Lotus Elan

Twisting a +2 chassis in normal driving.

PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Sep 03, 2021 8:43 am


I have a friend who knows +2's very well, and he said that it is rather easy to twist a +2 chassis by parking with one wheel up a high kerb, or driving down one of these very uneven unmade roads that seem to be getting worse and worse. Potholes are also a huge issue these days and often damage wheels and tyres, although at least +2's don't have low profile tyres.

I thought it seemed unlikely as you would ground the car well before any damage occurred. Driving (not parking) up a kerb is a different matter of course and I expect would damage most cars or even a Chelsea tractor.

I'm in the process of hunting down a +2 and if what he says is true then on modern speed hump/pillow infested roads either a Spyder or modified standard chassis seems like a must.

Opinions please!

Many thanks

Looking for a + 2, Previously Racing green +2s with green tints. Yellow +2 and a couple of others, all missed. Must get another soon!
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PostPost by: jono » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:35 am

With all due respect to your learned friend that sounds somewhat far fetched - I have never heard of a Plus chassis being permanently twisted in that way unless it was rotten in the first place.

The Plus 2 suspension is very compliant and the car is light - the suspension would accomodate any unbalanced load before transmitting it into the chassis and causing irreversible distortion IMO.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Sep 03, 2021 10:31 am

[from my understanding] There was a period (1980s ?) when some Lotus Chassis were coming from the factory with a twist and this was thought to be from a galvanising process. This made them difficult to set up correctly and possibly this is the background to your friends thinking ? I believe there were issues with Elan race cars leading to some strengthening of the chassis, but that is quite different to the stress you would expect on the road.
The spyder chassis has some advantages in terms of car maintenance and making changes to the drive train, but some don't like the change from OE specification.
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