re: Lotus chassis repair
OK, so you know a little more about this than an average person....
Hence, let me pose an answer in the form of a question...
The chassis is made from aluminum extrusions bonded with special epoxy. The extrusions are thin, hence light. There are no sections available from Lotus. If you weld on it, the heat will distort the surrounding area and vaporize the bonding epoxy, how to avoid that? Hence , the only solution is aircraft-style repair i.e. to rivet and bond. Unlike the aircraft, the chassis is not made to support that kind of repair, how to make sure that the repaired part is as strong as the original in supporting the suspension pick-up points?
All of us on this forum would very much like to know the answers to the questions, above.
I think, lesser questions are:
1. How to make a proper replacement section.
2. A unibody once crumpled cannot be made as strong as the original... very easily.
The business questions are:
1. What is a car with salvage title worth.
2. What can you expect for resale on this particular car. This community is small and everyone tracks all cars...
3. Why would you want to get involved with this? Is it really worth it, even at $5k?
It does have a VIN, so you can drive it on the street. There are legally imported track cars around for similar value. There are street cars around for better value. (I saif value not price!)
Creative Idea: If the price was right. I would get this (type of) car. Cut-off damaged piece and have the tub, only. Make my own front and back tube sub-frames with appropriate pick-up points. Since, it has a VIN, it would be street legal.... I bought a non-federal VIN car (really) a chassis and built it into a race car. It had lots of stuff missing... dash and gauges, front clam, soft top, motor, trans, but had a Honda conversion kit, included... it was advertised for $10k or so. I built it into a race car. The chassis and suspension were all there.
Aluminium cannot be welded? We'll have to agree to disagree on that one! My background is as an F1 and IndyCar design engineer now running and aerospace composites company. The repairs to the chassis do not worry me. Anything can be repaired! Anything.
My guess on its value is $10-12K not more. Am I being to optimistic?