One of the most expensive parts of the Lemons car is the seat – a good fiberglass seat will run you at least $500 dollars and even an aluminium seat will cost > $300. Now if you are preping a regular race car thats not a problem, the seat will usually last the lifetime of the car. In our case the car will most probably last only 1 race and it did not make too much sense to spend more than the cost of the car on just one seat. Enter Terry Griffin and Griffin Motorwerke, the west coast Recaro distributor, who offered to lend us a Pole Position seat and the associated mounting hardware.
One of the biggest advantages of getting the Recaro hardware was the fact that it came with a set of sliders. Since our driver lineup has some significant height variation, a single fixed seat position really wouldn’t have worked for us. By using a seat on sliders weâ€™d be able to move the seat around as needed to fit the various drivers. I should add that it is possible to transport a seat in the Elise.
When we got around to actually mounting the seat in the car we came across some interesting problems. Mounting points for the Recaro Seat rails are 16 inches apart while the factory mounting points are 17 inches apart. Since we couldnâ€™t reuse the factory seat points weâ€™d have to drill some holes in the floor except that with just an inch of clearance it wouldnâ€™t be very safe to drill a hole next to the factory point. Also the floor on the E30 is not flat which meant that we couldnâ€™t get a good fit between the rails and the floor. In the end we had to weld some C-channel to the floor and mount the seat rails to the channel. This method did lose us about half an inch in head-room but it was the only safe way of mounting the seat.
Once the seat was in place we came across another problem â€“ the Pole Position seat was actually a bit too small for both Jyri and me. The shoulder harness slots were a too low and the tops of the slots were under our shoulder. In the case of an accident this would lead to spinal compression which really isnâ€™t a very good idea. We got back in touch with Terry and he gave us a Profi SPG XL seat instead. This seat is quite a bit bigger and the shoulder holes are high enough to work quite well for all of us. Best of all since itâ€™s a Recaro seat it just slots into the same brackets as the Pole Position and required no modifications to car. Our race seat was officially in place.
Iâ€™d like to give a huge thanks to Terry Griffin and Griffin Motorwerke for sponsoring our team in the Lemons race. Iâ€™ll let you into a little know fact about Terry- apart from running his massively successful business, he also lead a double life as a professional F1 photographer. He takes some incredible photographs and as a long time member of the F1 circus he knows a good number of players. The next time you’re at his shop just bring up the topic of F1 and expect to spend a good half hour discussing the sport with a true insider