Lotus Elan

Lotus 'LR' chassis stamps

PostPost by: Matt Elan » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:22 pm

Quick question - was there a 'standard' place that lotus stamped the 'LR' number on a replacement chassis, and if so where was it?
Thanks Matt
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:01 pm

Hi Matt,

I've made some notes about LR chassis. Someone on here posted this: "Having asked Paul Matty about their records,it would appear at least 3000 of each Elan and Plus 2 LR chassis have been made. Each type has its own LR sequence number,stamped as per the original chassis being RHS for Elans and LHS for Plus 2's.This has changed in the last couple of years, to make warranty records easier. Previously there would have been an LR 1975 for an Elan and an LR 1975 for a Plus 2."

And being the anorak that I am, here is a wee collection, all Elans bar two noted:

Year LR No. Note
1970s LR 87
LR 379
1970s LR 125 Not galvanised
NK LR186
1970s LR 205 On a +2
1980s LR 611 On a +2
1980 ? Bare metal with no numbers or identification on it
1980s LR 844
1980 LR1133
1982 According to Graham Arnold in his book 'Lotus Buyers Guide', galvanized chassis units were started by the factory in 1982
NK LR 1622
1996 LR 1834
NK LR 2060
NK LR 2103
1988 LR 2177 Galvanised
1986 LR 2182
1999 LR 2601
1991 LR 2602
1997 LR 2603 Galvanised
2010 LR 2606 Non galvanised

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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:00 pm

2 seater galvanised purchased circa 1990 (from Miles / Fiberglass Services), marked near the center of the front cross member

lotus-replacement-lr0620-galvanized.jpg and
LR0620 hand graved on front cross member

edit : upon double checking the number might also be LR2620, it's difficult to read the hand graving from the photo, the chassis itself would need to be inspected to verify...
Last edited by nmauduit on Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:56 pm

In the case of my Sprint, the LR number is visible from the top of the engine compartment on the rhs of the frame (chassis) viewed from the front, just in front of the point the exhaust manifold goes past the frame.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:36 pm

My Plus 2 LR (non galvanised) chassis from late 70s/early 80s.

I think it says LR1019?
b031477c-d746-4d76-b300-3bddf1b28148.png and
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:07 pm

On exhaust side on my 2 seater as well.
Galvanised purchased in 1984 direct from Hethel - LR 1802.
I thought these were uniquely numbered on a sequential basis?
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:25 am


My replacement subframe is stamped by the LH engine mounting. This is a 26 R high back stamped 26 367 GR.

It was a "barn find"! I have no idea when it was made but it was not galvanised. Any ideas ?


p1000313.jpg and
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:02 pm

Thanks for that folks!
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:58 pm

My replacement chassis also had the LR chassis number engraved by the LH engine mount,192G probably refers to the original car it was intended for:
chassis_prep_-07-19-2015-0033.jpg and
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:50 pm

I bought my Lotus Replacement chassis 8/7/1980 from the Yardley-wood Service Station. The price had just gone up, I could not really afford the expense, but was worried about future availability. I later heard a rumour that Lotus had started to galvanise chassis, and sold off existing stock and galvanised new stock at the same price, but painted both new galvanised and old stock black in order to clear old stock. If I remember correctly the number was etched onto the chassis in the region where the exhaust passes. The number is completely invisible after painting.

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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:29 pm

OK - thanks for the replies. To summarise:
It appears that on most Elan (2 seater) LR chassis were stamped or etched on the exhaust side, but at least one has it on the front cross member.
Plus 2 LR numbers are also on the exhaust side.
Can anyone confirm this is the case or was Lotus a bit more random in their positioning of the numbers?

This leads me to another question:
Where was the Elan chassis originally stamped - I've seen an S3 with the original number stamped on the top of the chassis flange on the inlet side just in front of the engine mount, which I assume to be correct. Wast the Plus 2 stamped in the same place or on the inlet side? I don't want to take my carbs off to check my Plus 2.....
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:51 pm

My car (S3 Coupe) has a galvanised replacement supplied in 1991 from Chris Neil, the hand etched number is on top of the front crossmember LR 2678, although the ‘8’ is a bit of guesswork.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:48 pm

My July '65 S2 came with it's original chassis. All I could find was a Lotus part number, but not the actual chassis number.

Decades ago I had a 26R (it was authenticated by TT and Si Hadfield). It had the Elan chassis number on the chassis. Lotus were a lot more free with their records in those days and I managed to get a copy of the page of chassis numbers, I think it was called the day book? This books shows the chassis number, engine number, the date, invoice and receipt (?) and the owners name - sometimes a company in the UK or France or the US. A number of chassis numbers had nothing written by the side of them except 'racing' and I assumed that these chassis numbers were taken off the line and modified and then built into competition vehicles.

Sadly, not realising the value of the photocopies, I dumped the lot about twenty-five years ago.

A S2 chassis number on one of the other pages (I got a few from the lovely Jane at Lotus) had Avengers written by the side of it, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was.
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PostPost by: Donels » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:21 pm

FYI. My +2 has a replacement galvanised chassis no. LR 1141. I contacted Andy Graham to ask when it was produced. His response was as follows:-

"Replacement chassis LR1141 is prior to 1983 as the lowest number recorded in December 1983 was LR1635. This is how far back the chassis records go."

Tracking back its history I guessed it was installed in early 83 but from Andy's reply it must have been produced some years earlier.

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