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Club Lotus

Published - Tuesday, 30 August 2016

My Elan S4 1968, VUW 896G was stolen from a locked garage in Henley-on-Thames on Friday night 26th August 2016) - clearly a targeted theft, with nothing else removed (except a motorbike).
I would of course appreciate any leads, even on the appearance of suspicious parts since it might be broken (I am watching eBay).  The engine is running well, albeit a little smokey and having a tendency to oil the plugs. Red cam cover.  I can be contacted on 07768 348 342. Noel Clothier

Some further details: 
Chassis number 458464     Engine number C17331B
Although an S4, the exhaust is the same as an S3, with a box running across the car, then a single pipe.  The S4 normally had a box running the length of the car with two pipe.  Unusually there are mouldings in the bodywork to take either type.
Being an early S4 the pad on top of the dash is also unusual for the model in having one large central demist vent rather than two smaller vents.  Replacement of this with the later two-vent pad would be significant work since it is original as-is.
Fitted with a flat bonnet, no bump.
The stripes on the doors say “Elan”, not the correct (for the colour scheme) “Elan Sprint”
The black “Elan” badges on the front wings would never be present on a car with this colour scheme
There’s a lot of repaired damage to the pad on top of the dashboard where the tonneau mounting studs fit (or have been removed).
Both seats are very tired, in particular the passengers which has come completely unstitched.
The external rear view mirror is non-standard. Easily removed, but the “felt” channel in the window frame has been trimmed to give clearance for the clamp - not something likely to be noticed or replaced.
The dashboard  has a voltage gauge added to the left of the radio.
There is a hazard warning light switch added to the trim below the dashboard just to the left of the drivers left knee, with the warning light added to the dash to the right of the steering wheel
There is a (non-functional) override switch for the electric fan fitted in the trim to the far right of the dash.
The radio is not very securely mounted, but is distinctive and desirable in the “community” since it’s an FM model and relatively rare (actual photo).  This was bought from Germany so it has “MKU” buttons not the more common English “LMU”.  
The “tonneau cover” is unusual being old, with multiple zips and a facility to roll up the open side and tie it in a roll - I have never seen one and appears to be original 1960’s period part.  
Inertia seatbelts are fitted and totally non-standard. The carpet around the belts is not bound with trim, just cut out.  
There’s a fire extinguisher strapped to the floor in the passenger footwell.
The roof was folded in the boot, black fabric faded a very dark blue/grey (and with a dirty oil mark that I was thinking of trying to clean!).
The window frames are “unobtainable”, and that on the drivers door was damaged a few years back by being bent outwards, although returned to shape the distortion can still be seen at the foot of the front upright.  
The same frame has a flat plate that attaches to the rear edge of the door (such that the door part of the lock mounts onto this plate).  There is a stress fracture where the flat plate joins the vertical frame and, again, very hard to repair or replace.
These cars typically have a chassis number engraved into the rough glass fibre inside doors etc.
The steering wheel is distinctive, alloy and real leather, smaller than standard and with an almost spherical boss - but still with a standard Lotus horn push.  
To make the horn push work there is a perspex and brass spring-loaded plunger, a little like a finger, that connects the horn button to a static slip-ring.  What is distinctive is that I had to cut this down to approx half the standard length and it is easily seen by pulling out the horn-push.
Barely visible in the bodywork, there is a repair where the front off-side corner was replaced many years ago.  This repair goes from the top of the front off-side arch to the bonnet edge.  Also from the from of the nose just nearside of the central badge and down the front of the car.
Looking into the boot from the rear, the battery is to the left (near side), there is a cut-out tucked under the carpet to the left at the front edge of the boot.
The fuel feed from the tank is via a red plastic pipe.  This is incorrectly routed between the chassis and bodywork, this being visible from under the rear of the car.  This is a difficult job to rectify, and even if rerouted the body will still sit slightly high on the nearside unless the body is lifted and refitted on the chassis.
Solid drive shafts

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