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New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:07 pm
by lbcnut
Greetings Elan enthusiasts,

I've just acquired an Elan S4 DHC, after lusting for one since the mid sixties. Now 74 years old, I decided that I ever I were to realize the dream, now would be the time. I know just enough about the Elan to make myself dangerous to it, so I've determined to take it slowly, read a lot (especially this site), and refrain from just diving in.

My new acquisition is unit no. 8520. Research indicates it has undergone two amateur restorations, the first in 1993 when it received a new chassis, and another in 2004. It has some obvious originality issues but I'm not a stickler about originality, preferring reliability and comfort to the extent they're achievable. It has enough cosmetic glitches to make it interesting; I don't know about mechanical glitches yet because I bought it from photos and have never even sat in it. I have experience as a restorer of Britcars, having done two Bugeye Sprites, an MGTF, a "square" Sprite, a Jaguar E-Type DHC, an MGB and an MG Midget. None of these, except for the Jaguar, come anywhere close to the Elan in complexity (or "coolness").

I'm looking forward to the experience. Glad you guys are here!


Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:57 am
Welcome, Lee! Show us some pictures of your new project! Keep your eyes open for the upcoming release of the 2nd edition of Brian Buckland's book, it is a great companion to the shop manual and this site.

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:21 am
by nmauduit
Congratulations ! you now have the perfect car to fully enjoy life, the drive... possibly the workshop as well. This forum will be a valuable asset to help you take it to whatever level you wish.

Keep it on the road !

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:13 am
by rgh0
Welcome to the Forum. Your car would have been made around the same time of mine in the second half of 1968. Mine is 36/8555. Enjoy it and drive it. Elans are about the purity and enjoyment of the driving experience on the road or the track not the matching numbers originality that is the focus of many classic cars ( because driving them is not much fun :lol: )


Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:07 pm
by Europatc
Welcome Lee

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:39 am
by Elan45
Hi Lee and welcome,

I have been involved in British sport cars since 1965 and my 1st Elan in 1974. I still have that 1st Elan, a S3 Super Safety and it is at my home in Florida, more or less restored as a driver. I also have my pre-airflow Coupe there too under restoration.



Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:50 am
by Elanconvert
hi lee and welcome to the world of elan ownership......a privileged one judging by the envious comments of people passing my garage when the doors are open.. 8)
lots of knowledge and enthusiasm on here

:D fred :D

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:05 am
by The Veg
Welcome Lee! Good to see another southeastern member!

I'll add a vote for showing us pics of your car.

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:53 pm
by lbcnut
My Elan was delivered by auto carrier yesterday afternoon...a worrisome experience in that the truck driver could not start the car to get it off the truck...turned out it was out of fuel. Adding a gallon of gas fixed that. Driving it three miles to my house, I noted that on acceleration it pulls left; on the overrun it pulls right. I've experienced this phenomenon on my MGB after installing new rear springs; tightening up the u-bolts solved it. So today I'll put the Elan on my lift and check rear suspension bushings for "wobble". Other deficiencies include that the pop-up headlights don't; the tach is squirrelly, the turn signals are inoperative, there's no jack; the plywood panel for the boot floor is missing; there's no felt under the carpets, and the panel fits are terrible. I noted with satisfaction that it has a brand new soft top and cover (albeit missing some of the Tenax fasteners); it has been converted to alternator, has twin electric radiator fans, an electric fuel pump, and came with one of those long-handled wrenches for the eight-sided hub nuts. Additionally, in the boot were photo albums documenting two previous restorations (one a total body-off overhaul; the other chiefly mechanical), the original owner's manual, and three award plaques from car shows...two seconds and a first, all from the early nineties. I also found paperwork indicating that the car has resided variously in Vermont, Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida.

All that said, I'm as happy as a pig in the sunshine.
After all, if there were nothing to fix, where would be the fun? I'll post some pics in the next few days.

Thanks to all of y'all for the welcoming comments!

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:28 pm
by bulfin
Hello and welcome. I am in Mobile, AL. Too bad you are on the wrong end of Mississippi.


Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:24 pm
by ericbushby
Don`t worry too much about the panel fit. That is how they are.
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:33 pm
by mwhitaker
Hi and welcome,

I am a new owner as well in Northern Virginia with recently acquired 45/8396, not too off from yours. I grew up with my Dad's yellow 71 S4 FHC-0033J , having wanted one for the last 30 years with my new acquisition after going through my Dad's papers after his death and rekindling the flame. This forum has been a tremendous help to me already with tips for getting my 45 DCOE Webers sorted, gearbox and diff drain/fill questions, and recent ride height issues complicating tire selection- I had forgotten that not all Elans are quite the same in terms of what will/not fit and that not all 155/80-13 tires have similar external dimensions. Its been a complete blast so far and I find I really enjoy the fiddling required by these brilliant little cars. Congrats and enjoy.

Cheers, Mark Whitaker

69 ElanS4SEDHC

Re: New Elan S4 owner

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:55 am
by The Veg
Welcome Mark!