me very early. My father was having issues with a Sunbeam Tiger at the track with his TR4. The remedy to this situation was a 1966 Elan SE. My father ended up taking me home from the hospital shortly after this when I was born. I would have loved to see the look on the nurse?s face when my Dad showed up to take my Mom and me home in the Lotus. About 5 years later he found a good deal on a 65 Super 7 followed by a 75 Europa in the ugliest metallic purple and gold pen stripes you can imagine. The Seven and Elan sat for many years in the garage without being worked on or driven till one day ay 15 I ask my Dad if he would let me drive them when I turned 16. He looked at me and said you can drive them if you can make them run. He handed me the service manuals and informed me the value guides needed to be replaced in the Elan.

This did not start off so well. I must have spent a couple days on the first page of the manual to the 7 trying to figure out what a bonnet was. Eventually I got up the nerve to ask and man did I feel a bit dumb after that. I spent the next year rebuilding the suspension and motor to the 7. 2 weeks before my 16th birthday to my father surprise the 7 fired up early one Saturday morning. To his credit he did let me drive it once he felt comfortable with my driving. I went on over the next year to rebuild the Elan. The Europa was sold when I was in college which I can understand with all of the trouble he had with that car. The wheel flying off doing 70 down the freeway could not have been that comforting. I had great fun in those cars through high school. After I went on to college that car went back to their resting place in the garage. They have sat in storage now for over 20 years.

A few weeks back my Dad finally came to the concussion that he would never have the time or the energy to bring the remaining two Lotuses? back to life. He decided it was time to put them on a truck and ship them to me for restoration with one condition. I am never allowed to sell them. I must say that is one condition he never had to put forward as I would not even consider it. I am planning on starting this project with the Elan. The main difference this time around is I not only want to make them run I want them to look new. I figure it will take about 2 years for both cars working it around the other projects and the weather up here in the north east of the US.

CJ
csjohnson
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 18
Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Location: North East US

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:09 am

There seem to be quite a few new names on the forum, this post seems to have gotten lost and although many of you don't think its important to know other Lotus owners, I do. So I thought I would drag it back from the depths of "Free Parking" to let those new folks know who some of us are that visit and contribute to this forum. I think it makes interesting reading to know more than just the nuts and bolts of these cars, sometimes it better to just know the nuts.

Gary

garyeanderson wrote:OK now, My big mouth or fat fingers (both) have gotten me into trouble a couple of times it the last several weeks. There is an old Who Song the goes something like "who are you, woohoo woohoo, tell me, who are you, I really want to know, Who the [email protected]% are you"
So any one care to talk a bit about your selves a bit before some more posts get deleted. I don't get to see or meet everyone on this forum and talk of number plates with letters in stainless and black don't cut it as Lotus talk in my narrow Lotus twisted brain. Anyone besides Russ and George building up a Twin Cam? Anyone do an engine swap other that all of those Zetec Plus2 things? I post a lot of crap here on Elans, Elite?s, Seven?s, Nine?s, even some Plus2 stuff (do you see a pattern here, older is better) and "you gave me no reply" for the most part. We don't seem to talk the same language or have the same interests or think the same things are funny. So Rob an I have Buried the Hachette (in my skull) and we seem to understand one another much better, Jason and I had a couple of messages back and forth and its seems a bit better but we still need to work on it a bit more. It seems Like John has taken the bait and I need to have a few emails to straighten that out. More is coming for sure. So help me here, I don't have a clue on who the OOP's are you? "No reply" is not an option from my perspective, to me that will be the same as FOB and that?s not a shipping term. I guess if I can't figure it out I'll be moven on to some other venture. It?s probably going to happen sooner or later anyhow "but I'd like to get to know you if I could"

So I'm Gary E. Anderson, the E is Elwood, after my Fathers brother killed in a hunting accident, not married, no kids, nearly died before I was 21 in a Jeep accident, lost my left leg below the knee. I had a couple dollars left after paying off the hospital bills and bought an S2 Elan the was burned slightly (small carb fire) with the remaining insurance money. I got it running and drove it for a week but the screen was cracked and needed a new one for the semi-annual car inspection in Massachusetts. Bought a new screen for an S2 and when it arrived guess what, an S2 screen is a type 36 or type 45 not a type 26 which is an S1 screen (Burned and learned). So I ended up walking for a while. Got a new screen and the Elan was running real good and trumpet nut came loose and imbedded itself into number 4 piston. Engine apart for a couple of days and along comes a huge ocean storm, worst in 80 years and drowns the Elan with the head off, oh ya, that new screen is laying on the floor in a million pieces. I went to work for Digital Equipment in 1980 and stayed till 1998 when it was bought by Compaq and they offered to let myself out the door. My Ex boss called me to do weekend baby sitting for another computer room and that ended in 2002 along with a shop that I was renting for 8 years but for another reason. The old rail bed went by the shop and they wanted to ?put a parking lot? where it stood for the renewed rail service to Boston. Beau showed up about the same time, he doesn't talk much but that?s a good thing. Been out of a real job since and not likely to get back to one again. So I been playing with cars since, mostly lotus but have others to. I think I have enough money to pay the taxes and eat peanut butter until I can collect a retirement check from the Feds, that?s if there is any. I?ve been selling a few Lotus parts and scrap metal to do anything other than eat lately but all of that is in the toilet at the moment So it lights out in Scituate when the sun goes down for the foreseeable future.

Gary Elwood Anderson
User avatar
garyeanderson
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3128
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

PostPost by: niceolcars » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:17 pm

I have been surfing here for quite a while, but it is only now that i feel really hooked.
My childhood memories always saw me in a brg Elan fhc hammering down our Autobahns with a helmet on. It was not my dad's 356 Super i dreamt of, although he kept telling me bedtime stories of the captain and his Porsche; i loved the Elan.
It took a while until i bought one. I picked up this nine owner 71 Sprint dhc in Vienna and drove it straight up to Hamburg, my home town. It was dry sumped and went well but someone had widened the rims making them wobblier then they came from the factory :lol:
After enjoying it for some seasons, I passed it on to some other Lotus nutter and it is in 1A condition now.
In historic racing my 356 and i where always passed by Elans. I got fed up with that and bought a S1 "project" on ebay.co.uk..... After looking a little deeper into what i got and what i wanted to do :idea: , i found a friend who wanted to swap his '60 AR Giulietta Sprint racer for my Elan project.
I kept on longing for my car until i came across that yellow S2 thingy advertised on several platforms this year by The New England Classic Car Company of Stratford, Ct.
I got hold of it only some days ago and it really seems to be the unmolested and patinated example i had this longing for: two owners and 41k mls are really unbelievable :shock: but seem to be true.
I keep you posted with the ongoings and yes, i owe you some pix.
Niels
Niels

26/4163

2005 Smart 450 cdi +
User avatar
niceolcars
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Location: Old Europe.de

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi Niles

Mark is responsible for importing many of the U.K. Elan's back in the 80's when the pound/dollar was nearly the same. Lots of folks bought them as they were for a good price. He didn't do a lot to ensure that they were much of a driver and I have heard plenty of folks bad mouth Elan's due to there experience back then. Not really any of Marks doing, he was just the middleman making the deal. Anyway your Elan looks to be quite nice (I think this may be the one that you bought)
http://www.newenglandclassics.com/cars/NE-1965-1/

Anyway thanks for sharing your story

Gary
User avatar
garyeanderson
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3128
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

PostPost by: niceolcars » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:22 pm

Hi Gary,

yes, that is her: she was exactly what i had wanted. Of course i dreamt of a little better overall condition, but i cannot complain. And Mark tried to be as helpful as possible. The shippers weren't that way but nothing too awful happened.
In fact i am really looking forward to some happy driving years and do not intend to restore her. I will have her thoroughly checked technically though and if there are chances for optimising i will go for them. She will not become another Elan racecar only because she has the proper age.
As i said before and after having two perfectly restored cars, this one will look its age. I can hardly wait to get my first ride and take her to a meeting.
She has to get some TT driveshafts and fresh rubber and then... see you guys out there :wink:
Last edited by niceolcars on Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Niels

26/4163

2005 Smart 450 cdi +
User avatar
niceolcars
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Location: Old Europe.de

PostPost by: memini55 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:54 pm

Hi Niles,

Great looking S2, looks like a nice example of a clean two owner. When you get it please post some detailed pictures of the boot interior, interior and bonnet interior. Would like to compare to one of mine which is about the same.

Very happy to see another one on the road!!! Enjoy

Mark
User avatar
memini55
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 474
Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Location: Mount Vernon, Iowa

PostPost by: niceolcars » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:06 pm

Thank you Mark,

i might take those pix this weekend. Put them up here then.
So curious to see other S2's...

Niels

ps : i very much enjoyed reading all your posts after putting up mine :oops: and sorry, I'm no engineer but a shrink (well maybe some sort of an engineer...)
Niels

26/4163

2005 Smart 450 cdi +
User avatar
niceolcars
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Location: Old Europe.de

PostPost by: Uboat » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:51 pm

Hi,
My turn after sneaking around for three years...

I was born in ?66, and I believe that the sixties was the best of all times, fashionwise, musicwise, and car design-wise. My first car, bought in 1989, was a Volvo Amazon from 1964, which I used as a daily driver also in winter. I have a modern BMW as my daily drive, but I tend to think that all modern cars are dull in comparison with classics.

I have a laurel green Lotus Elan +2 130/5, which I bought three years ago after 30 years of reading about sports cars in auto magazines. Initially, I was looking for an Alfa Bertone coupe or a Fiat 124 spyder, but as soon as I went to have a look at the plus two in an ad 500 kilometres away from home there was no return.

According to the seller, the car was in very good condition, which I soon found out was not totally true. As dust shields were mounted, I could not check the condition of the rotoflexes, and there was no rust in the sills. Everything else on the car worked, and I trusted the seller who was a true car enthusiast, with a lot of other classic cars and motorcycles in his garage.
I ran to the local bank office, transferred 10.000 Euros to the seller and drove away home. I managed to get home in good shape, although it took me 300 kilometres to find out that there was no coolant in the radiator. (the engine temperature on the highway was ok, as it was cold outside).

As I had no idea about the true shape of the car (I had never driven a Lotus Elan before), I took the car to a very well known Swedish Lotus specialist, where I found out that the rotoflexes had disintegrated and that the right front suspension was broken. The specialist mounted new TTR final drives instead of rotoflexes, and fixed the front suspension.
I am a pretty bad mechanic, but I soon found out that I could have done a better job myself: The solid TTR shafts fell of the car in the middle of the street after 250 kilometres. Luckily enough, I was only driving at walking speed, so nothing else broke. The reason for the failure was that the bolts were loose! Also, the front suspension geometry was totally wrong, showing + 25 mm toe-in.

I have also been struggling with loss of coolant, and I keep rejecting the idea that the water pump is broken. But as there is more and more fluid to be found on the garage floor, I guess there is soon no alternative but to change the pump this winter

Repairs done so far
TTR shafts instead of rotoflexes
New solenoid and vacuum container for the headlights
Refurbished master brake cylinder
New Konis in the back suspension
K&N air filter assembly (from Cliveyboy)

Future jobs
New manifold with bigger diameter
Bigger airbox
Cylinder head modification for better flow of fluids and exhausts

I?d like to take the opportunity to thank all you machine heads who contribute to this forum. I would never have bought my Lotus without the information to be find here, and I would never have learned to fix my car by myself without this forum!
Regards
Ulf
1974 Lotus Elan +2 130/5
Uboat
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 176
Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Location: Sweden

PostPost by: memini55 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:08 pm

Ulf,
Thanks for your write up and one can fully understand the frustration of ownership, but the drive simply makes up for the challenge.

As for the waterpump I would get my hands on a presure tester, connects to the filler neck on the radiator and hand pumps the presure on the system to what ever amount you wish. Once under presure you will more than likey find the leak with a nice squirt of fluid. You can also work the fan blades forward and back and feel any movement in the pump bearing. Any bearing movement will end the pump seal.

Best of Luck and enjoy!
Mark
User avatar
memini55
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 474
Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Location: Mount Vernon, Iowa

PostPost by: niceolcars » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:16 pm

Took some (mobile) pix, sorry for the rather poor outcome.
Attachments
Elan Niels 7.jpg and
21082010020.jpg and
21082010021.jpg and
21082010022.jpg and
21082010023.jpg and
21082010024.jpg and
21082010026.jpg and
Niels

26/4163

2005 Smart 450 cdi +
User avatar
niceolcars
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Location: Old Europe.de

PostPost by: Jens » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:31 am

Well, let me do some intruducing as well then. My name is Jens H?kanson. I am currently living in the Netherlands, joust outside Amsterdam to be slightly more precise. My link with the Elan is actually pretty straightforward as my father drove my mother to the hospital when she was due to give birth to me. I have been told that the nurse got pretty upset when she saw what car my dad had used to drive mu mother in.... For some strange reason an Elan FHC just didn't seem apropriate in her eyes....

The Elan has now been standing still for the last 16 years, and still is as I live in the Netherlands and she (still) is living in Sweden. It is a hell of a job to find a good place to have her in the Netherlands unless you have all the money in the world. She needs some TLC in order to participate in traffic again and I have just decided to have her ready for my fortieth birthday, wich gives me 5,5 years to fiddle about with her.

She looks pretty OK standing on the driveway next to a modernish Jag, but please don't zoom in on her as there are some major flaws concerning the bodywork.....

Image

As I have been pretty quiet for quite a while I will try to participate more actively as from now on.

Cheers!

Jens
"Make the suspension adjustable and they will adjust it wrong - look at what they can do to a Weber carburetor in just a few moments of stupidity with a screwdriver..." (CABC)

My one problem is that distance keeps me from my Elan. (36/5395)
User avatar
Jens
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 169
Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Location: Bussum, the Netherlands

PostPost by: 1558cc » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:10 pm

Dear All.

I suppose I am on here because my dad is to computer illiterate to be bothered, and well, I like the site all the same. I'm a fourteen year old classic car enthusiast as you might like to put it, i've helped my dad and his mechanic to rebuild most of our Baby Elan Sprint. I hope that you don't feel that i'm an liar for talking about something that technically isn't my car (yet ;)!

Well, i've been brought up with classic cars, and have fond memories of being driven to hospital when I was 5 in the back of a Rover P5B at quite high speed. With that as an earliest memory, my parents have owned quite a few classic cars over the years, with our current stable being the Elan and a Jaguar MK2.

She's going to be competed in HSCC 70's Roadsports from next year. Hopefully starting at Cadwell Park in April if any of you want to offer some support! The car itself has been kept as standard as the regulations allow.
So with the sometimes wise help of Mr Tony Thompson we started with the car.
Having owned it for a year or so (this being last year) we decided that competing would be a bit of fun. So bought all of the necessary bits that TTR suggested (I know you people don't always swear by him, but used in moderation!) and the we rebuilt the drivetrain with the output shafts, hubs etc. The car already had Mick Miller Solid Driveshafts. Then thinner and tighter adjustable springs with koni dampeners. Plus new lower wishbones on rear (as bent on one side). New steering rack. 26R anti-roll bar. With the thinner springs on back, this allowed us to put thick wheels so 5.5J Minilites and Yokohama tyres (I think!)...

We then fitted a TTR Aluminium radiator, as it was running far to hot (we later discovered this was because of a broken fan), but the new radiator is fantastic so no complaining over the large cost!

A few months later, our idea of what to do with the car had changed, and so we decided to get the engine rebuilt. Lots of names were thrown around, but George Wadsworth at Racing Fabrications seemed to be the one that everyone was impressed by. He did a really, really great job. The engine was modified with all the necessary modifications so that when the time comes a steel crank and such can be just dropped in. As the car is still driven on the road at the moment, this was decided as a bad idea, as the torque curve is moved further up the rev band, and therefore would have been undrivable. It now does 149BHP at the wheels, and you can really tell that it's been fettled with. Considering that the only truthfully came out the factory with 115BHP, it's quite an improvement. While the engine was out TT insisted that he did the gearbox, and so he did, and made it worse. But that's another story.

Ian, George's assistant at Racing Fabrications does all of his race preparation and set up for customers, and had previously owned an elan, so knew his way around them. We got him to fit us the TTR Rollcage, as we figured with having to drill holes to fit the side bars, it shouldn't be left to amateurs! He also fitted willams harnesses.

When we got the car back, we were left with a note saying that the crank could snap if revved above 7000, so we fitted a rev limiter to 6500. It's such a shame, because the power keeps on coming all the way round!

I suppose it's finished now, bar a 26R Manifold and Silencer, but that can wait. Oh and a hard top, which just needs repainting/trimming.
I attach some pictures, and feel free to ask me questions!
Attachments
IMG_1580.JPG and
IMG_1581.JPG and
IMG_1574.JPG and
IMG_1578.JPG and
IMG_1575.JPG and
1558cc
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 22
Joined: 27 Sep 2010

PostPost by: paddy » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:34 pm

Welcome to the site :)

Have you been in touch with Tim at http://www.lotuselansprint.com/ ? He keeps a register of Sprints and their whereabouts and might have some more history on the car.

Paddy
1963 Elan S1
User avatar
paddy
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1196
Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Location: Woking, Surrey

PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:50 am

Well 1558, for a 14 year old kid, you must have had a good ejumacation! I couldnt put my words together like that when I was your age, still cant.

Nice tale about the family car. Where abouts are you in the UK? and dont be late for school replying to this.

Have a great day.

Leslie
512BB
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 892
Joined: 24 Jan 2008
Location: Cambridgeshire, UK

PostPost by: 1558cc » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:16 pm

Hi Leslie,

We're up north. Near Harrogate? It's really nice country, and puts us close to croft, which is great fun (apparently seeing as I'm not allowed to drive ;)

And i'd already gone to school when you wrote that! Oh early mornings I despise you.

And Paddy, yeah, I think my dad may have got in contact with him when we first bought the car, but to be honest I don't think that much info was found!

Best,
Jack
1558cc
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 22
Joined: 27 Sep 2010
PreviousNext

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests