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Lotus Eclat


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Good luck with the resto.

57 minutes ago, exeterjeep said:

 to save Lotus from going through the lengthy process of getting a new car model type approved.

Interesting info Keith.  Always wondered why they were called Eclat Excels.

I remember when these were new, thinking they looked very exotic.


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well done on taking that one on. I've seen it advertised quite a lot over the past few years - mostly on facebook marketplace.

As mentioend above, its an early narrow body excel. Chassis is fully galvanised form new so shouldnt offer problems. Brakes are from a toyota celica so disks all round. Brakes are also shiiiiite (used to own one). As it is a light car there is a pressure differential valve that limits braking force to the rear discs to prevent lock up. Think of it as similar to the old load compensating valve on the rear axle that cuts the brakes when the axle hops, only without the braking force at the start...

Diff, gearbox, brakes are all toyota sourced RA61 celica, and well proven. Engine is the normal 912 2.2 lotus unit with iron liners (sometimes referred to as LC as in not being the high compression model of the SE and SA) despite the engine not being particularly low compression. When in good order the car can be quite brisk, if not fast by modern standards. They do drive quite well, although I never got on with the power steering in mine, preferring the manual rack of my eclat. I also found the suspension to be shorter travel with harder springs compared to the long travel, firm damping of an eclat. 

They do drive quite differently despite their visual similarities. Both have their fanboys - which one you prefer is up to personal preference.

Well done for saving it. Invest in a borescope from ebay for diagnosis - best 40 quid you will ever spend. If its just a bit stiff from standing, a combination of thin oil and redex pooled on top of the pistons, left a few days, then turned a little bit more each time with the crank nut and a bar (don't use excessive force) can free them up. I had similar symptoms once on a dolomite sprint, and it freed off without the need for cam/head removal..


good luck

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3 minutes ago, Dunc said:

although I never got on with the power steering in mine, preferring the manual rack of my eclat

2 of my elite/eclats had a manual rack, it was hard work at parking speeds, the rest had power. I believe that all excels had power steering, although it was listed as an option - I think it was a 'required' option. (from discussions I had with London lotus many years ago..)

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18 minutes ago, exeterjeep said:

it was hard work at parking speeds

makes a man of you Keith ! 😃

I have a power rack in the garage which was on the list to re-install, but after the excel - I'm leaving it as unassisted. 


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Welcome to TLF David. :welcome:

Best of luck with the restoration.

Any questions or issues with using the forums, feel free to ask one of us mods. We're here to help. :) 

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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Congratulations David! Glad to read another one is being saved. She looks just like mine, in Ice Blue. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any info, plenty to be found here.
I can agree with Duncan the power steering can be annoying. I've (briefly) looked into fitting a manual rack, but it was too much hassle, especially as I don't plan to keep the car. I've been using her as a daily at the moment and do enjoy that a lot!

Best of luck,


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.


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