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Absolutely right, FOG, although not so much a copy, more the inspiration. Legend has it that the Miata team procured 2 Elans during the design phase. One they tore completely apart for study and measurement and the other they drove the wheels off of so they could all capture the feeling and driving experience. Early Miata design concepts included rear engine-rear drive and front engine-front drive but the Elans convinced them that front engine (really almost a front-mid-engine) rear drive was the way to go. But there was a quarter century of automotive development since the Elans were built they could add to the design.

The MIata design team was instructed to use off-the-shelf parts from existing Mazdas as much as possible so as to control costs. The 16v twin cam Miata engine was derived from the 4wd turbo GTX rally car of the mid-eighties, the transmission was based on the pickup truck boxes of the day and likewise the diff although the cases are different. That's why the Miata drive trains are so robust but the downside of that was weight. The Elans are at least 500# lighter (more or less depending on the year, trim level, etc) and we all know what that means in terms of nimbleness. I think my Miata handles pretty well but I wouldn't make any bets against a 50 year old Elan properly set and running modern rubber.

Your Elan is still a fine looking car, even a half century later. That's the thing about the classics. They don't ever go out of style.
 

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Discussion Starter #402
Absolutely right, FOG, although not so much a copy, more the inspiration. Legend has it that the Miata team procured 2 Elans during the design phase. One they tore completely apart for study and measurement and the other they drove the wheels off of so they could all capture the feeling and driving experience. Early Miata design concepts included rear engine-rear drive and front engine-front drive but the Elans convinced them that front engine (really almost a front-mid-engine) rear drive was the way to go. But there was a quarter century of automotive development since the Elans were built they could add to the design.

The MIata design team was instructed to use off-the-shelf parts from existing Mazdas as much as possible so as to control costs. The 16v twin cam Miata engine was derived from the 4wd turbo GTX rally car of the mid-eighties, the transmission was based on the pickup truck boxes of the day and likewise the diff although the cases are different. That's why the Miata drive trains are so robust but the downside of that was weight. The Elans are at least 500# lighter (more or less depending on the year, trim level, etc) and we all know what that means in terms of nimbleness. I think my Miata handles pretty well but I wouldn't make any bets against a 50 year old Elan properly set and running modern rubber.

Your Elan is still a fine looking car, even a half century later. That's the thing about the classics. They don't ever go out of style.
[/QUOTE: Yes I can assure you a modern miata would not stand a chance against my 50 yer old elan. Mine had the hew land close ratio gears for short track racing and would do 50 MPH in first gear alone.
I terrorized the gymkhana circuit in CT in the 60s /70/ virtually unbeatable, there was a Elva Courier that was the closest competition. I took the car on to the race tracks but found it far too fragile for that sort of thing.
Racing tire were it's undoing ,the loads the imparted to the chassis tore it apart
Cpoule ore pictures

FOG
51121
51122
 

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Cool pics! That shot with you kneeling next to the car and the trophies on the hood demonstrates just how tiny those Lotuses were. I noticed that the front fenders of my brother's Europa were about the same level as my kneecaps after he picked it up a few years ago. The NA Miatas are pretty small cars (as in wriggle into them but OK once you get in) but park a Miata and an Elan next to each other and the Lotus will look like its 3/4 scale. I like that Lotus badge on your jacket and that's one hell of a collection of big ass trophies. Is that a pair of those string back driving gloves like in Road and Track, lol?

You are lucky you were able to own such an awesome car back in your younger years. The best I managed back in those days was a bug-eye Sprite which was a fun car but certainly not in the same league as a Lotus.
The Miata didn't come with one but I managed to find a factory hardtop for it
IMG_20190625_135425.jpg
after I bought it. Again, you can see the Lotus styling influence in IMG_20190625_135425.jpg play. (Elite?)
 

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Discussion Starter #404
as luck goes ,nots so much, While shopping for a small economy car I stumbled on Performance cars in New Haven CT.
Where I saw a 1955 300 SL gullwing coupe for $3,300.00 which I passed on for the Lotus. The kicker was If I purchased that SL and kept it home in a plastic bag it became a million dollar car.
Oh yeah I paid $3000 for the Elan (About 25,000) in todays money.
Thats pretty much the story of my life with cars, Knowing what was the "Right Stuff", and either not wanting it at that moment or being $$$ short at the time.
IE Ferrari Barchetta
Bugatti Type 57 (albeit with a Ford 60 V8 engine
Masaretti Bora
Beach front in NC
you get the Idea, always here but making the wrong choices

FOG
 

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I was looking for a miata for a bit. My original plan was to build one over time. First would be to fix the car, then get it running on a standalone, then get a home brew turbo kit going with a GT25.

Then I started considering all the options. I wanted a car I could autocross and take to an HPDE. Building a miata for that with the mods I was looking at wasn’t realistic. It doesn’t class well in autox, and it isn’t reliable enough for HPDE. So I was looking at Miatas, Nissan Z’s, and C5/C6 Corvettes. The C5 seems like the best bang for buck. I’ve ridden in them before and liked them. I drove this one and loved it. It's a 2002 with Z51 package (basically bigger sway bars, stiffer suspension, and steering cooler) and the glass targa top. 2001+ cars had slightly larger fuel injectors, revised exhaust manifolds, updated traction control, revised cam profile, and some other small things. Also has a C6 shifter, Z06 titanium exhaust, and Z06 wheels. It feels REALLY quick for 350 hp.





Plans are headers and X pipe, then a cam eventually. Should be a very reliable 375-400 whp which is plenty for this car. Then jut fix whatever breaks. Working on new weather stripping at the moment.

I've only had it a few weeks. Can't find anything wrong with it yet except the seats. They're in bad shape and have a lot of play. I have a kit to fix it but I think I'm just going to throw buckets in it. And the hood didn't want to latch on the drivers side today. Probably need to adjust the stopper pad.
 
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Well, its not a Miata, but at least you got pop-up headlights, lol. (Just kidding!) Seriously, that's a great looking car and looks to be in great shape. Being a popular car, I imagine there is lots of aftermarket stuff available to take care of all of those annoying little things that need attention on an older car.

The driver's seat in my Miata (leather) was in rough shape. After exploring a few options, I finally decided it would be best to repair what I had and keep the car as original as possible. Both the leather covers and the foam are NLA from Mazda, so I was on my own. If the underlying foam on your seats is usable you can probably get replacement covers and do it yourself for a reasonable price. I took my seats totally apart so I had access to repair the covers, could add metal reinforcing for the bolsters, and could de-rust and paint the seat pans. I guess what I'm trying to say here is don't necessarily give up on those existing seats; if you've got the patience you can probably get them looking pretty good. Auto upholstery ain't rocket science and there's lot of stuff on the 'net to guide you.
 

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It's weird. A few months ago was on my way to a Mazda dealer to buy a 2001 NB they had on trade. I forget the package but it was the tan top 5 speed, so it had LSD which was all I cared about. When I got there they said it sold like 2 hours earlier.

I was also considering a Mazdaspeed NB down in Tennessee but it sold as well. I was about to message the guy and it said sorry no longer available. Guess I just wasn't meant to own a Miata.

Anyway, the seat support is just terrible. I'd slide right out of them in an autox or track day. And some part of the power motor is broken because it's throwing a power seat code in the computer (GM has a monitor for EVERYTHING). I think the seats are the worst part of the C5. Might as well get some lighter and more supportive buckets for the time being.
But you are right. There is a ton of aftermarket for appearance, performance, and replacement parts.
 

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Congrats! That's a really nice looking C5. I had a C4 convertible, which is considered a bottom feeder now, but it was a landmark car back then. It's pretty impressive what Chevy has done with Corvette development from the C4 onward.

I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with it.
 

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Congrats! That's a really nice looking C5. I had a C4 convertible, which is considered a bottom feeder now, but it was a landmark car back then. It's pretty impressive what Chevy has done with Corvette development from the C4 onward.

I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with it.
The C4 was definitely a neat car. The ZR1 with the DOHC head that nobody knows about is a favorite, as is the iconic C4 Grand Sport. Oh, and that weird 4+3 doug nash trans deal, can't forget about that. It's hard to be in any Corvette and not have fun. What year was your car?
 

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It was a 1990, white on white with a red interior. It wasn't that powerful, around 250 IIRC, but enough to get a healthy second gear chirp from the Gatorbacks (yep, automatic). It was still a lot of fun to drive.
 

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BTW, that DOHC LT5 engine was designed by Lotus and built by Mercury Marine. Pretty wild. It blew away a lot of people when it was introduced.
 

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Discussion Starter #414
Another Keeper : My 1963 Corvair Spyder Turbo, wrapped it around a tree trying to make it handle like a Elan. The thing could keep up with 327 cheves handled weird with the antra light front end with only 14 PSI and big fat Michelin Xs Was working on it I just put the Konis on the front and it did a Ralph Nader on me and I totaled it.
Oh the foot , that cam from Martial arts (Judo)
 

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Ah, the joy of rear engined, swing axle cars. They did put a stabilizer in later models, sort of a transverse leaf, to discourage the outer wheel from tucking under. It was too late though. Still, the whole Corvair program was a pretty bold move for an American manufacturer at the time.
Thanks for sharing that pic. Where you racing and studying judo at the same time?
 

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Discussion Starter #416
Yes I was racing ,but with my Lotus s (Loti?) the Corvair was the family car. Yes I got quite good at Judo made 2nd degree. @ 35 years old a old man for contact sports competition
 
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