Lotus Elan

Tall Guy in a Lotus 20/23B/Europa Etc.

PostPost by: maxminshull » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:01 pm

Hey guys,

S3 DHC road car owner here who is looking into purchasing a vintage Lotus for racing. I was hoping you might have some insights into how tall one can be and still fit in a vintage Lotus, as I am 6'6 (1.95m) with a 36in (91.5cm) inseam on the leg. Does anyone have any experience with the Formula cars, Sports cars (19,23,30) or the Europa? I'd assume a Cortina would be fine with the extra room behind the seat and lack of a rear engine firewall to back up into.

Thanks
Owner:

Lotus Elan S3 DHC #6487 in Carnival Red
maxminshull
New-tral
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 04 Oct 2020
Location: Palos Verdes

PostPost by: vstibbard » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:37 pm

I'm just under 6'5' and fit just into a Europa Special, don't fit comfortably in S1 or 2 though. I doubt you would fit 23, I'd previously looked at buying a 22 and found them too short and tight for my ski build and the 23 its based off it

Cheer

V
vstibbard
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:45 am

I raced my Eleven S2 for a little over 10 years, such great memories from the 1990s. I'm 5-8, 165 #. I finished my 20/22 in 2001 and its been my weapon of choice since, except for the Eleven reunion at Sebring in 2006 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Eleven introduction to the world at Sebring 1956 and several early Put-in-Bay reunions

I'm trying hard to remember taller friends who raced these cars over the years and I've come up with a short list. David Whiteside was probably 6 ft and he raced a 22, a 17 and an Elite, oh and I believe he had a 30 for a while. i believe his cars are in the Barber Museum in Alabama today.

Charlie Gibson and Dave Handy of Sasco raced their matching Lola mk1s and Lotus 23s during that period too and Charlie had to be at least 6-2. unfortunately, both David and Charlie are no longer with us, but Dave Handy still owns Sasco and might be able to help you in your search.

One other 23 pilot I remember being tall is Bill Luken of Cincinnati. Bill is well over 6 ft . I haven't seen Bill for a couple of years, but I probably have some contact info if you'd like to PM me.

Gary Harrison and I usually run the same events and paddock together. Gary is a couple of inches taller than me and his 22 is set up a little different than my car, belt anchor points etc.. Since the 20, 22, 31 and 51 and even the 61 chassis are pretty much the same, you should be able to find a car someone will let you try on for size. You might have to have the roll bar custom made to fit your stature, but the cars are so much fun. I see you are in California, so you probably won't be wanting to try my car on for size, but if you're in the area, get in touch.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
Elan45
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 920
Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPost by: mbell » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:08 am

I am 6'2" and tried to sit in a 23 last year (just for a photo). I failed as I was to wide for seat and struggled for leg room getting in and out, probably due to the seat.

The car was set up for Doc Bundy who isn't particularly tall, so no doubts there is room for a taller driver with different seat setup. I don't know if you'd get in at your height, probably but maybe not in an optimal way.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
mbell
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1783
Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Austin, TX (UK Ex-pat)

PostPost by: maxminshull » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:22 am

Thanks guys, I'm going to follow up with a few other people I know. I think the trick will be coming to an event with enough people in Lotus' to try and see which ones I can fit in!
Owner:

Lotus Elan S3 DHC #6487 in Carnival Red
maxminshull
New-tral
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 04 Oct 2020
Location: Palos Verdes

PostPost by: Bombay Racing Green » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:06 am

I’m 6’2” and I can fit in my S2 Europa. My right knee/shin does rub against the handbrake though. Other than that it’s snug but comfy. I’m long in the leg so I have abit of head room. I’d say you’ll be out of luck at 6’6”.
Pete
1970 S4 DHC
1971 S2 Europa
1968 +2
Bombay Racing Green
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 264
Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:33 am

Can.t find anything on Bill yet, but get hold of Dave at Sasco, 434-822-7200 [email protected]

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
Elan45
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 920
Joined: 23 Nov 2008
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPost by: maxminshull » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:18 pm

Thanks Roger! I'll get in touch with him.
Owner:

Lotus Elan S3 DHC #6487 in Carnival Red
maxminshull
New-tral
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 04 Oct 2020
Location: Palos Verdes

PostPost by: kwhittle » Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:56 am

I am 6ft 1, and 14 stone. I suggest that a L23 is the most tricky proposition, but a removable steering wheel would help. I have raced/hillclimbed L11, L18FJ, L19, L35, L46 and L50. The Europa was the most difficult, v tight on footroom. I remember going into a shoe shop and asking for a pair of shoes that would not fit me !
Kevin
kwhittle
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 76
Joined: 19 Jun 2016
Location: uk

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: Peter +2 and 11 guests