Lotus Elan

How is wind protection on a DHC for long-distance events?

PostPost by: tdskip » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:17 pm

Good morning, and thanks in advance for the help as well as the responses to my WTB ad.

The FHC cars obviously have the best wind protection because they have a roof, yes I’ve mastered the obvious, but I’m curious how the DHC cars are for longer distances. I use my cars, often for long distance touring and I am keen to learn how much wind protection there is at speed.

I know this is very much a personal preference but imagine I was going to take two weeks and drive a car from us on the California up the coast to Portland and then back, I know this is very much a personal preference but imagine I was going to take two weeks and drive a car from some to California up the coast to Portland and then back, would a DHC S1 or S2 have the legs and comfort for that or does that intended use better suit a FHC.

Having asked this I’m going to duck for cover now and promise not to ask what the best tire/oil/color and other contentious topics are. Grin.

Thanks!
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:22 pm

Depends on your expectations. There is no rear wind deflector, and bear in mind S1 & S2 don’t have great fixings on the side windows - they can slowly sink.

So expect a draughty ride. However, if:

Your heater is in good condition
You dress accordingly

Then the advantage of hood down travelling is that you can’t hear the diff droning and it will feel like you’re going fast even when you are not.

Hood up, they whistle a bit, and the corner of mine lifts above 70mph.......irritating. A journey with hood up makes the interior quite hot.

A long journey in a DHC is perfectly fine, but preparedness is all.
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PostPost by: JimE » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:49 pm

Which is why I drive a fixed head Richard. Jim
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:29 am

I have done several tours in my S2, where the overall distance was about 1500 miles over 3 days. After the second day, I usually put the top up, not so much for wind protection, but to keep the sun off. These tours covered the Central Coast, both sides of Hwy 101, and the Western Slopes of the Sierras. Probably the longest/fastest leg was from Beatty, NV back to San Diego. If you were planning on doing Hwy 1, you would have less of a sun problem, but more chances of some wet weather. Will be going to the WCLM next month, but for that one, I am taking the Plus2.
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PostPost by: tdskip » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:32 am

Thank you for all the responses.

Are S3 and S4 DHC noticeably better on wind management or is it all variations on the same theme?

I usually put the top up on the second day for the same reasons-I just can’t take the sun exposure like I used to.

Thanks!
Last edited by tdskip on Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: jimj » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:15 am

We`ve done lots of long trips in our DHC and never once wished we had a fixed head. Imagine all those days when you`d love to have the roof down. Here`s a pic. of our car in Portugal, that`s quite a long way.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:37 am

When I did about 2000 miles through France in my FHC last August it got to over well over 40C (110F?) inside the cabin at times - and that with the windows open. That’s beyond fun after a while. If it’s hot you won’t regret being in a DHC.
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PostPost by: tdskip » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:40 pm

Fantastic Jim and Stuart.

Was the heat just it being hot outside or do the FHC get hot inside due to design?
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:59 pm

There is a lot of 'heat soak' into the cabin from the engine. It takes a while from cold - maybe an hour or more, but if you're on a long run eventually you can feel the whole of the backbone area heat up and radiate. Add that to 30C outside temps and it all compounds. And that's on the autoroute. Around town when the temp needle is heading skyward and you turn the heater on in a panic to try and cool things down it gets unbearable even in T shirt and shorts.

Nice when it's cooler or raining but hot sunny days in a FHC make me think a motorcycle would have been a better choice.
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PostPost by: tdskip » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:06 pm

Very helpful Stuart, I was not aware of that.

I live in Southern California so warmer weather and cockpit temperatures warrant some consideration.

Fair to say that it is easier to get warm (via heater) than stay cool?
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PostPost by: ftsoft » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:58 am

I drove mine from California to mass in 1966. Of course I was a little younger then. As I recall the wind issue was fine. Depends on how well your top fasteners have held up.
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PostPost by: tdskip » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:19 pm

I bet that was a great trip .

Are the heaters generally up to keeping the cockpit warm when it’s cool out?
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:53 pm

Compared to other convertibles of a similar era that I have driven in, Alfa, TR6, Austin Healey, I think the lotus compares favorably. You sit lower and don't seem to get as much back draft. I would be nice if the back window zipped out, as it can get very sunny, so top up with no back window would be a nice option. Dan
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PostPost by: tdskip » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:06 pm

Thanks Dan.

I seem to manage in my Spider and TR6, so should be fine here too based on that.

Very helpful discussion, thank you gentlemen.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:45 pm

Anyone with a wind deflector behind their seats?
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