Lotus Elan

steering wheel position (Mercedes Benz star)?

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:13 pm

thought i'd throw a wrench in the works.... :)
I noticed on page 13 of the latest Lotus ReMarque magazine issue (also on Elan 1500 & S2 sales brochures) that the 3-spoke wood steering wheel is positioned like a Peace sign or Mercedes Benz star with one spoke pointing straight up. This as opposed to being positioned like the letter "Y" as in all I've ever seen (and like the Colin Chapman signature wheel is positioned).
Is there anyone who took one off the factory line that remembers and could shed some light on this? did they come from the factory with the one spoke straight up (thus aligning the horn button reading correctly AND driving straight down the road)?
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PostPost by: paddy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:43 pm

My understanding is that the change in orientation coincided with a change to the spacing of the spokes.

The original wheel with equally-spaced spokes needed to be positioned with the "middle" spoke vertically upwards as that position ensured that in the straight-ahead position the driver's view of the main instruments was not obscured. Had it been positioned with the central spoke downwards, then the two other spokes would interfere with the speedo and rev counter.

Shortly afterwards the spoke spacing was changed to create a wider gap between two of the spokes, and then it could be fitted with the central spoke downwards.

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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:08 pm

That's interesting, Paddy. I saw pictures of this "upside down" steering wheel and thought the owners had them fitted incorrectly. :lol:
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PostPost by: Elan Peter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:31 pm

If you take a close look at JC's car you can see that the single spoke is pointing upwards.
Jim Clark's car was, and still is very interesting as it was labelled chassis number 26/01 ore something like that even though there were a few made before this!
P
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PostPost by: paddy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:37 pm

You can also see the original orientation in the second picture in this thread: lotus-talk-f50/more-interesting-factory-pictures-t18212.html

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PostPost by: Elan Peter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:55 pm

I would like all of those in my garage (would need a bigger garage and a much better financial situation but I'll solve those problems once I've caused them) :lol:
P
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1980 Lombardini/Westwood
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:12 pm

That wheel is also pictured on this postcard which is often sold on ebay, it is shown on an S2 but my understanding is that it was only fitted on early S1 cars and not on S2 cars........probably "journalistic licence" ..... : :roll:
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PostPost by: Elan Peter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:02 pm

Peter James Evans
1965 Elan S2 (Early 26R replica)
1972 Elan Plus 2 S130 (Next project, awaiting full restoration)
Elan S2 (everything but ID and engine)

1980 Lombardini/Westwood
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PostPost by: Elan Peter » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:06 pm

On A different note, isn't Jim clark's elan the wrong shade of red ore have I missed something?
As far as I am aware the colour of that particular car is the s2 red and an s1 should be a deeper, almost maroon red!
Any ideas?
P
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1972 Elan Plus 2 S130 (Next project, awaiting full restoration)
Elan S2 (everything but ID and engine)

1980 Lombardini/Westwood
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:38 pm

An interesting Anorak side note: AC Cobras were also originally delivered with the steering wheel spokes at 12:00, 4:00, 8:00 as well, so that the gauges were visible. All of the restored Cobras now have their steering wheels set at 2:00, 6:00, 10:00 but the spokes block the gauges...
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