Lotus Elan

S1 Bourne Elans - history and details of known cars

PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:37 am

That is your Body No Eric. It is a couple of numbers away from a car with a Unit No 7 numbers from yours, invoiced the same month.

Thanks for the interesting info on the late, great Dan Gurney. Andrew Fergusson in his book mentions that he and Jimmy were given an Elan each to tool around in whilst they competed at Indy.

Tim
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PostPost by: Mark Roth » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:47 am

Hi,

I have car number 135.

Regards

Mark
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:56 pm

Nice looking car Mark. Are those bolt on Revolution wheels with knock offs attached?
Glen
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PostPost by: GLB » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:39 am

I have 26/0045. The poor thing has been abused so badly over the years I think only about one half is still Bourne. My research says it was white and sold new as a kit. I have no idea how or when it became left hand drive or when it came to the US . It has the differential cover with out the A prefix and aluminum brake unions. Every thing else is a guess. It had a Bourne body tag but the number is scratched and unreadable. I'll post a picture when I got it which is truly horrible and one as it is now. Still a work in progress. It was black when I got it and as I have repaired and replaced I have just repainted areas black. Hope to do an overall and go back to white soon. At least the most of the body work is past so hopefully not too bad a job. No numbers on my engine so may be a replacement but is an early head with the semicircles in the plug wells. Any info would be appreciated. Gary
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:22 am

Great project. I hope you share the restoration with us and good luck!
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:25 pm

Thanks for posting, GLB. It is great to see it being restored. Call me a heretic but I really like the "before" shot too. I wonder if it had significant race history? Those big, low headlamps were popular for nighttime racing, so it makes me wonder which tracks this car may have raced on, and how it finished. I would love to see more pictures of this car both before and after. .
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:31 pm

Hi Gary,
You say your head has no numbers stamped on the rear face towards the firewall? Have you checked the bottom face (towards the block but outside the footprint of the block)? I think that some prototype and factory racing heads were numbered with different numbers in different locations. Maybe you have one of those. I would love to see some pictures of the head too.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:54 pm

Gary,

Your car was invoiced on 14th May 1963, sold to a W Clegg, fitted with Engine No LP51 and Body No 53. If that is the original registration mark, it was issued at the London South West licensing office, so the dealer was probably Len Street.

Tim
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:13 pm

When did Len Street open for business? I didn’t realise it was that early. I remember buying parts from them in the mid 80s
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:21 pm

They were Lotus agents from 1963.

Not sure when they first opened for business.

Tim
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PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:13 pm

Great to see more early cars emerging...as initiator of the post here's one of my two in transformation...for those who like them kept original at least it is not stuck deteriorating in a barn!

David
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PostPost by: mdwracer » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:23 pm

What is the last known Bourne Elan unit number with chassis number ? ...and what is the first known Lotus bodied Elan unit number and chassis number ?

I have two cars:

Medici Blue Jan 64 car 26/3342 (chassis 0391) ; engine LP1029

Cirrus White June 64 car 26/3641 (chassis # matching unit #) engine LP1642

I am trying to determine what was the overlap of the two bodies and by how many units... It appears that Lotus bodies started in late 63 and Bourne cars were still being assembled in early 64...

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PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:08 pm

Hi Mike

I have one of the first few Lotus bodied S1 cars - chassis number is 26/0407 and body number is 3018, according to Andy the Lotus archivist probably 18th body made - it was first registered 01/01/1964.

David
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PostPost by: mdwracer » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:18 pm

David,
If I understand correctly, and using your car as example, your car is a Lotus bodied car and numerically the 18th body that Lotus made. I also assume that the cars left the factory close to the body number/unit number, while the chassis number is a number that was assigned to each car as sales occurred/orders placed.
Going back to your car, that puts it leaving factory in later portion of 63 to allow car to get delivered and registered by 1-1-1964. Your car has a higher chassis number than I would expect but have seen they have little to do with a timeline and the Lotus community goes with unit numbers...
It appears that Lotus matched the unit numbers and chassis numbers by Summer of 1964 to make things easier to follow.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:15 pm

Mike

I'd refer you to the article I wrote on Bourne bodies, attached to my post on the previous page.

Body No 438 is the highest Bourne body we know of. It was fitted to Unit No 337#, which was invoiced by the factory in late January 1964.

However, Bourne Body No 382 was fitted to Unit No 338#, which was invoiced in mid February 1964.

The earliest Lotus Body No 3018 is fitted to Duncan's car, as he wrote above, which was invoiced in early January 1964.

However, Lotus Body No 3028 is fitted to Unit No 334#, and that was invoiced on the same day as Duncan's car.

Unit and Chassis Nos were matched by the factory from Unit No 3602 in late May 1964. Prior to that the Chassis Nos were allocated to cars on an ad hoc basis, as they came off the store shelf.

Indecently, your car with Unit No 3342 is listed as having Engine No LP1029, not 1020 as you wrote. Could you kindly confirm the correct final digit, per the No actually on the engine, please?

Tim
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