Lotus Elan

Original Kangol retractable seat belts

PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:58 pm

I'm pretty sure 1972 model year started seat belt warning lights, head rests on seats, emissions stuff and one handed seat belt operation and maybe fail safe headlights; side marker US lights were 1968; bumper height requirements 1974 just as a sampling. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:30 pm

<Thread drift warning!!>

Head rests appeared during 1969 MY on S4 Elans...

First time I have heard the seat belts refered to as "one handed operation", but it makes sense.

I think the bumper height requirements were 1973 model Year, that's why there are no Federal Elans for 1973... Lotus built a load in July 1972 & shipped 'em quick!

I'd love to document the changes from 1968-1973 for Federal cars...
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:44 am

Yup . . . would be interesting.

Again, my Feb 1970 Plus Federal has the high-back "head-rest" seats . . . so 1972 is too late a start date for them.

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PostPost by: prezoom » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:57 am

My belts are exactly like the top photos in Phil's response. Kangol Reflex belts. The car was built in August of 1972, according to the certificate that came with the car. First sold in 1973, in Atlanta Ga.

I would really like to find a complete NOS set for both the driver and passenger sides. Right now, the driver's side has the pawls locked with the belt adjusted for my preferred seat location. Mine could stay like this forever, as likely I will be the only driver. But, the passenger side is not operating as I believe it should, thus my wanting to replace both.

Phil, if you could provide me with where you found your belts, I would be most appreciative.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:03 pm

prezoom wrote:Phil, if you could provide me with where you found your belts, I would be most appreciative.


I bought those AustinAmerica 1100 Belts from eBay seller "Tanaman" from Port Moody BC for $200 last year. As the belts were used across the British Leyland range they are not too rare.

The 2nd generation belts are more available, I have a 2nd set that needs rewebbing, but can do that if you are interested & not in too much of a hurry.
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:44 pm

Nice to see original set showing what seems to be oxblood color webbing-- I would've thought they would have been black but that didn't fit with the fact that mine have a faded purple color. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:32 pm

jono wrote:Kangol were based in Carlisle (where I live) and used to be a large employer before falling victim to the dreaded 'globalisation'

They still existed in a very minor form (but not in name) until quite recently employing a staff of around 20 and made specialist belts for high end customers such as Bentley Lotus and Aston Martin.

A pal of mine who worked there restored my old Kangol belts and fitted new webbing and modern reels.

I have a box of the old left over bits in the garage loft - if you post a pic of excatly what you want I will take a look and see if I have one.

Cheers

Jon


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PostPost by: Lotus 50 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:35 pm

My Plus 2 had Irvin Parachute company belts. Irvin was purchased by Takata in the late 80's. I had some new belts made but kept the old ones in case I ever sell to someone fixed on all original. My car is a non Federal 68 registered as a 69.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:47 pm

My federal '70 had Irvin belts up front and Kangol magnetic in back. I binned the Irvins due to decrepitude, then had the Kangol magnetic buckles sewn onto new retractable webbing to install in front. I'm leaving the rear seat belt-less as I would never ask anybody to cram themself into that tny space. :mrgreen:
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