Lotus Elan

The abridged saga of my Europa lunacy

PostPost by: andyelan » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:46 pm

Hi Chuck

Love your cars, good to see others who have an interest in the Europa, a very underrated car in my opinion.

The Elan I have is actually a Plus 2S 130/5 and both this and the Europa are completely standard. Although it’s immediately obvious they’re both Lotus, and in fact both have identical engines, they are actually very different machines.

The Europa is lower geared, has a quicker steering rack and is significantly lighter so it is much more agile and can be thrown around corners with ease. It can feel a little skittish at high speed, especially in cross winds, so driving it requires concentration, but it is a very quick car indeed.

The Plus 2 feels bigger and a more serious car, it also has more of an air of quality about it. It is still quick and feels very stable and planted at high speeds and so is much less demanding to drive but the additional weight and tall gearing are noticeable and do take the edge off the acceleration.

Overall I say if I want to go out for a fast Sunday morning thrash and to have loads of fun, then it has to be the Europa. However, if I actually need to go somewhere, especially any significant distance, then it’s the Plus 2.

Regards
Andy
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PostPost by: Chuck Nukem » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:05 pm

Wet sanding is progressing well. I should be done this evening. I'll get the car back in the booth and get the doors fitted to line everything up for the stripes. I got the carbon fiber rear panel bonded together and fitted. I haven't decided what to do with it yet... I was hoping it would hide a bit better against the black but it turned out to be very grey. I will most likely paint the top of the lid and leave the sides exposed. That way nobody will know unless they look at the engine and catch a glimpse of the sides. I am still planning to do the S1 doors in carbon/kevlar with honeycomb inserts and I would leave them in a similar finish. Painted outside, carbon inside.
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PostPost by: TBG » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:52 pm

You are totality bonkers and I admire you enormously........................what a way to go........! D

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:24 pm

+1 to that! :D
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PostPost by: Chuck Nukem » Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:05 pm

Thanks guys! :D
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:43 am

I had a friend once spin his Europa on the track at about 150 kph in a fast sweeping bend and as he went backwards along the grass beside the track the engine cover blew up and wrapped over the roof and windscreen.

Make sure that nice carbon fibre engine cover is well secured :)

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: Chuck Nukem » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:10 pm

rgh0 wrote:I had a friend once spin his Europa on the track at about 150 kph in a fast sweeping bend and as he went backwards along the grass beside the track the engine cover blew up and wrapped over the roof and windscreen.

Make sure that nice carbon fibre engine cover is well secured :)

cheers
Rohan


I certainly hope to avoid that :) especially the spinning at 150 kph part. The engine cover releasing is a well known flaw. There is no telling how many windscreens and engine covers have been lost to shipping the car backwards.

I actually removed the boot and bonnet locking mechanisms from my car. I replaced the rear with a VW beetle catch mechanism. It is much more secure than the little latch... I have not finalized my mechanism for the front, but it will likely incorporate a bonnet catch handle from the Elan.
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PostPost by: Chuck Nukem » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:24 pm

On that topic some of my other aesthetic improvements include removing the bumpers, matching the headlight pods (repairing damage from a PO) blending the turn signal wart transition, removing side turn signals, improving the door gaps, and eventually to replace the doors with S1 style units with removable windows to remove that horrible curved window frame.
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PostPost by: ill_will » Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:38 am

Love the thread - great work!
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PostPost by: HCA » Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:00 am

Indeed, most interesting as I hanker after an Europa - in Gold Leaf colours (Gold leaf was the first cigarette I ever smoked! All through being a fan of jim Clark! Living (thankfully) proof that tobacco advertising did work and was/is a demon! :evil:

I am looking at your body work progress very carefully, where your attention on the indicator pods is giving me a growing idea for a headlight mod on the Elan +2.... :D
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PostPost by: Chuck Nukem » Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:24 pm

Thanks guys. I couldn't bring myself to shave them off completely even though I think it looks better. That's why I have to own several S1 too...

I was looking at them one day and I thought that if you made the shape of the pod more similar to the rake headlight pod it would not contrast so sharply. It is very subtle and probably would not be noticed by any but the most fervent Europa purist (if such a strange fellow even exists).
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PostPost by: HCA » Sun Oct 17, 2021 4:14 pm

I agree that the front of your red S1 is much more preferable.

It was looking closely at your S1, it struck me that the front is similar to the Elan+2, but the +2 is ruined by the two square light pod covers. How much nicer it would be if it were like the Europa (Chapman must have had an off moment when he allowed the +2 design through - not only ugly, but with those gawdawflul vacuum canisters, a ton of weight...) I quickly made some measurements, but sadly the +2 fender is too narrow to copy your S1. BUT looking at the one you are working on, it suddenly dawned on me that the modern projector lights would fit a treat - either in place of the existing indicators or, where the Europa has its indicator....

Anyway, I digress. I look forward to seeing your prowess with gold leaf...some close up shots please! 8)
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PostPost by: Chuck Nukem » Sun Oct 17, 2021 5:08 pm

Has anyone ever tried to put the "chinese eye" on a +2? I wonder how it would look? Difficult to integrate it with the high seam of the fender. Now that I think about it the car kind of reminds me of the Lamborghini Islero...maybe changing the proportion of the headlight door if that is what bothers you?

My Elan has miata motors to raise the headlights and they work very well.
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PostPost by: Chuck Nukem » Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:53 am

I thought I would be done with this part by now...
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Mon Oct 18, 2021 5:36 am

A car guy I know has just done a great article on the Europa.
He absolutely loved it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMBerb7l3pM

He did drive a Plus 2 and hated it as the owner had jacked the drivers seat up and messed around with it. I have told him not to judge the Plus 2 by that particular car and that he should borrow my Sprint.

Clive
1972 Elan Sprint FHC
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