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73 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of rebuilding my Elan (owned since c1974) into, what I hope to be, the fastest UK road legal Elan in the world :)

I am around 8 years into the project, so there have been many design changes and abortive work, but I am getting there.

If there is any interest, I will be happy to start a, belated, build thread. I am old and ugly enough to take both constructive and distructive criticism, as long as you can take a robust response when I consider one is necessary :)

PS Purists will have a fit.

2,249 Posts
If there is any interest, I will be happy to start a, belated, build thread. I am old and ugly enough to take both constructive and distructive criticism, as long as you can take a robust response when I consider one is necessary :)

PS Purists will have a fit.

Yep, there is interest

Premium Member
1,390 Posts
I want to see exactly how radical :UK:

7,027 Posts
Still four wheels? V12? Underwater missles?

73 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
OK :)

I'll rephrase my ambition; To build the fastest (as in 1/4 mile elapsed time) Elan in the world that is legal to drive on UK roads. Top speed isn't part of the quest.

Elan prior to work starting:

Modifications (completed, in progress or planned) :

Sierra Cosworth 2000cc 4 cylinder modified engine:

Approx 520bhp on pump fuel
Ford Motorsport 200 block
Long studded (6)
Balanced knife-edged lightweight WRC crank
8.2:1 compression ratio
T4 RS500 turbo with 60 trim compressor housing and 360 degree bearing
.31 Actuator
8x Seimens injectors

High pressure oil pump
Big winged WRC sump
Steel windage tray
Group A rods
Mahle pistons with R4 pockets
Group A ported and gas flowed 2WD head
Hydraulic lifters
WRC phase sensor
Escort WRC inlet manifold
Piper BD14 inlet and exhaust cams
Piper vernier cam pulleys
Piper valve springs
WRC steel head gasket
Distributorless ignition system (camshaft pickup)
Wasted spark coil pack (Motorcraft) and high performance plug leads.
4WD exhaust manifold
4WD steel flywheel
Twin plate cerametallic Alcon clutch assembly
3 bar MAP

Custom made 3” exhaust system (Primary Designs) Plasma coated by Zircotec

Life full race F88 ECU and custom made lightweight wiring looms
Anti-lag system
Launch control
Traction control
ABS wheel sensors for above on all wheels

Full throttle flappy paddle pneumatic gear change system (home made)

Custom made alloy radiator and intercooler.
Hi-Spec 4 pot alloy front calipers and larger diameter lightened grooved and drilled discs

Hi-Spec2 pot alloy rear calipers and drilled and lightened discs

Elite 6 speed sequential gearbox

Lightened propshaft
Sierra Cosworth 7.5” 3.85:1 rear diff
Custom made gun barrel drilled halfshafts.

Custom made rear hub assembly.
Lightened CV joints
Uprated chassis to beyond 26R specification (by Graham Hatherway Racing) to cope with up to 650bhp
Uprated Lotus Elan rear bottom wishbones with rear bush converted to a rod end.
Custom made (GH Racing) rear top wishbones (“Rose Jointed”) and hub carriers

Custom made (by me) adjustable (camber & caster in-situ) aluminium front top wishbones.
Spyder bottom front wishbones.
Alloy (Pace Products) front wheel hubs

Standard bushes in all suspension parts that haven’t been “Rose Jointed”.
Droop limiters all round in lieu of anti-roll bars
Fully bespoke B.A.D dampers and Eibach springs with tender springs on rear.

Rear dampers now inboard.

Standard steering rack but reconditioned and secured with solid mounts
Floor mounted brake-bias pedal box assembly.

Hydraulic clutch assembly.

Custom quick release steering wheel with inbuilt switches and containing dash
Roll hoop
Lap and diagonal seat belts for everyday use and full harness for track day and drag racing use.
2 gallon foam filled alloy fuel tank.
Holley blue top lifter pump.
1.5l collector tank
Pair of Bosch 044 MotorSports high pressure fuel pumps (205l/min @5bar)
High flow filter.

600 series Aeroquip dash 8 fuel lines.
Fuel pressure regulator with dash 8 return feed
Hydraulic handbrake

Custom rear light clusters
Bodywork modified to accommodate 3-piece 15x8” alloys with 225/40/15 tyres (front) and 3-piece 15x10.5” alloys with 285/35/15 tyres (rear)

Front splitter
Rear diffuser
Front and back bumpers moulded into bodywork
Underside smoothed
Red top lightweight 70ah dry cell racing battery.
Lightweight headlamps

Lightweight 80amp alternator.
DHC but with optional Lenham hardtop
Component positions optimised to help in balancing car weight

Weight reducing modifications
Carbon fibre seats (pair)

Carbon fibre dash
Carbon fibre boot
Carbon fibre bonnet

Standard doors but lightened and with Lexan windows
Window motors and frames removed
Lightweight carpet
Titanium bolts wherever practicable (some centre drilled!)

Parachute :)

This gives a flavour of where I am. Next stage is to offer body up to chassis so I can work out what modifications are required in order to make it fit.

7,027 Posts
Wow! A man possessed. Some fine kit going into this one. Can't imagine this would not reach the goal of fastest quarter.

73 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Wow! A man possessed. Some fine kit going into this one. Can't imagine this would not reach the goal of fastest quarter.
Me? Possessed? Probably :)

I think that the bar is set pretty low, being that not many Elans have been modified to run the quarter mile.

I asked around at the beginning of this project to find out is anyone else had put a turbo YB in an Elan. I eventually got one lead, but it went cold, so I still don't know of another one.

This was both good and bad. Good that it may be unique but bad as I had to make all of the mistakes and solve all of the problems that keep cropping up. However, that is a big part of the fun :) I love problem solving, especially when they seem at first and second glance to be unsolvable.

73 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
A few more photos:

CVs and sensor triggers fitted to driveshafts.

One problem was almost a show stopper. The tyres we decided on, after a few years of deliberation and research, only come in the width we want in a 15" rim. This caused issues with bottom wishbone/pushrod rod end clearance.

After a lot of head stratching we solved the problem by moving the pushrod over slightly. This required some surgery to the top wishbone. However, as these are double tubed, and not under a lot of stress compared to bottom bones, we are confident that this won't cause any problems.

Mocking up wheel and tyre to check for clearances.

Pneumatic gear change actuator and solenoid.

Unsurprisingly, no one seems to make a wheelie bar for the Elan, so I am having to make my own using carbon fibre tube. Decided on a 3 tube, single wheel, design, determined by restricted mounting points.

Tube ends turned up on lathe:

Carbon fibre tubes from China! 1300mm long.

Bottom tube mounting bar.

Top mounting point.

I had a little bit of trouble making the central support brackets but sussed it in the end.

Once I have fixed the PC that controls my CNC Mill I will make the wheel hub.

49 Posts
what a fantastic build Steve, well done! and I thought my elan zetec spyder conversion was radical!!

You've inspired me!!.... to keep going when the problems mount up, it's just a matter of tacking them one by one....and there have been lots.

Really interested to see how this progresses, what cooling are you planning?
please keep us up to date with pics of progress.

When do you home to be completed?


73 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Hopefully, next year. However, I have been saying that for around 5 years!

But the rolling chassis is almost finished. I hope to be able to offer the body up in the new year so I can work out what has to be cut out in order to make it fit.

Once the body is in place I can finalise wheel and tyre sizes and get them ordrered.

Where are you based? Your Elan is RHD but that doesn't necessarily mean anything :)
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