A Tale of Two Tinas (Lotus Cortinas) Part 6

Whilst stripping Tina 2 down, I came across an old post card underneath the back seat. The post card was addressed and stamped, but had never been mailed! I attached a note to it explaining that I was about to restore the car, and would like some information on the history of it, stuffed it in an envelope and mailed it. A couple of weeks later, I got a letter back. The letter had gone to a lady in California. The post card was from her daughter, who lived in Sewanee, Tennessee at the time. The Daughter wrote me, saying she enjoyed receiving the post card and reliving some old memories. The post card was to be mailed in 1975! 16 years ago! The post card was to tell her Mom about her newborn daughter who was now sweet – 16!

She didn’t know much about the car, she just drove it. She did give me the phone number of her Ex (Ex-husband, not Ex-con!) who now lived in Oklahoma, so I gave him a ring. He answered, and we talked for an hour. He used to race an Elan 26R in SCCA and Midwestern Council back in the early 70’s in the Chicago area. He still owns an Elan (non-26R) that he drives on the street. I mentioned that I was having a hard time getting a title for the Cortina. I had what appeared to be a legal bill of sale, but the state was giving me a hassle. He said “Hold on a minute”. I heard a file cabinet being opened in the background, and in a minute he came back to the phone. “Got it right here” he said. Now I was a bit concerned, if he had the title, how could I have been sold the car? (picture sweat beading up on my forehead) Would he want the car back? “How might I coerce that title out of you” I asked? “Oh… I reckon it must be worth… (picture sweat pouring out of my forehead) somewhere between a dollar to a million.” We talked some more. Ends up that he needed a stock exhaust manifold for his Elan, and I had one, so we swapped the manifold for the title. (WHEW! Sweat is drying up now!) Those weird hubs that I had found in the Cortina’s trunk turned out to be his old spare 26R rear wheel knockoff hubs. Kinda rare stuff! He also mentioned that he thinks there is still an EIan that was destroyed by fire sitting in a forest on a hill behind a barn where he used to live. H-m-m-m, just what I need, another project car! If I ever get around the Tennessee area, maybe I’ll go Elan hunting.

I mailed off the manifold, and got the title in the mail a couple weeks later. I sold the 26R hubs and a pedal assembly to Jerry Bassler out on the left coast. Hope Jerry gets some use out of them. To be continued …

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