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Everything posted by phoenix

  1. Hello Rob. Hope you’re well. I have great respect for your achievement with this restoration. Has there been any progress since?
  2. OK Bond esprit fans. It's time to bring this particular thread which started some time ago with a query about the unusual 'dark grey' dash, seen on the close up scenes of the Wet Nelly interior to a conclusion. Lotus supplied at least 5 shells plus parts to the production company (and submersible company) and one shell was used to make a studio mock up for the road chase and underwater scenes. Here is a picture of that mock up. One should clearly see that the upper section of the dash has been trimmed in what looks like a soft slightly padded 'dark grey' material. This must have been done for camera techniques as a light grey might not have worked effectively with the background addition. I hope that answers the mystery.
  3. Don't underestimate the power of a few stickers, it's the automotive equivalent of make up or war paint. It has the ability to arouse people and value things differently. Look at what Lotus did with the éclat sprint. They took the most basic models (520 and 521) and stuck some stickers and matt black paint on them and consequently these cars became special.
  4. I think it looks retrotastic. I like it. I have a 1977 Matra Simca Bagheera S which has factory paint and a similar period stripe and that strip makes the car stand out. If you remove it, you'll lose the uniqueness and probably regret it. I have seen that unusual LOTUS script on the owners manual so it's very 70's Lotus.
  5. Here's a treat for all you vintage Lotus car pic lovers. These are pics taken from back in the day and scanned from what looks like glossy pics. Remember 110 film cameras... Cars in period pics always look so much fresher and better with their original features. This black series 1 Lotus éclat was, as far as I am aware purchased and sent out to sunny Cyprus from brand new. Observe the period tyres and battery and stance of the car on new springs. This particular model is interesting as it appears to have a full beige leather interior. Something not normally seen until the series 2's came out. It also has the later 'white' Smiths instruments that were fitted to series 2's and the last batches of elites and éclats and a later alternator. As such, I figure that this car was manufactured in 1980 and probably one of the last 2 litre éclats to roll off the production line at Hethel. It would, in the U.K. probably have been registered on a V plate. It may have even left the factory with a galvanised chassis as the last few cars had these and two pack paint as opposed to cellulose. I reckon the pictures were taken in the very early 80's. Amazingly I remember seeing this very car back then over 30 odd years ago being driven around, (once by a lady) as we would go to Cyprus regularly for vacation as kids. Of course I did not forget about it as like most of us, these early sightings stick to schoolboy minds and remain a permanent memory. That's why most of us are here. Any other observations would be appreciated. Enjoy the pics.
  6. Very sharp. The elite is looking better by the day against today's mass produced jelly mounds.
  7. I always wondered who it was that was being chauffered around in the Pink Panther Mobil.
  8. If that's the case, it's a silly gamble of a thing to do because history shows time and time again that when a car like this sells and comes back again straight after, people get suspicious or seriously peed off.
  9. After three years of sitting in my garage with the occasional engine run, (what a waste) my beautiful and original silver (red leather/black cloth) 1980 esprit 2.2 has been recommissioned and is once again taxed and MOT'd. It started a couple of months ago with an out of the blue phone call and prompt from a rather influential Lotus friend who gave me the nudge to get it back on the road. It made sense really. The chores of life took over these last four years as I started fixing up properties as well as doing my day job and the joys of life fell by the wayside. There is a saying that if a problem cannot be fixed by dosh, then it's not a problem. Hence with time being my issue, I enlisted the help of an old school friend and brilliant engine builder/tuner to get it back into shape. Work was methodical and included changing the Lumenition system and coil (new Bosch ballasted) as the setup was incorrect, rebuilding and setting up the carbs, fitting new NGK silicone leads, plugs, etc, tuning, changing to Millers 20/60 semi synthetic from Mobil 1 10/60 fully synthetic (which is what I had always used), replacing the SU fuel pump which had a hairline crack where I had overtightened the fittings (spanner hands), reffiting the cutout valve, rebuilding the electric window motors and mechanism, rebuilding the interior cooling fans and going over the entire car tightening any loose nuts and bolts that were making noises plus other bits n bobs which needed doing. The car is now running the way it is supposed to just like it did when it left the factory which is an absolute joy. Depending on how you row the gearbox, it can be driven gently like a Ford Mondeo or hard like a true lightweight 70's sports car. It's a real drivers car and I am so happy to be enjoying it once again. Seeing it again after a while out on the road amongst the massed produced jelly mould cars, its look appears to grow more stunning and exotic as time goes by. It's now a case of maintaining it in this condition, which with a bit of luck shouldn't cost the earth. I feel happier 😊 and anyone who says money can't buy happiness is talking nonsense because it's all about management and personal discipline. I think having a good Loti hidden away and not getting it out on the circuit should be a crime but I am very fortunate to have this car and to be able to do this.
  10. That looks like a very special car. It is an important part of Lotus History. In the classic car world, the first and last models are always the ones most sought after when values go up. I remember back in the day when Lotus introduced the world to the éclat excel it was a black show car that I first noticed in my local newspaper of all places. The champagne gold interior complements the black bodywork nicely. Restored, this car would look fantastic. I hope it goes to a good Lotus home and gets the treatment it deserves. The early narrowbody éclat excel is an endangered species. If only I had the space.....
  11. Beautiful line up of English sportscars. Thank you for sharing with us.
  12. Storing the cars where you live. Filip, you sound like a man who has his priorities right.
  13. You flirt Dunc. I think most 520's ended up with Wolfies, GKNs or other aftermarket alloys as the Steele wheeled cars are now something of a rarity.
  14. Hi William. I assume your car is an early 520 and very nice it looks too. I have one myself, same colour with Wolfrace wheels. The 520 which came out in 1976 was the entry level car and to differentiate from the more oppulent elite had skinnier Ford Steel wheels with a different smaller PCD. That meant the GKN alloys of elites and later éclats would not fit. Any 520 éclat with GKN alloys must have had the hubs replaced. Although Lotus had a contract with Wofrace to supply alloys for the 1976 and 1977 Esprits, I am not sure if any éclats left the factory with Wolfies as I have never seen any evidence like a spec sheet to prove. I would imagine such an upgrade was carried out at Lotus dealers although these wheels were massively popular and fitted to many English cars of the era. I hope that helps. Regards Roddy
  15. Thank you Dunc. Objects of beauty.... Nice to see the éclat and excel sandwiched by the Scimitar and MG. There is something very special about old English sportscars, they oooze character.
  16. So nice to see these three spectacular Lotus sportscars from the 70's, 80's wedge era together. All are connected In their styling and phylosophy. Lovely early dark bumper/skirt, narrow body éclat excel is becoming a rare but endangered species I hear!
  17. I was at the show and it was so nice to see this car in great condition and this colour. It's a 70's sportscars and with the exciting introduction of colour television during that decade, most cars were painted in bold colours like brown, orange, green and yellow. It's a shame when people change the colours to bring them up to date or go for a TV theme like the multiple white Bond-ifications of esprits you see at shows. Keep em original.
  18. éclats look fantastic in GKN's as it's a very period look and suit the cars. The GKN wheel looks like an early jet turbine. The Speedlines look good on later S2 cars as they give the impression of speed. Wolfies are a funny one for me as I think they look great on the original esprit but don't suit all cars. Having said that, I think that when this vehicle is restored to former glory and the wheels are polished up, they will complement all the shiny chrome work and light interior and look the part. Beautiful pics of KAH 534V. I think that there are too many pics out there of very sad looking elites/éclats. It's showing off the cars in this condition that help bring their values up to where they belong.
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