JUNE MONTHLY MEETING, Drouin Golf Club – Thursday 12th June.

About 60 members enjoyed a cosy dinner whist being brought up to date with our Club’s past and coming events. It was decided by a substantial majority vote to bring our monthly meeting dinner forward by half an hour to 7pm for the next few meetings to see how it goes. That means you might like to arrive at the venue between 6:30 and 6:50 to be seated by 7pm at the next meeting.

Before and after the Club Business and meal, we were able to inspect and admire Ian Mallow’s Lotus Elan. He gave a brief rundown of his history with the car and provided your editor with the following text which he wrote for another Club’s magazine.

Our Lotus Elan started life in 1969 as an S4 SE, at the Lotus factory in Norwich UK. How it ended up in Australia is still unknown, but Paul and Lyn Rudnev of Canberra were its owners in the early 80s and Paul being the typical 40 year old sports car enthusiast, probably was driving it to within an inch of its life when a conrod let go and did serious damage to the block.

Paul set about procuring another engine and thus the current Sprint engine with its twin 40mm DCOE Webers ended up being found and has been thoroughly overhauled, as has the original touring gearbox and diff along with all suspension rubbers being replaced. At this time Paul decided to do a total restoration and set about removing every part that was not welded or glued/glassed into place, including all paint off the entire body and chassis. The rolling chassis was partially completed over the years, but by this time 25 or more years had elapsed and Paul decided to sell the car as he had purchased another one when this one was being dismantled.

Carol’s brother told us about the car being available in August 2010 and we spent some weeks deciding if this was the project I needed to replace the Harley that we sold a few months earlier. A decision to purchase the Elan was made and a price agreed upon, and while Carol was playing tennis at Merimbula in October 2010, I drove to Canberra and returned later that day with a trailer load of stuff mostly in large plastic tubs apart from the bare vehicle which was temporarily attached to the chassis. The next few weeks were spent with all the tubs emptied on the garage floor and the jig saw puzzle slowly coming together. It was certainly different to the four T-model Fords I had built over the past 30 years. Repairing the myriad of fine cracks in the gelcoat was the hardest part of the restoration as they were so hard to find, but so important to be fixed or they would show through the final paint finish which was 2-pack Lotus Yellow.

The day the engine was first started was also a big moment and gave me the momentum to move forward quickly and get to drive this rare classic vehicle, which came in April 2012.

I did have to remove the body a few months after getting it on the road due to a problem with the front shockers and the clutch plate which I relaced to eliminate clutch shudder at start off. I finished it in April 2012 and thoroughly enjoy driving it.

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