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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The tale of the Loti: Tantalized by an Elan and Eclat

A few weeks ago, I wrote about trying to find another project car before winter that's " space worthy"-e.g., something that's worth buying even though I, at this point, have negative garage space. Near the end, I wrote "What would be space-worthy? Well, that's another story, but maybe ...
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/the-hack-mechanic/the-tale-of-the-loti-tantalized-by-an-elan-a...
7 REPLIES 7
audiocage
Advanced Driver

"I cannot properly." Oh, the times when I have been similarly unable...
TeutonicScot
Detailer

Small quibble Rob, and yes I realize I'm splitting hairs here, but your statement "In addition to being put in Rovers, the engine found its way into a variety of factory British cars including the MGC and the Morgan Plus 8," is not entirely accurate.
The "MGC" was not equipped with the Rover V-8. It was equipped with the Austin-Healey 3000 in-line 6 of 2912 cc's and was not available with a V8, although there was much discussion and some engineering work done to attempt it. The Rover V8 would eventually find its way into a small number of "MGB GT V8s" and all production versions of that car were GT's. No production roadsters were made that way, although many roadsters have been modified with the motor.

Good luck with your search for a new project, whatever you decided!
thehackmechanic
Advanced Driver

My mistake. Thanks for correcting me.
MGVman
Pit Crew

Actually, the six-cylinder engine in the MGC isn't the Austin-Healey 3000 engine but is the BMC "C" series engine developed from a BMC Australia design and it was used briefly in the Austin 3000 saloon (sedan). Curiously, it was the same displacement as the Healey engine at 2912cc.
OptimusPrime
Intermediate Driver

I love a good Lotus Elan +2 and agree that they are uniquely beautiful little cars. Unfortunately, that is not a good Elan +2 and it only makes financial sense to buy a good one.
Swamibob
Technician

Neat Story Rob:

I think the first pic probably gives the best clue to what the next installment will read like, but I won't blow it for those who want to preserve the illusion. There are so many possibilities here for hand clapping, and witty repartee, that I just don't know where to start.
First and last pic: "Such a face... Such a face!, how can you just walk away from that?" Ok, I'll admit the Elan +2 is cute. But, I think that would be just taking the easy way out. All it really needs is some engine work, and you could even use a Pinto engine to power it. I seem to remember you can build some ridiculous power with the 2.0 or even the 2300 Pinto engines. Probably more than enough to destroy whatever darling, British transmission that car has in it, so you would have the opportunity to upgrade that as time went on also. For the right money (I'd say around $ 2000) I think that could be space worthy.
On the other hand: I kinda like the Elcat, especially with V8 Power and in my deepest sarcasm (or possibly my lizard, Hot Rod, car guy) brain, I see it as being completed by a group of like minded Loti enthusiasts, surviving on beer, pizza, smoked and grilled meat and who knows what else.
These Loti Warriors sacrifice knuckles, joints, skin and possibly ultimately their sanity to get this machine back to life! Oh sure it's been done before, but still it could make for some wonderful stories and good times, if you can find friends foolish enough to participate? It might turn into a You Tube Sensation or possibly a show on Motor Trend Channel and make all of the guys famous! In the end; you could call it "El Cid" and the car could become the complete opposite of it's name's progenitor. Think of the possibilities! 🙂
Ok, enough of the fun stuff, let's get back to the physics. I love the last pic and the quote, from the other Rob: "Unless it becomes unstable, in which case it becomes a dynamics problem very quickly!" That is so true. That alone could be the basis for a whole bunch of stories involving bad or goofy things happening in the shop or life. Up here in Minnesota, and other places of great snow and ice, you could turn it around and say, 'it's a dynamics problem, unit it becomes a statics problem' when you hit the snow bank, or tree, or ditch etc. 🙂 Wish I could've seen the arrangement of hoists.
I love ingenuity. I have a pretty good idea of how he did it, but I'd really love to know, if you get my meaning. Keep up the good work, Rob. Thank you.
Aktifspeed
New Driver

The wheels on the black Eclat are aftermarket Compomotive FH 500’s. Not easily found anymore here in the US. I have a set on my TR6 and love the look and the British connection. Good luck with your search Rob!