Lotus Elan

Elan evacuation

PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:02 am

Massive fire storms in Northern California wine country. You may have seen it on the news.

We got a visit from the sheriff advising us to vacate as the fire was coming our way.

So what do you take with you at such a moment?

One thing was absolutely clear to me: the Elan was not being left behind. Thankfully I just got it running after a 2 year rebuild.

So I grabbed my folder of Lotus papers going back to my original factory invoice (as original owner of 48 years). Threw the original workshop and parts manual behind the seat along with Buckland’s book. Left all the various minor bits that I am still working on (can be replaced).

Then collected the usual irreplaceable family photos and mementos into our SUV.

Then, an interesting discussion as we are just two. What about my wife’s Porsche (2006 Carrera S cabriolet)? With the Elan and the SUV, that left no one to drive the Porsche. My comment about the Porsche being easier to replace than the Lotus did not go over well. And the SUV was needed to transport our things plus 2 large dogs.

So, under pressure, we took 20 minutes to relocate the Porsche at a presumably safe nearby hotel parking lot.

Then, we decamped to safety at my daughter’s some 50 miles away. My wife in the SUV with the dogs and all the mementos and me separately in the Elan.

I had not driven the Elan that far since getting it back on the road in the last month. So still somewhat uneasy about some part of the car perhaps failing. I have completely gone through the car (engine, drivetrain, suspension, electrical, wheels, ...). Hundreds of hours and silly money.

One problem as I drove on in the twilight. I had been in the process of sorting out the headlights, so I had none.

But, I made it as darkness fell and no other problems. In fact, the car was quite impressive all round. Especially enjoying 181hp and 143 lb-ft.

Not to say, assuming I still have a house and my garage, that I will soon be going through a full safety checklist and retorquing of everything. I don’t want anything falling off at speed.

In limbo now as we watch the news for any signs of the letting up of this disaster and hoping for the survival of our house. So many have lost theirs.

But, most importantly we are safe and sound (including the long companion Elan). The rest will take care of itself.
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PostPost by: Rob P » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:09 am

Glad to hear you got out safe and with the Elan as a bonus. Hope that the fires do not cause too much damage to your property and life can soon return to normal for you
Not something we ever experience this side of the pond so can't imagine how you must feel at present but my thoughts and wishes go out to you and yours at this difficult time
Last edited by Rob P on Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:24 am

Good luck and all the best.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:52 am

Best wishes, glad to hear that you are safe & hope that you can return to your home.
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:12 am

After watching the news last night about the fires my thoughts are with you and all the people who are impacted. I lost everything I owned in a house fire 40 years ago and it’s a horrible experience. There isn’t a day that goes by that I tell myself material possessions can be replaced, lives can’t. Be safe and be glad you had time to save your Elan.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:28 pm

Every time I see fires of this magnitude, it brings back horrific memories. I hope you return to find your house safe and secure. I went through the same thing in 2007, when the fires swept through Northern San Diego County. The Elan was in pieces at the time, getting some fixes, and there was no time to find a way to move it to safety. We evacuated in the dually and the wife's SUV, which we loaded with everything that we deemed we could not replace. We were lucky in that we had enough time to gather things together. When we were able to return two days later after breaching the evacuation line, the house was still standing, but the fire was still burning in the back yard, which I was able to extinguish. It was neighbors, who refused to evacuate, who helped to save my home. Friends lost theirs, along with one that had a collection of 7 vintage cars. We first evacuated to a home we have for my wire's mother, but the fires were of the size that we had to evacuate again to a friends home some 10 miles further away. Then to be evacuated once more. Fortunately, all of the houses remained safe.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:12 pm

Glad to hear you and the missus are safe Rob. And the Elan too.
We have had a couple of terrible fire seasons up here but not in such densely populated areas as you are in. We live in interesting times... Stay safe.
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:12 am

We are in also in Sonoma County, where this fiery conflagration has destroyed almost 140,000 acres, taken 17 lives that we know of so far in this county alone, displaced 20,000 people so far. Driven by 50+ mph winds Sunday night, the fires jumped from forested areas west to the city of Santa Rosa. My 89 yr old dad has been evacuated twice and relocated twice more, and now he's running low on his critical medications, so tomorrow I'm going to have to start getting them refilled. Many of our friends have lost their homes and clients have lost their vineyard/winery properties.

My wife and I had to pack our two Toyota trucks for potential evacuation within minutes. We have two Elans (my favorite cars), two Alfas, a Triumph and a Mini JCW, but we'll need our trucks for the dogs, a place to sleep, and potentially, pull our little trailer. The vintage cars, and 15 years of parts and tools, not to mention all of the contents of our house, may well end up like those belonging to people just a few miles away who have lost everything. I've had to say goodbye to everything already, and then we had a respite while other towns burn to cinders. We've been waiting for days, not working or leaving the house very long, in case we have to bug out. I haven't wanted to go back into my garage since saying goodbye the first time - it's too depressing, and distracting.

1owner69Elan - I'm glad you were able to save your Elan, and wish I could have managed the time and resources to move ours south to my friend's shop. Now we are just waiting for more 50 mph winds tonight, to see which way they blow the flames and cinders.

My very best hopes go out to anyone else on the list who lives in the affected areas.

Greg
Last edited by elangtv2000 on Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:30 am

All our very best wishes are with you. Would it help to have drivers for the 'other' cars? I am sure some could be arrange through this forum.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:11 am

Good luck and best wishes, I hope that your home survives unscathed.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:08 pm

Thank you very much. Winds did not get bad overnight in my town, but fires are spreading east and north.

Naury - is your home safe? Are you allowed back yet?

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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:58 pm

I watched the World News last night with reporter live on the scene. I noticed him standing next to a charred carcass of what was once a '65 Ford Mustang. I could only imagine what it once was and i'm sure the owner is heartbroken about it. However in proper perspective, many lives were lost and material loss is insignificant when you focus on the big picture. We are but nomads passing through this world.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; buy lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt 6:19-21
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:03 pm

In Napa, we are still in an advisory evacuation area. As Greg mentioned winds were less than expected overnight.

News reports are now from spots close to our house, so we can monitor the situation from 50 miles away.

We may be ok, as there is a critical water treatment plant nearby which “must not fall”. So extra resources positioned there. Could help us.

Good luck to all affected.
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PostPost by: bulfin » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:25 pm

My best wishes to all that are affected.
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PostPost by: lotusS2guy » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:30 am

Our thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the horrible fires burning throughout our fair state of California, especially the Elan owners. Hopefully the fires will yield to the firefighters before much more property is lost.
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