Completed France trip 1900 miles

Our Elans were built to be driven and not all of us want to to use them on Track Days. If you use, or plan to use, your Elan as a Grand Tourer and have completed or are planning some great trips then inspire the rest of us with the details.

Moderators: theelanman, dapinky, DaveT, Elanlover, muley, Enright, Nige, GeoffSmith, algirdas, nitroman, Sy V, Specky, clemo, Dave Eds

Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby dans » Sun 02.08.2009, 17:09

Hi all,

Just wanted share the great roadtrip i've just had in the Elan.
Having not used the Elan much for the last 2 years I decided it was well over due to give it a blast down through France as I'd always planned to. So after a good spring clean, service and minor maintenance jobs it was back on the road and all seemed good!
Then headed for Dover via Brands Hatch for the WTCC, including Elise Trophy and Forumla 2. Also got a passenger ride in a 340bhp supercharged Elise...... very very exciting.......
From Dover we took the ferry across to Boulogne sur Mer, nice brand new ferry with LD Lines. Whilst queueing to get into the port the engine temp shot up but the fan kicked in at 3/4 as expected/hoped.....
Had planned to spend a few days slowly making our way down to near Dijon but once we going it seemed so easy we just just went straight down there on the autoroutes. May not be the most exciting roads but sat a ninety on good road we so few cars it seemed a shame to stop! Got down near Troyes and got on to some back roads late in the evening, very quiet, very fast roads, brilliant fun. Car felt great!
Arriving at a friends house I checked the car over the next day, coolant levels looked good, oil need a slight top up. Most obvious issue was that one of the rear brakes was seized and not working properly. I had given them all a clean before leaving and thought they looked ok, but suspect it never was. Didn't seem to be causing a problem so I decided to leave well enough alone, didn't want to open a can of worms that far from home.
Few days later we headed down to Morzine in the alps to visit another friend. Hit a thunder storm on the way there and had to do an emergency stop in a service station to get the roof up for the first time!! Already very wet though!
Roads up into the alps were great fun. Drove some fantastics roads up and down to the ski resort of Avoriaz, spooky place but well worth a visit. Got chatting to a French family in Chamonix who were very interested in the Elan, would like to swap their MG (!) for one as the MG is underpowered. They looked bit suprised when I told them it was 19 yr old car compared to their 5 yrd old one though......
From Morzine we drove a fantastic road down to Lake Geneve and had a fantastic days camping by the Lake. The whole time there were people looking at the Elan and taking pictures!!!! It seems to get very little attention in the UK, I guess with so many Elises and similar around, but in France it still turns heads!!!
From Geneve back to Dijon was back on the autoroute but still some great roads weaving down from the Alps.
After a few more days it was time for quick blast back to home. 642 miles over 14 hours, roof down the whole way, even for the last 10 miles from home when it started raining!!!!!!
Google maps route
Only issues for the whole trip were the rear brake and the wing mirror glass coming loose on one side, looks like the plastic clip has fatigued. The car was comfortable to drive over all those miles. We had luggage for two people, including tent and camping gear.
Awesome car, great trip!

Where next..................???????????????

User avatar
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue 26.04.2005, 19:14
Location: Cotswolds

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby muley » Sun 02.08.2009, 18:49


Great post. Pleased you made it back safely.


"You can take the man out of the Elan, but you can't take the Elan out of the man"
1995 Palacio S2 no 507
"LEC turbo nutter" ;)Black MX-5 NC Red Honda Integra S
User avatar
Posts: 4046
Joined: Tue 22.04.2003, 09:07
Location: Wokingham, Berks and Waikanae Beach

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby John_W » Sun 02.08.2009, 19:48

Sounds great. Reminds me of the holidays we had before we had kids. Jensen-Healey on the ferry, take lots of francs and a red Michelin guide, drive around staying at great hotels an eating in interesting restaurants until the francs have gone, then come home.

Your post has put me in the mood. Our kids are now old enough that we must try to do that again in 2010.

User avatar
Posts: 3486
Joined: Mon 21.04.2003, 12:31
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby tigerdog » Sun 02.08.2009, 20:44

Sounds like a great trip - looking forward to seeing the photos of an Elan in the Alps! :)
"Refitting is the reverse sequence to removal, but you swear in different places."
User avatar
Posts: 2592
Joined: Tue 20.03.2007, 09:07
Location: San Diego, CA, USA

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby kenich » Sun 02.08.2009, 20:55

Sounds like great trip all round really :) I drive to and around france yearly and have always wanted to take one of my weekend cars there instead of a saloon lol. I expect driving an elan around some of those country roads is paradise. Best I have got is an 1600 MX5 :|
User avatar
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun 02.08.2009, 11:44
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby DeanG » Mon 03.08.2009, 22:15

How about some pictures with captions.
User avatar
Posts: 953
Joined: Fri 19.12.2003, 22:12
Location: Virginia USA

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby dans » Tue 04.08.2009, 22:21

mmmhhh..... suspect I have a limited number of pictures of the car :oops: . Will see what I have!
User avatar
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue 26.04.2005, 19:14
Location: Cotswolds

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby BFG in the BRG » Sat 08.08.2009, 18:41

Sounds like you had a fantastic trip,

The whole time there were people looking at the Elan

I had the same in France - they obviously appreciate style!

Vive La differance!
Alas soon to be Elan-less
I keep telling myself it is for the best
User avatar
BFG in the BRG
Posts: 457
Joined: Tue 13.05.2008, 14:13
Location: Eastbourne (God's Waiting Room)

Re: Completed France trip 1900 miles

Postby HJ2 » Sat 08.08.2009, 19:05

Nice story.
And France is excellent to visit with the Elan.

Last year we went to the Dordogne.... In a Suzuki Swift 1.3 (yes, the old one... but with Aircon!)
Confit the Canard till you drop, together with some fine local wines :-)

The only Elan i found is the Elan petrol station :-)
If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got
User avatar
Posts: 3586
Joined: Fri 06.06.2008, 10:54
Location: Delft, the Netherlands

Return to Touring

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest