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Don't Be Foolish

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    Lotus Elite 503
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  1. After recently purchasing an old copy of Car magazine off eBay, which featured a road test of the then newly launched Lotus Eclat 2.2, I was drawn to the ‘Good, Bad and the Ugly’, a section where the cars of the day were rated or in some cases mercilessly slated by the magazine’s notoriously hard to please journalists. In the light of the scorn poured on our cars today by certain sections of the classic car fraternity, I was for some reason reminded of a famous quote from Norfolk’s favourite local DJ: Does he still laugh at my Lotus Elite? Yeah? Can I just read you something from the November 1980 issue of Car magazine? No, it’s alright, I’ve got it here, I’ve got it here. The Lotus Elite - For: Tremendous space utilisation (room for four), performance, pleasing controls, terrific handling and road holding along with fine ride, excellent trim, Against: Rear access a little awkward, Sum Up: Fast, refined, sensible and enjoyable, the GT car of the 80’s. Not my words, Carol. The words of The Good, Bad and the Ugly in Car magazine. Hello...... (I suspect that Alan would have also enjoyed the supermini giant test in the same issue , featuring, amongst others, the newly announced Mini Metro.... not that he would ever drive one of course )
  2. Hopefully the link above might work to a LHD Series 2 Elite that has just appeared on
  3. Good evening Brian, Regarding the Series 2 front spoilers, SJ Sortscars show them available on their website for £102.76 including VAT. I think that these are new parts that have been fabricated using a mould of an original. It might be worth asking if any Elite or Eclat owners on the Forum have purchased one and if so whether they were pleased with the fit and finish.
  4. After a 12 months fruitless search for a Riviera bonnet for sale, as a last hope I was just wondering if anyone has a Riviera bonnet that, whilst not wanting to part with it, wouldn't mind it being used as a mould to produce a new one? If anyone might be able to help, could you please message me so we can discuss the practicalities of whether might be possible. Many thanks.
  5. Hi Tom, thanks very much for your offer. I'm not very mechanically minded so I hadn't thought about needing one of those. I've checked through my tool box and all mine seem to be right handed. Just a quick question though, how do know if the left hand hinge on the bonnet is the one looking from the front of the car or the driver's seat? I've looked all through the workshop manual but Lotus don't seem to tell you
  6. Just a quick update...the kind offer of a bonnet from John was from an Eclat Sprint rather than a Riviera so I am still looking. On the plus side, John did have a couple of spare bags of rocking horse manure and now my roses have never looked so healthy
  7. Whilst looking through some old photographs recently, I came across some of a family holiday to Blackpool back in 1977, when I was 15 years old. In amongst the pictures of the tower and the donkeys, was this one of a red Lotus Elite in the car park of where we were staying, the Norbreck Castle Hotel. Proof, if needed, that my purchase of an almost identical car some 40 years later was the fulfillment of a childhood dream! PS - the picture next to it is my dad's 1976 Rover 3500 in very period 'Brazilia Brown'.
  8. I realise that this is a very long shot but I was wondering if anyone had an unwanted Riviera bonnet lying around in the garage, in between the boxes full of hens’ teeth and rocking horse poo! Any help locating one would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Thanks for that, Simon, I’ll give them a call tomorrow.
  10. Hi Simon, Your new aluminium grill should give your car a real upmarket look! Do you have the name of the company that carried out the anodising for you? Some of the window trim on my car is looking rather scratched and ‘cloudy’ and I have been looking in vain for ages for a firm that might be able to carry out some restoration. Do you think that it might be something that they would be able to undertake?
  11. Sticking with the car show theme, here's a photo of my Elite at the Lakeland Car Museum, near Ulverston in Cumbria, on the Classic Drive and Ride In Day back in April:
  12. Ant, Thank you for your kind words about my car and your advice regarding the broken clutch cable. I will definitely consider the e-bay kit if (when?!) it breaks again! On this occasion, as someone who needs an instruction manual to use a hammer and therefore, not able to fix it myself , I decided to contact Mike at Lotusbits to see if it would be ok to have my Elite recovered to him to have the work done. Despite the workshop being extremely busy, he very kindly agreed to squeeze me in and had the car ready for collection in a couple of days. A train journey down to Rugby and a fascinating chat with the team at Lotusbits was followed with not a little trepidation, by a 200 mile/three and a half hour journey back to Cumbria although I needn't have worried (or packed an overnight bag!) as the car performed faultlessly all the way home.
  13. Thought I would post a couple of pictures (hopefully) of my 1978 Elite 503 that I purchased last August, including one as it assumes the 'Lotus position' on the back of an AA recovery truck as a result of a broken clutch cable!
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