Lotus Elan

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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:20 am

Thank you Fred. It does look as if I'm going to have to start with a donor vehicle. Better re-word the ad :D
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PostPost by: 661 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:35 am

Welcome John. The GT6 looks great and this certainly sounds like an interesting project.

Any relation to Piers Bonnett of Sussex?? (Long shot I know but he comes from a Lotus mad family)
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:54 am

661 wrote:Welcome John. The GT6 looks great and this certainly sounds like an interesting project.

Any relation to Piers Bonnett of Sussex?? (Long shot I know but he comes from a Lotus mad family)



Thank you Graeme. No relation as far as I know although there may be some connection somewhere down the line. I believe we are descended from the Hugenots who fled to the UK from France.

As far as the project goes if I wanted to keep the car as it were in period and not look modern I'm going to struggle getting it through IVA. I have experience of the earlier SVA and know all about how closely they control radii and sharp edges. This is particularly applicable to the dashboard and cockpit areas. So possibly the only way forward is to avoid IVA and find a donor car. If that is going to be silly money it could make the whole project not viable which would be a shame. I'm not ready to begin yet so I can afford to wait and see what turns up. I'm obviously in the right place talking to the right people so if you hear of anything that might help please do let me know. Thank you.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:51 pm

Hi John,

Welcome to the forum. You might want to look in the forum archives for Shapecraft Elan or Surbiton Motots.

They produced an alloy, fastback hardtop for the S1-S2 Elan in period. One was on a 26R chassis and may be owned by Tony Thompson today. Another member of this forum is working on a fiberglass replica. I'd love to help on that project, but I'm on the wrong side of the pond and my 3 Elans are all S3 and a type 36 FHC.

Good luck with your project and dealing w/ DLVA.

Roger
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:02 pm

Elan45 wrote:Hi John,

Welcome to the forum. You might want to look in the forum archives for Shapecraft Elan or Surbiton Motots.

They produced an alloy, fastback hardtop for the S1-S2 Elan in period. One was on a 26R chassis and may be owned by Tony Thompson today. Another member of this forum is working on a fiberglass replica. I'd love to help on that project, but I'm on the wrong side of the pond and my 3 Elans are all S3 and a type 36 FHC.

Good luck with your project and dealing w/ DLVA.

Roger


.Thank you Roger. I remember the Shapecraft Elans very well. The name still exists and I think it was bought by Clive Smart who runs his own metal shaping/coach building firm in Northampton. They do some really nice work; both repairs and new builds. My mentor who encouraged me through the lows of my GT6 project used to work there. Here's a link;
http://www.shapecraft.com/frameset.html

I've just come across this thread which ties things together and clarifies Clive's connection with Shapecraft.
.
lotus-elan-f19/shapecraft-converting-cars-again-t32142.html

file:///home/chronos/u-e56b3c7eaa22e6cce994e8a28f1b8bd8be15854d/Downloads/ShapeCraft_ClassicSportsCarAug2014%20(1).pdf

As far as the new project goes I'm hopeful that a basket case Elan that I can use as a basis will turn up at sensible money. I'm in no hurry in fact I'm not ready yet so time is on my side.

John
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:09 pm

john
just thinking......if you were going to start with just a chassis and v5c, you would have an awful lot of stuff to buy before you could get a car on the road.......all of these bits would add up to quite a bill, so although a donor basket case might seem expensive initially, it might actually be the cheapest way to go....?

basket case [complete car] will probably be not less than about ?10k.....[there is a sprint project for sale at the moment for ?20k :shock: ] and I suppose you might find one that needs a new body.....

do you envisage the whole body in aluminium? i.e. floors, bulkheads, etc? or just the outer skin?
the latter might be easier to get past dvla [would they ever know?]
I don't know the construction details of the IWR cars......

:D fred :D
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:52 pm

Elanconvert wrote:john
just thinking......if you were going to start with just a chassis and v5c, you would have an awful lot of stuff to buy before you could get a car on the road.......all of these bits would add up to quite a bill, so although a donor basket case might seem expensive initially, it might actually be the cheapest way to go....?

basket case [complete car] will probably be not less than about ?10k.....[there is a sprint project for sale at the moment for ?20k :shock: ] and I suppose you might find one that needs a new body.....

do you envisage the whole body in aluminium? i.e. floors, bulkheads, etc? or just the outer skin?
the latter might be easier to get past dvla [would they ever know?]
I don't know the construction details of the IWR cars......

:D fred :D



Yes it all looks quite daunting at the moment Fred particularly with your bombshell that the chassis is regarded as a sub frame. This leads me to think that perhaps the body is as much a structural component as the chassis itself. I'm clearly going to have to do a bit more research before leaping in. I think Clive Smart at Shapecraft should be able to clarify whether the IWR cars were all aluminium or a mixture of steel and aluminium. My GT6 is a mixture because the sills are structural on the small chassis Triumphs so have to be steel. Whatever I build it has to structurally sound otherwise I wouldn't proceed. While continuing on the negatives, on the cost side, ten grand for a donor would blow the project clean out of the water. So unless there's a cheaper option to get started this may remain just be a nice idea.

The big positive is the knowledge base and help from you chaps, (particularly you Fred) on the forum which will go a long way to help me avoid the elephant traps along the way. Thank you

John
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PostPost by: jimj » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:34 am

I think that Fred is right in saying that the most economical route you could take would be to acquire a complete car as a basis. Building up an Elan from just a chassis would be hugely expensive and ?10k+ for a basket case would be reasonable.
As what you`re proposing wouldn`t be a Lotus Elan when you`ve finished anyway, why not choose a cheaper donor option? Rebody an MX5 with used spares widely available? Build up a Locost kit car with a body looking like an Elan if that`s what you want?
Good luck, anyway.
Jim
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:46 am

No argument there Jim but the Elan is everything I like in a car; the way it handles and above all its size and beauty which makes the MX5 look big and clumsy. For sure there are many much cheaper options all of which I've discounted except for a Sebring or WSM Sprite. The latter body is very similar and as appealing as the IWR Elan but the suspension is agricultural and crude in comparison with the Lotus. On the credit side, I could buy a very nice Sprite or Midget as the basis for rather less than a non running Elan. But this project is still an embryo in my mind and as with everything, I'm certain that the way forward will become clear with time.

I really appreciate the interest you have all taken and for your responses. Thank you

John
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:13 am

Are you going to want the Elan engine as well?

I ask because there are a number of engine-less Elan+2 cars appear from time to time emerging from sorage in garages & barns.

Elan+2 cars are currently less expensive than two-seater Elans.

In the past there must have been a time when they were relatively inexpensive and some people bought them and then transferred the engine to a race car or hot-rod. Those cars are what emerge now as the value has increased.
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:24 am

billwill wrote:Are you going to want the Elan engine as well?

I ask because there are a number of engine-less Elan+2 cars appear from time to time emerging from sorage in garages & barns.

Elan+2 cars are currently less expensive than two-seater Elans.

In the past there must have been a time when they were relatively inexpensive and some people bought them and then transferred the engine to a race car or hot-rod. Those cars are what emerge now as the value has increased.


No, the thought was to use a Zetec with M75 gearbox. Thing is I don't want a Plus 2 as a base, not that I have anything against them it's just that I love the size of the two seater. I do want to stay on the right side of the DVLA so everything I do must bear scrutiny. At the moment, sadly, it does look as if this project may get no further than these pages.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:34 am

You just need to challenge some of your thinking based on what you have learned, even if you do find a sub ?10K car you would need to add a lot of money to it, a moderate to decent car is probably better value, be ruthless, strip off and sell every original part on E-bay that you wont need to use, the engine, running gear and body will yeild an awfull lot of money as Steve Broad can attest.

Why not cut n shut a plus 2 chassis?

Do you need to retain any of the original body? Parts like doors, door frames, rear screen etc would bring in a lot of money if sold.
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:29 pm

That's pretty much what I've done with the surplus Triumph bits and made enough to cover the paint job. The great thing about having a complete car is having all the little parts that are unobtainium. But I said right at the beginning that I really don't want to take a genuine car out of circulation and would much prefer to start with something that would never go again. That way I can't be criticised for butchering a perfectly good car.

As far as cut and shutting a chassis is concerned, that really is a no no as far as the DVLA are concerned..
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PostPost by: adigra » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:09 pm

Hi John and welcome.

I find these kinds of ideas fascinating and very exciting. There have been a few Elans over the years fitted with modified, and in a couple of cases completely new bodies, and last year there was an open top racer sold at Paul Matty, which was fitted with a D-Type-esque style body (which I wish I had bought at the time). I think, as some have pointed out, that you will find using a genuine Elan identity to be a very expensive route these days, and one which will not be particularly financially sound if the eventual value is of concern.

In one of your comments above you mention thinking that the body might be as much a structural component as the chassis. You are entirely correct in that assumption; the body is a unit structure which doesn't rely on the chassis for stiffness, which is why the chassis is considered a subframe. Only the two together truly make the Elan. Without using, or replicating the lower parts of the body to build on, I don't know how a car could be considered an Elan any more. If you go down the road of reinforcing the chassis in order to provide a more conventional platform for an unstressed body, you will be losing most of what these cars are about, even though you might well end up with a great car in its own right.

Just my 2p.

Good luck!
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:28 pm

I fear that if you replaced the body +engine+gearbox, retaining only Chassis, Suspension, Wheels & brakes, that would be a step-too-far for the DVLA and they would not let you retain the existing VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and it would be treated as a new car.
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