Lotus Elan

Early Elan Sprints - Differences

PostPost by: Bahamayellow » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:54 am

img_0006.jpg and
Good morning. I am looking for a link/post done by one of the forum members on early Elan Sprint differences. I am looking to replace my dash as its badly worn and collected a new dash from Paul Matty. However I noticed that there are a number of differences. I checked with Andy Graham at Lotus and from the numbers this is an early sprint body possibly converted by the factory from a S4DHC but issued with a Sprint body number in Jan 71 and engine is a factory built sprint unit in Feb 1971 not a reworked one as he originally suspected. He also thinks this is the only Sprint in Bahama Yellow but I have seen another couple.

I recall a post/article/link on here setting out differences ie S4 dash, steering wheel, sprint big valve rocker cover having Lotus the wrong way round etc. If someone could point me to this post I would be most grateful. I have searched but cannot find it.

Many thanks

Mike
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:48 am

http://www.lotuselansprint.com/index.asp
i think this is what you're looking for...
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:04 pm

You sure that's not Colorado Orange:
p9177797.jpg and
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:22 pm

Bahama Sprint mono:

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:00 pm

Tim, i've seen that Bahama Sprint in person and spoke to the sales guy, they know it's a S4-Sprint and even tried to tell me that made it more special (probably to justify it's huge price). It's been very nicely finished.


Mike, Yes the cam cover script facing forward is a dead give away, as far as i'm aware it's only the S4-Sprints that have the cam cover like that and they are very rare (make sure you have 'N' stamped into the head at the back of the spark plug channel), No engine number on the chassis plate (usually means it was supplied as a Kit which seems to be another shared feature of the S4-Sprint), Key on the Dash, early steering wheel (no thumb pads but not sure if some production line sprints had those too), No lip under the boot floor (you might also find the front exhaust back box mounting bracket holes missing as S4-Sprints had twin back boxes that didn't have the bracket), Lump in the bonnet, Originally silver wheels, rear section of the side decal fitted parallel to the bumper, two Championship badges rather than a one and a Sprint badge on the production line cars..... Also White button hand brake, i am not 100% sure thats an S4-Sprint only thing but i've not seen a Production line Sprint with one fitted (they usually have the twist lock type) same with lack of Sun visors (not 100% that was just the S4-Sprint)

A dead give away if you have a S4 that some one has made look like a sprint in it's past is the way the Black is painted on the back of the door (assuming it's not been fully stripped back to GRP) the S4-Sprints were masked the same as the production Sprint which is different to the S4....... Scary i know that :roll:

Another interesting one i noticed on my car was the Dash loom had been cut in the passenger foot well and two period (grotty) white multi plugs fitted, as my car was one owner i asked about it and he couldn't remember any electrical work being carried out on the car, plus there was no receipt (which is odd as he kept everything).... i didn't think anything of it until i saw my +2s (that the original owner had got quite heated in correspondence with Lotus about it being a +2s that had been retro fitted to +2 130s spec) had the exact same plugs, so i guess Lotus took the dash out for some reason after the car was assembled/wired up during the retro fit process.

As for dash, the S4-Sprints were basically just Retrofitted S4 se's so the dash is identical to the S4.

p1040798.jpg and

Sorry not the best picture but you can just see the key ring behind the steering wheel.

p1040183.jpg and

Excuse the oil leak, not very flat Cam cover + cometic gasket = puddle on floor :(


lhd.jpg and

I much prefer the silver wheel myself, the Black ones with the chrome trim make the rims look an inch or so smaller from a distance (bit odd imho)
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PostPost by: JimE » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:55 pm

Chris. I have also see an S4/Sprint with a third rocker switch in front of the gear lever which served as a hazard warning switch. So some non domestic RHD drive cars must have found there way onto the UK market. Jim
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:01 pm

Are you sure it was an S4-Sprint? i noticed the early production line Sprints had hazards fitted (bloodknock's for example)

Wouldn't shock me if some LHD S4-Sprints found there way to domestic market (note the red one above is LHD) so they did them both flavors.

I have no idea what's going on with mine, looking at the plugs the wire on both sides is identical (just looks like it's been cut), it crossed my mind that the cars could have been built LHD but i know of two late factory Sprints that have always been registered RHD and have holes for LHD just roughly covered with tin plates (Mine is not like that). So it's anyone's guess.... i thought maybe they separated the Body from chassis after it was assembled as part of the retrofitting? but i don't see why they would have done that (both chassis have the correct unit numbers stamped into them)
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PostPost by: JimE » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:21 pm

Here are a couple of pic of the car in question. I know the owner and when I asked him about the dashboard he assured me it was an S4 conversion. But if you look at the picture of the dashboard, the ignition barrel is as fitted on later Sprints. Confused. You should be! Jim
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:02 pm

There is some thing definitely a bit odd about that car, the bonnet pull is on the dash? it has the red dot square starter solenoid (which i thought was a later Sprint item and rare), no vent holes in the inner wing? Later washer bottle/motor? Key on the steering column, no lump in the bonnet, later Sprint rad with the Otter switch on the wrong side. Does it have the later body molding with the lip under the back?

My guess is thats a Production line Sprint like bloodknock's with some cross over parts (maybe some one preferred the S4-Sprint cam cover) or it's been rebuilt to look like a later Sprint.

He says it has matching numbers but it's on a replacement Lotus galv chassis? when he says the numbers match i assume he's not reading it straight off the screw on plate? It's interesting because all the S4-Sprints i've seen upto now have been fairly consistent......

That said i keep hearing how consistent Lotus were in their model specs but then mine had white stripes the full length of the decals. The amount of people who told me it didn't leave the factory like that even though i have pictures of the car being delivered as a kit meant it was never getting them put back on (would have driven me insane)
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PostPost by: Bahamayellow » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:13 pm

tedtaylor wrote:http://www.lotuselansprint.com/index.asp
i think this is what you're looking for...


Thanks that is the one.

Cheers
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PostPost by: Bahamayellow » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:14 pm

pharriso wrote:You sure that's not Colorado Orange:
p9177797.jpg


It's Bahama Yellow that what the colour code is on Chassis plate
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PostPost by: Bahamayellow » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:37 pm

Grizzly wrote:Tim, i've seen that Bahama Sprint in person and spoke to the sales guy, they know it's a S4-Sprint and even tried to tell me that made it more special (probably to justify it's huge price). It's been very nicely finished.


Mike, Yes the cam cover script facing forward is a dead give away, as far as i'm aware it's only the S4-Sprints that have the cam cover like that and they are very rare (make sure you have 'N' stamped into the head at the back of the spark plug channel), No engine number on the chassis plate (usually means it was supplied as a Kit which seems to be another shared feature of the S4-Sprint), Key on the Dash, early steering wheel (no thumb pads but not sure if some production line sprints had those too), No lip under the boot floor (you might also find the front exhaust back box mounting bracket holes missing as S4-Sprints had twin back boxes that didn't have the bracket), Lump in the bonnet, Originally silver wheels, rear section of the side decal fitted parallel to the bumper, two Championship badges rather than a one and a Sprint badge on the production line cars..... Also White button hand brake, i am not 100% sure thats an S4-Sprint only thing but i've not seen a Production line Sprint with one fitted (they usually have the twist lock type) same with lack of Sun visors (not 100% that was just the S4-Sprint)

Mine has the same cam cover and yes its not very flat and leaks oil. Originally as the lettering is not as sharp as the later covers I thought it was a copy and bought another later cover although i'm glad I didn't change it. I'm sure the handbrake is black. Has same early steering wheel as well. It has the N on Andy Graham at Lotus said "engine was factory built to Sprint specification (not reworked as I first though) on the 19th February 1971"[/i]

A dead give away if you have a S4 that some one has made look like a sprint in it's past is the way the Black is painted on the back of the door (assuming it's not been fully stripped back to GRP) the S4-Sprints were masked the same as the production Sprint which is different to the S4....... Scary i know that :roll: I will check that but it's been restored by the PO and the body done by SMS about 10 years ago.

Another interesting one i noticed on my car was the Dash loom had been cut in the passenger foot well and two period (grotty) white multi plugs fitted, as my car was one owner i asked about it and he couldn't remember any electrical work being carried out on the car, plus there was no receipt (which is odd as he kept everything).... i didn't think anything of it until i saw my +2s (that the original owner had got quite heated in correspondence with Lotus about it being a +2s that had been retro fitted to +2 130s spec) had the exact same plugs, so i guess Lotus took the dash out for some reason after the car was assembled/wired up during the retro fit process.

I'm pretty sure mine does have white multi plugs again will check.

As for dash, the S4-Sprints were basically just Retrofitted S4 se's so the dash is identical to the S4.

Yes mine has ignition on dasboard

P1040798.JPG

Sorry not the best picture but you can just see the key ring behind the steering wheel.

P1040183.JPG

Excuse the oil leak, not very flat Cam cover + cometic gasket = puddle on floor :(


LHD.jpg

I much prefer the silver wheel myself, the Black ones with the chrome trim make the rims look an inch or so smaller from a distance (bit odd imho)


I have black wheels and gold bumpers but hard to say which they were without old photos.

Interestingly the Weber Carbs were replaced with Dellortos by the factory as the original owner complained about the Webers fuel starvation on right hand corners! The Dellortos are certainly well patinated and have been on there a long time so fits in with what I was told.

Many thanks for the help.

Mike
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