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Pr3d4t3r

1976 Lotus Esprit S1 - Possible Restoration

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Hey Guys, Im new here but have been reading some posts and restoration topics and it has greatly insipired me

I live in South Africa, which does not have access to all the Esprit Maniacs like u guys, hehe, so help here is hard to come by with the car.

It is what u could call a barn find car as it is in an absolutely shocking state, it was rolled back in 1981 by the onwner and has not been on the road since, but has been lying in a garage gathering dust.

I decided to purcahse it and attempt to restore it to its former glory as a S1 but am not so sure if that is possible anymore, I accquired it about a year ago and have totally stripped it down and tried to assess wheather I can restore it, and have learnt alot from sites like this one before attemting anything, as I am what u may call a bit new to the restoring side of life, hehe

It seems like a very exciting opportunity though and im sure I will be learning alot, I am a huge fan of the lotus S1 as well as the Guiagaro Turbo model.

The previous owner obviously liked the turbo more as he has totally massacred the body on the S1 so as to modify it to look like a turbo, has new panels for a turbo, interior has been customized to look like the turbo, has chopped and added a sunroof, removed the original sideskirts of the S1 for turbo looking ones, new turbo replica wheels, turbo decals

I am not too sure if it is possible to restore it to an S1 anymore, because it seems very hard to find parts for them and I am not sure if I can afford the import costs to aquire all these parts.

SO hence my post and was wondering if you guys could give me a hand of advice,

firstly wheather to try my hardest and source S1 parts, or to continue the build and make it into a turbo (seems a bit sad since they are really really RARE) but not sure i can get all teh parts of an S1 or wheather I can afford to get them :)

a list of what i would need to restore it to an S1

1. Windshield, front and rear

2. full set of 4 wheels (original wolfrace S1 spec ones)

3. a full redone interior back to S1 spec

4. S1 sideskirts (these i can possibly make out of fiberglass, if i can find a template)

5. S1 bumpers, front and rear

6. a few other odds and ends that are missing, door mirror, steering wheel, chrome trim for the interior, badges, re-view mirror, radiator, etc

thats all i can think of, the rest of the old S1 stuff is there, along with new replacement turbo parts, although the body is in serious disrepair, and I need to totally re-fibreglass a large amount of it, due to the rolling of the car, everything appears to be straight though, although the body seems to be splitting along the seems in the middle where it was originally moulded together in the factory (not sure if i can repair that, but seems possible)

the chassis and engine are intact as S1 spec but need serious restoration aswell, but all part of the fun i guess, hehe

also it is missing the chassis plates and such, so all I have is the registration document from back in '81 when it came off the road

not sure if any one out there can tell me a bit of history about the car, I tried searching but didint come up with much as cant find it registed anywhere ever, or on any production lists

the details I do know are as follows

1976 Production Esprit S1

think the original color was yellow, but not sure may have been resprayed (not sure how rare yellow is either, probably common) was registered as yellow though

engine number is CC7761013187

chassis number is 76102386

those are from the registration document

and on the odo meter it is registering at 33078 Miles, when it crashed

thanx guys, can also try post a few pics if any 1 wants to see, but not much to look at atm im affraid, but hopefully someday it will be back on the road in its former glory, moving house atm so would probably start the restoration phase early next year

Bevan

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Normally I'd say that will be more trouble than it's worth, but am I right in thinking that chassis number is production no 3? If so then it's got a valuable history and worth the effort. I'm sure Gordon or one of the other S1 afficianados will be along to confirm/correct me.

Edit - Just checked chassis no format and it's not No 3! Must stop trying to post "facts" sat in a bar after a load of beer.................


Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

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Hi Bevan,

It sounds as if you have a bit of a mountain to climb to get your S1 back on the road. If your looking for inspiration have a look at Matt-Watts thread on his restoration, it's sure to install a believe that it can be done.

There are many, including myself, that subscribe to any S1 is worth saving if possible. From your parts list I don't think you have a problem in getting replacements out of the UK. As a source for pricing check SJ Sportscars.

http://www.sjsportscars.co.uk/home.asp

Their inventory for the S1 is quite extensive and their website is fairly easy to navigate. At least you can judge how deep you may have to go financially.

To clarify the VIN look under the body where the nose badge is/would of been. You may find the last 4 of the VIN hand written there. Also check the inside of the doors. I had my driver's door trim off this weekend and I saw the last 4 of the VIN hand written there too.

I'd be interested in seeing some photos.

Gavin

Edited by GavinS1

Cheers, Gavin

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hi Bevan

whereabouts are you ?

i live in Cape Town and own a gCAR - you need to hook up with me and a couple of guys who can possibly help as well.

you can also e mail me at [email protected] to be kept in the loop.

richard


Technically sound ...Theoretically poked !

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Hi Bevan

Good to hear about another fellow S1 fan.

With regards to the chassis number on you car it is made up like this

76080100G

Where

76 =1976

08 = when the car left the factory 08 = August

0100 = Chassis number

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Thank you to all those guys that have replied, I really appreciate the info you are all sharing with me

sent you a mail roger, thanx for dropping me a line, most kind, am living in Pretoria atm, but might be moving down close to Plettenburg Bay in the next 2 months

as for Gordon, u have me very very intrigued and excited to discover the history of the car am going to go and check everything and see if i can find or confirm the numbers I posted

I checked the registration document again and it is the same as I posted, but is a very old document from the 80's so might be they wernt so into detail back then or that they mis read the numbers, gonna see what I can find and will post it up here

will try hooking up some photo's for u guys too

oh thanx for those site's aswell Gavin, matt's looks amazing, make's me wanna finish mine in a week so I can drive it, lol

I have checked the old panels that came with the car, and can only find a number inside the left and right door they match and are number

217G-2 not sure what the -2 is for

cannot find any numbers under the badge, because i think the guy smashed there and refiber glassed it, thats how it appears, no other numbers in the body either

so it could very well be that the number was recorded incorectly

I also went and double checked on the engine itself and the number there is CC776 101 3187 so that matches the registration form, not sure if any of that makes sense, hehe

also if it is 217G would it be possible to find the begining of the number? cause it would most probably be the one that matches the engine number, and if engine matches CC7761013187 then thats probably my car smile.gif

anyways, off for now but really appreciate all the help smile.gif

seems it added all my last posts together, so sorry for the essay apperance :)

Edited by Pr3d4t3r

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Sports Car World in TX did have a list for VIN#/Engine#/Color but it seems to be nolonger available since they changed their website. Try sending an email to Andy Graham at the factory, he's the archives guy:

[email protected]

and see what he can pull up on 217G. Or maybe Gordon or Tony K can help.

Good Luck.

Gavin.


Cheers, Gavin

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I have an old copy of the Sports Car World list that I printed a few years back.

I don

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Cool thanx guys, I will try get some pics up a bit later today, and will go search again for the chassis plate, hehe :) the whole thing is tripped though and couldnt find anything but might be I missed it

I will try sending Andy a mail aswell to see if he can help maybe

unfortunately I only have a South African document when it was registered here, which was first registration in 1978, so I think it coulda been imported from the UK or registered there first perhaps, I am not a 100% sure if it is a UK car because the registration document doesnt have a G on it but the number in the door is definately 217G-2, but will get some pics of that up for u guys so u can check :(

thanx again

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I'm fairly certain that a 217G never left the factory. Perhaps they started molding panels (door, whatever) for a 217G but never built a car with that number, and the door(s) went to another car?

As a side note, I own 217H, and I believe it is the only "217" car --no "J", either. :P


Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Very interesting, it is possible they used doors from another car, some1 said there should be a number on the chassis on the right front somewhere behind the wheel, so have been paint stripping but have discovered nothing as of yet.

I also found out that it appears that the engine number I have corrisponds to 0238G, so it may be possible that they incorerectly recored the number and instead of 76102386, it should be 7610238G and not a 6, but that still doesnt count in the missing zero though? cause I guess then it shoulda been 76100238G? or am I mistaken

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Bevan...See above

76102386

This would suggest a 1976 car

Left the factory in October

2386

Edited by GordonMasson

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Got the information from a guy here I mailed in South Africa, but very interesting info you have there, didint realize that, he must be mistaken because that clearly rules out 0238G then, unless there was an engine swop somewhere along the line, but it does not appear so as the engine is at least 30 years old by the looks of it, and when I removed it from the car it did not appear to have ever been removed before, but I could be wrong

do you know if there is another location on the car or chassis somewhere where there could possibly be another chassis number stamping? or on any particular part? steering wheel or whatever something like that?

I have also sent a mail a bit earlier to Andy at Lotus UK, so hopefully he can find some records on the car perhaps, holding thumbs smile.gif

oh will post some screen shots up just now, soon as I can find out how to put more than 1 or 2, else I will have to link them to another site

Pictures as Promised, unfortunately it was late when it arrived and so the pics are a bit dark, but there are more futher on, I just didint take too many before stripping, which was perhaps silly of me smile.gif

post-9353-125924473377_thumb.jpgpost-9353-125924474884_thumb.jpgpost-9353-125924477184_thumb.jpgpost-9353-125924479388_thumb.jpgpost-9353-125924487378_thumb.jpgpost-9353-12592449851_thumb.jpgpost-9353-125924504012_thumb.jpgpost-9353-125924507211_thumb.jpg

I will add some more in my next post, have some detiled pics of the engine and chassis after my removal of the body, hope these help a bit,

sometimes looking at the body I think it would just be easier to buy another Barn Find one and use the body, lol (who know's might find a set of wheels with it too, hehe)

Edited by Pr3d4t3r

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Bevan,

Engine swaps are not uncommon in early Esprits; I wouldn't rule out the possibility in a car that has that much already changed on it. Esprit engines get dirty very quickly (a few thousand miles) due to the characteristics of air flow/pressure in the engine compartment and the brake rotors slinging dirt/dust/water constantly. Really, a few thousand miles is all it takes to hide any trace of an engine swap insofar as wear/tear/grime goes.

Gordon,

I lost my copy of the Sports Car World serial number list in a hard drive crash. Any chance you could email me yours? racing_nut_1 AT yahoo DOT com

Thanks,

Tony


Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Ahh that is very interesting Tony, thanx for the info, it is a possibility I guess

I sent an Email to Andy at Lotus and his reply was that there should be a number on the gearbox aswell, because no of the numbers I have correspond to the engine number in there, anyways I found the number but dont know what it means till next week tuesday when Andy is back so will have to wait :P

the number is 0116 is any 1 is curious

some more pics to follow as soon as I can post again

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Hi Bevan, Gordon and everyone that has contributed to this subject.

In response to the subject of establishing the chassis number -

After receiving an email from you, I replied and quote : "You will find the chassis number stamped on the front right section of the flat metal part of the chassis, behind the front right wheel. It usually is stamped vertically. Please check this and let me know, as this will eliminate the following discrepancy.

Your papers say the chassis number is 76102386. They probably meant to be 76 10 238G, as this seems to be in line with the numbering sequence at the time. However, both doors have the numbers 217-G2, telling me that they probably came off car 7610 217G. The engine number of CC7761013187 seems to be in line with the production numbers of the car 217G, so I would guess that the papers that you have would be for the wrong chassis number, but please confirm the chassis number with me."

My belief is that the car may be 76 10 217G as seen above and not 76 10 238G , previously suggested.

I have subsequently sent a photo to you of where to find the chassis number, and include it here for the benefit of other members as I have not seen this position mentioned above. This picture is not of the S1 but of a Turbo.

post-6134-125931840719_thumb.jpg: "It is on the vertical flat plate in front of the steering rack, but behind the anti-roll bar attachment point to the chassis on the front right side."

I hope that this is interest, and look forward to knowing the actual Chassis number.

As a matter of interest for anyone wishing to update records, I own the S1 with the following details Chassis Number 76 10 0201 G with engine number CC 7761013140 and is red, and good condition, but not used very often.

Best regards

Joe

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Hey Joe,

many thanx for the info and posting, I have been checking my chassis all over but cannot seem to locate a number yet, I wonder if they stamed the S1 chassis, hope so, must be somewhere , hehe

unfortunately it wont allow me to post more pics yet, so cant add the ones of the chassis underneath or of the engine, so if any 1 wants those just drop me a line with ur mail address and I'll send them to you

thanx again guys

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Bevan

i dont think that you have a bad vehicle at all !

the interior , although not my cup of tea ,looks good.The wheels are nice and the motor is intact.

with the glass fibre body ,it is easy to repair - my recommendation is that you get the body off the chassis/engine and sort stuff out simoultaneously.

there is a lot of work but the most important part is that you are living your dream here and now .It is now tangable !

well done .

richard

Cape Town


Technically sound ...Theoretically poked !

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Hi Bevan.

Don't forget that around that time Lotus Esprits were being assembled at Intermotormakers in Cape Town who were also assembling Lamborghinis. I would imagine that yours is one that was assembled there.

Somewhere I have detail of a fellow in Cape Town who worked for them in the 1970's and he has a brand new 907 engine. He has been wondering what to put it in.

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Thanx Richard, that is inspiring :X

Roger that would be schweet if you find that guys detail, who know's maybe that engine can go in my S1, hehe :rofl:

even if not I can always find out if he knows anything about the car perhaps

thanx in advance :)

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Hi all,

I've said goodbye to my S2 and 1989 Turbo, I'm now onto a 1976 S1 that was in good enough condition to drive the 150 miles back home from Birmingham, but it deffinately needs work to bring it to a good standard.

The biggest issue is the paintwork, its poor having had a very cheap spray of yellow over the original factory "self colouring" red gelcoat bodywork.

The addition of an extra tailpipe on the exhaust is a difficult one, do I keep it or do I cut it off? Although its not original, it does look well done and sounds great too. I think I'll leave it alone... for now anyway, as I've plenty more important things to deal with on the car first

Currently my biggest headache outside of the paintwork, is the headlights:

Firstly, all 4 headlamps come on together when the pods come up, the main beam switch on the stalk doesn't seem to do anything. There is evidence of a lot of fresh wiring in the front of the car, so not sure whether this is a wrongly wired fault or just a relay. I've got a relay on its way from Steve at SJ Sportscars, so will check that first and fingers cross!

Secondly, the pods were sinking way too far into the bodywork. When I started looking at adjustment and fiddling with the linkage, I seem to have messed it up even more.. oops! Now the motor and linkage works only when the linkage isn't attached to the bars / pods. When I connect the bar, nothing happens. I think the link rod is snagging on a metal bracket that comes from the motor housing to the bottom of the linkage. Now, the thing is, the diagram in the Workshop Manual doesn't show this bracket. Indeed, there is also another one on mine that's not in the manual diagram. The link rod and all the nuts look new, so my guess is that its been replaced recently and I'm not sure whether the extra brackets are just additional bits that the previous owner or a mechanic just rigged up?

If anyone can email me a photo or two of their S1 headlamp linkage, I'd much appreciate it.

I won't post the photos here, but if you want to see the S1 (and my previous Esprit) and follow my progress, then take on my website which is www.freewebs.com/lotusespritfever

Regards

Bill

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Bill

Have posted some photos of the motor/linkage from my S1 here:-

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/index.php/topic/43704-s1-headlight-motor-linkage/

hope this helps.

Gavin


Cheers, Gavin

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As a side note, I own 217H, and I believe it is the only "217" car --no "J", either. :P

You stole my ride back?! I just got the title last month!

Edited by Moxie

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Seems Bevan has decided to sell if anyone fancies a real project.....

http://capetown-westerncape.gumtree.co.za/c-Cars-Vehicles-cars-Lotus-Esprit-S1-Restoration-Project-REDUCED-W0QQAdIdZ349985057

Priced at around £4600 I think but could be wrong, can't imagine shipping would be cheap as the car is now stripped.


Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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