Lotus Elan

Hello part 4 (the final hello)

PostPost by: JC33supreme » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:02 pm

IMG_2136.JPG and
Light of day

My previous post had ended .....................
?I was moving house, and my wife had decided the Elan was a ?problem?.
Well, problems have to be resolved, so it had to go. All those adventures, those lucky scrapes, the good restoration intentions ......... and it all ended with the carcass and bits strapped to a trailer and disappearing from view at the end of the road?.

I now pick up the story:
Well, I did see the car again .................... about an hour later when it was unloaded at my mother?s house (I know, you?d already guessed that I was leading you on) and there it stayed for another six years (1995).
By then I had almost completed the refurbishment of the house (see, I can, almost, finish something) and a buyer for it turned up who preferred to finish decorating it to her taste, so I snapped up the offer and we were on the move again. Unfortunately, a few months before this move, my Mum inconsiderately had a stroke, and she was only 89! This necessitated the sale of her house, and therefore the Elan had to be moved to my existing house and within a few weeks had to be moved again to my replacement house.
The Elan did suffer in these moves; in particular, the people who loaded it onto the trailer ratcheted it over the rear wheel arches, so one of them suffered stress cracks. Over the next few years, it suffered the same fate as before, just lying there with the junk accumulating on top of it, and picking up a chip or two in the process. The restoration was definitely in reverse.
About 1991, I made a business visit to Peterborough, so of course I had to pop in at Spyder, and came away with an aluminium fuel tank, a pair of their rear wishbones (why? the old ones were fine) and a set of their drive shafts.
I can?t remember when, but at some point I partially dismantled the rear suspension, fitted the Spyder wishbones, but didn?t replace the dampers or the springs, so the car was sitting very low on the spring perches. Not only can I not remember when, I can?t imagine why? Also, I never fitted the new fuel tank or the drive shafts, but did remove the radiator and the carbs ? stranger and stranger.
And in this state, it sat there until last year, when I decided to clear out the shed and, oh yes, there?s a Lotus underneath all the junk. I must say, I was disappointed with the quality of the tyres produced by a major manufacturer who produced ?SP? type tyres ? one of them was flat and one of them was 10 psi; a poor show since they?d had no use at all for 30 ish years. Anyway, after a few minutes foot pumping, I roped it up to my daily driver and dragged it out. First job was to evict the squirrels that had taken up residence, eaten some of the wiring and the seat belts, and filled it up with acorn shells. Second job was to take some photos which I hope you enjoy. At the same time, I carried out an inventory to find out what is missing (front side repeaters and windscreen) and bagged up and organised all the bits I do have, and (exhausted) decided that was enough work for 2014.
Which brings my story up to 2015, when I received the news that my wife would have to go abroad for two months for family reasons, and I would have to stay behind for house and dog sitting purposes. My mind (slowly) started ticking over in the direction of the Elan, made even more urgent by the fact that we are about to sell our current house and may well move abroad. This could well be my only chance to do something with the Elan, and in the comfort of a well lit double garage as well.
I?ve bought various tools, including the Halfords Pro socket kit and a set of skates, and transferred the Elan from the shed to the garage. I was very impressed with the skates, but my drive is uphill and I thought my creaky aged knees were going to pack up as I dragged it up into the garage, but I made it. Since then, I?ve taken off a few more bits, just to try out the new socket set ? very comprehensive.
The last photo was taken today, so you are fully up-to-date.
I?ll finish by amending what a former Westerham resident once said ?Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning, and it is definitely the end of my ?hello?
I?ll let you know, in the appropriate forum sections, what I decide to do and how it goes.
.p.s. Mum made a speedy and complete recovery from her stroke, and she always retained her sense of humour; and she lived for another eight, mostly fun, years.
20150211 077.JPG and
After a wipe down
20150211 079.JPG and
Ruined one knee, but there!
20150211 082.JPG and
Worked well
IMG_2137.JPG and
New home (uphill)
IMG_2139.JPG and
Chips with everything
IMG_2138.JPG and
*8,000 miles since rebuild!!!
IMG_2135.JPG and
One careful owner

If something is worth doing well.................................................... it's well worth undoing
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PostPost by: JC33supreme » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:04 pm

I haven't got the hang of the finer points of attaching photos, so they are in reverse order - start with the last one and work up.



If something is worth doing well.................................................... it's well worth undoing
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PostPost by: S3FHC » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:15 pm


thanks for making me feel a little better...my car has made little or no progress in the 2 and 1/2 years that I've owned it (no garage built yet!) although that situation will hopefully change soon and I can start to strip and rebuild in earnest!

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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:32 am

great tale john..........some of it sounds very famiiar! I certainly envy you your garage! [mine's been an excuse for years, although hopefully might be rebuilt this year.......]

hope you find the time to get it back on the road.......failing which, there will be many on here who could be pressed into taking it off your hands!!! :lol:

btw, I used to live near Westerham........lovely area [mind you, that was before the M25 .... :?]

:D fred
'Never give up!....unless it's hopeless.....'

1970 S4 dhc big valve
1973 Ginetta G15
1967 Ginetta G4 [sadly now sold]
1959 lotus elite type 14
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