Lotus Elan

new to the forum form Melbourne Australia

PostPost by: dgym » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:56 am

hi all,
Well I'm not an Elan owner yet, but the search has begun!
I've been the owner of a mk3 Triumph spitfire for some years, it taught me all I know, having rebuilt the engine and gearbox myself (to a close ratio box in an alloy casing from a herald). The list of upgrades is substantial. thousands have been spent.
I'm a fan of "period mods" as i believe, If you have an old car, then you should love it in that way, don't try to turn it into something else. -( see overhaulin's treatment of the Lotus Europa...an awful awful shame.)

I think the Lotus philosophy is just brilliant, and It translates in other areas of my life, in a zen way. less is more,

My previous life was spent studying Jazz Piano.
After that I sold car parts for 3? years (landrover, jaguar, mg, triumph)
Now I am part owner of a Diner. After spending 6 months building the place, I feel quite a lot older than I used to.

I've done a bit of Hill climbing in the Spitty and am very addicted to the sport. Can't wait to have a go in an Elan!

cheers,
dgym
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original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:49 pm

hellfo dgym and welcome to the forum.....lots of friendly and knowledgeable guys on here [not yours truly..I'm a newbie to elans...ok, maybe friendly :lol: ].
there are quite a few elans in oz, and you are lucky to live in the same town/city as rohan [rgho] who is a great source of accumulated wisdom [which I'm sure he will be happy to share].

good luck with the search!

:D fred
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:40 am

Hi
Not a lot of Elans come up in Australia so you need to be flexible in your needs to get a car. Good luck with your search . A couple for sale in the latest Lotus Notes edition if you have joined the local club.

Always happy to help

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: dgym » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:38 pm

Thanks guys!
I'm aware of two for sale at the moment, one in Brisbane and one in Sydney.
I've got some time off work and was considering a Little (big) trip up north.
The one in Brisbane is a FHC which is what Im ideally looking for. I've had a soft top for some time and would rather have a roof I think.
.. Or hard top at least.

The Sydney one (on carsales) has awful pictures and not much of a description.

Any hints for more places to look? So far my daily Internet search involves:
Lotus club site
Mg club
Triumph club
Carsales
Just cars
Shannon's auctions
Gumtree
Classic cars uk site
Vhrr forum
My 105

And should I be considering uk/us cars or is that ridiculous?

I imported some car parts once and regretted it.

Cheers,
Jim
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1967 S3 Coupe (left the factory in 66)
original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:17 am

Hi Jim

Any Elan for public sale you will probably pick up through where you are looking.

Bringing a car out of the UK or USA is possible and the price comparable but you have shipping costs and GST on top, Elans are probably more expensive in the UK than USA but then you dont have to worry about LHD to RHD conversion. Its a lot of hassle in finding the right car at the right price and shipping can throw up unexpected costs and potential damage also.

Probably best to be patient and look at every car that come up in Australia

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:40 am

Hi
Robert here, Sydney based. Yes Rohan is right, importing will give you access to a lot more cars in UK (and, surprisingly, USA, where I bought mine from, RHD, which means not a lot of local interest over there). But lots of hidden costs, lengthy delays and nail biting, wondering where is it. Some shippers are excellent and keep you informed....others don't. I've imported three cars in my time, sure the initial cost was lower, but given my time over I'd certainly buy locally if at all possible. You just missed a couple of beauties, red s4 and white s3 sold in Sydney recently. But more will come up I'm sure. Do drop in if you like on your journey north. I'll hand you a sheet of 400 grit and a mask and we can chat! Robert
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PostPost by: dgym » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:36 am

haha Robert maybe I will! I'm a good helper, to the extent that sometimes I get accused of taking over!

Just found another in the Adelaide Hills (on Gumtree) , "restored" and "body needs work" ummmm, so, not restored?
also has a "new engine" which makes me wonder.

here's a question for you all,
I have received pics form the seller of one of the cars, and the gearstick appears to be quite a bit shorter than all the other images of Elans I've seen. Did the gearstick length change? or do people modify it? or would this indicate a gearbox conversion?

I got myself the book of all the reviews from motor magazines of the time "the Lotus Elan Ultimate Portfolio".. every article exclaiming what an incredible car the Elan is,
I learned that the car was sold in Kit form. From this I'm guessing that "originality" will not be the way it is with say a Triumph or MG. So, say I'm looking at a car with a moto-lita steering wheel, does that de-value the car or is it part and parcel of a lotus? I found a lotus wheel on ebay and they wanted close to 2 grand!
Im also guessing that things like wiring looms are going to be different in every car, I noticed on a jay lenos garage episode where they had the loom out it looked to be the same colours as triumph ..would this be standard? (pun intended)

please excuse my going on a little. Just getting my head around a lot of stuff and figuring out what are reasonable demands for the car I decide to buy.

cheers!
-Jim
36/6612
1967 S3 Coupe (left the factory in 66)
original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: dgym » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:41 am

or a missing airbox?

I first noticed Elans because I had a neighbor who owned one and told me the importance of the airbox in preventing fires!

this Adelaide car has no airbox.
36/6612
1967 S3 Coupe (left the factory in 66)
original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:24 am

Hi Jim

While the cars were sold as "kits" this was a tax dodge in the 60's in the UK - The kits was a completed and trimmed body, a chassis and set of suspension parts to bolt on and an engine and gear box to fit, this was invoiced by Lotus in 2 separate transactions to avoid the UK car tax at the time. Having said that, Elans are all about the driving experience so people tend to make modifications to suit themselves. The Elan community is not so paranoid about originality as some others and given that lotus tended to change details at random based on parts availability you can always have a good discussion about what is truly "original". The early cars ( S1 and S2 ) are either now mostly race cars or have a focus on originality. The later cars ( S3, S4 Sprint) do not yet have the same focus on originality. practical modification for reliability and drivability are common on all cars such as electronic ignition, electric fuel pumps, CV rear drive shafts, alternators, and internal engine mods for more power .

Almost all parts are readily available at a reasonable price. The "Colin Chapman" signed steering wheel is one part that seems to command an extreme premium that I don't understand. Not having the expensive original wheel is a good negotiation point to reduce the price :lol: Many people fit a smaller diameter thicker rim wheel and hang the original on the wall.

Yes you want something on the Weber inlets to stop the fuel mist blowback into the engine bay from the weber inlets. The cold air-box does that, but bolt on air cleaners or socks will achieve the same thing.

The gear levers were all about the same length the early cars had a slightly different design but the length was the same and the original 4 speed box was so good no one much played with the lever length. Quite a few cars have had 5 speed gear box conversions over the years which may have had a shorter lever.

Wiring looms were British standard / Lucas colours from the era and standardised for the various versions of the car so you should be familiar with the colour codes and the challenges of Lucas electrics :roll:

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: dgym » Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:58 am

Brilliant thanks Rohan Very helpful :)
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original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: Rozzer » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:21 pm

Welcome to the impending world of Elans Jim, and particularly here in Australia; as Rohan has rightly suggested, you would be as well to join Lotus Club Victoria so as to be close to the For Sale section of Lotus Notes, where most of the well known (for which read club-member owned!) cars tend to appear....failing that, as you already are, you have to trawl the classifieds, and the level of information available on the cars is generally (as you are finding) not quite as good.
I have just finished reading both Miles Wilkins book on the twink, Mark Schagen's excellent book Lotus - The Historic Sports and Racing Cars of Australia, and Brian Buckland's labour of love, The Rebuilding of a Lotus Elan; between the three of them, you will find answers to most questions about provenance, history, mechanical and restoration challenges. And then you can pester Rohan, the font of all knowledge regarding Elans, who just happens to live round the corner from you :)
Welcome again, and if you are coming up to Sydney, let us know!

Ashton
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PostPost by: dgym » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:38 am

well,
I fly to Brissy tomorrow morning. It's going to be great to get out of the house, and RAINY melbourne.
I'll let you all know what happens!

-Jim
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1967 S3 Coupe (left the factory in 66)
original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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PostPost by: gordont » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:16 am

Good luck on the hunt.
When I went looking I went after a s1 or 2 specifically so maybe narrow down to what you want, as a tip I spent close to 2 years looking...
I don't know the car in Sydney but I live in balmain (for past 15 years) where it is supposed to be and have never seen it s3 needed a rebuild so maybe not such a good buy.
Pm me and I am happy to assist with tips
Gordon
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:00 pm

Sydney one ain't no S3, by the look of those pics. I'd be happy to go and have a look on your behalf, take some better photos if you wish. Quite nearby. Robert
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PostPost by: dgym » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:49 pm

Hello again!
Thanks for the offer Robert but I've got my mind set on a S3 FHC.

The Brisbane car needed a bit of work which i was going to try to figure out the cost of.
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original rego PPC 8E
original owner B.M. Wetherill ..are you out there?
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