Lotus Elan

Elan Coupe Air Extractors - a question for the experts

PostPost by: Matt Elan » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:32 am

Morning all
I'm researching my new Elan and Plus 2 book and have a question about the Elan Coupes air extractor grilles on the 'B' pillar. Having had a bit of a rummage through my photo archive I've got cars with two types - a flush fitting 3 bar grille without the aero lip in front of it, and what I thought was the 'standard' with the same Ford grille as used on the Plus 2 recessed into the B pillar. My 1970 Elan parts manual only identifies the recessed Ford grille as used on the Plus 2 (Part nos 036 P 0013 and 036 P 0014), and the cars I've seen with the flush grille were various ages - late 60/early 70s so it doesn't look as the flush grille was an age related change.

So pictures - first a couple of the flush grilles - these were both on late 60s/early 70s S4/Sprints:

img_9850small.jpg and
Flush Grill 1


p5264528small.jpg and
Flush Grill 2


And what I thought was the 'standard' fitment with the aero lip and ford grille recessed into the 'B' pillar:

img_7333small.jpg and
'Standard' fitment?


Close up of 'standard' fitment:

p8170128small.jpg and
'Standard' grill close up



Can anyone throw any light on this - were there two factory fitments, were the flush grille an aftermarket fitment or is there another explanation?

Thanks in anticipation
Matt
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:40 am

As far as I know the flush grille was fitted when the S3 Coupe went Airflow, and that stayed into the first few months of production of the S4, which then adopted the Plus 2 grilles, used for both roof air extraction and plenum chamber ventilation. Just a spot of using common part to reduce costs I guess.
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:25 pm

Hi Mark
That makes sense - I've been perusing the Brooklands road test book and the first airflow coupes had the flush grilles (June 67 - LAH631E) and Motor's long term test car KGH765D - Nov 1967 when it had done 24,000 miles.
A supplement test in Jan 1968 also appears to have the flush grilles, as does a Road and Track test of AN S4 SE IN Jan 1969 and a Oct 69 Autosport test. The first appearance of the Plus 2 style grille in the book is on June 3rd 1971 in a Autocar test of the then new Sprint AYF444J.

A look through my brochure collection seems to confirm that the Plus 2 style grilles were introduced with the Sprint - a couple of S4 brochures show the flush grilles, as do the S3 brochure
A check in the Plus 2 parts book shows the Plus 2 grills are 50 P 0013 and 50 P 0014 (as opposed to the Elans 36 P 0013 and 14). According to my 1976 Elan parts book (not 1970 as I posted) the Elan Coupe items were common from the S3 through to the Sprint - but a close look at the diagram reveals the Plus 2 type grille and a recessed intake hole on the B pillar of the body so I'd assume the earlier grilles (and body shell) had been 'superseded' by then!

Another interesting Lotus specification anomaly uncovered and hopefully understood! - Unless you guys know differently......
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:42 pm

Matt,

My car is a 1968 S4 FHC and has the flush air vents. As an early S4 some people refer to it as an S3/4. I am told it was common practice for the company to use up any stock of existing parts. As an example my car an S3 crash pad and radiator.

Hope this is of some help,

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PostPost by: Gray » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:36 am

Early S4 Elans had the original extract vent and later ones had the +2 style. Whether these changed at the same time as the radiator and crashpad I'm not certain, but was probably around the same time.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:42 pm

RichardHawkins wrote:Matt,

My car is a 1968 S4 FHC and has the flush air vents. As an early S4 some people refer to it as an S3/4. I am told it was common practice for the company to use up any stock of existing parts. As an example my car an S3 crash pad and radiator.

Hope this is of some help,

Richard Hawkins


1968 36/8109 a,d 36/8198 both had flush air vents when I got them, in rather original unrestored condition.
S4SE 36/8198
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PostPost by: Elanman68 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:09 pm

36/8150 has the earlier flush type of grille, along with S3 type vent in crash pad and S3 small boot handle..
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:48 am

My 36/8555 has the flush vents so they carried over to at least August 68 when my Elan was made. My belief was they changed in 69 when the smaller dash vents and the air extractor grills both changed at around the same time. But knowing Lotus i am sure there are cars out there to prove me wrong.

cheers
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:32 am

Thanks all for the replies - I've no doubt I'll turn up some more questions as I continue to compile the 'originality' bit of my Elan / Plus 2 Source book....
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PostPost by: Gray » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:33 pm

I'm fairly certain the longer boot handle came some time after the roof and dashboard changes. Although probably was subject to what was available at the time.
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