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The Elan chassis is a wonderful design. Even a wonderful design can be improved with 50 years of usage.
AVO Chassis Modifications
When you have a good reason to take the frame out from under your Elan, you may find it to be in relatively good condition. That makes it hard to justify purchasing a new Lotus frame or an after-market alternative. There are improvements you can make during the degrease, sandblast, paint/powder-coat and re-assembly process.
The B/W pictures were taken at Advanced Vehicle Operations - a vintage Lotus shop in El Segundo, CA, USA, during the 80s & 90s. They show the modifications Clay Vyzralek recommended for a street car frame:
Having AVO modify your frame this way ran around $300 USD. For competition vehicles Clay added strips along the underside of the top engine bay flanges in a manner similar to #5, and also added gussets between the top of those flanges and the rear side of the front strut towers.
If you intend on performing these modifications yourself, it's recommended not to use an oxy-acetelene torch, since the high temperatures will weaken surrounding metal.
It is quite common for the front cross member air reservoir to contain remnants of brake fluid or petrol. While welding, these can ignite and at a minimum, scare the beejeebers out of you. Similar stories are told of other closed areas containing rust preventative petrochemicals. Proceed with caution.
Tony Thompson Chassis Modifications
Below are various pictures of a modified frame:
What to do with your old Elan Chassis
I had an old elan chassis with a badly damage front right corner sitting under the house for about 20 years. When I built a new house I thought it would make the basis for an interesting light fitting above workbench the kitchen. I took it to car restoring place locally to have it sand blasted and painted before hanging it in the house and fitting the downlights it carries. The guys in the paint shop kept wanting to repair it before they painted it ! (Rohan Hodges)