Lotus Elise 111S. Farewell. Journals

Another one bites the dust as ‘Meany Greeny‘ bids farewell to crankandpiston Journals, and Lotus Loony Sean starts work on another project.

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Driver's Log
Date acquired: July 2012
Total kilometres: 24,555
Kilometres this month: 1,455
Costs this month: $0
L/100km this month: 12.0

The devil is in the detail. That’s what my old boss used to say, and it equally applies to Meany Greeny.

My 111S is back in action and enjoying the brilliant Arabian winter weather, so it’s time to do a few jobs that have been put off. First on the list is the rear spoiler raiser blocks. Officially the 111S shouldn’t have them, since they were only fitted to the Sport 160s, but I just think the Elise looks better with them. I’ve had a pair knocking around for a while, have had them colour matched to Lotus Racing Green, and dutifully set about installing them. It was a little trickier than expected since it’s a task that requires another pair of hands: one holds the end of the spoiler in place while another adjusts and bolts it into place. With the help of some towels to ensure the paint didn’t get scratched (don’t tell the wife) it ended well. The 30mm extra height may seem irrelevant (aerodynamically I’m sure it is) but it just completes the Elise for me and makes it look a little tougher. Well, for a cutie. There’s a bit less visibility through the letter box rear screen, but to hell with practicality.

Lotus Elise 111S. Journals (December)-05

Whilst in summer storage, I noticed the coolant level had gone down a touch. This could mean one of two things on an early Elise using the Rover K series engine: either the dreaded head gasket failure (very, very bad news) or a hose that needs tightening (stand easy). Luckily Meany is running like a dream and I’ve seen no evidence of the former. With the odd whiff of coolant from the passenger side of the engine bay, I’ve noticed a few drops of kryptonite green if the Elise stands for a few days, so it must be a hose clamp that needs tightening. Phew.

The Lotus community is slowly growing in the region, now that dealers have been appointed and new cars are being sold. The UAE’s transient population means there are also long term Lotus enthusiasts who have decided to move here. One such fellow is Niikos Apostolopouos, whom I met though one of the brand’s  largest forums, SELOC. For the time being Nikos’s Lotus is still in Europe, but plans are afoot to get it shipped, along with installing air conditioning. As Nikos also has a VVC powered Elise like my 111S, he’s given me some good advice regarding oil temperatures, which even in the cool of Europe are of concern. Looks like its time to dig out the air-oil cooler I’ve been hoarding.

Lotus Elise 111S. Journals (December)-01

Finally, you’ll note time has been called on my Journal babblings. No, Meany Greeny is not being sold, but there other Lotus plans afoot which involve oily finger nails and workshop head scratching. I’ve always fancied building a ‘Lotus Special’, a bit of a throwback to how Colin Chapman started. As I want to keep Meany Greeny largely original specification, my ‘Special’ will be built using the mountain of parts I have in the Lotus cave, and will be inspired by the one-off Lotus Exposé. I’m not even sure my 500bhp/ton Lotus Special will end-up being road legal, but as Chapman always bent the rules, I’ll give it a try. Wish me luck.

crankandpiston.com Journals is a contributor-based section, the contents of which have been provided by site readers and enthusiasts. All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the authors concerned and do not necessarily reflect the views held by www.crankandpiston.com.  

Categories: Fast Fleet

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