Lotus Elan

I'm am new here and considering an Elan purchase

PostPost by: cobrapatrol » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:59 pm

Hello to you all. I am new to your forum and admittedly to the Lotus Elan in general but have always held them in high regard and hoped one day to own one. Such an opportunity has come up and I am looking for some advice. The particular car I'm looking at is a basket case, a collection of parts obtained over the years. The body and chassis are from different sources but the overall result will be a 1967 S4 DHC. My question has to do with the body. During some body restoration on a home-made rotisserie the windscreen frame struck the ground and is cracked through in one place on the top. The windscreen frame structure seems pretty flimsy and I am not sure how involved the repair might be. The frame appears to be molded into the body - so must be repaired instead of replaced, yes?

So I am just not sure if that kind of damage is reasonable. The body is actually grafted from a separate front end after some collision damage - so again I'm not sure what the warning signs might be telling me. Otherwise the body looks pretty solid. I have just completed a basket case restoration of a Triumph TR6 but this is a whole different level! I am not worried about normal mechanical issues, I am and experienced mechanic and engineer, but I know that these Elans are pretty unique so I appreciate all your knowledge and advice.

Thanks for the help - Jim
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:45 am

The windscreen frame is pretty flimsy until you get the glass in anyway
You have to check it against the window frames.
There is steel reinforcement in the pillar and the surrounding material can be relieved and replaced to regain shape if required.

Everything is possible with time and effort!
You'll want to get the body married to the chassis early on to confirm the geometry and door fit before completing repairs.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:14 pm

Repairing the windscreen frame is just like repairing any other fiberglass part on the Elan, so you need to get comfortable with it -- provided you use the right materials (mat instead of cloth) it is not difficult, and the rubber surround is going to cover most of it anyway.

Dive in!
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PostPost by: cobrapatrol » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:28 pm

Thanks for the info! I had to install the new windscreen glass in my TR6 and it was a very tight fit. I would hope that the windscreen on the Elan may not require quite as much pressure because I can't guess that the fiberglass frame would withstand it. Is there a metal cap over the top of the frame that engages the soft top?

Thanks again - Jim
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PostPost by: cobrapatrol » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:04 pm

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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:46 pm

There's an alloy strip full width across the top of the screen with a reinforcing block and tensioner down to the firewall in the middle.
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:52 am



Project? for that price it better be a finished car.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:20 pm

I'm confused. The site has pictures of a very pretty Carnival Red Elan with some top issues, not a basket case. But no pictures of a damaged windscreen frame? That does explain why the pictures of a DHC include only one with the head dropped, I suppose.

The absence of mention of the areas of concern you have suggest to me a lack of honesty on the part of the dealer. Either that or the URL got swapped. If true, be wary.

The one in the pictures is quite pretty, but as stated that is close to top dollar so the dealer ought to address any condition issues as a sale condition. Spot painting on fiberglass is a challenge, I thought you had lots to do on it.
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PostPost by: cobrapatrol » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:52 pm

Sorry but there's a simple explanation - the bidding ended on the project car and ebay automatically advances you to one that's still active. Since I had a watch item bookmark I got a current link to the now inactive project car here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/-/192598830388?nordt=true&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l10137

I agree that $20k is too much for the project car but it does have some interesting extras like a big valve sprint engine and already modded for CV joints. There's a lot of spares and documentation also. The owner had a "best offer" with a lower limit and has entertained offers. My circumstances are such that it's impractical to take on another project car because I am preparing to move to another state after retiring. I would like a new project once I get a new Garage-Mahal set-up.

I am not in league with the seller at all. He is the neighbor of a friend of mine. But he is an interesting guy with a real passion for these cars. I hope he sells to a fellow soul because he has a lot to share.

Thanks for answering my questions - Jim
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