Lotus Elan

Alternative seats

PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Sep 03, 2021 8:36 pm

Hi There

For many years I did run an early plus 2 with the standard seats, but it always worried me there were no headrests. When I got my next one I changed the standard seats for ones out of an MGF (or it could have been an MX5, cannot remember). I would rather have no seatbelt than no headrests.

These had headrests and also tilted forwards. The early US cars had Europa style seats with built in headrests, I'm not sure about the later cars. Do we ever see the US style seats over here?

In any case what is the best modern seat these days to fit in a plus 2? I have seen them with bucket racing style seats that do not look too bad, but I do want easy ingress/exit.

Many seats (like the ones in my Boxster) are staggeringly heavy. It must be a lightweight seat, certainly not much heavier than standard if possible.

What do we collectively think?

All the best

Berni
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: StressCraxx » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:03 pm

Suggest searching for used Paddy Hopkirk seats from fleabay or perhaps local auto jumbles. They were very popular with the Mini and Spridget crowds. Also, the later Federal Elans, +2s and Europas had headrests.
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PostPost by: TBG » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:26 pm

"I would rather have no seatbelt than no headrests."

That is madness.
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PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:41 pm

Hi

Thanks for the reply. I just googled the Paddy Hopkins seats and it led to this company

https://www.sportseats4u.co.uk/

They seem to do some really good options.

Berni
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:51 pm

berni29 wrote:It must be a lightweight seat, certainly not much heavier than standard if possible.


I don't know what +2 you have but the S130 seats seem pretty heavy to me. I don't think it would be too hard to find a lighter seat.

I believe people have added a MGB headrest to the S130 seats thou. So if you have a S130 that might be another option.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sat Sep 04, 2021 8:01 am

Do a search on this site, there have been recent threads talking about MGF, XJS and MX5 seats all of which fit and seem to work well but with some work around mountings. If you need a ready made solution, Spyder can probably help.
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PostPost by: berni29 » Sat Sep 04, 2021 8:52 am

Hi

Thank you, I was on my phone at the time which is pretty useless. I have found some of the threads now.

We could consider this thread closed until I get my plus 2 and change the seats, whereupon I will be posting a picture!

All the best

Berni
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Sep 04, 2021 3:25 pm

'Head restraint' is what I've heard them called in the safety-engineering context, as they restrain your head from being snapped too far back in a rear-end collision. If this safety aspect is what you're after, then the federal seat is of only limited value. Yes, the restraints were added to comply with US law, but that doesn't necessarily make them effective since they are non-adjustable. If you're of short stature then Bob's your proverbial uncle, however if you're on the tall side they'll be ineffective. Here's a video of a tall driver (me) with federal seats. Note that the head restraints don't come past my shoulders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNKU2sua0p4

So the other options mentioned in these threads may be better for you and will certainly be easier to obtain in the UK.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sat Sep 04, 2021 5:41 pm

Berni
you have a PM

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PostPost by: berni29 » Sat Sep 04, 2021 9:29 pm

The Veg wrote:'Head restraint' is what I've heard them called in the safety-engineering context, as they restrain your head from being snapped too far back in a rear-end collision. If this safety aspect is what you're after, then the federal seat is of only limited value. Yes, the restraints were added to comply with US law, but that doesn't necessarily make them effective since they are non-adjustable. If you're of short stature then Bob's your proverbial uncle, however if you're on the tall side they'll be ineffective. Here's a video of a tall driver (me) with federal seats. Note that the head restraints don't come past my shoulders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNKU2sua0p4

So the other options mentioned in these threads may be better for you and will certainly be easier to obtain in the UK.


Hi

Thank you for the video, very informative. I am only 5ft 7" so the Fedral seat is probably next to useless rather than totally useless, as it is for you.

All the best!

Berni
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PostPost by: dougal9887 » Sun Sep 05, 2021 8:23 am

Fiat X1/9 work well for me. Not sure how easy to find. They are an all pressed steel construction, so presumably pretty strong. Also quite light and extremely comfortable.
20150811_184507.jpg and
X1/9 seats.
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PostPost by: jono » Sun Sep 05, 2021 12:22 pm

Replica Microcell Contours would be a great choice - they are in period and just look 'correct', basket weave vinyl as well.

I intended to but never fitted them im my plus 2 but had them in my Mk1 Mini and they were so comfortable.
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PostPost by: berni29 » Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:08 pm

Hi

Some interesting choices!, I like the look of those Replica Microcell Contours, are you selling them?

All the best

Berni
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:34 am

berni29 wrote:Hi

Some interesting choices!, I like the look of those Replica Microcell Contours, are you selling them?

All the best

Berni


I'm not - they were left in the Mini when I sold it.

You can buy them however, but not cheap - around £1100 now
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PostPost by: DJW » Mon Sep 06, 2021 9:13 am

berni29 wrote:Hi

Thanks for the reply. I just googled the Paddy Hopkins seats and it led to this company

https://www.sportseats4u.co.uk/

They seem to do some really good options.

Berni


I popped in there a couple of years ago, as lots of seats on display you can try. The best ones I found for sensible money were these https://www.sportseats4u.co.uk/product/ ... cket-seat/
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