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Here is my fathers' project we have been working on for the last year and a half or so. My father has owned the car since 1973 and its been long overdue for some R&R on the suspension and body work. We replaced the cracked donut suspension for the CV joint swap, along with adjustable a-arms in the front. My dad 'glassed in the fenders decades ago to hide the massive 215s in the front and rear but I prefer the look over stock Elans (and the cornering is far better). All that is left is the interior/electrical.



It is an awesome learning experience to get to restore this car.
 

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Excellent! Looks awesome.
 

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EXCELLENT:up:
 

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Nice work!

I have a 64 that I am turning into a 26R clone. Parts prices make parts for my Exige S seem cheap!

I have the same flares on my car and like them, but need to go to the factory flares to be allowed to race vintage.

Jerry
 

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Looks lovely!
I'd like an Elan, sometime, when I've finished my Europa. I drove a 26R many years ago, and sundry since, but never owned one.
One day, maybe!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the comments everyone.

I was wondering what kind of seats other Elan owners were running in their cars. We installed the rollcage and the low-back seats aren't safe to use anymore.
 

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You guys in the California Bay Area? Several of us are wondering who was driving the red Elan going southbound on Hwy 1 on Feb 1st. We had a several cars out on a drive. The Elan I saw definitely was red and had a roll cage like the one in the photos (the bars were wrapped though).
Maybe not though, since you say interior/electrical is still to go.
 

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I was wondering what kind of seats other Elan owners were running in their cars. We installed the rollcage and the low-back seats aren't safe to use anymore.
Here's the Spyder roll bar with mounted head rests that I had on my Elan. In hindsight, they probably weren't so hot, but most aftermarket seats at the time were too wide to fit.

DSC03123 (2).JPG

DSC03134 (2).JPG
 

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My first Lotus was a Series 4 way back in the 70's. Fantastic car. I hope to get another Elan one of these days but, to date, practicalities have stood in the way.

Although I'm not a fan of the wheel arches, the level of workmanship on your car looks superb. Always nice to see an Elan restored nicely.
 

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You guys in the California Bay Area? Several of us are wondering who was driving the red Elan going southbound on Hwy 1 on Feb 1st. We had a several cars out on a drive. The Elan I saw definitely was red and had a roll cage like the one in the photos (the bars were wrapped though).
Maybe not though, since you say interior/electrical is still to go.
Sorry, I know we're going off topic... I believe this is a guy that lives in Bolinas. Can't remember his name, but I've met him a couple of times. He is a member of the GGLC.

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
 

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What a car! Thats the kind of car i wanna have in my collection too!!
Great Job, guys! Respect!
 

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Tom's Elan above....the yellow one.

He is too modest to admit it....but that was the best restoration I ever saw and I consider myself to be one of the Elan experts in this country.

That car was way better than new and I know how much Tom had into it and what it sold for. The buyer got the DEAL of a lifetime.


Tom did a hell of a job on the car. I think the best ever. I dont know how he parted with it....except it is my experience when you do a car like that...sometimes the pendulem swings the other way and you just get tired.
 

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BAck in the 80's there wa a guy selling a seat made entirely of tubing...roll bar tubing. He then put sand bags in and you conformed to the seat. It was neat. Have not seen it lately but it is something you could do.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have heard of people fitting Elise seats to the elan (anything under 19 inches wide will do). I found a Cobra seat that was 17.5 inches wide, but was discontinued. The idea of a headrest was our first choice, but isn't the safest option for street use.
 

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I don't think the seats will make much of a difference over just adding headrests, the Elan is not safe to begin with
 

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Tom did a hell of a job on the car. I think the best ever. I dont know how he parted with it....except it is my experience when you do a car like that...sometimes the pendulem swings the other way and you just get tired.
Tony, thanks for the kind words, as the ten year restoration was truly a labor of love by an engineer with a bad case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I drove it for six years, saw little flaws that would continue to degrade over time, and figured it would drive me crazy.

As you also know, I was concerned about the safety of the Elan. I think the turning point was when I was staring at the wheels on a soccer mom's Tahoe that was idling next to me at a stoplight. She was yapping on her cell phone while her three kids were bouncing around the inside of the car. I thought about the Elan's lack of side impact protection at that very moment. Although most here consider the Elise a bit lacking compared to much larger vehicles in that regard, it's light years ahead of the Elan.

In the end, the car did kind of wear me out. I really couldn't afford to keep it and buy an Elise, as I had the fever and wanted one very badly. I sold it four years ago for top dollar for Elans at the time , so it was what the market would bear.

Regrets? Not really. It's just a car, as is the Elise I have now. Some day I'll sell it with no regrets, either.
 
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