Lotus Elan

Elan plans , Spyder chassis / double wishbone option

PostPost by: Sundaydriver » Fri May 16, 2014 2:41 pm

Hi All,

I'm still researching my route into Elan ownership ...

I'm on a budget, but I'd like to try and restore an S1 to S4 type car.

I'm not obsessed with a concours rebuild, and would happily upset the purists :shock:
, despite the fact I'm a diehard ACBC fan. :D I like the Jay Leno concept
rebuild in some ways at least, I think It's progress which flatters ACBC,
Hickman, and the whole team.
I love to see a good concours Elan, but I can't afford to achieve it. If there are improvements to be made at lower cost I'm up for considering them :)

I'm favouring the Spyder chassis route, and just discovered the possibility
of 'improving' with a double wishbone conversion. I'm thinking
if you're going to the trouble of refurb/renew, that this seems a
practical option maybe.

So....

Anyone running double wishbone conversion from Spyder cars care to
comment on how it affects ride, as it looks like the suspension travel
is compromised. Any other concerns with this radical departure from
the Chapman struts ??
Anyone used the roll cage from them, and the 'sill bar' safety add ons?
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PostPost by: tvacc » Fri May 16, 2014 2:49 pm

I have a full Spyder conversion car. Had it since 1986, sold it in 94 and bought it back in 2004. Car drives and handles completely different than a original Elan. More like a modern car.

I was not happy with the rear sway bar, I took mine out. Car seemed to want to oversteer too much with the rear sway bar in place.

I also have the roll cage, side intrusion bars. Like that a lot although with the height of the side bars being so low unless you get hit by a Lotus Europa I don't see how they will be much help in protecting you.
Tony Vaccaro
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LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York)
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71 Spyder Elan, ElanGTS, 93 Caterham, 05 Elise,
99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
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PostPost by: Sundaydriver » Fri May 16, 2014 3:16 pm

That's great feedback tvacc,
I wonder what the objective of the
double wishbone conversion was !?

I surely don't want to spoil the handling, and if 'it ain't broke..'
applies here I'll forget that mod.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Fri May 16, 2014 3:31 pm

Edit, so sorry guys, I wrote "not regrettably" when it should have been "now regrettably" One letter makes quite a difference. Lee was a very nice person and I do miss him.

My car was built by Spyder as a gold demo chassis with all their options with motor and everything installed but the body. Lee Weinstein (now regrettably passed to that big Lotus garage in the sky) was the Spyder Dist here in the USA back in the early 80's. He brought the chassis over to the USA and they showed it for a while. Then he found an S2 Elan that had been hit in back and an S4 Elan that had been hit in the front. Mated the two halves with 26R fenders and put it on the chassis.

One of the things Spyder did back then was to put copper brake lines. Drove the car for years with it that way even though they are illegal in this country and probably dangerous everywhere.

I replace those a few years ago.

I just rebuilt the motor, Put on a Bean cartridge water pump. Getting ready to sell the car if anyone is interested. REALLY FAST. Just had the Dist rebuilt by Advanced Dist up in MN.

I am concentrating on my Caterham business and all the Elans have to go.
Tony Vaccaro
http://www.lotusowners.com
LOONY (Lotus Owners of New York)
Drive Fast Take Chances
71 Spyder Elan, ElanGTS, 93 Caterham, 05 Elise,
99 Elise190, 91 M100 Elan, 74 Europa, 72 Europa JPS #15, 68 Elan Coupe RHD
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