24 Chapters
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Chapter 22 - Ema on Steroids

Gordon Lund Brooklands Books ePub

In this chapter of the book I go on to disclose a car that for all intents and purposes is a road going Elan, but is in fact a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A car that is virtually a racing car on the road, but has pulled back just a little bit to make it driveable on the road.

When I was a teenager I had a genuine BSA Gold Star Motorcycle. The BSA publicity at the time stated that this motorcycle was never intended as a touring motorcycle but more suited to the open road or track. How right they were for just like a highly tuned Elan, any vehicle intended for the race track is going to be a real handful on public roads.

Close ratio gearboxes and competition clutches do not make for comfortable road mannered vehicles.

My BSA Gold Star, a stunning DB32

When Tony Penzato of Bath approached me at Donington in 2005 and said that he had bought my written off Elan Sprint, affectionally known as EMA, from the salvage auction, I was a little apprehensive at first as to what he would do with her. Next time I saw Tony and the car was at Malvern Lotus Car Show in 2010 and to say the least I was taken aback a bit.

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Chapter 19 - Preparing Elans for Concours Presentation

Gordon Lund Brooklands Books ePub

There are two ways of starting off with a classic car of any description for concours presentation. One is to be extremely fortunate in having a totally original low mileage example that has never been out in the wet and treated with TLC since it left the factory. The second is to rebuild a well-used or neglected example to a standard equal to the first.

The first option is extremely difficult to realise because of the rarity of such finds, and if you did, they command such a high price they become like a collectors wine were the cork is never removed from the bottle.

Since the second option is the most likely contender, it is imperative that the standard of the build and finish is as good as or approaching that of the factories. When renovation is undertaken, adhere to the standard specification wherever possible and avoid bolt on goodies even if they were a period fitting. If you are to use the car on a regular basis then hidden improvements cannot be frowned upon such as fitting an alternator if later models of the same car had them fitted at the factory. The same goes for tyres as long as they are a modern equivalent.

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Chapter 4 - Where to Start

Gordon Lund Brooklands Books ePub

Read Lotus Books

We are not talking rocket science, you do not need a degree in astro-physics or engineering to restore an Elan. Basic common sense, adequate resources, a lot of patience and technical know-how is all that is required.

Common sense – you either have it or you don’t, only you can answer that one.

Adequate resources – we will cover this one later.

Patience is not everyone’s forte but can be learnt quickly when you realise the consequences of the lack of it.

Technical know-how – this can be taught but only learned if the person being taught is receptive. The best way to learn is to read about your subject whilst you are doing it. You can see the point being made and quickly realise that without this information at hand the blunders that could be made being costly in time, money and your patience.

A selection of books are available to give insights into Elan restorations, some better than others. The most essential of course is the official Lotus Workshop Manual. Do not attempt to touch an Elan without reading this from cover to cover. Then read it again as you are doing the job in hand.

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Chapter 16 - Sill Members +2

Gordon Lund Brooklands Books ePub

In order to accommodate the longer body length of the +2, and give some additional sideways protection, steel structural members are bolted to the inner sill between the inner and the outer sills. The lower outer sill seam is bolted through the sill member to the inner sill, which provides for vastly improved stiffness. The centre reinforcing plates also act as anchor points for the seat belts. At each end of the sill members are tubes welded into the structure to serve as jacking points.

My +2 sill members after I had replaced them. Note the abundance of Wax oil.

If a +2 has not had the original sill members replaced they are probably lying in heaps at the bottom of the sills. Having taken the sill rear closure plate off to gain access to the boot release cable, have a good look at the sill member. If it is still covered in paint and rust proofing wax, and more so is all there, then you are lucky. Someone has already done it. If it is just a mass of rusty bits resembling nothing at all, covered in road filth, then you will need new ones. Complete kits are available from various sources that include reinforcing plates, sill closure plates and all fixings.

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Chapter 8 - Body Restoration

Gordon Lund Brooklands Books ePub

DIY Body Work

There are no short cuts, no magic words or whatever. It takes a professional 200 man-hours on average to prepare a fibreglass body fit to receive a topcoat. It takes 20 minutes to apply the paint. If you are determined to do this yourself and you have the kit and the knowledge, then go to it. Seriously though, there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained in preparing and spraying the car yourself, if you have the wherewith-all to do it.

My Sprint in early restoration days. The new chassis awaits

If you have separate premises for preparation, a dust-free, temperature and moisture controlled heated spray booth and professional spraying equipment complete with compressor, you could produce a concours paint job. For the rest of us though, plan your bodywork for the warmer, dryer part of the year. Work in a well-ventilated area and keep dust to a minimum when you are applying paint. Be sure to follow the paint manufacturers COSHH details that will outline the safety hazards and what measures to have in place to alleviate those hazards. This is most important as some paint products contain very hazardous materials. Reading books on working on GRP bodies is strongly recommended as there are a lot of pitfalls for the uninitiated to fall into. You only want to do the job once.

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