Lotus Elan

Elan Plus2 rear seat belts

PostPost by: JeffP » Sat Sep 10, 2022 3:14 pm

Does anyone know when (year or number) that rear seat belts were fitted in an Elan Plus2?
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Sep 10, 2022 4:41 pm

Jeff, sure someone with an early car can confirm, but I thought they were always installed. I don’t see any mention of rear seat belts being added in the Robinshaw & Ross Plus 2 Production Milestones listing, so assuming they were always there.

I certainly recall folks retrofitting lap belts in the early sixties, but that was often front only as you describe. I did see an online reference that rear belts were not required until the ‘70’s. Seat belt use regulations were much later in the ‘70’s.

Interesting question. Maybe Lotus was ahead of the curve?

If you need to source rear belt mounts and high strength bolts I think Spyder stock them. They are definitely prone to severe corrosion along with the rocker rails.


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PostPost by: andyelan » Sat Sep 10, 2022 4:58 pm

Hi There

For the UK at least, I didn't think rear seat belts were ever fitted to the Plus 2 as standard, I don't think there were even any mounting points. In the UK, although the law required front seat belts to be fitted to cars from 1965, the fitting of rear belts wasn't compulsory until 1987.

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PostPost by: TonyA » Sat Sep 10, 2022 8:05 pm

My 1971 S130/4 was a one owner car, and original, moreover I recently removed the rear padded side panels (and in the process the rear seats and parcel shelf) which expose the seat belt mountings: nothing there for rear seatbelts.

You might ask why I took the rear interior apart: to trace a dangling wire in the boot, which turned out to be the live feed to the boot light and belongs in a bullet connector behind the rear pillar..! The joys of lucas bullet connectors..!

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PostPost by: mbell » Sat Sep 10, 2022 11:19 pm

I believe the mounts where a standard factory fit, at least by the time if the s130. I suspect rear belts werent ever fitted by lotus but we're a dealer fit item but nothing too back that up.

As mentioned by Stu the outer plates are in the wheel arches where they are very exposed and rot. I wouldn't fit rear belts with out replacing them.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:23 am

My 68 does not have them. Likely a leftover Federal USA car.
Mounts present, no holes drilled.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:25 am

Yes I don't believe that fitting of rear belts was ever standard but in some countries depending on when compulsory seat belt fitting came in, they may have been fitted. Here in Victoria wearing of fitted seat belts became compulsory in 1970 (first place in the world) but fitting of seat belts to every seat on a new car did not become compulsory until later.

Rear mounting points appear to have been included by Lotus in around 1971 with the S130 cars though i am sure like all things Lotus this changeover probably was hit and miss for some time as body shells were used up. My 1973 Plus 2 has them.

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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Sep 11, 2022 3:36 am

My federal '70 has them and the original owner took delivery at the factory, so they were not dealer-installed. Doesn't answer the question for UK cars but it's another data-point.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Sep 11, 2022 12:50 pm

My 1973 +2S130/4 had the anchor points but no belts fitted.
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Tue Sep 13, 2022 7:35 am

My 1973 s130 did not have them and my present 1971 S130 also does not have them.

+2s130 1971
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Tue Sep 13, 2022 4:15 pm

My old '73 (May) S130/5 had the anchor points but no belts (I had to replace the outer ones as they were rotten when I fitted rear lap belts. Think my current one (July '73) has them too. So I guess they may have started fitting them in Spring '73...?
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