Lotus Elan Frame Dilema: Solved

Feb 25, 2016 update to the Lotus Elan project car

Our frame is bent and now cracked. We added that tab on the top of the strut tower to straighten the frame enough to get the body off of it.

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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Reader comments:

CertifiedLotus
CertifiedLotus New Reader
Feb. 29, 2016 6:37 p.m.

The straightness of the chassis is critical to the handling of the Elan. Glad you found an alternate quickly.

roblamoreaux
roblamoreaux New Reader
March 9, 2016 1:59 p.m.

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.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
March 10, 2016 5:51 a.m.

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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