Lotus Elan

colin chapman dogma vs (car dealer) originality

PostPost by: el-saturn » Thu May 11, 2017 10:53 pm

yes folks: there's a) lots of originality fetishists AND car investors PLUS the others who follow b) colin's philosophy: THESE philosophies SEEM TO BE CONTRADICTORY!!!! btw it doesn' t add to the value of our cars either way! UNLESS its an original 26R. how much of us (BE HONEST) here want to improve the car???? it's weight (??!!) its engine componets (??) its a bit of suspension parts VERSUS colin chapman steering wheel for 1000?, matching numbers (a joke in the case of an elan),145 tyres (at 110 hp), or similiar!!?? i would hope we're at 50/50 on this site, but i fear it's more like 80% are iot a) equals originalty ------- 20% of us are freaks + racers! (???) sandy i hate teslas: they're always in my way and are sewing machines with shity bodywork sj
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu May 11, 2017 11:01 pm

I'm with you Sandy-somewhat to my surprise!
I used to be an originality buff but when I started falling in love with 'Works' race cars: Big Healey rally cars, lightweight E Types, Lotus 26Rs, the Lightweight MGCs, Sebring Sprites....and then there are the Alfa Romeo TZ series. Modify to factory race specs is the way to go for me!
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PostPost by: GrahamH » Fri May 12, 2017 7:55 am

Personally I believe my plus 2 is to use, so if possible I use original parts, but if the car needs to be improved to get more use out of it, then I am happy to use modern improvements. You can always store the original parts and put them back on later anyway.
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Fri May 12, 2017 9:54 am

When I first bought my S2 (1965) restoration project back in the 1980's, the plan was to restore it as closely to standard spec as was possible at the time, & six years later that was what I had, & it won prizes at shows. Then I caught the track bug from watching Elans competing at various circuits etc around the UK, & a second rebuild began!

Now, over 20 years after the second rebuild began, & with much money spent, I have a car that is close to the original 26R spec, but without any of the later bodywork mods. It is road legal, but not very comfortable to drive on the pot holed surfaces that pass for the UK public highway these days, but great fun on smooth track surfaces.

These days the "perfectionists" shake their heads & walk away, muttering that I have "ruined the car", but do I care ..... not a lot?

I haven't added very much lightness, but I have added plenty of performance!

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PostPost by: el-saturn » Fri May 12, 2017 11:01 am

exquisite replies fellas!!! ..............anything colin tried and even more so if it got homolgation is the path to follow. i also want to keep the bodywork original and also the interior (my dash is carbon, but easy to change) other than that i modified almost everthing else: TTR suspension as 26R and lots of forged bits in the engine (8000rpm+) - even made my own exhaust/muffler etc: 2inchs dia all the way to the Y! ------------ this baby is also VERY audible! BTW: colin would never leave a car untouched: his genius and ambition are contrary to stock versions of the elan.
........ sandy (PS lots of us here either race, have raced or have worked in motorsport, so we all have this devlish affinity, don't we?! and stock would just be plain boring. AND i'd never take my car to a place like pebble beach.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri May 12, 2017 11:47 am

The beauty of the historic group I race in is the car has to look like a standard production sports car but internals are free. No big flares or fat rubber or modern aero but inside the original head and block, gearbox and diff you can build what you want.

My Elan looks almost as original as my Plus 2 and Esprit both of which are truly very original. I like both approaches. The purity of driving a car as it left the factory in the 70's and the enjoyment of developing a car to see what happens and to enjoy it on the limits on the track in historic racing against similarly developed cars and also to give some much more modern Elises and others a run for their money on occasion.

The one thing I don't do is treat a Lotus like an investment or museum piece. They are there to be driven and enjoyed behind the wheel whether developed on the track or original on the road

cheers
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PostPost by: Gray » Fri May 12, 2017 12:01 pm

I can understand both points of view, my current Elan will be a fair way from original when finished, but there was not a lot of the original heap that I bought worth keeping. If I had a car such as the ones I've seen restored by Peter Day I would keep it as original as possible
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PostPost by: JimE » Fri May 12, 2017 1:25 pm

I love my original Sprint, +2S 130/5 and Europa Special for what they are. For me there is something to be said for experiencing what they were like then, right down to the smell of the interior! I appreciate some will want to make them faster (they're plenty quick enough for me in standard spec) or more reliable so no objection. What you will find though is that there is a premium to be had for keeping them original which must say something.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Fri May 12, 2017 4:15 pm

i agree fullheartedly with jim and forgot to add: everything we change must be reversable. as a matter of fact, here in switzerland you can get 6 yr MOT which means changing all of the TTR suspension bits, the safer drilled and slotted discs, the muffler and this coming time (in 2022) maybe the carbon dash (not original) - the rest isn't visible! sandy PS and in other words: an elan here has to remain semi original and last time i had to go there (MOT) 3 times!
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Fri May 12, 2017 5:11 pm

The UK has not implemented this, & ...... as it is a EU recommendation only, presumably now we never will!

So basically, anything goes providing that the vehicle meets the UK annual MOT testing requirements regarding safety, chassis solidity, brakes, steering, bushes, tyres etc. This could be done with absolutely nothing as standard. Indeed the current suggestion is that cars qualifying for "historic status" might not even have to undergo annual MOT tests (a "historic" car is currently anything manufactured before January 1977 & rolls forward every year) Right now cars manufactured before January 1960 do not have to undergo the annual MOT test.
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PostPost by: S3FHC » Wed May 17, 2017 6:11 am

I personally prefer the standard appearance of the Elan without extended wheel arches or any body modifications but with upgrades which are discreet and/or reversible, the car can then be returned to its original specification if desired. For track use, there's an obvious need to gain every performance or handling advantage available
(most often to the detriment on comfortable road use!)

As much as I genuinely appreciate immaculate museum examples, I have absolutely no desire to own a pristine car which is only ever wheeled onto a trailer and taken to car shows, then polished/waxed, has it's tyres plucked clean of grit and grass and paraded to possibly win some tinware?? :roll:

After all, whatever your car is used for (road or track) THAT is where it should be!
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Wed May 17, 2017 10:16 am

S3DHC - we two are in full agreement! that's what colin expects of us!! sandy with a s3fhc metaphor: a dhc
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat May 20, 2017 8:43 am

They are there to be driven and enjoyed behind the wheel whether developed on the track or original on the road


I do wonder how many of us actually drive the cars as they were intended. I feel guilty that I only drove just over 4k miles in my +2 last year (an intermittent electrical fault made long journeys unpredictable). Remember that the cars were only an end to supporting CC's racing ambition, and maintaining originality of the F1 cars from race to race would mean they became also-rans. Continuous improvement (within the rules in the case of F1) is part of the game. Perhaps we all work to our own rules in Lotus ownership.

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PostPost by: gavk » Sun May 21, 2017 11:03 pm

I fully respect and admire those who have the time, money and dedication to maintain or restore cars to their original state.

If funds allowed I would have a garage of upwards of 20 cars however the two cars I have currently need to work for me, my BMW ferries my children around and my Spyder Chassied Zetec Engined +2 gets me to and from work.

Would I love to to have a Colin Chapman steering wheel...probably

Will I buy one....No, I'll probably end up with a Momo or Sparco race wheel that will suit the usage and character of my car better.

Garage queens are great to look at but personally I'm thankful that I get to drive, smell and feel my car regularly. I also previously had a Westfield (Lotus 7 replica) as a daily drive, I used to commute 60miles per day in that car across some fantastic British B Roads. There is certainly satisfaction that comes from the dedication required to use and maintain a classic on a daily basis. Being able to regularly share such cars with other road users and passers by is also a great privilege, you can quite literally bring a smile to people's faces and that won't happen when your car is sat in the garage!
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PostPost by: Davidb » Sun May 21, 2017 11:20 pm

I am so impressed that some of you guys use Elans and Plus 2s as everyday drivers! Perhaps it is because you don't have to deal with the number and size of the pick-up trucks that we contend with in n.america. Most seem to serve as penis extenders and weapons. It was so pleasant driving all over the UK a couple of years ago and not seeing these damn things!

Ps, I grew up around Guildford in the fifties and sixties.
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