Lotus Elan

Help building the records held for Elans, Plus 2 and Europas

PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat May 28, 2016 9:23 pm

At Castle Combe today my kids distributed around 40 forms requesting details of various cars parked up. If you are a recipient it would be brilliant if you would return it as per the details on it.

Please could you take the time to fill out and return this form. Tim Wilkes (lotuselan sprint.com & trw99 on lotuselan.net) is working with Andy Graham the Lotus Archivist and sharing gathered information with the factory in an attempt to build up the records held for Lotus Elans and Plus 2's (and Europas). A few thousand cars are already recorded so filling in the gaps would be very useful.The information is held securely and in confidence. You will not be contacted or spammed as a routine but if there is a particular query with regard to your car perhaps you won't mind an enquiry.?

If you know of any other Elans please feel free to copy and distribute this form. Can you copy//paste and email to: [email protected] and [email protected]. (NOT ME!)

I know there are various Lotus Car clubs around the world - the LOONYs, Golden Gate, En France, Italy, Japan and doubtless many other far flung places, please could someone from these locations/clubs try to encourage their members to reply and spread the word to others who perhaps don't visit this site.

YOUR HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Registration no. If outside UK former UK registration if known
Vehicle model/type
Chassis/VIN no.
Engine No (if possible)
Body colour. Trim colour DHC/FHC
Owners Name (address optional) phone no. or email
Any significant history
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PostPost by: AdrianSi » Sun May 29, 2016 9:40 am

Hi this is a great idea, just a couple of questions:

1) Do you want to here from owners of vehicles that Andy has already provided certificates for?

2) Also, would it be worth gathering information regarding Body numbers? As we know, matching number cars were more or less by coincidence depending on the production rate at the time. Speaking to Andy when I was going through details of my vehicle, these records aren't held/have been lost. In theory we should be able to see where the 'matching' number body was a signed to if we get enough information.

Just a thought.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun May 29, 2016 10:28 am

I'm but the messenger here. My thoughts are if the factory already have your details via a Provenance Cert then there's little else to gain. I'll let Tim or indeed Andy comment further.

As you say building up the records is a great idea (but one hell of a project. I'll bet unknown cars will still be emerging in 20+ years time.) I think the eventual idea is to keep the records for a Lotus Heritage Trust some way down the line.
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PostPost by: LotusArchives » Sun May 29, 2016 6:52 pm

If you've already contacted Lotus from 2008, then no I don't need the details, but it is people who have perhaps contacted Lotus prior to me joing and starting a database that I am missing information from as none of the previous archivists kept records/databases or people that don't normally follow forums etc.

If I need further information, such as confirmation of body numbers, original chassis etc. I can then go back to the owner.

I know we will never capture all of the cars, but the more we do the better.
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PostPost by: kpcseven » Mon May 30, 2016 11:19 am

Assume you have some methods to try to vett the information that you are going to use to "fill in the blanks"? So many of the cars have been restored and either changed hands many times or even have owners/restorers who did the work 20+ years ago that details may have been simply forgotten on engine swaps, etc. Probably a reasonable ifea that the data that is obtained via this process that cannot be otherwise verified be marked as such in the records.
Regards and thank you for doing a very important task.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue May 31, 2016 11:22 am

Couple of points to add to Andy's comments.

Matching numbers - I always find this expression somewhat ambiguous! By matching numbers what I feel we should mean with regard to Lotus is that the unit and engine number matches those recorded by the factory at the time the car rolled off the production line (where the records for the car still exist).

As for 'vetting' information, I think it important to realise that what we are attempting to do is to rebuild the information about each car as it left the factory for those where no records exist. In doing so we have now got to the point where we can be reasonably sure about when a unit was completed and with what engine number range, given those we already know about. It therefore becomes clear if we are informed about a car which has an engine number that is from a different range, year or car type.

As Andy says, we will never recapture all of the lost information, but we wish to do as good a job as we can with owners of extant cars help.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue May 31, 2016 3:46 pm

Keep up the great work, Tim and Andy! Thank you!
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PostPost by: LotusArchives » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:17 pm

Yes I have a way of marking 'confirmed data' i.e. comes from a original, geniune VIN plate, Lotus documents such as original invoice and 'provided data' i.e. engine number currently fitted, current body colour so that if discrepancies appear I can see what was true and what was possibly a replacement.

What I have found is a surprising number of cars on replacement VIN plates.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:59 pm

LotusArchives wrote:Yes I have a way of marking 'confirmed data' i.e. comes from a original, geniune VIN plate, Lotus documents such as original invoice and 'provided data' i.e. engine number currently fitted, current body colour so that if discrepancies appear I can see what was true and what was possibly a replacement.

What I have found is a surprising number of cars on replacement VIN plates.


Andy,
Should we be concerned about replacement VIN plates? I assume you mean that people/restorers have used a "new" VIN plate as a replacement for an aged or damaged plate rather than trying to make a "different car" assume another identity. Apart from 26R's :roll: most Elans in similar condition hold a similar value, so there's little advantage in swapping to make a car assume another's identity?

Is it just the historical essence that's being lost or something more sinister?
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:57 pm

I know Andy is well on board with regard to replacement plates as opposed to original. He has identified some replacement plates as they have an obvious (when you know) error on them, others are thinner metal or the ink comes off easily. As long as all the other details match up I don't believe he has an issue with plates replaced for cosmetic reasons rather than dodgy reasons.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:03 pm

Thanks Steve,
I suppose I'm being a little paranoid regarding identity due to so many Mini's being passed off as Coopers and sadly Cortinas passed off as Lotus, although specialists on the cars have been able to weed out the fakes in most cases.
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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:50 pm

I sent Tim and Andy the information for my car that I have on hand. somewhere I have the letter from the archivist I got back around 1999 stating what the car had when it left the factory.

I know my engines don't match the car since one had a L number on the head that didn't match the car and the other came out of an S3 that now has a 246hp BDP in it.

The chassis and body match the VIN plate though, but being a Lotus you can't expect "matching numbers" the way you can with something like a Mustang.

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:42 am

"I have the letter from the Archivist..." :wink: Not the most reliable of sources, unfortunately; prior to Andy getting the job I think it was rather hit and miss.

Watch out from a posting from the Niagra region claiming ownership of a "26/R"............ "the (then) archivist says it looks like one".

Actually, I don't know if Andy has my information, or not. Have you hoovered-up data from the Jim Boone register?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:06 pm

Oh yes and all other possible sources too. Don't worry, we've got you Pete.

Actually, I can't check right now but I'm not too sure we have your S4 details.

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:37 pm

trw99 wrote:Oh yes and all other possible sources too. Don't worry, we've got you Pete.

Actually, I can't check right now but I'm not too sure we have your S4 details.

Tim



Cheers, Tim. The S4 is on Jim's register. I think this is a great initiative but I don't envy you the task, after all these years. :D
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