Lotus Elan

Re-build company recommendations??

PostPost by: Elise » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:02 pm

Hi all,
I hope I've posted this in the right place....
The (very) leisurely re-build of my '69 Elan S4 has come to a hault due to the sad death of my friend who was helping. He had all the technical knowledge, skills and garage space - I unfortunately don't and with a 5 month old baby to look after am seriously short of time to learn myself. The engine and gearbox are sorted, we were just about to start building up the new chassis (I have new chassis, suspension parts etc etc all waiting to be put together). My question is, are there any companies out there that people can recommend to take on putting my car back together? The Club Lotus magazine has a range of adverts from people like SMS, Paul Matty etc and some offering collection (which would be good). I would like to have some involvement in the re-build decisions and how much I get done will depend upon cost. I'd really like to get the car on the road again as a kind of tribute to my friend - but could do with some advice on companies who may be able to help.
I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
Ta
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:38 pm

Seeing as you are in Lancashire there's...

http://www.fouldsmotors.co.uk/

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Thornts » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:57 pm

Hi Elise

Sorry to hear about your friend.

I've just done one for a customer - hope I'm not contravening Elan.net protocol with a 'comercial' posting - and would be very happy to discuss with you. PM me if you like.

Best regards

Rob

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:14 pm

Elise,
Before letting anyone take on this work for you, visit them to try and make an ssesment of their competence. Check simple things, like do they have the facilities to do what they are offering to do, if not then the work is likely to be sub contracted. Is the workshop presentable, are other Lotus being worked on? Try to find another customer who has had work done there. Get a schedule of work, and ensure no additional work is done without your prior agreement.

Regards,
Richard Hawkins
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PostPost by: bobm3142 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:26 pm

Sorry about your sad news and really pleased that you want to continue with the project; it's what any Elan lover would want.

This is probably the right time to consider whether you want to restore it to original spec. or incorporate any mods. I'm not sure what the S4 spec was but the mods I would think about are: servo assisted brakes, alternator and electronic ignition.

Very best of luck.

Bob
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PostPost by: adigra » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:27 pm

My condolences on the sad passing of your friend.

I was in a similar position to you with the car a couple of years ago where I had done most of the work, but decided I wanted to have the car put together by a professional. Having used Foulds in the past I gave it to him, but he was having some problems and the car stayed untouched for nearly a year. So I took it to Paul Matty who really did a fantastic job and I've since done about 2200 miles of trouble free motoring.

I would, however, love to be able to find someone skilled with the Elans more locally (close to Yorkshire).

Regards,
Adi
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PostPost by: EMA7K » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:24 am

Depends on finances. I've used a variety over the years. Not a fan of Foulds Motors (at least not for old elans). Have used Paul Mattys for the last 10 years with no complaints.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:54 pm

One of the biggest considerations regarding a re-build is the cost, you need to have a clear understanding of what work is required to complete your car and an accurate estimate of the labour and parts required.

Spyder Cars of Whittlesey can collect your car and will give a quotation for completing the works, as will Paul Matty, both are reputable companies and have the capacity to work on your car straight away, some of the smaller specialists may keep you waiting for a surprisingly long period of time before they start and may also charge you for the privelege. I have had 2 cars totally restored by Spyder and can recommend them, and I know people who have had cars restored by Matty's who would recommend them too.

The cost by a professional business specialising in Lotus Elans will inevitably be a higher cost than by your sadly departed friend, ask lots of questions and ask for lots of advice from whoever you ask for a quote, if they are worth considering they will give advice freely and not be impatient with questions.
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
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PostPost by: pereirac » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:33 pm

SMS did the paintwork on my Elan about 8 years ago and it still looks good I don't know if they do full rebuilds but when they had my car they seemed happy to do the bit's I didn't feel up to doing (bodywork and fitting a new wiring loom).. Compared with some of the specialists around they were also pretty quick ..

Carl
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PostPost by: Elise » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi all,
Sorry for not being on-line for a while - but thank you ever so much for all the replies, advice and suggestions.

It's a bit daunting trying to choose a company to help with my car, but I need to bite the bullet now and drop an e-mail to some companies. Richard, your advice about getting a schedule of work was helpful, really obvious I suppose, but not something that had crossed my mind, as is checking for sub-contractors.

I'll get on with drafting some e-mails and I'll keep the forum posted on progress and hopefully I'll have some photos to share of something car shaped (rather than just bits) soon! :-)

Cheers
Elise
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PostPost by: EPA » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:09 am

Elise
I have never had any work done by them and therefore this is not intended as a recommendation but as you are in Lancashire maybe it would be worth contacting Europa engineering in Southport. They specialise in The Lotus europa but their web site indicates that they do work on Elans also.
http://www.banks-europa.co.uk/welcome.htm

Good luck
Ed
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:28 pm

Elise, sorry for the loss of your friend.

Just thought that if you would like a general overview of the rebuild steps for the car, I found Gordon Lund`s book very helpful when I was planning things out. It is a relatively quick read and not overly detailed or technical, but describes the general rebuild steps and difficulties very well. Might help with drawing up your work schedule and setting priorities. I see the link below shows as out of stock, but the books are frequently on eBay and are not too expensive. Gordon posts here from time to time as well.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lotus-Elan-A-Re ... 1855205963

Lotus Elan: A Restoration Guide [Paperback]
Gordon Lund

All the best with the project. I sourced many parts from Spyder and found them to be really good.
Stu
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