Lotus Elan

Build a 'new' Elan?

PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:48 pm

The business of identity is also rather flexible in the world of 'warbird' aeroplanes, with many a Spitfire build from virtually nothing original (bar its Merlin engine) but given a certain degree of provenance through use of salvaged dataplates - it doesn't trouble me greatly, as we get to see a very well re-created aeroplane flying again.

(I think a recent borne again Spitfire emerged to fly, using the dataplate from the wreck long buried on the French coast!)
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PostPost by: Sundaydriver » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:24 pm

Triggers broom :-)
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:19 pm

mmatthej1 wrote:I've never seen an Evante 'in the flesh' - they certainly look essentially Elan-like, though the rear spoiler is a major eye-sore and the front is somehow not as elegant as the Lotus..........
(wonder where the mould for THAT body is these days??)

Saw my first one close up yesterday at Goodwood, probably only my second ever! I'm not sure of the engine but the rear suspension used the Elan's A frame, or look-alike, in a double wishbone set up. I can send another PM with a (mediocre) picture of that and also the dash if you like (only two pics allowed in PMs).

IMG_1616 Evante [NDO 969].JPG and
IMG_1620 Evante [NDO 969].JPG and
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PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:12 am

Thanks for Evante pix - rather confirm my long-held opinion that the rear spoiler is particularly dated, with the front 'lip' also unhelpful to the general looks!

Some nicer, plain wheels would help as well.
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PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:02 am

Returning to the fundemental question raised in this posting, I have just received a helpful response from those nice chaps at Tony Thompson Racing, thus:

"Thanks for your enquiry , interesting question !
The straight answer is yes it can be done . Later cars Series 3 / 4 & Sprint would be difficult as certain vital parts are unavailable such as door frames & mechanisms and rear lamps are impossible to find
Early cars are a little easier but you still need to use a certain amount of secondhand parts such as door locks , steering column , instruments lamps and so forth . It is a lot easier if you have a donor wreck to start with .
Hope this helps you . "

I wonder if such a thing as a donor wreck can be found these days!
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:59 am

I just found this old abandoned web page about an Evante.

http://www.thequiffster.com/car/evante.htm

Image


{about 12 years ago I prepared a website for Vegantune of Finchley, which they never in fact used, but they were Evante dealers & repairers etc and I had linked to the above page. I have some other Evante photos but they are not currently on-line anywhere.}

There is this picture in our photo gallery on this site.
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PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:19 am

The 'side bty side' foto is interesting; shows how little "grace notes" like the chrome door handles on the Elan make all the difference to kerb appeal !
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:30 am

The shell of the Evante is much tougher than the Elan as it incorporates Kevlar fibre in most of the places and carbon-fibre in the bumper area.

I remember George Robinson demonstrating this to me by STANDING on an Evante bonnet cover (on the floor). If you did that on an Elan bonnet it would almost certainly crack.
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PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:27 am

Ha-ha, just found a link to Vegantune website but it turns out to be a vegan fod place - not the site you designed is it, billwill?

http://vegantune.com/
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:52 am

mmatthej1 wrote:Ha-ha, just found a link to Vegantune website but it turns out to be a vegan fod place - not the site you designed is it, billwill?

http://vegantune.com/


Heh heh, nope my prototype Vegantune website is of-line, though I do have it on an internal server here.

Mine was a bit retro, but had a useful discussion board, but they went for a designer FLASH website instead with no discussion board.

Now Vegantune of finchley no longer exists; is there a moral in this :D

This is what the main page looked like
Image

And these were the menu icons; Static at rest, the dial would vibrate as you hovered over it and then went to full revs, when you clicked down.

Image Image Image

:D :mrgreen: :D
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:03 pm

A bit more Evante information at:
http://www.evante.info/
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:34 pm

Even the real Evante doesn't have that many dials, though it exceeded the Elan's:

IMG_1618 Evante cockpit [NDO 969].JPG and
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PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:47 pm

Evante.jpg and


Not sure if this picture shows some weird, late incarnation of the Evante? Anybody recognise it?
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:45 am

Back to looking at building an Elan from bits...

I think that building an Elan from parts, rather than restoring a tired old car, would be a very expensive way to get an Elan. Less so for the Plus 2 as many have been broken over the years.

As discussed above, the parts are generally available for the early cars as they are used on the racers, but getting a basic project S1 / S2 is disproportionately expensive due to their eligibility to enter certain historic race series.. A chassis plate with some documentation can go for £5k to £10k, depending on how desperate the buyer is to get a new racer built. There was an S2 'project' for sale last year for £17k by one of the Lotus dealers, and it was little more that an I.D., an engine, gearbox and differential and some instruments.

It's disproportional because a restored S1 / S2 is no more expensive than a restored S3 / S4 / Sprint (in general terms), where an I.D. for the later cars isn't really worth much, and would only really appeal to those who want to clone a car by stealing one that closely matches the I.D. bought.

Buying an I.D. isn't illegal, but using it on a car certainly is. VOSA are very aware of what goes on, and nowadays you have to prove where the car using the I.D. has come from. If it's not on their records, and you can't provide the details of where you bought the car (rather than the I.D.), then they can and will impound the car and scrap it, and then you face a court hearing to defend yourself against fraud and potentially theft.

Even if it gets through VOSA, the power of the forums and social media means that cars have been recognized by individuals who used to own the car or knew the car and saw it scrapped back in the 70s!

And even if that doesn't happen, you will still spend a lot of money building a car that has absolutely no provenance, and increasingly, no history means that the car is at the bottom of the pile with regards appeal, and hence value.

I have to go through this stuff with folks who contact me on my Lotus Cortina site, and it happens all too often. It's getting much harder to hide the fact that a car is made up from other cars / I.D.s, and even those done 20 or more years ago are starting to be questioned.

In summery, buy a complete (ish) car for restoration, or a crashed car or stalled restoration. It will be a lot cheaper than building one from scratch, and you won't have to keep looking over your shoulder to see if VOSA are coming to get you, even if, morally at least, you haven't done anything wrong.

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:12 pm

mmatthej1 wrote:The business of identity is also rather flexible in the world of 'warbird' aeroplanes, with many a Spitfire build from virtually nothing original (bar its Merlin engine) but given a certain degree of provenance through use of salvaged dataplates - it doesn't trouble me greatly, as we get to see a very well re-created aeroplane flying again.

(I think a recent borne again Spitfire emerged to fly, using the dataplate from the wreck long buried on the French coast!)


The "dataplate" (sic) was a repro too! Every single item was either new, or from another aircraft. Can you imagine what immersion in salt water over a period of 70+ years would do to any type of metal, let-alone a force-landed aircraft designed to last 100 hours flight-time? Before a CoA could be issued the authorities would rule out anything which could kill innocents on the ground. They did, it was all new..

On this forum over the last 13 years (and before that when it was an e-mail site) we have visited the subject of building a "new" Elan several times. The devil is always in the detail; OK so the big bits can be bought from the usual suspects, if you have the money, but is anyone ever going to make the vast number of unobtainable little parts- no! when did you last see a new Austin A55 ash-tray? When did you EVER see one of those door-hinge castings for sale, except form a crashed/scrapped car. Never- they made literally no spare ones!
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