Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan - what's that? Ah, I see, I need one.

PostPost by: SF69Elan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:49 pm

Hi folks - back at the end of last year I started seriously looking for my next classic car after getting my feet wet with a 66 Mustang 289 convertible that has been my daily driver for close to three years now. At first I had big block fever (it's real, I looked it up) and was looking at cars like 64 GTOs w/ 389 tri-power and 70 GTXs with 440 six-packs and pistol grip shifters. It was very, very tempting but then I came to my senses and decided to look for something smaller that would be great fun on the roads here in California and that I could actually fit into the parking space in the condo building where I live and where I'll be working on the car.

I looked a bit at TR4As and MGs, and then, yep, I saw a rerun of the Wheeler Dealers episode where they flipped a 60s Elan. I had never even heard of one before, let alone seen one in person. After seeing that episode I did a little research, watched the Harry Metcalfe video on Evo about his Sprint, watched the Jay Leno video about the ones he's worked on, read up a bit on the history of Lotus and Chapman - and decided that was what I had to have.

I looked for a few months and ended up buying a pretty nice 69 S4/SE DHC from a gentleman off eBay who had owned the car for the past 39 years, since Dec '74. He had done quite a bit of work to the car - engine rebuilt by PHP, original frame repaired and powder coated, new wiring, new paint, 26R suspension upgrades, CV conversion, custom exhaust, new dash, new carpet, etc.

As always, there are things to sort out, and this forum has been extremely helpful to me already on a number of things. Thanks! Also, I've already spent quality time on the phone with Ray from RD Enterprises and Ken at Dave Bean. Both have been very helpful and provided great advice - in particular Ken who has already stepped me through a few things on the phone that I wouldn't have figured out on my own. Also Dietsch Werks have been great to work with to get some initial items sorted and introduce me to some of the clubs and activities for Lotus owners in the Bay Area.

I've got a lot of questions, so bear with me as I learn about these great cars. I look forward to participating on the forums here and hope to eventually be helping out others. I've never rebuilt an engine or done body work, but I can unbolt things and bolt 'em back together generally without too many things leftover and it usually only takes 3 or 4 times as long to put it back together as it did to take it apart.

Right now I'm switching out the weber carbs that came on the car (a DCOE 2 and a DCOE 18) for a matched pair of DCOE 151's that I got from Dave Bean. I've swapped out the 4-barrel carb on my old Mustang before, but getting the new dual Webers on and synced should be interesting - the info on the forums here has been very helpful for me to set up my game plan (appreciate the references to Sidedraft Central and the Des Hammill book on tuning). But of course, now that I have the old carbs off, I've found some other things to address before putting things back together (isn't that always the case).

I posted once earlier describing my adventure when my exhaust decided to stop and have a drink without me on the way home one day - lotus-twincam-f39/exhaust-clamps-replaced-t31784.html#p212963.

Looking forward to getting through the initial sort of the Elan and getting it out on the road!

Rich
IMG_4949.jpg and

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IMG_4950.JPG and
"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
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PostPost by: SF69Elan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:10 pm

I've registered over at the Lotus Elan and Plus 2 registry. Here are a few pics of the numbers - is the 681F6015 the actual engine number, or do those numbers mean something else?

Thanks,
Rich
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IMG_6342.JPG and

IMG_6298.JPG and
"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
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Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX

PostPost by: types26/36 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:16 pm

The 681F is the Ford casting ID, the actual engine number should be just above the carb side engine mounting.........welcome to the forum.
Brian
64 S2 Roadster
72 Sprint FHC
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:46 pm

Welcome Rich.

You've taken the plunge. Now enjoy the ride......
Richard
'72 Sprint
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PostPost by: SF69Elan » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:15 am

Brian, Richard - thanks for your replies.

Brian - found the Engine number. Looks like it's different from the original on the registration plate so it's not a matching number car (as it was represented during the sale). Oh well, my fault for not doing my due diligence prior to purchase. The stamped number is interesting - the final number is stamped twice - a zero and a one. So it's either G21490 or G21491.

Rich

IMG_6431.JPG and
"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
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Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX

PostPost by: collins_dan » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:27 pm

Don't worry too much about matching numbers. The body looks great and the engine has a weber head (federal S4's had stormbergs). What's not to like about that. Dan
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PostPost by: SF69Elan » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:24 am

Hi Dan - you're absolutely right - no regrets at all. The previous owner is a really nice gentleman - he actually sent me several boxes of parts along with the car. Some of the parts where original to the car that he wanted to ensure stayed with the car through the years - including the original exhaust manifold, original generator, and set of 5 original steel wheels (in addition to the panasports that were on it when I bought it). Included also were basically anything he took off the car (down to the nuts, bolts and clip level), newer spare parts he had on hand, two complete Lotus Workshop manuals (one dated 1972, one undated that looks like it could be older), parts catalogs, complete receipts from his nearly 40 years of ownership, magazines from the 70s and 80s with articles on early Elans, and a car cover.

As you said - what's not to like.

Rich

IMG_6443.jpg and

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"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:37 am

Rich,

Congrats on your new Elan. You bought the best way possible, from a long time owner who gave it good care.

Hope to see you 'round the Bay Area, perhaps with the GGLC?

Regards,
Dan Wise
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:24 am

Rich

Congratulations. Your car left the production line on 22 Dec 1969 (with engine no. G19802, as per the VIN).

Tim
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PostPost by: SF69Elan » Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:03 pm

Hi Tim, thanks very much for the update - good to have the confirmation. Looking forward to learning as much as I can about my particular car and Elans overall with the help of this forum.

Thanks again,
Rich
"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX

PostPost by: SF69Elan » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:01 am

Hi Dan - thanks for the welcome. You bet, after talking with Rob over at Dietsch Werks a little while back I joined GGLC, and this evening I signed up for the West Coast Lotus Meet in Reno at the beginning of October. Looking forward to the trip and to meeting other owners and seeing some other cars up close and personal. Time permitting I'm going to try to make it to one of the GGLC Socializers before the October meet.

Rich
"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX

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