Lotus Elan

+2 Convertibles, Good Or Bad?

PostPost by: thor » Wed May 18, 2005 7:38 am

Looking for a +2 at the moment, and there are some nice looking convertibles out there. I'm aware of these being non-standard, i.e.converted. What are the general views on this, are they as good, structurally, as a standard one?
One is a conversion by the Classic Transport Company, any experience by the conversion work carried out by this company in the late eighties?

Cheers,
Thor
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun May 22, 2005 9:20 pm

standard or not they look sexy as hell and the fiberglass is just to keep the wind off you----somewhat ed :D
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PostPost by: miked » Mon May 23, 2005 1:03 pm

Thor,

for info' I am sure I read in the Paul Robinshaw/Chris Ross Elan book that some one in the eighties had Cranfield University look into the structural bit to arrive at what Ed says. All strength is in chassis etc. It may have been some thing to do with Chris Neils as I believe they did a lot of the conversions.

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Mon May 23, 2005 6:23 pm

I agree they do look good however I do remember quite a few negative reports.

If memory serves there were problems with doors sagging and windscreens popping out :o (this may have been due to early non-bonded screen +2's being converted?)

I also recall that the quality of conversion by one company was better than the other but hesitate to say which one ;)

I guess if the conversion is not recent problems should have shown up by now.

I do wonder (if it is a good idea) why Colin Chapman didn't do it?
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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue May 24, 2005 1:09 am

it wouldn't be a lotus if bits didn't fall off occasionally :huh: ed
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PostPost by: SteveMaddison » Tue May 24, 2005 11:47 am

I've got a Christopher Neal converted +2. No problems with bits falling off. With the front windows up you get a reasonable wind shield, before the seat belt law I squeezed a guy into the back and he did'nt find it so comfortable!
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PostPost by: Si_130/5 » Wed Jun 01, 2005 3:25 pm

Hello Thor,

I believe the Classic Transport Company conversion is the one to go for. The shape of the soft top most closely matches the fixed head and looks best. I remember visiting their premises in the late 80s and being showed round by the owner, Guy Griffiths. I was impressed with the care they took in their work.

Hope this helps,
Simon
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:27 pm

Unlike most cars, the +2 makes a good candidate for conversion because the Elan derives most of its strength and stiffness from the backbone chassis, not the roof. That's why the factory was able to chop the tops off of type 36 baby Elan FHCs to produce type 45 baby Elan DHCs without any additional reinforcment required.

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PostPost by: kstrutt1 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:27 pm

I have a +2 Convertible which I converted myself using parts from Christopher Niel. In the process I carried out quite a bit of research. The basic conclusion of several experts was that the A pillars are incapable of carrying any significant loads and therefore the roof can not offer any great structural load, It should be recognised that even this can give significant damping of scuttle shake.

I added 3 reinforcement bars into the windscreen surround before the roof was removed this at least gives it enough strength to hold the windscreen up and is similar to the CN conversion. At this stage I was not happy with the amount of scuttle shake especially of the steering column , I have also heard other comments on this about the CN conversion. To fix this I added a framework behind the Instrument panel linking the A posts to the transmission tunnel (ie chassis) and bolted it to the steering column, it is now similar to the original coupe. I also believe the classic transport company conversion had a similar arrangement.

Overall it is now great and after 7 years there is no sign of any cracking or stress damage.
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PostPost by: fumes » Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:59 pm

I have owned a convertable plus 2 since 1999. Its an excellent car, and I have not experienced issues with having no roof!. Due to a new car and my kids growing up, I have been forced to put her on the market. :cry: She is currently listed on ebay!

Regards,

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PostPost by: thor » Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:41 am

Simon, I saw you car, and it looks lovely. My only problem is whether or not I'll have problems registering a converted coupè here in Norway as they tend to be quite strict.
Is it on the V5 as a convertible or a coupè? A friend of mine recently didn't get an MOT on a GT6, as they have demanded TÜV documentation on his fast road springs and AVO's(which obviously AVO hasn't got as there's no demand for that in the UK), that says a lot about the system here......

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PostPost by: cdraper » Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:11 pm

I have a standard +2 and a convertible - the standard car has a Lotus chassis the converted one a Spyder chassis - it feels much stiffer and I believe any convertible is really best with the Spyder chassis.
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PostPost by: thor » Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:48 pm

aha. So then even a standard +2 is better/stiffer with a Spider chassis then? And another question, how much lighter? What about Spax, have had bad experiences with them on Triumphs(though I am converting to a Lotus now..) being way to stiff.

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PostPost by: cdraper » Sun Jun 19, 2005 8:16 am

I do not have any accurate data but am pretty sure the Spyder space frame for the +2 is quite a bit heavier than the sheet metal folded up one on the original Lotus.
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