Lotus Elan

Vitaloni Mirrors for S4 SE - Original vs Repro

PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Mon May 28, 2018 10:44 pm

My 69 Federal S4 SE DHC originally came from the factory (I picked it up myself) with a Vitaloni Sebring Mach 1 side mirror on the drivers side only. Sometime in the 70's or 80's the mirror glass got broken. A car collector/racer friend then gave me another complete Sebring mirror, said to have come off a Ferrari. It was an identical match to the Lotus installed Sebring original. That "Ferrari" mirror is what is now on the car now, for the last 30 years or so. But, I do have the original broken mirror still.

I was considering putting a mirror on the passenger side so I ordered a new "Vitaloni Sebring" mirror (convex). While looking similar, the new Repro mirror has a rolled front edge and is larger overall as well, as shown below, compared to my original (with the broken glass).


img_9721.jpg and

img_9723.jpg and

img_9724.jpg and

img_9725.jpg and



"Ferrari" Sebring replacement (original shape) on the car:

img_9726.jpg and




Since I don't want mismatched mirrors (if I do decide to put the passenger one on), I either have to purchase another new Repro for the driver's side, to match, or fix my old, original by putting new mirror glass in it and use it on the passenger's side.

The other thing that is different with the Repro is that the offset stand is a separate piece (additional cost) while the one on my car is integral to the base. What I don't remember is whether the integral base was from my original mirror or the "Ferrari" replacement.

I also wonder if I can place the passenger side mirror, which is already quite small, such that that it is particularly useful or not. Or just rely on looking over my shoulder as I have for the last 49 years in my Elan. I just have become used to having a passenger mirror as used standardly on most cars. A passenger side mirror is particularly useful here in the States where you can be passed (overtaken) on the passenger side ("undertaking") on a multi-lane freeway, generally frowned upon (illegal?) in many other countries.

On our US "free-for-all / anything goes" freeways it would be nice to be able to keep tabs on the passenger side lane without craning one's neck all the time.
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Mon May 28, 2018 11:14 pm

Hi,
I fitted a Vitaloni Sebring mirror on the driver's side using the existing holes. In this position, I am only just able to position the glass to a useful position. Also have a second Sebring mirror that I was going to fit on the pax side. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a happy position that allowed me to see anything at all. Would only have been for decoration only.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Mon May 28, 2018 11:16 pm

I have had two replacement mirrors made in the past year-they are fine-I don't know how they cut the shape out-I cannot when I try. Just a regular glass shop. That would be my suggestion.
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Tue May 29, 2018 4:02 am

I have an origional Sebring mirror in good shape that I am not using that came on my S4. I have two repros on the car now, one convex and one flat. Neither did much good until I got a couple of 4" round convex stick on mirrors and had a glass shop cut flat sides on them to (sort of) fit the Sebrings. They are now very good for the blind spot but too convex to see very far back. In my opinion, the repro convex lenses arn't nearly convex enough to do any good. If you are looking for an origional one I have no use for mine.
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PostPost by: c.garde » Tue May 29, 2018 8:25 am

gentlemen,

My Sprint was also supplied with a sebring 1 mirror.
Not very good for looking into but nice to look at.
During my recent restoration I deemed time for an additional mirror at the passengeside.
Having a spare on the shelves ( and yes , std supplied with the thick plinth ) I managed to fit it and actually make it work. Sort of . By gently heating/ bending the bracket holding the mirror into place the body could be fitted without the glass too far out.
But for safety : NOT good.
I really consider these mirrors a nice addition the overall shape of the car but with my neck growing stiffer
( oh yes , it is possible ) a better solution ( for me ) was called for.
Many years ago a bought a pair of seebring mirrors of the later shape . Thicker body , larger glass as described
These mirrors came with an adjustable plinth with a ball attachment making it possible to adjust for proper rear view in both sides. Not quite as clean a design, but certainly acceptable.
You have the choice of using the original plinth ( 1/2 " ) too.
The body is in black but can of course be painted or chromed to choice.

Best regards C.Garde
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PostPost by: yvesmontreal » Tue May 29, 2018 9:39 am

There were two sizes of Sebring mirrors.
Way back, 40 years ago, I purchased one from a department store (clearance - $2) and they had the two sizes side by side.
Yves in Montreal
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PostPost by: USA64 » Tue May 29, 2018 1:19 pm

They should probably be located forward on the fender (wing) but you'll hear about it!
We are supposed to be having fun, are we not?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue May 29, 2018 2:28 pm

Aye, there's the rub.

Back in the day most cars, certainly in the UK, had wing mirrors, so called because they were fixed on the front wing of the car. At one time I had an MG Midget with Sebrings fitted to the wings, where they worked reasonably well. But place them back on the doors and their view was very restricted.

When I had a 1275 Mini the then Leyland fitment wing mirrors on the doors were a revelation in how much more useful they were.

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PostPost by: innesw » Tue May 29, 2018 8:14 pm

I have a bag of about 4 or 5 Vitaloni Sebring Mach 1 mirrors that came with my, car, never used them, must dig them out and see what I have, could possibly offer spares to folk on here.

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PostPost by: rviani » Wed May 30, 2018 7:18 pm

Ok I know I am going to regret asking but is there a "standard" (ie: as shipped from the factory) configuration for sideview mirror(s) for a S3 (1967 in my case) ? I am finishing my restoration of a RHD 1967 S3 with no mirrors currently installed. The car is now drivable and for safety sake I would like to install something that looks at least "reasonably correct" although I am not necessarily going for 100% original. Pictures I have seen are all over the place.

Comments, suggestions as to what to use and where to get them appreciated.
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Thu May 31, 2018 12:47 am

My car came only with the inside mirror & I have never fitted any outside mirrors to it. As one of the other posters noted; my neck also isn't quite as flexible as it used to be. I have been toying with the idea of trying to use a small camera mounted on the door with a screen on top of the dash or attached to the wire strut. If anyone has any knowledge in this area (camera & screen) I would be interested in knowing.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu May 31, 2018 12:51 am

As the OP on this thread, I have learned a lot from the additional posts. It appears that the consensus is that the pax side Sebring mirror is going to be problematic (cosmetic value only).

In my Internet trawling I came across another Sebring Mach 1 variant (perhaps as referred to in one of the posts above). These mirrors include a swivel base and a higher standoff :

vitaloni-1.jpg and


vitaloni-2.jpg and


vitaloni-3.jpg and


If anyone has used these I would be interested to see pictures of what they look like on the car. Obviously, they don't hug the body as my original one but they also might be more useful (safer, better view) and also work on the pax side.

And being Sebring mirrors, they are still somewhat in keeping with the original spec (at least for my car).
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Thu May 31, 2018 2:32 am

rviani wrote:Ok I know I am going to regret asking but is there a "standard" (ie: as shipped from the factory) configuration for sideview mirror(s) for a S3 (1967 in my case) ? I am finishing my restoration of a RHD 1967 S3 with no mirrors currently installed. The car is now drivable and for safety sake I would like to install something that looks at least "reasonably correct" although I am not necessarily going for 100% original. Pictures I have seen are all over the place.

Comments, suggestions as to what to use and where to get them appreciated.


My S3 (very late, has S4 rocker switch dash) has the chrome Talbot Berlin mirror. It's still on the car.

https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productdetails.asp?RecID=5463

On edit: Please understand that Chunky's credit was seldom in good standing with various parts suppliers. The procurement department had to get creative to provide a supply of parts to the production floor. There may have been several suppliers of side view mirrors at that time.
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Thu May 31, 2018 4:23 am

I think a Sebring mirror works very well on the passenger side IF you get a good convex lens for it. The cars are so narrow that you are actually quite close to the mirror so you see it well. My mirrors are on the doors and they are the reproductions so they are slightly bigger than the originals. The convex lenses that came with the mirrors were to flat to be useful to me.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu May 31, 2018 4:39 am

Thanks, webbslinger. Good input.

I think the slightly larger repros should be helpful. Even on the driver’s side my original has a pretty small view.
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