Lotus Elan

33 years of ownership- and still not quite finished!

PostPost by: worzel » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:44 am

Hi

Some pictures you might find interesting- only one owner before me, bought in 1978 and nothing but trouble for the first 2 years. Much altered- 5 speed T9 box (pictured), no servo, plus 2 brakes, plus 2 rad, reworked panels, electric headlight lifts, oil cooler, contactless ignition, "slightly" altered interior with about 8 multiplugs behind the dash (comes out in around an hour), fully soundproofed, switched to alternator plus 8 way fuse box, all interior trim panels custom made, 5 inch minilites, stainless caliper pistons, custom stainless fuel tank, door deadlocks, almost full rewire, no relays under the bonnet-now inside the car out of water spray. Still has original engine and head which has never been skimmed, engine left in std tune, diff is 3.5 RS2000 fitted about 28 years ago. Not a purists car I know but very usable, doesn't leak into the cabin or overheat etc- I wanted something approaching a "turn the key and forget" car like the very first one I had- a bog std S4 which I foolishly sold being young and knowing everything!. This one was a nightmare compared to that one with just about something going seriously wrong virtually every month for the first 2 years of owning it.

Still to do-hmmmmmm- I'm about to fit a MCT75 box since 3rd on the existing one is becoming slightly problematic in terms of noise (probably bearings), needs what is probably attention to the cam that drives the dizzy (slightly clattery) plus some minor attention to the paint- might be finished then (laugh inwardly).

John
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PostPost by: slimromeo » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:37 pm

Car looks great in the pictures but it's better in the flesh
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PostPost by: Bob » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:47 pm

Really looks nice, but a little word to the wise from bitter experience. That crook lock you have on, take it off, I had one on my first Sprint they just bent the steering wheel to get it off it was very easy for them. Put some sort of switch in the ignition circuit or on an electric petrol pump. I was very upset when they bent my Chapman wheel, they could not start it because I had the rotor arm in my pocket.
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PostPost by: ClashofLotus » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:51 am

33 years seems like a long time but the car is looking awesome!

Makes me feel only slightly better about how long mine is taking, however looking at what still needs doing I think 33 years is probably on the money! :)

Again great looking machine

Adam
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PostPost by: worzel » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:23 am

Hi

Thanks for the comments. Slim Romeo- good luck today with the MoT- did you check the fit of the steering wheel?

When I bought the car elans were--- just old cars (albeit uncommon ones) and I used to see at least 5 genuine sprints plus a sprinkling of Plus 2's in Liverpool- in fact one solicitor practice used two have 2 sprints parked outside of it for years. Nowadays I see very few being used which is a pity. One thing I have noticed is that (for the 2 seaters at least) other drivers seem reasonably well disposed to them whereas for something like an Excel (I had one for 11 years) it seems to get certain peoples' backs up. I was lucky(?) in one sense with this car in that despite a very hard life before I bought it there were no modifications so at least I had some starting reference points. I can well understand how some who buy these cars when have passed thru a succession of owners might have to scratch around to figure out what's been changed- and possibly (probably) put right others' mistakes. I'm not "double standards" on this last comment despite the alterations I've made. I've left alone the basic car ie engine/suspension/steering as I'm not clever enough to seriously improve on those areas- nor would I wish to- but where I think it might be made easier to live with I've done so. The problem with this car was that because so much really did need to be done in the first few years of owning it I thought I might as well alter some items. If these areas hadn't been giving trouble I might well not have bothered. The very first elan I ever owned, a bog std S4 was also a 1 owner car but unlike this one had been very carefully treated (it was a birthday present from a GP to his wife). It didn't need altering.
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PostPost by: worzel » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:27 am

Hi- again

Re security- good point about "wheel bending" by lowlifes. I won't reveal just why it couldn't be done on this car but your point is certainly valid. All I'll say is that the brake pedal doesn't depress if I don't want it too!

Regards

John
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PostPost by: Bob » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:49 am

Hi
I was at Salford University at the time when they tried to pinch my Sprint. Not that far away.
Bob
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:23 am

That is only the third Carmine Red (if that's what it is) I have ever seen. Looks like all three of them may be within 50 miles of each other too!
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