Lotus Elan

Can a S1 which pre-dates 26r meet FIA HTP spec?

PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Tue May 01, 2018 5:12 pm

Quick question - if a S1 pre-dates the first 26R, can it meet FIA HTP regulations in 26R spec?

My reason for asking is slightly weird -I am trying to work out whether an early Mk1 Cortina, which pre-dates the homologation date for Lotus Cortina, can run as a LC and meet FIA HTP regulations.

Advice welcomed!!!

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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue May 01, 2018 7:37 pm

Interesting question David!

I don't know the answer but can say that plenty of pre 26R Elans raced in 1963 and by the end of the season pretty much all the serious racers were close to 26R spec.

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PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Tue May 01, 2018 8:48 pm

Thanks Tim - that helps (a little!) - don't want to set too many hares running with this one but views and advice welcomed!

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Wed May 02, 2018 9:10 am

When did the first 26R come off the production line?
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed May 02, 2018 9:46 am

dunclentdr1 wrote:Quick question - if a S1 pre-dates the first 26R, can it meet FIA HTP regulations in 26R spec?

My reason for asking is slightly weird -I am trying to work out whether an early Mk1 Cortina, which pre-dates the homologation date for Lotus Cortina, can run as a LC and meet FIA HTP regulations.

Advice welcomed!!!

David


As far as I know FIA HTP primarily depends on conformity to specs, so for a given car the reference is the specs descriptions as defined by the FIA and interpreted by its officers. If in doubt you may want to give them a call (esp. before embarking in expensive work).
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed May 02, 2018 4:05 pm

[quote="Certified Lotus"]When did the first 26R come off the production line?[/quote]

The first two 26Rs were supplied ex works on 4 Jan 64

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PostPost by: Frogelan » Wed May 02, 2018 8:13 pm

The answer is simple, the car should be in conformity with the Homologation paper 127, even if it was built before that date. The FIA does not seem to be worried about "anteriority" (perhaps it should?) as long as the car was built in Period F (pre-31/12/65).

[I have also wondered whether the racing driver should also be born before this date ;-) ].

The main problems seem to be elsewhere. The original homologation gifts the standard Elan with a racing specification. Many manufacturers used the same trick.

But not all of the "racing spec" makes it into homologation pre 31/12/65 (despite the document being published by the FIA...). Is the homologation paper the basis for the vehicle or is it the "racing spec" annexed by the FIA ? I see the latter as a clarification of the former.

In the 1990s, the 26R was in the "GTP" category and the racing Elan in the GTS10 category. Why...and how did
the "26R" then join GTS category (did the FIA outlaw production GTPs ?)...And why some retailers identify both a 26R and GTS specification for certain parts, adding to the confusion of "anoraks" like myself.

The FIA also seems to overlook that there were also two types of racing Elan bodies and two chassis. The S1 version (with both pop-up and perspex lamps depending on the market) and the S1 1/2 / S2 with the egg-shaped (or "Chinese") front lamps (not for US) and a high back chassis).

I'm also unsure as to the exact chronology of "26R" wheels: they do not appear to be those used in period (no gaps between the main spokes), but the FIA seems to have blessed what might well be a post 31/12/65 version...

My personal and possibly wrong conclusion is to go for the Racing spec that applied to the period of my car (early 1965) and this points to the S2 racing body and high back chassis. I will also use Minilites as the original type wheels are made...
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PostPost by: Elan 1600 » Mon May 07, 2018 6:53 pm

The problem with the FIA and the 26R, GTS difference is all due to what Lotus entered on the top of the original homologation papers.

The Elan was originally homolgated as an Elan in '63, but when the extra bits were added in '64(e.g wider wheels) Lotus entered 26R at the top of the homologation form. They could have stuck with Elan and saved us all a lot of trouble but they didn't

Up to the end of 1965 this was no problem and any Elan 1600 or S2 could be converted to 26R spec. After that (as I understand it) the FIA changed homologation requirements, but by then mid engined cars were coming through and the Elan was no longer a realistic choice as a front running GT car.

Fast forward to the 80's and the Elan was becoming popular as an historic race and rally car (in the UK). Paul Howcroft (now sadly no longer with us) won the European Historic Rally Championship in an 'Elan', which was running many features that weren't available in the 60's.

The FIA decided to crack down and became more strict with homologation, which is where the matter started to raise it's ugly head. As 26R's didn't follow the chassis numbering system of the Elan they were deemed to be a separate car. As there were not enough built to be a GTS car (minimum 500 IIRC, GT'S were 5000) they were defined as GT Prototype.

It was then decided that only period original GTP cars were allowed to run to GTP spec.

My knowledge of the current rules is not so informed as I no longer compete, but it seems that at some point Elans have been allowed to upgrade to 26R spec (as was originally intended and possible in the 60's) even though they started life as Plain 1600's or S2's
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Mon May 07, 2018 8:10 pm

I agree with most of the above.

The FIA paper 127 gives the basis of what is allowed. It is missing some important details, but as I discovered last weekend talking to the owner of a S2 26R memories are sometimes incomplete as so many race cars are on their 3rd chassis / body combination.

To go back to the original post, what makes up a S1 26R is different to the S2. My advice would be to try to work that out and then speak to the gurus to check it out.

As a "anorak", I think it is useful to talk to as many folks as possible and I'm pleased to say that I have spoke to 7 owners and now have a better (but not yet complete) idea of S2s.
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PostPost by: davidholroyd » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:30 pm

Yes
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:49 am

Certified Lotus wrote:When did the first 26R come off the production line?



Never. :)
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