Lotus Elan

No going back

PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:23 pm

Rebuild Day 1

The time has come, no going back now! After five years planning, saving, grubbing around at Stoneleigh and Donnington it is time.

Took the car to The Man, by way of a blast up the motorway and back roads. Why am I doing this to a perfectly reliable, usable and fun car? Because she has a name. Someone told me that the road to financial ruin in anything to do with old cars was to form any sort of emotional attachment with a car?

Hold on to around 5,500rpm in top then foot off the gas, Sat Nav tells me that speed cameras are coming up coming up & best not to trash my licence!

I?ve owned the car for seven years or so and had some great times ? trips to France & Belgium with Sue; lads trips to Angouleme, Le Mans etc. Heroic on-the-road repairs ? including rustic French Chassis welding, 300 miles with mayonnaise in the sump (well it was Belgium), but only one ?trailered back home? in 50k miles. Snapped shock absorbers, leaky diffs, knackered UJs, more money than I care to admit ? but less than the depreciation on a new Mondeo bought at the same time.

Approaching the workshop now; doors are rattling a bit because I renewed the hinge pins yesterday and haven?t bothered to spend time lining them up perfectly. I did this to make the strip down easier and I know it is a crappy job to do ? my penance for not being able to do the full teardown myself (no space).

Is this wise? There have been some nice looking +2S on fleabay for a fraction of the anticipated total outlay?. But they wouldn?t be my car. They get under your skin. You know what is likely to go next, what needs some attention soon ? other things you never get to the bottom of, like that tap, tap tap noise.

Turning into the workshop now ? butterflies, excitement, regret (that I am not doing it all myself). Rational thought ? this is the only realistic way I will ever get the resto done. Plan, plan, save, plan, commit.

Hand over the car to The Man; chatter like a protective parent before he politely tells me to go home and let him get on with it!

Next stages are body off to The Body Man; chassis collected from The Chassis Man; then put it all back together. Simple.

I will report back from time to time.

Jeremy
Attachments
Calais 2003.jpg and
Looking Tired 2008.jpg and
No going back 1.jpg and
No going back 2.jpg and
No going back 3.jpg and
No going back 4.jpg and
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:19 pm

Wow! You go that much off the car in 1 day? I'm impressed.
Frank Howard
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:59 am

Great Post Jeremy - you're exactly right, they do get under your skin.

And it does cost a lot lot more as a result !

Wouldn't have it any other way though. Looking forward to hearing how you get on - & who are you using ?

Rgds
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PostPost by: gordonlund » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:22 am

Hi Jeremy,
I read with great interest your piece on reworking your +2. I admire your sentiments entirely and often wonder what a lot of us would do if we just did a financial assessment of classic car rebuilds. I have often thought that if you factor in your own time to the total cost then we are into a hive into nothing. Accountants would have us all certified.

My father once said to me, "don't keep a car so long that it grows on you, it will be the road to ruin". I agreed with him and do not keep family hacks longer than need be. But then an Elan +2 came my way in 1981. Needless to say I have still got it. A Sprint came and went (that's another story) but the +2 still remains. My kids grew up in it, we have "done" Europe in it countless times and have rebuilt it as and when required. (now on third chassis)

Like you Jeremy, I feel the time is nye for a full no holds barred total rebuild.
I await with anticipation your forthcoming accounts with great interest.

Best Regards

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PostPost by: ppnelan » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:21 pm

Best wishes for a speedy... restoration :!: :D
You could always buy another to use while you wait for it to be completed, but that could be the 'thin end of the wedge'... :wink:

:arrow: Matthew
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PostPost by: SimonH » Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:27 pm

Hi Jeremy,

That is good progress for one day, it will be interesting to see how your rebuild goes.

I have just, finally after 3 years, finished completely stripping my car down to give it a full rebuild.

Now going to start building up the rolling chassis once I have finished refurbing the parts I am going to reuse.

Regards,
Simon
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:33 pm

If I were to determine the cost of restoring my Elan +2 it would literally be staggering.

All but very few restorations, especially those done properly, will cost far more than the market value for the car. I tell people its a hobby not an investment.

I did a lot of the work myself which offers some sense of achievement. I also enjoy the "chase". Tracking down those elusive parts or finding them at the right price.

Enjoy the process. Monitor the work maintaining a schedule and ensuring that it is being done properly. Try to enjoy!

Bob
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:34 pm

Day 2

Almost ready for body lift. Because the car has been in regular use most bits are covered in oil, have been apart recently and are coming out OK - 'the car has been kind' to quote The Man.

Sorting out the stuff acquired over the years and deciding which is best to use. I had forgotten about some of the bits, so the whole process of unwrapping the parcels and plastic bags was a bit like a Lotus Christmas!

Had a discussion with The Man about which bits to use - some are new old stock and unlikely to be ever available again. These may be best kept as reference items - original silencer (old offset type) with chrome tailpipe and original Lotus parts sticker; complete old style door locks, internals, handles and striker. Using these bits seems wrong as the car is not going to be rebuilt as 'original', so refurbishing usable parts may be the better option. What do you do with these reference bits? Glass case?

Talking of originality -current debate is the boot (or trunk). Original had the 'T' bar handle, which has been glassed over and converted to remote sometime in the past. Non standard conversion, but worked. Current thinking is to use a standard plate, but this will require a little fettling to make it fit. Later rear boot closing has more of a curve than the early one.

Several queries over the body so far. Fibreglass shell is much thicker than usual, which explains the absence of stress cracks, even after an argument with a post some years ago. Could have been added later - who noknows! No sign of the new nose yet, must have been a good graft. Evidence of extensive and sensible modification work in the past especially wiring loom. As the car has been issued with an age related number (after re-import from Norway/Sweden?) I can't give the original reg number, but the Chassis is no 328.

Anyway, all wiring is now scrap and the car will be rewired with the three part loom and new dash. Not sure if current steering column will fit but can't worry about that now. Critical path is getting the window frames off to the chromer and getting the new chassis delivered by next Tuesday and body off to The Body Man on Wednesday (ish).

Time for a break for a day or so....

Jeremy
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:11 pm

By a strange coincidence, Jeremy, your car is for sale...available nearly completed! Must be time travel....

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Lotus-elan-2s-130 ... 240%3A1318

Mark
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:39 pm

I guess The Man is faster than I thought! Interesting item... restraint.
Will make a great car when finished - odd that the metalflake doesn't go round the door pillars on the inside.

Jeremy

PS Can anyone shed light on the story of the +2 being longer on one side than the other? Anything to do with the clay being put against a mirror?
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PostPost by: Bill » Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:46 am

So Jeromy!!

What are you doing New Years eve?

Good job / excellant attitude.

I will drink my rum tonight -sleep in the new year at midnite (now 5 ;00 PM) - and hit the garage on the first , nurse a hangover and have fun.

Thank you for your insperational presentation.

Bill - 26/0538

PS, we have no problem keeping our sticks on the ice on Vancouver's Island right now. Brr - so much for our Lotus land.
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