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 Post subject: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 28, 2011, 1:29 am 
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Joined: July 29, 2006, 9:10 pm
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Location: Oregon, usually
The Lotus 11 is lovely, as demonstrated by the numerous folks making replicas, but they won't fit a modern (Miata, for example) engine with 1600+ cc's and bumpsticks atop. My Lalo is cute but it has an 1100 cc pushrod powerplant and it still took some fiddling (not much, really, but I had to find an angled thermostat housing to replace the original squirt-at-the-sky tractor unit, and an inch shallower oil pan) to get it under the hood (and the hood got a turbocharger bulge anyway).

Anyway, Lotus made a 2 liter sports racer, the Lotus 15, in '58 (a year after the 7)...it had nowhere near the marketing success of the Lotus 11 (27 Lotus 15s produced vs. 270 Lotus 11s) nor the competitive success, and it's not terribly famous or iconic but from my standpoint the 15 has my attention 'cause I think a non-concourse "replica" could be made with enough hood bulge to fit a Miata engine (and others) without looking too Big Daddy Roth.

So whadya think? Is this worthy of pursuit? My current Lola look-alike suits my needs but it's not going to suit you power hungry animals who--hooligans that you are--demand more than 32 horses under the bonnet. Besides, I'm working on a new engine myself; a direct competitor to the Coventry Climax.


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File comment: The Lotus 11 remains a racing icon, and it's just the thing if you have a sufficiently dinky powerplant. Ah, those days of yore when MG Midget engines littered the junk yards at 22 cents a pound.
pictures-2.jpg
pictures-2.jpg [ 85.56 KiB | Viewed 7705 times ]
File comment: The Lotus 15 is valuable today because it's rare (as well it should be) but note the bulge as needed for 2 liters and twin cams. If it'll handle a Coventry Climax, it should suit an Oregon Orgasm (trade name copyright pending).
pictures-1.jpg
pictures-1.jpg [ 77.39 KiB | Viewed 7705 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 28, 2011, 9:02 am 
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Joined: July 26, 2010, 10:37 am
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Bumpsticks? Bumpsticks? It took me a minute in my old age. I finally got it.


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 28, 2011, 10:12 am 
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Joined: July 23, 2007, 1:46 am
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
That's what the Kokopelli does: http://www.kokopelliauto.com/PICTUREGALLERY.html

BTW, I love the 15. There is a guy from Carmel (Don Orosco) who has a 15 and regularly races at Infineon and Laguna. The thing that is unique about his car is that it's running an ex F1 2.5 liter Coventry Climax! The thing is so fast, it is always grouped with the "big boys" and usually wins. Scroll down to the results from group 6A and see what I mean: http://generalracing.com/2009-race-results#Group%206A

I have some pics of it in my PBase site: http://www.pbase.com/ninerjoe/laguna_seca_2006

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 28, 2011, 1:07 pm 
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Location: Shawnee, Ks
lotus19 that is better than Playboy Magazine!!!!!! Russ

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 29, 2011, 10:21 pm 
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Joined: November 25, 2009, 8:47 am
Posts: 140
Location: Tecumseh, Ontario Canada
JackMcCornack wrote:
So whadya think? Is this worthy of pursuit?


Hey Jack

I personally think the Lola (Lalo) has some distinct advantages.

I think the Lola is 'sexier' than an 11 or 15, it also has more traditional open front wheelarches which are more amenable to the butchery required to fit modern rubber. To my eye the 15 is basically an 11 with a hood bulge, so you'd still have to section and widen it for Miata-width running gear, and possibly sawzall traditional front wheel openings in. I don't find the DOHC bulge too objectionable myself

From a commercial standpoint the 15 may be a bit more salable, the Lotus 'brand' being so tightly connected to the Locost community.

Just be sure to take my opinions with a generous grain of salt, I am the guy who once got in a rollicking (friendly) backroom row with an editor at AutoWeek the day the Chrysler 300 prototype debuted at the Detroit auto show -- I figured once they exhausted the membership of the Herman Munster fan club sales would plummet, he (rightly) disagreed :). I still maintain that it's a fugly 'old man's car' though.


Cheers, Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 30, 2011, 3:50 pm 
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Joined: January 14, 2006, 1:06 pm
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Location: Vista (north of San Diego CA)
I guess I'm not enough of a Lotus devotee. Just one look and it's no surprise to me they only sold 27 of them. :ack:

John


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 30, 2011, 4:31 pm 
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Oh geez you mean I have to choose between a 15 with a bump and a birdcage Maserati?
Dang IT! :BH:
Ok I'd pick the 15 over the birdcage and yes I can hear you hissing and booing from here. .. :boxing:

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 30, 2011, 10:42 pm 
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oldejack wrote:
Oh geez you mean I have to choose between a 15 with a bump and a birdcage Maserati?
Dang IT! :BH:
Ok I'd pick the 15 over the birdcage and yes I can hear you hissing and booing from here. .. :boxing:


BOOOOOO!!!!! :wink:

Joe

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 31, 2011, 2:33 am 
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Ted, I'm with you on the Lola--I think the Lola Mk1 body was (and still is) the prettiest of the '50s small engine roadsters, but part of its charm is it's so dang small. I've got one and I've messed with it lots, and I'm tellin' ya, if you put a Miata engine in it you might as well put in a head-high shift lever with an 8 ball shiftknob on top--it looks like a cartoon car, and not in Cars, like in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?...or in Car Toons with Rat Fink behind the wheel. The rest of the Lola needs to be expanded to fit the engine visually. However, the Lotus 11/15/17 front fenders look to like Frank Costin was channeling Captain Nemo when he came up with them, and though they worked on the racetrack (though not as well as the Lola, let's face facts here), for street use they restrict steering radius, tire size, and garage door width. The trade-off is, they sure say Vintage Lotus when you see them, and as you've pointed out, there's some value in that.

Even the Lotus 15, which is significantly bigger than the Lola Mk1, is less attractive than the Lotus 11 (in most eyes) due to the afterthought appearance of the bonnet bulge. History shows that bulge was in the plans from Day 1, but it still looks like an afterthough (to quote Locost_John, "Just one look and it's no surprise to me they only sold 27 of them. :ack: ")

BTW, there's more to why the 11 outsold the 15 by a full decimal point--mainly that in its heyday, the 11 was basically a clubman (indeed -the- clubman, the only car a budget racer could be expected to plant him in the winners circle; it just didn't have much competition) and let's not forget that the Lotus Seven was an effort (a very successful one) to open up the 11 market with a cheapo body and some street compromises (like the ability to do U-turns instead of K-turns). By the time of the 15, Colin had begun to realized that the big money in race cars was in big money racecars, and the competition was pretty furious.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: March 31, 2011, 11:04 pm 
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Location: Tecumseh, Ontario Canada
Hey Jack

Just because I work visually I'm going to toss a couple of images up.

Attachment:
LolaMark1.jpg
LolaMark1.jpg [ 53.12 KiB | Viewed 7398 times ]


Attachment:
LolaMark1bastard.jpg
LolaMark1bastard.jpg [ 59.16 KiB | Viewed 7398 times ]


I think the Lola-esque is still workable -- widen the front clip and rear deck to Miata track, raise it (and the cowl) a few inches, then section the front lip to make the chin it a little deeper to keep the shape of the grille proportional and hide the body lift. It will still need a fairly pronounced bulge, but I think it's workable.



Please forgive the nasty photoshop hack...

For comparison, this is a vaguely similar kit available in Britain,

Attachment:
fisherfury.jpg
fisherfury.jpg [ 64.12 KiB | Viewed 7398 times ]


a Fisher Fury, from roughly the same angle.



t


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: April 3, 2011, 9:09 am 
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I'd love to be able to get a Miata based kit for the "Scarab." It's already available as a complete car, based on Corvette parts (http://www.scarab-motorsports.com/), but I'd sure like to be able to build it myself around a Miata.


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: April 3, 2011, 12:02 pm 
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Location: Tennessee
Those are some beautiful cars, especially the Lolas and the Scarab.


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: April 3, 2011, 3:12 pm 
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Amen to that! The Scarab is one of my dream cars. I grew up in Culver City, Ca, just a short distance from Reventlow's shop. I have memories of the Scarab rolling down Washington Place after Reventlow retired it from racing. I don't know about the Miata underpinnings, but I still hope to build a Scarab one day. Oh, this is not to take anything away from the Lola. It's a gorgeous little car in it's own right.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: April 3, 2011, 7:44 pm 
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There are swoopy-looking body appliques for Miatas, like the one David Stacey used on Gearz - but I recall him saying that the applique kit was about $6K - which he described as cheap (gulp). But their proportions are what Jack was looking for with his widened and plus-sectioned Lola. But actually, Jack's 'fat Lola' looks way better than Stacey David's V-8 Miata.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus 15-ish body?
PostPosted: April 3, 2011, 8:17 pm 
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ngpmike wrote:
Amen to that! The Scarab is one of my dream cars. I grew up in Culver City, Ca, just a short distance from Reventlow's shop. I have memories of the Scarab rolling down Washington Place after Reventlow retired it from racing. I don't know about the Miata underpinnings, but I still hope to build a Scarab one day. Oh, this is not to take anything away from the Lola. It's a gorgeous little car in it's own right.

Let me get this straight. You grew up in California where the Scarabs were built. Now you're in Missouri. Isn't the new Scarab being built in Kansas? Looks like it's following you. As Elwood would say "it's a sign from God"! :cheers:


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