Lotus Elan

Federal or not

PostPost by: davidj » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:06 pm

Afternoon,

I may be able to answer this question; around 50 cars were due to be shipped to the states, and for some reason they were not transported. They sat in a barn for a while until Lotus decided to convert them back to UK -ish RH drive spec with the minimum of work and sell as kits, so if you are in the uk, you may have one of these cars. Some were also sold in europe.

I am fairly certain my car was one of these, although has been modified over the years, it originally had the following when sold

Stromburg carbs
Safety headlights
boot release on the passenger side
toggle switches
+2s seats with folding rear (I don't think it had headrests, but my seats could have been fitted later)
reflectors on each wing
single circuit brakes




The serial number is 50/2192 and it has an I (federal) suffix block.

I guess the cars were a sales problem, as by this stage the +2s was already on sale, which this batch were not, but then again they were not the original car either! I wold love to find one of the original sales leaflets for the cars.

Hope this explains the issue. I once spoke to the ex Lotus sales manager about these cars who confirmed my findings.He also said they had Hexagonal wheel nuts but my car has winged ones. so maybe these have been added as well.

David
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PostPost by: roblotus79 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:39 pm

Thanks Tim!
50/2180 1969 Elan Plus 2
1990 Esprit Turbo SE
1986 Carrera 3.2
1982 Turbo Esprit - SOLD
1970 Europa S2 - SOLD
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:39 pm

Thanks Tim. Will add to my info.

I have an 'I' prefix engine as well. Car is in storage right now, but I seem to recall I have the engine number on my VIN tag which I was able to check.

This vagueness within the marque has a certain appeal. :)

In addition to the cars invoiced to Canada there must have been alternative import methods, at least for used cars. Back in the day a friend of mine in Vancouver had an ex Mike Spence Plus 2, RHD. It was VERY early, number 50/0018 IIRC. He had some sort of UK registration document issued & signed by Spence. Seat of the pants dyno (and our foggy memories of past glories :) ) felt faster than other Weber cars. Our local lore was that the first fifty Plus 2's were intended as dealer & press demonstrators with some unspecified extra tune. Of course this was all pre-internet, and out in the Colony's we did not know Spence was a dealer, so of course it was his personal ride. Unfortunately the car met its maker near where Rob lives, a victim of an under bonnet fire.

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PostPost by: LotusArchives » Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:41 pm

Stu,

Are you sure the VIN is 50/0018? That car is back in the UK.

All,

It would appear Canada took all sorts in 1969.
F (Std. S/E engine), I (Federal Std. S/E engine), & M (HC S/E engine) engine prefixes.

Those with a I prefix engine numbers appear to be Federal spec. and those with F or M appear to be ROW spec.

Paul,

Your car was also sold to Lotus Canada, but we don't have the original engine number or body colour recorded at Lotus, can you let me know these from the VIN plate? (either post here or send a PM).

Rob,

If the Lotus records are correct, your car should be a M prefix HC S/E, which is not to Federal Spec.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:53 pm

LotusArchives wrote:Stu,

Are you sure the VIN is 50/0018? That car is back in the UK.



No, not really sure Andy. I do recall it as mid-teens though. Of course, we all know how memories work!

Stu
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PostPost by: roblotus79 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:56 pm

I'll go check today and report back.
50/2180 1969 Elan Plus 2
1990 Esprit Turbo SE
1986 Carrera 3.2
1982 Turbo Esprit - SOLD
1970 Europa S2 - SOLD
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PostPost by: Lotus 50 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:56 pm

My '1969' 50/0887 is non federal. Weber carbs, single brake, no side markers, no collapsible steering column, toggle switch dash.

I like the idea of a car designed before regulations. Although, the Plus 2 was one of the first vehicles to have 3 point seat belts with retractors in the pillars.
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