Lotus Elan

More Interesting Factory Pictures

PostPost by: enskr » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:47 am

Following on from the thread on the +2 forum, I thought I should share these 2 pics. Can't remember how I came by them. They must be very early - can anyone place them?

Kevin
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218.jpg and
217.jpg and
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:59 am

That first picture isn't just early, Kevin, it's the earliest! Elan 1500 script on the side....not many of those made it outside the factory. Thanks for putting those pictures up. Here's an S4 as your reward!

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z68 S4 Coupe.jpg and
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:15 am

For the factory pic, a couple of things are interesting:

- one of the cars looks like it has the "ten-to-two" steering wheel - doesn't this make it very early?

- if you look through the Lotus records, very few early cars were factory-built - most where shipped as kits (with separate invoices for engine and body). For the first half of 1963 there were only one or two factory-built cars each month (but there are several in this picture).

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:21 am

Those photos are great, looks like the door on the Elan out side has the start of the bad door fit, must be one of the first 23 1500's. It looks to be nearly ready to ship, it has one of those early steering wheels with that alloy studs on the rim. Hubcaps must be in the boot. The other photo in the shop looks like the end of the production line where the hood/top was fitted and the seats and fuel tank werre installed. You can also make out the bonnet and instrument pod of a Lotus Elite in the left forground. I would thing the photo was taken in early 1963

Thanks for posting

Gary

p.s. the tool kit on the stool is interesting to, 4 various length adjustable spaners...
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PostPost by: richard sprint » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:45 am

What great photos - this must have been down at Delamare Road in Cheshunt, I visited one of the works as a 10 year old with my father and still buy car parts from the factors who operate from the old premises.

These early cars were to me the prettiest with their round rear lamps, round arches and hub caps - perhaps I need a series 1!!!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:07 am

I thought I'd have a hunt through my old press stuff, and found a few goodies.

Here's the first, with an interesting write-up on the back:

Mark
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zS1 Press 1.jpg and
zS1 Press reverse.jpg and
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:12 am

And here's a nice selection of S2 press pics...showing off the differences over the S1. Well, the lights, badges and dash!

Mark
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zS2 Press 1.jpg and
zS2 Press 2.jpg and
zS2 press 3.jpg and
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PostPost by: hatman » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:42 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:
Here's the first, with an interesting write-up on the back:


'...with acceleration of the order of 0-60 miles per hour in under 7 seconds.' Oh yeah? (I see that Autocar could only manage 8.7 secs - presumably they hadn't found the handbrake at the time they first tested it 8) )
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:59 pm

Mark,

Thanks for adding to Kevin's pictures. One thing I did notice. I think the negative was flipped for the dash board shot and the car is actually a left hand steering model. Look at the gauges. Nevertheless, nice pictures though!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:26 pm

Do you mean to say that your gauges don't look like that, Frank?! Well, it shows how little I studied the photo before scanning it in.! If you look at the 'Elan Village' shot, you can just see the steering wheel on the left.

Here it is, after some jiggery pokery...

Mark
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zS2 Press 2corrected.jpg and
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PostPost by: richard sprint » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:28 pm

For you long serving owners who can identify year, and model from 100 paces I find these pics fascinating and everso worrying...

Now I (possibly) understand the series identification by the rear lamps I find I've bought the wrong car the one I need is a series 1 - so pure.

Please someone tell me they were awful because over a bump the floor fell out and everytime one used the windscreen washers it squirted hot oil in your face....
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:04 pm

No Richard, they're great!

Generally speaking there?s not a vast difference between them all. The main change was at the introduction of the S3 (Coupe) in 1965, which had the door window frames. They don?t add to the aesthetics of the car, but make a hec of a difference to the weather proofing! Elans all got electric windows with the introduction of the S3 as well.

The S1 and S2 didn?t have carpets, but a fitted textured rubber mat?in all the places your Sprint has carpet. They also had push-up and fall-down door glass, which more often than not would creep down whilst driving along. They had a boot lid that didn?t go to the end of the boot, so allowed water in. Putting the hood up on an S1 / S2 is an assembly job. Two cant rails (that go around the window glass) are fastened in place, then two hoops go across the car, and the hood attached to this frame?none of the girly reach-behind-you-and-pull-the-hood-up nonsense!! You had to stand in the rain, get the bits out of the boot, assemble the frame, and try hard to fix the hood to the frame, which was (is) nearly impossible if it?s cold.

The only other ?major? changes were in the wheel arches of the S4 onwards?they became slightly more flared and squared-off. Oh, and rocker switches instead of toggle switches. The tail lights you know about.

Many other detail changes of course?you?ll have to get Brian Buckland?s excellent book, and a new anorak!

The early cars are now quite sought after. Unfortunately there is a premium on them (in the UK at least) as they are eligible for pre-65 racing?.a log book / chassis plate can change hands for ?3000. They are also the basis for the 26R racer, of which out of the 100 or so that were built, only 500 now survive. However, even up to 10 years ago, the S1 and S2 were very much the poor relation as a road car.

When I first started looking for an Elan in ?75, I didn?t even consider an S1 or S2?.I was after an S4......in yellow. Much preferred the lights of the S4 to the others!! The Sprint was way out of sight on price, and so, it turned out, was the S4, so I bought a S3 Coupe..in white. Still got it, and a yellow S4, and I?m restoring a S2. So beware, the bug bites, and I?d still like an S1?.and a Sprint!

I didn?t have enough Corgi toys as a kid.

Mark
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:21 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:You had to stand in the rain, get the bits out of the boot, assemble the frame, and try hard to fix the hood to the frame, which was (is) nearly impossible if it?s cold.

Hence the rubber floor mats instead of carpet a la Honda Element. Again, Lotus was far ahead of it's time :wink:
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:52 am

Aye yi yi, what is it here? Non owners crapping on S1's?
I've got twenty or so years driving them and have never had a window go down while driving, AND, my trunk/boot doesn't leak either.
And as far as standing in the rain to put the top/hood up, have you guys ever seen a bridge underpass, canopy, or tree?
I'd never give up the S1 because I could never bear to look at the Chrome Easter Basket Window Handles on both sides of my car every time I put the top/hood down. IMHO they destroy the lines of an otherwise perfectly svelte roadster.
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PostPost by: paddy » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:57 am

One of my windows slides down when I drive.

Anyway, that's irrelevant because there's only one way to drive them: hood down, windows down, foot down. If you stay above 50mph the rain just blows over the top :)

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