Bit of a departure from the norm for me

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111Robin
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by 111Robin »

Here we go again :)

Image20211104_192125 by Robin Derrick, on Flickr
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mk1
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by mk1 »

It'll be a big pile of nits in no time :lol:

Only joking, I am sure you will give it a good going over & make it a wonderful motor.

I look forward to following your progress.
Mark F
General dogsbody.
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111Robin
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by 111Robin »

Actually first job completed already. Previous owner said the rear crank seal was leaking, sure enough there was a fair bit of oil on the garage floor the first night. I had already penciled in a gearbox removal but thought I'd check the sump screws anyway and found them all to be not even finger tight, two or three turns to contact the sump. So I've nipped them all up and cleaned the oil and hopefully that will be that. It does concern me a bit though as to the workmanship of the previous owner or whoever worked on it for him. Chassis is excellent though, twenty odd years since it was replaced, but I'll need to paint it. Definitely needs full suspension and braking system overhaul and a lot of tidying in the engine bay after it seems years of "making do" repairs. So I'll be stripping everything out of the engine bay, replacing as required and fitting a new harness. Compressions are excellent so it would appear that the engine has been rebuilt at some point although there is no record of this, it is the original engine. So, thankfully the big ticket items are fine (engine, transmission & chassis) but it will still cost a fair amount in parts to bring it up to a standard I'm happy with. Parts supply for these looks to be just as good as for Minis unless ofcourse you're looking for 100% originality which I'm not, I just want this to be a properly sorted and useable car. It's the ideal time to start the work anyway with winter knocking on the door so there's no rush, also helps on the spend front as this will soon add up.
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111Robin
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

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Received my build certificate from Lotus today. It was ordered as a fully assembled body with powertrain supplied separately. It's a high compression engine with Webers. The H prefix engine was introduced September 68 and carbs changed to Stromberg in December so mine just made that spec being November build. The invoice for the engine was from Racing Engines Ltd., so did Lotus subcontract the engine builds at that time ?. I have the name of the person who ordered the kit in November 68 but this isn't the same as the first registered owner in January 69 so presumably it was assembled then immediately sold to its first owner. Presumably this was common practice as a means of making a profit by selling a fully assembled but unregistered car ?. The selling dealership was Steel Sportscars Scotland. If anyone knows anything about them, where they were based etc. it would help to complete the story.
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Pandora
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by Pandora »

I can't remember all of the various parts of the Lotus 'empire' at that time - Lotus Components vs sales etc. but I imagine that there would be some tax arrangement involved in selling a car to the agent incomplete, and invoicing the engine separately. It may even be that the engine supplier was a subsidiary, or an authorised 3rd party? I think the +2 was the last Lotus you could buy for home assembly, to avoid purchase tax (or was it VAT by that stage?)

I don't recognise the name Steel Sportscars, I'm afraid. Are you sure it's STEEL, not STEELE?

The biggest agents in Scotland at the time were (ex mini racer, and Simon D's landlord) Bill Borrowman's Sportstune in East Lothian and Edinburgh. I think Dickinson's of Perth were still agents at that time (Tommy D having been a Lotus racer in the mid '50s), and there was one in Callander, who's name I forget, who were also TVR dealers. Can't think of the others, but Certainly 'Steel' isn't one I remember hearing of, and it would have stuck in my mind due to the irony of selling plastic cars! :lol:

Al
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111Robin
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by 111Robin »

Thanks Al,
The archivist has written it as Steel, however could be a typo. Dreadnought in Callander were TVR but only very recently, at least to my knowledge, they are just along the street from where I grew up but used to be at the other end of Callander so I can't be sure. It turns out that Racing Engines were an in-house Lotus company, so just a tax measure presumably. I have checked and the original owner still shows at the same address in Grangemouth, or at least the same family, so might be worth writing to them to see if they have any more history on it. All part of the fun.
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Pandora
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by Pandora »

Absolutely, a big part of the fun.

The Callander company I was thinking of was over 20 years ago, but maybe that's recently? :lol:

Al
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111Robin
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by 111Robin »

Dreadnought garage used to be next to (not surprisingly) the Dreadnought Hotel (which is still there) but relocated to the other end of Callander probably more than 20 years ago and they used to have TVR signeage. It's owned and run by the Luti family who have been racing MGF and MG ZR (Rover 25 ?) as far as I know. Not sure if they were ever officially a Lotus place though but going back to the late 60s they may well have been. I'll see if I can find anything on Steel or Steele Sportscars.
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Costafortune
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by Costafortune »

I had a 1963 Elan not long ago, chassis number 7 or something. Since sold and being rebuilt.
andy1071
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Re: Bit of a departure from the norm for me

Post by andy1071 »

What a nice car.!! :D

I also had a '63 Elan, an S2.
Apparently Lotus used to do all sorts of 'fun' things to avoid tax... One story goes that they paid more tax the fewer cars they sold, so they used to miss out chunks of chassis numbers..
-My car was an early S2 (a friend referred to it as an S1 1/2..) but had a chassis number around 28 (I think).. I don't believe they were 27 earlier cars...

If the chassis was replaced 20 years ago, it should be galvanised, so should be OK...

There's always been lots of discussions about 'solid' Driveshafts (replacing the doughnuts with u/j or cv joints). People say the diff can't take the shock loads (it was an Anglia diff if I remember), but I never heard of anyone actually having problems on a road car...

The doughnuts were originally Imp ones as stated, which people said used to 'wind-up', but all the replacements sold now are the competition Imp ones (with intermediate plates between the bolts...)

Being a bigger car, the Plus 2 rides better, and as others have said, is I also think, a nicer styled car. But as always, 'each to his own'

The 'Big Valve' is not that much bigger... only 1mm on the inlets -you don't even change the seat inserts...
It has been stated that the original Stromberg engines (without the emissions stuff) made more power than with Webers....

Mark lists this steering wheel supplier:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=32838

They do look great..!
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