Lotus Type 50 - Elan +2
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Federal Cars

Federal Cars The Federal cars were intended for the US market, where more stringent safety and emission requirements applied. As with the original Elan before it, the +2 variant was developed in compliance with the Federal Safety and Emission requirements, which included the following:

  • Dual circuit brakes
  • Collapsible steering column
  • revised instrument controls ( flush rather than projecting switches)
  • revised windscreen, reflectors and lights
  • Stromberg Carburettors, with crossover piping
  • Hexagonal wheel nuts in place of eared spinners

From chassis 0929 the Federal body specification was introduced for all markets, comprising the following changes from the original +2 body:

  • New bootlid, boot lock with remote cable operation
  • New doors and revised door window frames
  • Revised exhaust
  • New boot floor and carpet
  • Revised pedal box
  • Revised electrical system

Visually the cars are little different, although the bonnet bulge required to give clearance for the taller Strombergs is one clue as are the hexagonal wheel nuts.
The Federal's engines developed about 105 bhp or 115bhp in Special Equipment Federal form, despite being strangled by the anti-emission kit. Federal engines have a G suffix and can be recognised by a red cam cover.
The SE versions had an i suffix and a red cover. Big valve versions carry a T, U, or W suffix identify , also with a red cover.
Once the various Federal components had been developed they found their way onto cars for other markets in due course.
Around 50 or so Federal cars never made it to the States at all, but were converted to right hand drive when the US market was proving difficult. These cars were trickled out via the UK and Australian dealer network between 1969 and 1971, whilst various cars seem to have made their way to Holland.

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