Replacement Chassis Cost Update: Spoke with the folks at LotusGarage aka Newport Beach Lotus. The "new tape" from Lotus USA was received last week and has not been applied to the LotusGarage website. Over the phone, the "updated" Chassis assembly, w/ sills, hoses, crash structure and windshield surround, was quoted at $12,638.98 (warranty price.) This compares to the $7,570.69 shown on the website (also "warranty" price.) Obviously, a price bump of nearly 65% makes the acquisition of the chassis unlikely, even if you include (my) free labor to move the bits from the damaged chassis to the new chassis.
Some other "facts" about purchasing the chassis (as communicated by the parts rep....): You must cut-out and send the etched VIN on the existing chassis to Lotus before they will produce the new chassis. Supposedly, too, upon completion of the restoration, you're to cut-out a massive section of the donor chassis and return to Lotus as proof of destruction. I suspect they would take an affidavit, too, vs. a literal section of the chassis!
Lots of chatter about "BMW has approved IRRAN procedures for their bonded aluminum structures, what's up with Lotus?" -- I expect the answer is along the lines of "extremely tight tolerances" ("We produce them in near clean-room like conditions in the Netherlands!")
Next step is to reach out to those of you that have performed similar repairs and get some ideas about what you did and why and what you would do to improve your correction if you had an opportunity for a "do over." The other lead is to get the mechanical drawings produced for custom extrusions by some of the Brits on SELOC.
Wasn't it Sam Kinison who would flop down on the stage and pound his palms on the floor yelling "It never eff-ing ends!"
This is as much a tale of bemusement for me
-- Yeah, PITA, but we all do it to ourselves.