Lotus Elan

Calling owners with 0000 VINs

PostPost by: LotusArchives » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:31 pm

Can all owners with 0000 in their VINs contact me at [email protected] (or post below) so that I can make a record to see if there are any patterns that can explain the reason for this. i.e. 7100000***G

I am aware of two Sprints both around April 1971, and I want to see if this is a isolated case, or there are others from a different year/month.

I know the factory mainly operated with the unit number (last four figures and end letter) and that the rest was allocated at production when the build date was known, so wondered if some people got into the habbit of putting zeros in the boxes and this then got transfered onto the VINs by someone who wasn't aware of what the numbers meant or there is another explanation? If there are any ex-employees who may remember or people who asked this question years ago when there were staff here who remembered the old Elan production, please let us know?

Andy Graham
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PostPost by: Simmo » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:07 pm

I have a feeling my VIN contains alot of 0000's, Its a 1970 S4. I shall dig out the number and send you a PM
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:48 am

My +2S130 was 7100000459L. Registered 07/04/1971 in Ireland. It had a +2S dash and relays.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:21 am

For those of you who, like me, get your anoraks out for this kind of Lotus conundrum, I wrote an article last year for the Club Lotus News magazine on this subject, attached below.
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2016 Oct Retro Fred 710000.pdf
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PostPost by: Bill » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:26 pm

Andy (and all)

I have 7100000035J, originally with engine no.T/24123 the vin plate also has "TYPE 36" stamped on the top right hand corner. There is also another aluminum plate (loose of the project - suspected to be door frame mounted) giving "month and year of manufacture 12/71" and "vehicle identification no. 0035/J"

The car had originally been sold as a '72 and had a Wabasto sun roof installed. I bought it in 2012 partially restored - body in Sprint colors yellow over white on a spyder chassis and suspension and a not installed Zetek. I hope to get at it this year.

I don't know if this has been included in the count.

Bill
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PostPost by: LotusArchives » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:47 pm

Bill,

Sounds like a S4 reworked to Sprint spec. I've sent you a PM so that you can send me more details.

Andy
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:43 pm

Andy, Tim and Mark, great work! Thank you for your efforts.
Greg Z
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36/5727 pre airflow coupe
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PostPost by: Bill » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:58 pm

Andy - am sending PM

This is a little like "Ancestry.UK" . Interesting as heck!

Bill
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:06 pm

My understanding of this issue is that Lotus was trying to move towards a more standardized VIN numbering system which was more in line with what US manufacturers were using at the time, (coinciding with cars with added safety features in compliance with the N.A. safety and emissions laws) and this configuration of VIN was an intermediary step in the evolution of VIN numbers, which was used on cars primarily bound for N.A.
1964 S1
1965 S2
1967 S3 SE DHC
Frankentwincam 26R
Seven S2 A
Seven S2 F
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:27 pm

Not quite, although I suspect some late 1960s legislation prompted the need to change the Lotus VIN format, allied to the fact that by then Lotus had become a public company, where a higher degree of accountability was required.

The old VIN format, as in 45/1234 was ended on 31 Dec 69 by Lotus. With effect from 1 Jan 70 the new format was adopted, as in this example 7002030004G Breaking the number up gives 70 – Year of manufacture; 02 – Month of manufacture; 03 – Batch number; 0004 – Unit number; G – Letter to denote Elan type, G is UK spec drop head coupe.

From 1 Jan 72 the batch number was dropped, so the format became, for example: 72060145H This was the format adopted for all Lotus cars in the 1970s; I don't know when it subsequently got changed, but certainly after the last Plus 2 left Hethel.

The 710000 VINs the title of this thread refers to and the explanation for their use is in the attachment to my post above. It was used across the board for all Elan types in the Federal and Domestic markets.

Tim
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