Lotus Elan

Zetec Lotus elan +2

PostPost by: ema7elan » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:26 pm

I have recently added a Zetec +2 to my garage to live along side my elan sprint. The Zetec was built in 2007 by a retired engineer and is fairly unique incorporating some Saab switch gear. These cars are still quite rare -I think there is oly 80 or so in existance. Is there anybody out there interested in forming a club, discussion group or to just chat abot Zetec elans?

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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:32 pm

ema7elan wrote:is fairly unique incorporating some Saab switch gear.

Ema,

You perked my interest. Any chance of pictures of the switch gear and any information about which Saab the switches came from?
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PostPost by: niallf » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:00 am

I think the rarety would make it a fairly slow group!

There's a few Zetec +2 owners on here, we're usually on hand when there's something Zetec related to talk about. Mention usually sparks a 'not a real lotus' discussion from the purists, I think they're all jealous of my spangly roof.

Cheers,

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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:47 am

As a "keep it real" S1 and +2 Lotus Elan owner I welcome Ztec as an extension family. Like the 7 and Caterham.
The club idea could work here,,, where else? Contact our Texmaster. He might provide a forum space.
Does Ztec do other chassis?
Our Elans can somehow still claim an edge in original performance compared to almost anything except the $100K traction controlled land rockets built today. If a Ztec chassis with BDA fuel injected turbo charged twink improves an Elan's performance this is the forum for that education.

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PostPost by: handi_andi » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:41 am

Although the original spec is also fast enough for me, in fact I hadn't realised quite how fast till my garage tuned mine. I do think that Zetec engined lotuses or for that any engine change or other modification to give an increase in performance etc really emobies the whole Colin Chapman spirit that still lives on in Lotus today. I mean, is the Lotus Exige still a Lotus? Most people would say yes, despite the fact it doesn't use the original Lotus Elise engine. Hence, what is the difference between a Zetec engined Elan and a Honda engined Elise, they still retain a large proportion of the original car by organically grow it into a upstart sibling.

Having said that, a Zetec forum on the forum may not be a bad idea, as one it will make it easier for like minded owners to find each other and share experiences. Two, any puriests can simply avoid the area and not get upset. Thirdly, for the rest of us that read all the threads it gives us another area to look at!

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:14 pm

handi_andi wrote:I mean, is the Lotus Exige still a Lotus? Most people would say yes, despite the fact it doesn't use the original Lotus Elise engine.


The early Elise used a Rover engine. The current Elise and Exige both use a Toyota engine. Before the Elan, no Lotus had a Lotus engine. My Elite has a Coventry Climax FWE. The Twincam is only partly Lotus. There is nothing new under the sun about Lotus sourcing engines elsewhere. However, in my mind there is an issue about what the car left Hornsey, Cheshunt or Hethel with. There was always some involvement by Lotus in specifying or developing the out-sourced engines they used. I am not trying to stir the pot but I don't accept that Lotus having outsourced engines is validation for owner engine swaps.
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PostPost by: handi_andi » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:07 pm

Ok Rus, here a question for you. One of the Spitfires in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight over here has a Gryphon Engine rather than a Merlin one. Does that mean that it is not a Spitfire and can not be in the flight, even though to the naked eye it looks the same and it certainly sounds the same.
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PostPost by: robcall » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:45 am

Why not ask Spyder if they want to open a forum?

Its their product after all-and I'm sure as a supplier they'd guide owners in the right direction.

As you can see zetec gets a bit emotional here!
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:51 am

I did state that I am not trying to stir the pot. Go to the the Elise discussion groups if you want silly emotion. I am simply looking for factual correctness. The later Exige and Elise are just as much a Lotus as the early Elise. They all have engines sourced by Lotus from other manufacturers with significant development done by Lotus. The suggestion was made that the early Elise had a Lotus engine. This is not correct. The early Elise had a Rover engine adapted by Lotus. If a Spitfire has a later Rolls Royce variant installed that is fine, provided that the owner knows what he or she has and represents it fairly and accurately. Similarly I have no issue at all with Zetec conversions provided that no claim is made that the vehicle left Hethel in that state.
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PostPost by: ema7elan » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:22 pm

I did'nt realise that there was so much emotion surrounding Zetecs.
I have owned my Elan sprint (EMA) for 30 years and will probably be buried in it but it is no fun driving this on main roads in the UK ( I always avoid motorways) as the car is tiny and often missed by modern traffic, which is enormous compared to old cars. Two years ago I sold my +2 and replaced it with an RX8 -although a good car it was not a lotus and being of a certain age I know I look silly in an Elise. What to do -go back to a +2 because (a) it is beautiful and (b) it is brilliant to drive. So on looking around Paul Matty considered +2's in the ?15,000+ bracket too good to drive on a regular basis. So if I wanted and everyday 'old' lotus then the Zetec was the way to go. I have owned over the last 30 years an Excel(nice but fragile) an Esprit (fell apart) an M100 elan (good) EMA my trusty sprint and now two +2's. The Zetec seems to me to marry all that is good about 60-70's elans with the reliability of 21st century cars-which you need if you drive one of these every day. The original +2 was good but my Zetec +2 is better!

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PostPost by: ema7elan » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:29 pm

For anyone interested I will post pictures in a few days, when my daughter gives me my digital camera back!!

Forgot to mention the dash is not the wooden varierty, which I miss, but is a leather clad affair. The switches are modern Lucas replacements (bigger) than the originals. The glove box is replaced by a modern radio (with 6 CD changer in the boot) and the pop up lights are now electical. The instruments are original Lotus items (re-calibrated speedo) but the steering column houses wiper and indicator stalks from a Saab (93 I think), together with remote radio/CD changer. Otherwise interior is standard elan -except in leather.

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:40 pm

The truth of the matter is that +2s, including the one that I have owned for more than 30 years, are neither monetarily valuable nor historically significant enough to worry about things like Zetec conversions. I agree that the conversions probably result in a better vehicle. Heaven knows I would never go back to something without digital engine management for my daily commuting car. I think an S1 Elan is something that should be preserved faithfully. My plan for my Elite is to make only modifications that could have reasonably been made at the time of original manufacture. By that I mean mods like a fuse box with four fuses instead of one!
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PostPost by: elanwrx » Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:18 am

I'm very interested in the subject and pictures of the engine/trans in chassis as well as group discussions. I have recently completed mounting a Zetec in my S4 FHC with standard gearbox. Now I am considering changing transmissions to a T5 which offers a variety of 5 gear overdrive ratios (.63 to .8) in hopes of giving the car some longer legs. NW USA offers some great drives, but getting there in 5 hours at a constant drone of 4K rpm gets a bit tiring.
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:40 am

Hello Russ,
I think the +2 may be slightly irrelevent historically in the present but build numbers suggest a very valuable car in the future. The nearly unbeatable driveability of the cars, as in the small Elans, will continue to drive prices up. I've seen several +2 models bring $20,000+2. (they were near mint low mileage...
Lotus is still building a very good name for itself, presently, and for the future...
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PostPost by: zeteclotus » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:57 am

So lets see low build numbers current fashion for restoring or breaking with non original parts.

i can see the day when a standard +2 is worth more than one with a zetec engine.
I think if the engine is missing (as in the zetec I built ) and the chassis is shot why not restore with modern components. Its better than sending the car to scrap.

What amazes me is I see more +2 's and elans around than I do morris minors or marina's

or more interestingly more +2's than europa's even though 2 x as many europa's were sold than +2's ???
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