Lotus Elan

I've had some tailored luggage made

PostPost by: Steve S2 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:36 pm

Coming from an Elise, one of the joys with my '72 Elan is how remarkably useable it is. The boot, in particular, is surprisingly large. Elise owner habits die hard though, and for the few weekends away that we've had in the car, I'd reverted to type and jammed a load of squashy bags in the boot. The inevitable end result is that you reach your destination with clothes that look like bits of chewed rag. So I decided "no more" and set about finding some bespoke luggage for the car.

Some online searching and then a chance encounter at last year's Classic Car Show at the NEC brought me into contact with Hillsalive. Rob and Heather own a number of cars, including a classic 2-seater Elan, and have been manufacturing tailored luggage for a range of cars (Morgans, Lotuses, Jags, Porsches etc) for about a decade. They'd never done anything for an Elan Plus 2 so we agreed that they could use my car to make a template for a luggage set. I popped up to see them shortly before Christmas and Rob set about making a template.

His attention to detail is excellent. We agreed on two cases, both of which he made with a sloping back face and around 5cms of clearance between the luggage handle and boot wall. This is to allow the cases to be lifted out easily. The sloping back face becomes flush with the boot back-wall as you life the cases out of the boot. A very good idea! He also makes them with a softener bar in the case lid, so that the lid can be partially unzipped and you can gain access to the case contents without having to remove the entire case from the boot. I've lost count of the number of times that I've had to take everything out of the boot just to get to a single item in a bag buried in the bottom. No more!

Rob showed me a selection of materials and I selected burgundy, as I reasoned it'd look pretty cool against the creamy-white paint of my Elan. Leather is also available, although the cost is far higher as you'd expect.

Fast forward to today, and I drove up to see the finished article. All the materials are sourced in the UK and the manufacturing is done in England by a very long-established manufacturer of suitcases. It's nice to see that Rob hasn't just outsourced the manufacturing to China. Given that my car was used as a template, I got a decent reduction in the price although for bespoke low volume items I think the prices are pretty reasonable to start with.

Rob (and his wife Heather) are a lovely couple and it's nice to see a pair of car enthusiasts with such a passion for the products that they make. I'm really happy with the end result. Photos below, and their website is here: http://www.hillsalive.co.uk/page68.shtml
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PostPost by: DeanG » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:20 pm

Nice. A classic touring car like the +2 certainly deserves fitted luggage.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:16 pm

Yes an excellent idea - the larger one for spare parts and the smaller one for tools and you are ready for a trip - plenty of room on the back seat for a couple of bags with your clothes

:D

cheers
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:52 pm

Looks great, but where does the barbie go?

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PostPost by: elan_fan » Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:30 pm

Looks great in pink, but where does barbie go?

Jeremy


Just adjusted that for you :wink:
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:10 pm

i hope that the barbie is not too near the grp :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Those look great Steve. Thanks for following up and posting your results/solution (from your thread last summer asking about fitted luggage availability).

Could you provide the luggage dimensions with & without handle allowance? I have raised my boot floor a bit to clear slightly wider spare tire and NA sized battery terminals. I think I may have my boot back a bit proud of the fuel tank from stock dimensions. Wondering if the size you had made will fit?

Do you have to remove the large bag first? If I am seeing the pic's correctly the soft extension on the small bag would require shifting the small bag to the left to lift it out? Perhaps deleting the small pouch (or just leaving it empty) and no trouble removing only the small one? Is the soft pouch a completely separate compartment from the body of the small bag? Thinking the small bag would be great as an overnighter while traveling, leaving the large one in place until arrival. Would be great to just lift out the small bag to get to my spare gallon of oil. :)

Rohan's comment struck a cord. I put a bunch of tools and stuff under the boot floor. When I needed access I think I covered an acre with all the loose stuff in my boot. :) This looks like a perfect solution. Like the motto on the Hillsalive web site says...

If it fits into the bags
it fits into the car

Cheers! Anyone that can configure luggage for a Morgan knows their game. :) Would be great if I could just order the same size you had made without modification.
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:34 pm

rgh0 wrote:...plenty of room on the back seat for a couple of bags with your clothes

:D cheers Rohan


Or for use on that longer trip? :)

http://www.eaglecreek.com/include/popup ... 1&hl=en_US

(http://www.eaglecreek.com/packing_solut ... M-L-40388/)

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:09 am

Ordered a set of these and just received them today. They are really great in design and construction. Thanks for a great idea and follow up Steve.

Rob and Heather made mine so the pouch on the small bag is removable, held in place with snap fasteners. This allows the small bag to be easily removed without disturbing the large bag. Figure this will make a good overnight bag and the big one can be left in place until arrival at the final destination. The small bag as originally designed can be lifted out as long as the pouch is empty.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:48 am

......................rohan: somehow that's a pretty nasty comment :D ---- and I also have a substantial tool box: a vice-grip has saved me twice!! sandy j
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