Lotus Elan

S1 and S2 Elan Front Fender Lips / Opening Original Shapes

PostPost by: knockoffnut » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:02 pm

hello all,
I am digging into details for a restoration, and have been studying the front fender openings on S1 and S2 Elans, and comparing them with S3 Elans. I think that I have noticed something, and I want to ask those with more experience with early Elans if they know, or agree. It looks like some of the very early Elans have front fender openings which are "round" on the top, i.e. the front wheel opening is symmetrical front to rear. Other early Elans appear to have a front wheel opening which has its top profile slightly tapered downwards, or sloped forward, to follow or echo slightly the top line of the front fender. S3 bodies seem to have a slight horizontal flattening in the top center of the front fender lip. I am talking about slight variations in stock fender lips, not S4 flat arches or flares. I know that the factory had multiple molds made and repaired over the years, and I believe that at all times there were two separate body suppliers delivering to the Lotus works, though the two suppliers changed over time. I think I was also told that the factory brought molds in-house from their suppliers at various times. I am wondering if what I think I am seeing are slight variations between Bourne bodies, and non-Bourne bodies? I also know that many of these cars had front end repairs due to crash damage, so It is difficult to be definitive without stripping a body. Can anyone who has early cars shed light on this question?
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:05 am

Interesting question. I have a Bourne body Elan S1 and also had an early S4 (sorry, no S3 to compare). I always thought there was a different design variation in the shape of the fender well, but never really paid a lot of attention to it due to the spread of model years (1964 - 1969) and the different mold manufacturers. Always took it for granted that there were lots of changes along the way, some unintentional (like the doors not fitting flush on S4's).

img_0826.jpg and

img_2894.jpg and
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:28 pm

Here are some for reference -
DarkBlue , Bourne body - 200's
Red - early lotus body - 7th made by lotus
Medici Blue , Late S1 64
Primer , early S2
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img_20170426_181621-1.jpg and
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dsc00121.jpg and
dsc00091.jpg and
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:10 pm

This picture has been discussed a few times:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/73 ... 6ea1e7.jpg

These look like very early S1 cars based on the steering wheel orientation. The round front arch here would support your view I think.

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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:31 pm

Thank you Paddy and Cabc26b and Glen, I definitely see the forward slope in the fender lip of your red Lotus body. I love the Medici blue car and will likely paint my S2 this colour. That is the car for which I need a right front corner repair, which got me checking for these details. I also have an early S1 which has had its fender lips cut away earlier in its life, for clearance over bigger wheels. I wonder if you would be so kind as to post pictures of just the front wheel arches looking straight on for a direct comparison? BTW what is the colour name or code for your dark blue Bourne bodied car? I like that blue and I am trying to decide the colour of my other project Elan. Just out of anorak curiosity, I think I am also seeing a variation in the rear fenders too. To my eye it looks like the Bourne bodies have a slightly flatter rear fender where it rises up from the top of the door opening to the top center above the rear wheel. It looks to me like the Lotus bodies have a more pronounced rise there. I have been trying to understand the variations in the early cars so that I can put my S1 and S2 back as close to correct as possible. Thanks for your help.
Last edited by knockoffnut on Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:39 pm

Here are pics of my S1 with its cut fender lips, and my S2 project car in need of a right front corner section. If anyone has a spare right front corner in Eastern USA or Canada, please do let me know.
Attachments
img-20160907-01214.jpg and
andrews-elan-s1.jpg and
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:05 pm

Dark Blue is "international blue" it is a 1968 Corvette color -
I get my repair sections from Curtis unlimited the - S2 in primer has new front fender lips , the ones I cut out had 10 pounds of filler in them and no where close to original profile - unbelievable what shops did back in the day to repair fiberglass.
Ill see if i can scrap up up some more photos -
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:47 pm

knockoffnut wrote:I know that the factory had multiple molds made and repaired over the years, and I believe that at all times there were two separate body suppliers delivering to the Lotus works, though the two suppliers changed over time. I think I was also told that the factory brought molds in-house from their suppliers at various times. I am wondering if what I think I am seeing are slight variations between Bourne bodies, and non-Bourne bodies?


Can we confirm this before it becomes fake news?

As far as I am aware, the first 250-300 bodies were made at Bourne, but then the mo(u)lds were moved in house & all other bodies were made by Lotus?
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:00 pm

A few years ago there was a thread on molds can look there. Anyways - there appear to be new molds introduced in 65 if you go by how the molds were marked and how certain profiles subtly change - this is best done with a side by side which we had the opportunity to do in Birmingham ... ( the other Birmingham for those in the UK )
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:12 pm

knockoffnut wrote:Here are pics of my S1 with its cut fender lips, and my S2 project car in need of a right front corner section. If anyone has a spare right front corner in Eastern USA or Canada, please do let me know.


nice JAP bolt on rims on the S1... what width are they ?
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:31 pm

My comments on the body molds were based on my (often very poor) memory of a conversation I had not too long ago with Gary Anderson, who has left this forum, but has the most in-depth knowledge of early Elans of anyone I have had the pleasure to break bread with, to date. We were discussing early S1 vs later S1 vs S2 variations as I was trying to figure out details of my cars. We discussed cylinder head casting methods and molds (and how to date an engine or car based on the casting variations) as well as body molds that day so I may be confusing various comments. I will try to re-check with Gary, though I am happy to be corrected by anyone on here who has "the knowledge". I am sure he told me that the body molds were wearing so fast that they were usually repairing one mold while the other was being used. I think that he also told me that they were pulling S3 DHC bodies and early coupe bodies from the same molds, while S2 bodies were a completely different set of molds. I think he said that Lotus had a new set of molds built for their in-house production, rather than (or maybe in addition to) pulling the Bourne molds in-house. I think he said that there were two sources for body molding, but I cannot swear to that. I mean that when Bourne was phased out, that Lotus was already producing with an overlap and then maybe a third source came on stream...? Or maybe I have the stories mixed up. I am not claiming to be an expert, just trying to assemble as many details ono the variations as possible, to put my cars back as close to "right" as possible. I also have spoken with a fellow who worked in Lotus assembling cars during the S2 years, but I cannot for the life of me remember now who that was..! Not sure of the width of my JAP Magnas but will check them. I am pretty sure they were put on my car very early, and the fenders cut to clear them, so I expect the wheels are wider. I also have a set of early magnesium Minilites which may go on my S2 (or maybe the S1...) I have been trying to decide whether to repair/replace the fender lips on my S1, or keep it in it's racing configuration. I have a set of S3 fender lips which I could graft on, and have been trying to discover of they are "right" or not.
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PostPost by: lbcmech » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:39 am

knockoffnut wrote:Here are pics of my S1 with its cut fender lips, and my S2 project car in need of a right front corner section. If anyone has a spare right front corner in Eastern USA or Canada, please do let me know.

I may have a nose mold. My dad use to rebuild wrecked ones back in the 70's. Made his own molds for elans and europas. Or i can make one off 65 s2 this fall when i restore it. I'm in east central Indiana.
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:28 pm

I was looking at my S2 more yesterday and I think that a complete nose, from just behind the front wheel wells, forward, would be the best option for it. I get to Fort Wayne, Indiana pretty often. How far are you from there lbcmech?
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PostPost by: lbcmech » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:16 am

I'm in New Cadtle IN. Its about an hour and half straight south of Ft Wawne along st rd 3. 10 miles north of I 70. My shop is on st rd 3 couple of miles north of town. Why would you need a whole nose? We have repaired quite a few over the years.
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:49 pm

Hi lbcmech, If you send me a PM with your email I will send you some pictures so you can see what I am dealing with.
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