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So I have a disco and a 501 elite tub. If you can guess I have elite and disco, disco and elite.

Yep I am making a elitediscovery. Any help would be great any advice welcome any critisium taken.

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If you are doing what I think you are doing you are wanting to make an offroad Elite? :shock:

It has been attempted before and royally screwed up too..... only to end up on ebay and not sell due to it having no appeal. :sick:

Lotus is all about chassis dynamics if you take that away, you have a body on something which will never hug the road ever again, probably cause you all sort of headaches and ruin family life.

Better off building a kit car in my opinion.


I see this costing lots, never getting finished and if you get bored, better off scrapping it as nobody will buy the remains of what has been chopped up.

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Welcome to the forum Peter!


I'm a bit more sanguine about this one....


Whilst yes, I would urge you to track down a replacement chassis (lots about) and put that elite back on the road in a form that its maker intended, - I am also conscious that you have an elite body that unless someone puts some effort into will probably never live again.


As mentioned, the 4x4 elite has been attempted before. It was .... certainly different and unusual. I'm not sure I can say much else about it.


Elite's are now getting rare, and interest is rising. You might end up kicking yourself in 10 years time.


If you don't have an engine in the Lotus, you could always track down a replacement Lotus Rolling chassis, and slip that 3.9L V8 into it and come and join the fun...!





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Hi Duncan

Can't say enough that I will not change or chop the body in any way (not in ma blood) the original mounting points to original chassis will be used. Also the inevitable change to the original will happen V8 or not ( although would be nice).

For know project is different and is clearly ruffling feathers along the way, this is not my intention.

I am making building and finishing my elite disco. 

This tub has had a long life and is tired so new love will be poured over till it lives again.

The tub in my life for 5 years and forever after it will stay and eventually yes as I say original.

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Don't misunderstand me, I am not saying don't do it as that would be pot, kettle and black from me.

I have modified every car I have ever owned.

Merely saying if you do it be prepared for it to cost more than expected, take more time than expected, lose more skin on your fingers than expected...

Ground clearance on the front nose on steep off roadi g could be an issue unless you are significantly lifting the body.

Totally agree with trying to keep chassis mountings and body original.

There will come a point very soon when even ragged bodies are in high demand.

A rare beast that the general public is only just starting to wake up to.

Guess this will be a Lovus Discoverite

Edited by Fueltheburn
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Yes fuel these have all been taken into account and as the blood bit has been spilt on many ovation I understand. As for clearance issues the, I have purchased a 4inch lift kit and full air suspension from a range weather fitted or not are my options and expense at the moment. Although first job will be my disco body off for my frame to go on to hold lotus body then we will work out clearances.


Sorry expand on frame a little welded up a space frame/ ladder chassis in 2 sections one on top of the other (picks will follow) to slot the tub on and can be mounted to disco with ease.

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Should be interesting! I can't remember this aborted previous 4x4 project at all, perhaps if I did it would change my viewpoint!


But currently, with so many useless knackered old Elite's laying about, procrastinating their inevitable destruction, where's the harm?


Is the wheelbase exactly the same? When that gets altered to fit other underpinnings is when it all starts to look rather ugly. There is a blue Jensen Interceptor floating around somewhere grafted onto another chassis (7 series BMW I think), lots of effort and cash have been expended, all wasted IMHO as it's just begging to be landfill


PS here we go, what not to do;



In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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If you are going to go off roading in it, I would also build an external rollcage. If you put the glassfibre body on its side, all your hard work will be for nothing. I also wouldn't trust the current rollbar that is built into the body if the extra weight of a disco chassis is pressing against the floor if the car is on its roof. It mounts into the glassfibre of the body rather than the chassis.

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Go for it!

Dont forget though that the Elite body is probably the most expensive part to restore on these cars.

You need to look out for rusty door frames, rusty side impact bars, seized door hinges, windscreen and side windows unbonded, windscreen trim falling off, headlight lifting system, electics not working, interior trim falling apart etc etc...

And thats on top of your conversion work, thats why the last attempt stalled.

Although i notice you have already junked the interior!

Edited by pbharcourt
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Interior not junked has been removed except dash to organise reinforced bits and some repair work then replaced all in sued with some help from my mum lol and her boundless no ledge of a sewing machine. Next big job is body off disco but juggling daughters fly fishing lessons is starting to get in the way alittle so next week will update hopefully with windows dash doors and bonnet/boot of lotus and hole body off disco ambitious I may hear you say well yep it is x

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Go for it - but you have got to keep it low :thumbsup:


Here's the target height (from this thread)






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Go for it Peter!

After all, the Discovery is underneath a Range Rover Classic, and the Range Rover was at the time a revolutionary chassis and suspension design. So it does suit the Lotus spirit.

You could check out LR4x4.com, very good site with many knowledgeable people. There was a thread about similar builds, including a Jaguar XJ and an MG that looked good and had the (offroad) performance to match.

The wheelbase being the same is already a big advantage. But the get enough clearance for offroadsize wheels (even the standard 205/80 or 235/70 of the Disco) the arches would have to be enlarged. Short of a big bodylift, but that would ruin the silhouette IMHO and make it look like a chassis with something stuck on top of it.

I have been driving and tweaking airsprung Range Rovers for some years, if you have any questions, don't hesitate! And do keep us posted on your ideas and progress. :-)


Best of luck,



I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.


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I would agree with the "go for it" approach. No damage done to what would have been a scrap body IMO. If lotus is all about handling then there would be no need for an eclat and an elite in the same line up at the same time. The reality of cars is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and even lotus knew this back in the day!

So why not jack up an elite... It would be good to see the finished work next to Charlie's slamed elite!

Sometimes cars cannot be rationalised. If it was then no one would spend the money restoring a model which is generally considered to be ugly and will not be worth the money spent. The joy is in the journey and the expression of your creativity. So go for it just remember to post often 'cause i for one would love to see how it progresses.

Edited by mikeeech
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So why not jack up an elite... It would be good to see the finished work next to Charlie's slamed elite!

Just has to be done, from a low-tus to a high-tus, why the hell not, I say go for it. In all honesty if you pull this off it could be seriously cool, massive nobly tyres, big off road springs and struts, roaring V8 bellowing around. What a photo opportunity, the panther slammed right under the beast!

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So little bit of bad and alot of good all stripped down and done except disco. Wife wants me to landscape garden and shed needs a revamp for workshop so bit slow for two weeks but if I get a chance will put up pics of progress. For the bad off side door in 3 bits, also cracked the windscreen so anyone with a spare I will need one in about 3 months

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  • 1 month later...

hi everyone

been a while so thought I would fill you all in on progress.

well f**ked up royally on progress for know.

I had to move the lotus shell for my land lord as it bothered his view of the world. picked it up with forklift to move 20 m down the road to my new garage and it fell off onto the windscreen pillar and popped the pillar and the windscreen off the car sh**ter I hear you say.

well yes but my friend builds gas tankers from reinforced fiberglass and he will be stapling the chassis back together and filling the holes with resin as it was out of factory may have to put a roll cage in her but will suit the plan for know. biggest problem is the turning it back to original idea as may have to get this checked out. any thoughts...

or I bite the built and take the roof off??????    

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