Lotus Elan Frame Dilema: Solved
Feb 25, 2016 update to the Lotus Elan project car
With the body of our project Lotus Elan safely getting media blasted, we turned our attention back to the car’s frame. On the plus side, we were shocked at how little rust was present. That said, we were also unhappy—but hardly surprised—at how badly bent the frame was from the accident that sidelined the car back in 1978.
Initially we were going to piece the frame back together on a frame machine. But even with new frames available in both stock and improved form, we really wanted to save as much of the car as we could and keep the budget in line for this crazy restoration project.
Again, Steve Sanguinetti at Blast Masters came to our rescue. He had a very nice original Series 1 Elan frame that just had a little rust on the front. We could easily take pieces from our frame and patch his frame.
This would make this whole project ever more viable, especially since Steve was generous enough to donate the frame to our project!
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The straightness of the chassis is critical to the handling of the Elan. Glad you found an alternate quickly.
I'm glad my chassis wasn't that bad. I just wish I had re-enforced it before powdercoating it.
What is the plate welded to the top of the strut tower near the LotoCone? I've not seen that before and it doesn't match anything in the parts or workshop manuals.
We welded that plate on just to bend the old chassis enough to get the body off of it.
And yes, chassis straightness is very critical in an Elan
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All 1964 Lotus Elan updates
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Our Lotus Elan's trunk has a 6-inch hole. Here's how to create the replacement piece.
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The left rear quarter of our Elan had been hit hard. Here's how you seamlessly graft in a replacement piece.
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Our project Lotus Elan is still in the beginning stages of a restoration.
Restoration Impossible: Preparing to Cut the Body
Once you cut, you can't go back.
Restoration Impossible: Starting to Rebuild the Missing Back End
We decided to start our Lotus Elan's restoration with the toughest part first.
Restoration Impossible: Starting Work on the Body
We are getting back into our Lotus in earnest.
Our Elan Gets a Decklid
After lots of searching we find a rare Elan decklid suspiciously close to where we bought our project.
Our Elan Gets Blasted
After a trip to Blast Masters, we see if the fiberglass is salvageable.
One Fresh Elan Engine
With another trip to Twin Cam Sportscars, our Elan's engine is completely refreshed.
A Look Inside Our Lotus Elan's Transmission
We refresh our project Elan's gearbox with the help of Twin Cam Sportscars.
Incredible tranformation: Lotus Elan Carburetors
Our Lotus Elan's carburetors get taken from trash to treasure.
Lotus Elan Frame Dilema: Solved
Our Lotus Elan's frame was bent and broken. How did we solve the issue?
Soda Blasting Our Lotus Elan
Our Lotus Elan takes a trip to Blast Masters to get stripped.
Our Lotus Elan Gets Stripped to the Bone
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Restoration Impossible: A Look Inside the Elan's Engine
With the help of Twin Cam Sportscars, we tear our Elan's engine apart.
Lotus Parts Pour In
We find lots of parts for our project Elan thanks to our friends.
Finding a Windshield
Our Lotus Elan gets some fresh glass.
The Parts Search Begins
Our Lotus Elan needs a lot of work and parts. Here's the initial list of what we need.
Figuring Out What We Really Have
After lots of cleaning, we organize our project and assess the situation.
Our Lotus Makes it Home
After dragging our new project to Florida, we begin cleaning it out.
Our Lotus Elan's First Concours Award
Still in pieces, our impossible restoration project attends its first show.
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We had to get three-quarters of a lotus from Michigan to Florida.
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