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I always wanted to be the first to post in a section of a forum! :P;)

But seriously, though, it does. How cool is that? (pun intended, lol) A couple/few dozen US model S1s were converted by the importer or dealer. And mine blows ice cold!!!!!!!!! Woo-hooo!!!! :o

Tony K. :)


Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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  • 2 months later...

What did the conversion consist of? Did they change out the heater unit? How well integrated is it? Any pictures of the installation? Have you converted it to R134 or is still running R12?

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE


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There are a couple dozen (estimated) S1s in the states with AC. I've been told by a long time (since 1979) California-based S1 owner that it was a "factory authorized dealer conversion," as were the large sunroofs with rounded corners that are seen on some Federal S1s (Dom, I think your car has one). Jim Loose imported cars did some, as did Manhattan Beach Motorcars/Imports/whatever -- both California dealers back in the day.

The AC conversions appear to have all been done to later cars -- mine, with a September '77 build date, is the earliest known S1 with the AC conversion. (All the others I have seen have been Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan cars.) It basically had a bunch of parts stolen from the Elite/Eclat (crude brackets, etc.), the lines run inside the sill on the right side (passenger side), and the equipment (dryer and such) is installed up front eerily closely to how it is done on an S2. Some have the S2's Fan Failure light. You can spot one of these conversion cars by the two round knobs under the heater slider controls -- one with a snowflake and the other with a fan blade.

The AC unit installs under the dashboard and intrudes into the glove box. The two rectangular Jaguar parts bin vents (binnacle face and dash) are re-routed to come straight from the AC system; i.e., they do not let in fresh outside unheated air like on a normal S1. On my car, a third vent is placed in the middle of the dash right above the radio, and basically points at the ceiling; on all but one of the others I've seen, a little pod is installed with two vents in a more usable perpendicular position.

My blue car has been converted to R134a and now sports a HUGE condenser installed at an angle inside the front spoiler ahead of the radiator. My AC gets so cold that in anything less than 90-degree weather, the evaporator ices over after about an hour, disrupting the air flow! Not a problem with an S1 that I mind!!!

Mike Geiger, who owned 454H for most of its life, wondered if it was a factory AC prototype, or at least the conversion prototype, as so much of the original equipment was factory S2 stuff, and the compressor mounting brackets looked factory. He redid the entire system, but photo-documented the original stuff. I lost all those photos f in a computer crash recently, and don't know where the flash drive I backed it up on is . . . But if anyone is real interested, I can go photograph everything. But I say, hey, look for a dealer conversion AC car -- make life easy! :D

...and to think I just started this thread as a joke, as there was nothing in this section yet!

P.S. -- Robert, AC was optional on S2s -- it's not uncommon on U.S. models. For example, that yellow car for sale in Ft. Lauderdale has it. :thumbup:


I cannot imagine driving around in my S1 on a hot summer day without the windows down so i can hear the engine burble.......

.....did that sound convincing?

Lucky B%$#^%%


77 S1 Esprit

DOM!! Where have you been?!? I've been meaning to get in touch with you: Do you have the key for the louvers on your rear glass? I need to remove a set of those from an S1 and it has no key. They're the same louvers as on yours -- put the key in each corner and unlock the louver rack from the thing that is slipped under the trim. Shoot me a PM if you can help, please . . . .

Tony K. :)


Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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