We are so grateful to Richard M for bringing his Lotus Westfield 11 to our shop for a five-speed conversion. It was a joy to have this beautiful curvaceous car here for a few weeks, and to make it better in so many ways.
We pulled the engine to put in the five speed, and this presents a challenge because you can see how the cross member that braces the tunnel hit the clutch fork and slave on the new Datsun transmission, so we had to cut and move that brace so it would all fit. You can see one photo of the new silver and further back tunnel brace that we fabricated.
We also put in LED lights, to make the brake lights more visible, and addressed lots of other sorting issues common on a kit car such as this. The end result was an exceptionally unique tribute car that is now wonderful to drive. The car uses many Sprite parts so much of it was quite familiar.
One of our biggest challenges was fitting a good muffler in the small space allowed. Of course a race Lotus 11 would not need much muffler space, but for practicality, Richard wanted us to quiet the car down a bit. So we found a longer chamber that would fit in the recess under the driver’s door and aligned everything so it would thread the needle through the body work. It all works nicely now! It’s great fun for us to customize any classic car and improve drivability.
This black cross member is integral to the car’s belly, but it hits the slave when you put in a datsun five speed
This new silver cross member is what we fabricated instead to address the problem. You can see it’s further back.
Thank you Richard for the opportunity!