1963 Lotus Elan GTS
to 26R spec
The newest inhabitant at Team Wolfitt Racing; it's a 1963 Lotus
Elan built to 26R specification and it'll be out in 2019
It needs a few jobs done (see below) to complete it and make it competitive in FIA Appendix K
So what started out in Summer 2018 as a purchase of a ready-to-go Lotus Elan
26R has turned into a fairly sizable improvement plan for the car. The car had
clearly been put together quite quickly and had been intended to be used as an
historic rally car but because we are only interested in FIA racing, there was
rather more to do on the car than had originally been expected.
The following work had to be undertaken to convert/revert the car to FIA
Appendix K race spec.
- Removed the exhaust silencer (for some reason a re-packable motorcycle
one had been fitted which would have failed any noise testing immediately)
and replaced with a full size box. We had to remove the ATL fuel tank and
reinstate the glass fibre boot floor hump to fit the FIA specification unit.
Also added additional boot stiffener to support the 60 litre tank which had
been bolted to the thin boot floor; this would not have survived the rigours
of racing let alone rallying.
- Fitted the cage properly, some of the bolts were through the fibre glass
and not through into the chassis so would have ripped out. Also several of
the bolts were too short and did not pass through the entirety of the nut.
- Removed, shortened and refitted the door bars; they were mounted way too
high in the door apertures and at a strange angle.
- Replaced the entire pedal box; I suspect the car had originally or been
built as left hand drive because it had a left hand drive pedal box fitted
into the right hand side footwell. This has the wrong pedal spacing and
meant no gap between the clutch pedal and the transmission tunnel.
- Removed the passenger side seat frame; the car had been fitted with a
very home-made tubular seat frame despite the fact that the floor is
seat-ready and could have taken a seat bolted directly to it.
- Removed the twin fuel pump set up and fitted a single electronic unit;
twin pumps used to be popular when pumps were mechanically triggered and
used to fail quite regularly.
- Fitted fuel pressure regulator; really important on any performance
engine running on Weber carbs.
- Fitted shorter road springs; the ones fitted were fouling the tyres!
- Removed the period style bullet mirrors (truly useless in racing) and
fitted larger door mirrors. Not quite the right period but actually useful.
- Removed the seat belts; they were single seater ones and had been fitted
with incorrect specification bolts and brackets on the crutch and lap
- Removed and remounted the seat - it was set with a huge amount of
recline; I guess that's just driver preference but I like to sit upright
because it's more comfortable and quicker in the pitstop driver changes.
- Re routed the fuel pipe (oddly it actually ran through the car at the
rear of the cabin) at both ends.
- Re-fitted the dual throttle cables; had not been done well enough and
the angles were too tight on both cable runs.
- Removed the mechanical rev counter (which was actually a motorcycle one)
and replaced it with a modern and more accurate electronic one.
- Fitted new steering wheel; the one that came with the car was blue and
the suede was very worn.
- Remounted the steering column; the crash-collapse mechanism was seized
solid with dirt and corrosion and the column was not properly aligned.
- Moved and rewired the rear high intensity rain light.
- Changed the fuse box - it had been fitted with a used, older style euro
fuse box which I really dislike because they can shake out and it also had
its mounting flanges cut away so kept dislodging from the dashboard.
- Fitted an FIA compliant master switch - it only had a basic on/off power
master which does not cut the engine and is not allowed. Also fixed a daft
wiring fault where the voltage meter was allowing the engine to run on after
the ignition was turned off.
- Changed to a correct spec Lucas 23D points distributor - it had a later
type Lucas 45D dizzy which had been retro fitted with electronic ignition.
- Fire bottle needed a service and we had to remount all the extinguisher
nozzles which had no brackets and were mounted and supported on the pipe
only; again not allowed.
- Fitted slide latch to the boot lid.
Racing Lotus Elan specification - to come
Return to main