Jun 13, 2018 update to the Lotus Elan project car

Restoration Impossible: Finishing the Interior Trim

Trimming the interior on an early Elan is some of the most complicated and frustrating interior trim work we have done. The hand-built nature of the car makes it so.

And early Elan uses a rubber mat on the floor instead of carpet. This rubber mat is backed by padding and pieces of pressboard that have been cut out to fit the ridges on an Elan floor.

While not the best solution, especially if the inside of the car gets wet, we went with it, as we were in a huge hurry to get the car to the Amelia Island Concours. Thankfully, should it get wet, the fiberglass floor will not rust.

We should have installed the rubber mat under the dash before we installed it, but we were able to wiggle it into place. From there we could install the new console we got from Famous Franks Lotus Parts.

From there we pressed the rubber matting into place along the rear floor and bulkhead of the car.

Next up was restoring the kick panels, which are one-piece fiberboard units that are covered with the same vinyl used on the seats. These pieces screw into tabs on the wire mesh that fills the rocker panels.

Before we installed these pieces we filled the rocker panels with the same modern DEI insulation we used on the transmission tunnel.

The final step is to screw the molding down around the rear bulkhead of the car. We did not have this piece, but found one on the Type 26 Register in England. This site has some good information and pictures of how these early Elans go together. The also sell some of the rare parts that are not common on later cars.

This molding was tough to make fit, but we did muscle it into place and are quite pleased with how our interior came out.

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jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
7/2/18 3:03 p.m.

You didn't so much restore an Elan as basically built a new one from scratch.  Great work!

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