Lotus Elan

Lee Weinstein's Elite

PostPost by: gmsnell » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:55 pm

Hi all

Hope this is a proper use of the forum as I'm a newbie here ...

Long time Lotus owner (off & on). Currently a pair of Elans and just recently acquired Lee Weinstein's Elite. Unfortunately Lee's estate and then Hayes Harris who acquired several of Lee's cars and sold me the Elite had very little in the way of information, history, receipts etc. I did meet Lee briefly years back and knew of his Spyder relationship but not much beyond that.

I've noted that several of you commented on knowing Lee in posts on this forum. I'm doing the Sherlocking to try to add anything I can to the limited information that the Elite Registry has and that which came with the car. So I'd really appreciate any insights, anecdotes, history, ANYTHING that will help me know more about the car and the guy who was obviously knee-deep into Lotus.

Thanks in advance

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:54 pm

Contact Mike Ostrov. He is a member of this forum and long time Elite guru.
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PostPost by: gmsnell » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:13 pm

StressCraxx

Thanks for the tip ...

I did my initial research on #1323 through Mike and the EWR. He had an entry for the car as Lee's back in the mid / late '80s but very little else. There is one hit on a serial # search through the EWR newsletter. Car obviously refreshed or restored by Weinstein prior to an Elite reunion at Lime rock in 2007 but I haven't much of anything before then.

Much more Sherlocking required ...
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PostPost by: lance54 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:23 pm

Hello Greg,

Nice to know the Lee’s Elite is once again in the hands of an enthusiast.

I only met Lee via the 2007 Elite Anniversary Event. Have you attempted to contact his family here in New Jersey. I believe he lived in Short Hills NJ or one of the surrounding towns. I reside in Long Valley, NJ about 30 miles west of his area.

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PostPost by: USA64 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:09 pm

I met Lee when I first got my Elan around '80?. I bought a radiator off him and went to his house to get it. He lived in Chatham near New Providence. Last I looked he was still listed in the members roster of Lotus, Ltd.. His family business was (something) Weinstein and Sons in Union, NJ, he was one of the sons. I was there about a year or so ago and asked after him not knowing he had died. The guy I spoke to sadly updated me and was familiar with the cars so may be a good source. I only remember him speaking of the Elite saying how beautifully prepped for paint it was, how glassy smooth the guy had gotten it. He didn't mention who I'm afraid. They might know at the business, he kept some cars there.
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PostPost by: gmsnell » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:07 pm

Thanks everyone. I’m getting a few good leads to track down. I’ll update the thread as I learn more

For those of you who knew Lee and his cars I’d welcome the opportunity to talk...maybe just car guy BSing but that’s ok too

Thanks

Greg
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:47 pm

i talked with Lee a couple times during the restoration of the car, he very much wanted to paint it the same dark blue as my Elan.
Last edited by elancoupe on Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 pm

Lee was a very nice man. I bought the Spyder Elan he brought over as a roller chassis back in the early 80's. He sold it to a doctor, I bought it from him. Still have it.

No matter how long it was since I last spoke with him, he always treated me like a long lost friend.

I know he was crazy about paint and details. Everything had to be perfect. I was told (and I don't know if it is true) that he was one the last original Cobra owners? Or at the very least he was one of the longest owners. Having owned it since the 60's. I know Herbie Hancock is one of the two last original owners now.

Know nothing about his Elite...but thought I would pass this along.
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:54 pm

Lee was a regular at NJMP for any Lotus event as well as the member days. Genuine nice guy who was always helpful and fairly low key about his car colllection. He appeared in the background of a number of the track related videos I was always shooting. This one he is in a blue and white fireproof suit in one of the shots.

https://youtu.be/m6Dor3J_z3Q
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PostPost by: gmsnell » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:12 pm

Getting some good information about the car's restoration from the early '90s. David K. has some invoices and photos from that time that he's graciously going to send on plus a couple more names involved in the work on the car from back in that period.

Next will be to see what I can find out about the first 3 decades of the cars existence. EWR records show Brian Kerr as the seller when Lee bought the car ... anyone recognize that name.

Again thanks ... still happy to get anything you care to share about Lee or his car(s).

Best

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:40 pm

The first time I saw Lee's Elite was at Lotus Ltd's LOG 14 which was organized by Foster Cooperstein, that must have been 1980. The last time I saw it was at the Elite 50th anniversary event that Clark Lance organized in conjunction with the 2007 vintage/historic race weekend at Lime Rock. I see Clark has already posted in this thread. The 2007 event was interesting in that Lee had his Elite on display in the Lotus Cars USA tent. Lee needed to attend to something and the Lotus Cars people were vexed because nobody among them had a clue about Elites. Lee saw me walk by and before I knew what happened I was indentured to work the tent and answer questions about the Elite. While I was there the Elite got more attention than did the Elises and Exiges. I also bought a beater of a spare ZF gearbox from Lee that weekend. Lee was honest in saying the he found the ZF half buried in damp soil and it was priced accordingly. I have retirement in sight so am looking forward to spending serious time in restoring my 1771.
Last edited by CBUEB1771 on Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: gmsnell » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:27 pm

moggie-and-bean.jpeg and
Thought you all may like to see the Elite - here with my '67 +4
Thanks Russ

I searched back to LOG14 hoping to find photos or other info. So far I've just found the issue of ReMarque that describes the event, makes reference to Foster's stewardship of it and a bit about the elites that were there - however no mention of Lee or his car. The only photo is the obligatory group photo which is too grainy to really pick out an individual car.

I'll see if I can find other sources for that event from 20+ years ago and will reach out to Foster as well. As I'm looking back on retirement a few years ago I have the luxury of doing pretty much what I want, when I want so I'll keep sleuthing and see what turns up. May just try to get the car to Cleveland for LOG38.

Thanks for your feedback.

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:04 pm

Greg,
I'll email you a copy of the US Club Elite e-newsletter (Issue 15) which covers several Elite 50th anniversary meetings including that at Lime Rock. There are a few photos of Lee and his Elite in that issue. On my garage wall I also have a full size print of the LOG 14 panoramic camera shot by Doug Chadwick. I'll take a look at this tonight and tell you which Elite is Lee's in that photo.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:46 am

Greg,
My brain was not working all this morning. LOG 14 was held in 1994, also at Lime Rock. Doug Chadwick took a few panoramic photos, one with all of the Lotus cars attending and one with just the Elites. In the full group photo Lee's Elite is in the front row, fifth in from the right, next to Roger Sieling's Mark XI. I am with my Elan +2 in the middle of the front row.
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PostPost by: lance54 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:00 am

One more post regarding this Elite.

Here's the Panoramic Photo from LOG 14 at Lime Rock Park.

img_7299.jpg and

Lee's Elite is second from the right.
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