Lotus Elan

London sports car centre

PostPost by: johnthebridge » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:56 am

Sorry Jim, I can only apologise in retrospect, if you were done down. Nearly forty years on I won't attempt to justify anything that appears to have been less than honest behaviour. I was there at that time, and I can only reiterate my view of the overall "governor", Alan Foster. He was possibly the fairest and straightest person I have EVER met anywhere, never mind the London motor trade! I know he would never have countenanced the sort of behaviour you encountered.
I have a suspicion that I know the identity of the person who would have originally made you the offer and, if it was he, then I can tell you that, for similar behaviour, he was sent packing sometime afterwards. His erratic behaviour lead to many frustrations with the staff of the time and, as I well remember, on one particularly grating occasion he was punched to the ground by one of our salesmen. Not by me, I hasten to add, although I had every sympathy with the chap who did so.
I can only add that even the best organisations can contain the inevitable bad apple. Sorry.
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PostPost by: DaveS » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:11 pm

A mystery car from LSCC? I have a 1970 S4 Elan with big wheel arches and front airdam, which appears to have had them from new. It was supplied by LSCC (to person unknown), painted metallic sea-blue with gold bumpers, and maintained by them until being sold in '73 to a chap called Jon Sheppard. I want to find out the origin of the big arches, as I've heard it said that 12 Elans were converted in this way, maybe by Broadspeed (the arches look like those on their rally Escorts). Can anyone cast any light on this? The car is currently a very good road legal sprint / hillclimb car.

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PostPost by: David tye » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:01 am

I've bought a 1972 sprint out of San Francisco.
All drive train husings are alloy with a webber head.
It turns out that it was a private import purchased through the London Sports Car Centre.
Anyone any idea how I find the original specs? Where are the records? If I register it in South Australia it has to be to original specs.
Appreciate a responce.
Regards,
David
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:19 am

The lotus archivist who is referenced elsewhere in the site will provide basic details of orginal purchase. if the alloy drive train housings are the only non standard feature you should not have any problem with registration asthey will not even know the difference i would have thought. Even if they noticed them during an inspection and queried it which would be very unusual they are an option that has always been avaialble.

If the registration authoritie are fussy and want to know what the standard car looked like take in one of the lotus books or road tests that covered the car

cheers
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:25 am

David tye wrote:It turns out that it was a private import purchased through the London Sports Car Centre. Anyone any idea how I find the original specs? Where are the records? If I register it in South Australia it has to be to original specs.
Appreciate a responce.
Regards,
David


Hi David

Most original specs are on my site below. If you email or PM me with your car's VIN and engine number I'll dig out what info I may have on it from my private register. And as Rohan suggests, drop Andy Graham at Lotus a line too.

Tim
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PostPost by: David tye » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:11 am

I am in communication with Lotus cars re the original specs. That is how I've become that the car was delivered to the LSCC. They are unable to confirm the drive train specs as the records are not so detailed as they might be.
The guy that imported the car into Australia for me believes that the guy that he got the car from in San Francisco discussed with him the fact that the car had a Webber head on it originally. He removed that head and replaced it with a Solex head so that he could use the webber head on his race car. The cam cover that came with the car is for an earlier model which supports the theory.
I really would like to be clear, if I can, about the history of the car.
Any help would be great. Information to date has been helpful.
Regards,
David
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PostPost by: cookie47 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:07 am

Hello,I found this post by accident and just had to join to post.I worked for the London sports car center.Although grew up calling it the chequered flag.I started as a 17 year old mechanic in Ballards Lane/Mews in about 1966??.
I had been working at the Quadrent Garage (old Hendon) since leaving school at 15.I applied through a local paper advertisement and was told by work colleagues i had NO hope of getting a job there as i was not an apprenticed mechanic.Anyway a John Manktelow interviewed me and i must have said something right as he gave me the job.He said if i didnt break anything in 3 months i could stay.John was acting foreman on the day and then supervised me hands on thereafter.Working on Elans/ e types/ jensons/Astons :D as a 17 year old was just awesome.I can remember my first road test up the A1 with John in an AC cobra 289 with IDA webbers hanging out of the bonnet PLUS it was raining (as it does).I was not allowed to road rest till i turn 18.I also used help out and drive the spare parts van to Norwich when needed.

After about 18 months a Alan Stubbs arrived who had been a previous employee.He owned a Formula 3 TITAN and he asked me if i was interested in being his mechanic (unpaid) doing uk and eventually Europe.(Yes or course)

Emmigrated to Australia 1971

Worked at a Jag agent/Tuning shop/cattle station/Government vehicle inspector/RAC (Victoria) vehicle inspector/
Gave the motor trade away 2005 (Arthritis) now drive a 70 tonne truck now age 65.
Melbourne Australia

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Turbo Diesel .(Love an Elan)
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:41 am

Dear Cookie47,

Welcome to the site! Thanks for posting and I look forward to hearing more of your motoring tales :)

All the best,

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PostPost by: 512BB » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:14 am

Cookie,

I second your welcome. I am a Hendon lad, but of a slightly younger vintage.

I remember the Quadrant Garage as a Renault main dealer. My father bought several cars from them, and that would have been in around 1977.

You will no doubt remember Hendon Way Motors, along, believe it or not, the Hendon Way, and even more unbelievably, still trading as HWM today. Now they were big into Elans, even racing them in the 70's, with some success. I recall they had some large photo's plastered on their walls, of the then owner on track.

Happy days,

Leslie
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PostPost by: cookie47 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:30 am

Hi Mazzini thanks for the welcome

Yes Leslie i do remember Hmw although not as a Lotus dealer,Must have gone to Aus by that time.I think it was BMC ??

I remember Hendon way more for the fun we had with out motor bikes (500 Tiger 100)

The london Sports cars center was a fun place to work,somehow we didn't have a spring compressor so we would put a car on the hoist and then drop the car down and compress the spring and tie it with welding wire. :cry: .Not much health and safety in those days.
I can remember the late night assembly of Lotus 7s as they would "appear" in the work shop when we opened up for final tune and test.
Will write more soon.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:02 am

512BB wrote:You will no doubt remember Hendon Way Motors, along, believe it or not, the Hendon Way, and even more unbelievably, still trading as HWM today. Now they were big into Elans, even racing them in the 70's, with some success. I recall they had some large photo's plastered on their walls, of the then owner on track. Leslie


I too recall Hendon Way Motors in the 1970s. Whenever I went in there to look over their Elan stock, I came away un-impressed with the quality they appeared happy to accept. It was the same for their Europas too. They always had a large ad in Motor Sport.

Tim
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PostPost by: 512BB » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:03 am

HWM was never an official Lotus dealer, but like so many private garages in the 60's and 70's, used to deal in them. You will recall Cookie, they had the showrooms looking out onto the Hendon Way, then a rough old dirt track by the side, leading out to a large piece of land they owned, where they kept their over stock.

I can still remember, in my minds eye, rows of Elans, all parked up, not undercover, with much damp in them, in the winter. And you are right Tim, most of their stock was a bit ratty. And hows this for memory, they had a PISTACHIO FHC Sprint in the showroom, with 4000 miles on it FOR YEARS. They seemed to have the idea, that if they could not sell it one year, they would just keep it, and put it up in price the next. If they still have it, they would not have been far wrong.

And like you on your Tiger Cookie, I remember blowing the engine up in my Elan going down the Hendon Way, with 135 showing on the clock. Probably doing about 80!

Look forward to some more of your tales from back in the day, and well done for coming on board.

Leslie
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PostPost by: Nick Skeens » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:58 pm

Hi

I'm writing a book about McLaren and Ferrari designer John Barnard, who, in his youth, spent a lot of time at the Chequered Flag in Edgware. It would be great if people who knew the shop in the 60s could contact me. I'm not actually sure how you do that - I logged in here, tried to contact some of the people posting on this topic, but got nowhere...
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PostPost by: graham » Wed May 15, 2013 12:08 pm

What seems many years ago 1974 we did our big OE to the uk from New Zealand. I worked for BEP architects on site at Brent Cross and spent many lunch breaks at the pub in Hendon Way. from our office you could hear the cars being tested on the A1- sounded like full throttle in second gear. Used to walk up to London sports cars and have a look at what they had - remember seeing the Lola T70 and thinking what a great road car. We purchased a pistacheo 1970 +2s from them in 1975 and brought it back to N.Z and sold it later as the family came along.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Thu May 16, 2013 7:46 am

According to Lotus, my Sprint was sold to a Mr. C M Rotsey by the London Sports Car Centre. The car was built in September 1972 but registered in February 1973 (a slow seller??). I just wonder if anybody remembers it, it must have been slightly unusual as it was Regency red (aka maroon) over white?

It's now yellow over white, had I realised that every other Sprint would be this colour I might have gone back to the original colour.. It was black over white when I bought the car in the mid 1980s...

It anybody remembers (selling) the car, I would love to hear about it..

Sprints.jpg
Carl

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87 Excel SE
97 Alpina B10

http://www.lotuselan.co.uk
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