Lotus Elan

Lardass?

PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:29 pm

Out of curiosity I took my +2 down to the local weighbridge and got it weighed accurately - even got a certificate! The car had half a tank of fuel, spare wheel, jack & tools on board. The manual states the unladen weight as 946kg - mine clocked in as 940kg. Not bad considering the thickness of the bodyshell.. Although mine is an early unit - 328, it has been rebuilt to the later spec interior (sorry, more comfortable for the ageing bones) and 14" Minilights. I understand that the earlier ones were lighter so mine has probably put on a few pounds.

Worth a trip to the local weighbridge - Eight Quid all in, but he woudn't weigh the corners separately without an extra eight quid each time.... bit of a jobsworth.


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PostPost by: andyelan » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:44 pm

Hi there everyone

Weights of the Plus 2 seem to be nothing like what the manual states.

I had my '73 S130/5 on the scales a while ago and with spare wheel, standard tool kit and 1 gallon of petrol I got 814 Kg. That's the good news, the downside is that the shell seems very thin shell and appears very prone to gel cracks.

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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:23 pm

814kg!! That'll scare a few Elans...

All things being equal, that suggests the difference is in the bodyshell, something I can believe given the pain in my arms lifting my shell onto the chassis. Frank at Options said it was one of the heaviest he had dealt with.. As you say the flip side is flexing of the shell. Maybe I should go on a diet and knock a few pounds off the all up weight.

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PostPost by: andyelan » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:27 pm

Hi Jeremy

As far as I can tell most of the weight has been taken out of the back end as my car seems to have a more forward weight distribution than published figures suggest.

My pet theory is that Lotus did this to increase ground clearance (don't forget, later cars have longer springs at the front but but the same length ones at the rear ). If this were the case, it would be typical of Colin Chapman, ie solves a problem, improves performance and yet saves money.

It would also be easy to see why such a change might have been kept quiet. Lotus could suddenly have found themselves with a load of warrenty claimes when gel cracks started to appear if customers suddenly found out they were getting thinner (and assumed inferior) shells than had been used on previously cars.

Just my thoughts anyway

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PostPost by: msd1107 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:35 pm

Hmmm. It would be a pretty porky Elan that got over 720kg or so.

And Gary's Elan was down to barely 600kg I think.

To put this into perspective, a 600kg Elan with 120hp would require 180hp at 940kg for equivalent acceleration with an 80kg driver. Food for thought?

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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:16 pm

Mmm.. 180bhp? What can be fitted into a +2 that gives an easy 180bhp?! No I'm not taking that route! I will just accept being a Lardass, for the moment... Still the car never had any, and I mean any, Gel cracks on the body before going into resto at Options. While collecting parts for the resto I got a couple of bonnet latches, obviously ripped from the bulkhead with all bolts and 6" of fibreglass bodywork attached. I was astonished at the flimsyness of the bulkhead. Can't have been more than an eighth of an inch thick. Flicking through the TT catalogue of very expensive delights I note that I can save around 15kg by using magnesium casing for the G/box, bellhousing & final drive for a mere 2k GBP. Hardly seems worth it now....

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