Lotus Elan

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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:24 pm

Thank you Adi and Bill for your considered thoughts. Some very good points there.
Bill in the normal way, a new body engine and gearbox would be okay to retain the identity of the donor. Eight points are needed under the DVLA regs for radically altered vehicles as shown below.


Part Points
Chassis, monocoque bodyshell (body and chassis as one unit) or frame - original or new and unmodified (direct from manufacturer) 5
Suspension (front and back) - original 2
Axles (both) - original 2
Transmission - original 2
Steering assembly - original 2
Engine - original 1

But here's the problem which I believe to be insurmountable. The body would be treated by the DVLA as a monocoque because it is structural and the chassis is only regarded as a subframe. So in the light of all the useful input from the forum members I now believe that a body change would be illegal unless the car went through IVA and unless 99% of the components were new, if it passed it would be given a Q plate. If all parts were new it would be given a current registration. The IVA route was one that I considered but I really would not want a Q plate, the alternative being to build a new car.

We are actually very lucky here in the UK with what we are allowed to do. In France no mechanical alterations to the standard specification are allowed neither are kit or scratch build cars. I think we are the only Country where we can express our creative selves in our vehicles but sadly there are limits and I think I've found this one. I really do want to stay within the law so unless anyone has any bright ideas it could well be good night from me :)
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PostPost by: SimonH » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:23 am

A full body change may not be easy, not illegal, just doesn't allow you to circumvent the IVA regulations which is what you want to do (cant blame you).
If you were to take an existing complete, registered car and just remove certain body areas and overclad it with your panels then that should be fine. It would just be a very heavy body kit over an Elan.
This is how the likes of the David Brown Fastback thing is currently being done. Its a very heavily body kitted Jaguar XK.
Not saying this is the way you would want to go if you could do as you like but its a way around the regs.
But the important part, is that you will have to start with a complete registered, preferably MOT'd car so it is in the system.
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PostPost by: jimj » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:51 am

John, the chassis being described as a sub frame has been discussed many times here. The DVLA were very reasonable in appreciating that the chassis on Elans usually needed replacing before very long so, being pragmatic to avoid unnecessary paperwork, decreed it could be referred to as a sub frame to get round their own regulations. It clearly isn`t one. If you could support a seat, pedal box and steering column you could drive a rolling chassis. Bolting on the body adds significantly to the stiffness of the chassis, as does bolting in the wooden dashboard, incidentally, but it`s not truly a monocoque. Apart from around the windscreen, no additional strengthening is required to convert a FHC (which probably is a monocoque) to a DHC.
The DVLA`s points system, I believe, does allow those points scoring items to be changed, as long as they`re replaced by ones to the period`s design, though they should be notified.
Currently we have Spyder Cars fitting an Elan`s body to modern mechanical items, yet by identifying the car as a Lotus Elan with the body number on the VIN plate, and, presumably, keeping quiet about the rest, can call it a Lotus Elan, claim "historic" status, and even get free road tax. Not that it matters to me, good luck to Spyder and the owners of their cars.
Were you to use a Lotus chassis, even a replacement one, and were true to the original mechanical design, I can`t see a problem with legality. You`d be re-bodying in the true special-building genre and it all sounds a fascinating project, though probably not a viable scheme, unfortunately.
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:13 am

Right Chaps. Thank you all for your valued input. I'm particularly indebted to one member who has come up with an absolutely stonking suggestion. Start with a drophead and if i want to add a Shapecraft hardtop. This retains the integrity of the body and will not infringe any one at the DVLA. So later this year I shall be in the market for an Elan.

Thank you once again.

John
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:44 am

...and don't stop there,bonnet,boot-lid,door skins......whatever.

John :wink:
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PostPost by: adigra » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:58 am

John Bonnett wrote:Right Chaps. Thank you all for your valued input. I'm particularly indebted to one member who has come up with an absolutely stonking suggestion. Start with a drophead and if i want to add a Shapecraft hardtop. This retains the integrity of the body and will not infringe any one at the DVLA. So later this year I shall be in the market for an Elan.

Thank you once again.

John


That definitely sounds like the best option all-round. Can't wait to see the progress!
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PostPost by: John Bonnett » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:07 am

This just shows the tremendous benefit of the forum; great input and as a result a sound way forward. It's good to have a plan.

Now, as a complete newcomer to the Elan, can you please explain why the Series 4 appears to have a lower value than the other models. Is it just the Strombergs or are there other subtle differences apart from rear lights etc? I'm sorry for asking a basic question but I have looked at this link but it doesn't tell me much.
http://elanregistry.org/guide.php

Thank you

John
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PostPost by: adigra » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:03 pm

Overall, yes. Generally it's the Strombergs which are less desirable (rightly or wrongly, it's what the market has decided). Due to the different head casting for the Strombergs it's not a simple fix to swap to Webers or Dellortos.

Furthermore, S4 sits in between two definite milestones: S3 having the round wheelarches, the toggle switches and other interior features which were changed for the S4 as a nod to safety, and the Sprint, which is considered the zenith by the market due to it's various upgrades and distinguishing features. So the price of the "regular" S4 seems to just reflect those perceptions.

Quality wise, it's just as good as any other Elan, and in some ways, arguably, the Strombergs make it even better.
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