Lotus Elan

Rolling Over

PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:50 am

I looked through the old posts regarding this unpleasant occurrence, but could not find anything definitive.

I suppose rolling over in a drophead elan would result in an immediate pancake to boot and bonnet level. But what about a +2 or a FHC elan? I imagine the roof would start to splinter and the windscreen would give way at the top, but would the rear roof pillars hold up at all?

For racing you would need a roll cage of course, but what about on the road in a severe accident?

Just curious.

Dave Chapman.
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PostPost by: RichardS » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:17 am

I still remember this thread from 10 years ago.

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=18987&start=

Don’t think a FHC would provide much more protection than a DHC.

Do keep wondering about a roll cage but for the moment drive rather slower than I used to! Although I suspect any collision in an Elan may not end well.

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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:39 pm

Yes - a shame Steveww left but totally understandable.

So if you don't want to fit a roll cage just drive carefully...

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PostPost by: Slowtus » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:57 pm

david.g.chapman wrote:Yes - a shame Steveww left but totally understandable.

So if you don't want to fit a roll cage just drive carefully...

Dave.


meh, I drove my DHC and FHC Elans with carelessness - on the road and on the track and never gave a thought to what would happen if I tilted beyond... :o :o :o

And I am much older now but have the same mindset. :D
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:20 am

I rolled a race prepared S3 FHC at Lavant corner at Goodwood by sliding sideways into a gravel trap and rolling over. A long story....

The Elan had a full cage. Apart from a badly bruised ego, I was fine. The body was in surprisingly good shape, and only needed minor repair and a respray. I needed a new couple of wheels, but the major expense was the frame was distorted (rear suspension towers were bent) and needed to be replaced.

I wouldn't recommend it.
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PostPost by: Rich135 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:51 am

Andy8421 wrote:I rolled a race prepared S3 FHC at Lavant corner at Goodwood by sliding sideways into a gravel trap and rolling over. A long story....

The Elan had a full cage. Apart from a badly bruised ego, I was fine. The body was in surprisingly good shape, and only needed minor repair and a respray. I needed a new couple of wheels, but the major expense was the frame was distorted (rear suspension towers were bent) and needed to be replaced.

I wouldn't recommend it.

Ouch, that sounds like a pretty horrible experience Andy! At least you went off at the corner rather than Lavant Straight, where you would have been going quite a bit faster!

What happened, did you just carry a little too much speed and it slide out? Glad you were ok.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:21 pm

Rich,

Stupidity on my part. It was a shakedown lap on a test day. I heard a strange rubbing noise as I came around St Mary's and was concentrating on the noise, not the track. I had slowed down, but by the time I realised where I was, Lavant was on top of me, I was badly positioned, too fast and slid into the trap. The car did a complete roll and ended up on its (bent) wheels.

One problem immediately after rolling was trying to stop the track marshal from firing off the fire extinguisher bottle - there was no fire.

I think the lack of damage was due to the car rolling right over and not sliding on the roof. The cage supported the roof as it went over. I needed some new glass and a few other bits, but as I mentioned above, it was the frame replacement that was expensive.

The lesson to me was that you can't just stop racing when you are on a track at speed, you need to slow right down.
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PostPost by: Rich135 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:45 pm

Thanks for the explanation Andy. A painful, momentary lapse in concentration is all it takes at track speed.

Glad you are well and the car survived.

Rich
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