Dash backlight color question

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Dash backlight color question

Postby Sleeka » Wed 11.01.2017, 01:31

Am I crazy or is the backlight for the dash red? If so what color was the factory stereo that came with the Elan? Seems odd that they would use a stereo with different color.

I need to replace the newer stereo in mine with something from 1991 (+- 2 years) if I want collector plates and all the older decks seem to be amber and not red. Anyone have a solution? This is a North American Elan as well so want something with a tuner compatible here.
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby tigerdog » Wed 11.01.2017, 01:45

Look for a period blaupunkt. Several of their series had adjustable backlight color. I have a "7 Series" downstairs that has some missing pixels in the display but is otherwise perfect. That's a 1997 vintage but since the Elan was made almost unchanged from 1988 to 1995, maybe you can stretch it a bit. The Blaupunkts are the best visual match, in any case.

To get historic plates, do you actually need a historic radio, or just something that looks old?

If you don't mind buying from Lithuania:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blaupunkt-Munchen-CD41-90s-CD-Radio-player-for-Porsche-Mercedes-VW-Audi-BMW-/152379583760?hash=item237a87ed10:g:8okAAOSw44BYGjr8&vxp=mtr
It even has "1991" printed on the part label on the side. Can't get more period than this!
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby Sleeka » Wed 11.01.2017, 02:09

They specify that it has to be era correct which they say means within 2 years of the manufacture date. It probably wouldn't be something they challenge if it at least looks correct.

I was originally thinking Blaupunkt but thought it was amber, but that picture looks red. I am also seeing the old Denons had color options but I believe the color options were bulb caps that you put on so may not be something I can easily find a replacement for.

Would the radio frequencies be the same in Lithuania?
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby Elanlover » Wed 11.01.2017, 02:11

The original colour of the instrument cluster is "reddish". The backlighting is standard incandescent white with that yellow tinge and the lettering is a red with slight orange hue. Over time your dials may change colour as well fading to an even more orange shade. If you happen to own an Audi its easy to see the difference between the Audi's true red backlighting and our reddish dials. I'm sure it made it hard for Lotus to find a head unit with backlighting that was an exact match. Most North American cars came with a Sony deck that was a very close match. However, nothing in the car really matches exactly if you look at the dials, the switches and the deck. :-D
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby Rob P » Wed 11.01.2017, 09:12

Sleeka wrote:Am I crazy or is the backlight for the dash red? If so what color was the factory stereo that came with the Elan? Seems odd that they would use a stereo with different color.

I need to replace the newer stereo in mine with something from 1991 (+- 2 years) if I want collector plates and all the older decks seem to be amber and not red. Anyone have a solution? This is a North American Elan as well so want something with a tuner compatible here.


Hi just to advise (and I have seen this somewhere on this forum before) the actual Stereo for the car for period is listed as a choice of the following
A100M0123F radio cassette Blaupunkt Montreux RDR 49
A100M0211F radio cassette Blaupunkt Cambridge SQM 26
A100M6161F radio cassette Clarion CRH20
A100M6592F radio cassette Clarion CRX 121R
A100M6561F Multi changer Clarion CRX CDC 9250

However they are a rare beast to find so good luck
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby Elanlover » Wed 11.01.2017, 14:22

Rob P wrote:Hi just to advise (and I have seen this somewhere on this forum before) the actual Stereo for the car for period is listed as a choice of the following
A100M0123F radio cassette Blaupunkt Montreux RDR 49
A100M0211F radio cassette Blaupunkt Cambridge SQM 26
A100M6161F radio cassette Clarion CRH20
A100M6592F radio cassette Clarion CRX 121R
A100M6561F Multi changer Clarion CRX CDC 9250

However they are a rare beast to find so good luck


All true.....if you don't have a North American model. And since Sleeka seems fo be out in BC, Canada I'm guessing that is what he has. In which case the most common was the Sony deck (both my Elans had one) although I seem to recall that there was another option bit I don't know what it was.
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby Rob P » Wed 11.01.2017, 15:07

ah good point, apologies hadn't noticed he was from the other side of the pond. :-)
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby donsladek » Wed 11.01.2017, 16:43

Since the North American cars were not imported with stereos installed, were blanking plates installed instead when they crossed the pond?

Anyone have one? - pics?
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby GeoffSmith » Wed 11.01.2017, 21:39

They were. Only a schematic (item 40):

http://www.deroure.com/images/diagrams/23/14_07A.gif
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Re: Dash backlight color question

Postby Elanlover » Wed 11.01.2017, 22:09

I believe the other stereo option was indeed a Clarion. In fact, the US FED specific parts manual I have describes it as a "Radio/Cassette-Clarion CRH20" Lotus part number A100M6161F. The other stereo listed is described as "Radio/Cassette CRX91R S" Lotus part number A082M6508F. Both are Clarion models - no mention of a Sony model. I seem to recall it looking a bit like this.

sony xr-777.jpg


Sony's head units were all of the XR series back then and they had several models. A similar one is on eBay. Wasn't aware that the car didn't come with the stereo already installed - are we sure? I never saw one being unwrapped at the dealer though. :m100:
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