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Henry8601

Elite Riviera

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I have made some progress, although really it is one step forwards and then three steps backwards!

The dashboard is now back together, but the fibreglass binnacle isn't sitting flat so I will need to pull it out and glue on a stiffener to make it straight - MDF or aluminium, not sure which to go for - something really stiff and stable, but easy to work - I suppose that's what MDF was designed for!

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The new instruments are a huge improvement! Before:

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After:

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The interior is now off for repair and re-colouring. Where the leather has badly dried out there are some splits and the colour is really uneven - I want to keep the lovely patina, but make it more even. The biggest issue is the headlining, and removing it was one of the most unpleasant jobs I have done on the car.

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The headlining foam was just reduced to a powder and badly water stained. The guy doing it is a real expert, but I have a feeling it's going to take a while! Hopefully it will all be finished by spring so I can enjoy the car when the weather improves.

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Hi,

I've got my heater unit apart at the moment, I've got an aircon unit to fit to my eclat, as the new engine I'm fitting has an aircon pump. But as the heater fans were rubbish on mine (one was siezed and didn't work at all, the other was really noisy, and the ones on the aircon unit aren't testing very well, I took the old heater to bits to see if I can fit more modern fan motors. I took the eclat heater to a breakers, and got two vauxhall corsa motors - these are about the only modern things that will fit, as they all seem to be much larger nowadays.

I will use the old heater to experiment with fittind the heater fan motors, then if satisfactory I'll fit them into the aircon one, then fit to the car.

Btw the corsa motors only have two connections, so I need to add switched high power resistors to get 3 different speed settings. Does anyone know how many ohms I need to get 2 resistors for low and medium settings. (obviously full is zero ohms, and off is no connecton).

The Corsa has a 30amp fuse for the heater motor and I'm using two, so I'll have (approx) 60amps of heater fan power, which should be enough(!). Fortunatley the new engine has a higher ouptut alternator than the old 907 engine alternator.

But anyway, if anyone knows a ballpark figure for ohms and current rating for the resistors I'd be really grateful.

Cheers, Mat.

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Great progress Henry. The headlining is awful stuff - why does every old Lotus have crumbly headlining foam? Is it heat, condensation or what? Mind you it is nice when you reveal the handwritten chassis number on the inside and it sinks in it was built by men rather than robots.

Are you just replacing like for like with brushed nylon in standard prosthetic limb beige? The red seats are so dramatic on that car against the white, do you fancy doing it in black or red? I have a plan to do mine in tan leather, but do wonder whether the weight will just pull the foam down


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Hi Mark,

There was another thread about this on this forum - I can't remember the title, but it was Rex who said he found some modern aluminium backed foam that he used, I tried to find some but haven't yet, it sounds like a much better solution. If I find the thread i'll post a link.

Cheers, Mat.

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Guest saraphee

Here's an ebay.com USA link to item number:- 230872390995 which is the sort of stuff I used for insulation.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-X-10-EZ-Cool-Automotive-Heat-and-Sound-Insulation-/230872390995?hash=item35c1111d53&item=230872390995&pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr

But there are lots more on there, ................

Then I used SJ Sportscars Grey Headlining - everything is fine in the roof dept & it's more than 4 years since the job was done.

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Thanks Rex!

I'm going to get some.

Cheers, Mat.

PS - any special glue used?

Edited by mat grant

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Guest saraphee

Sorry,

Can't help there Mat!

All I can recall is that it's a local, or possibly Japanese, high temperature spray on adhesive for the upholstery trade.

Came almost in the proverbial plain paper wrapper!

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Not much of an update, but the dash is now out again while I fit a stiffener so it sits flat. Before I had used some soft aluminium rods and this glue called no more nails which a total rubbish - it had all cracked and flaked off.. Instead I will fabricate an aluminium backing plate from 6082 T6 aluminium and glue it on with gorilla glue (amazing stuff!). I'm still waiting for a slot at the coach trimmers, but hopefully it can go in in a couple of months. It needs a new seat diaphragm, new roof vinyl (it's wrinkled up where it was left outside in the sun for years), new headlining and a complete recolouring of the leather.

Guy earlier commented that the dash used to be veneer rather than black vinyl and I checked and he is correct. I'm unsure which I prefer though...

I'm having a bit of a play with the electric windows - they are so slow at the moment, but I can't see any obvious problems, any ideas?

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Good to hear that my memory is still intact! Not sure which i prefer either, i know the veneer is very thin but it looked very lux back in the day! Can't wait to see the results of the coach trimmers work. Thanks for the update

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At the weekend I (finally!) managed to add the stiffener to the dashboard.

 

I had to start by cleaning off the "no more nails" (rubbish stuff) from the back of the dashboard. Before:

 

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After:

 

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I then has a sheet of 3mm 6082 T6 Aluminium (i.e. decent stuff) and then went about marking out and then cutting out the stiffener panel:

 

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Then I used some gorilla glue to attach the stiffener panel to the back of the dashboard:

 

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I'm in the process of refitting all the dials, and it's a huge improvement as everything now sits perfectly flat, and tightening the dials up against rigid aluminium works so much better than against the flexible fiberglass. The dash does now sit slightly closer to the driver, but it's not really noticeable, and well within the original build tolerances.

Edited by Henry8601

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It should help the windows if you fit relays so the current doesn't all go through the switch.


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

 

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Hi Henry,  just been reading this thread with interest.  Its good to see this car coming back to its former glory.  I remember the car when it used to be in the Weymouth/littlemoor area (registered 31HOT) and always wondered what had happened to it!

 

I can't remember when I last saw the car but I would've been in my teens I guess.  The gentleman who owned it had a fancy moustache, was always dressed in trousers, shirt, sporting a cravat and always wearing driving gloves.  His style suited the car/No plate and used to bring a smile to my face

 

Was this the chap you bought it from, when was this, what's he driving now? etc etc I guess i'm fascinated

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ooh - ooh - Steve, tell me more !  Henry's car was originally my fathers car in 1982 to 1984.  Do you think it went to Weymouth area after that ?  Of course your teens my have been mid 1990s for all I know but I thought I would ask....!

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Hi Guy, yes the car was definitely in Weymouth from the 1980's, during the 90's and possibly into the millennium but I really can't remember the last time I saw it on the road.  I've not noticed the 31Hot reg plate on any other car since then so I don't know what happened.  I'm now 38 yrs old

 

I pretty sure this gentleman would've been the first owner after your father,  so we need more info from Henry on whom/where he purchased it from

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The Dorset gent (2nd owner) was called Dave Stevens I believe, according to copied letters he was a retired local council senior officer, who had something to do with Weymouth Football Club. His handwriting was very flamboyant in a style you just don't see any more, and he was so proud of the Elite he referred to it as "the pride of Dorset". The visual description just given would fit perfectly.

 

The owner before Henry, a teacher, had the car from 1994; he was either the 3rd or 4th owner.


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Hi Mark, great info I love it when a story/history comes together.

 

Do you live in Dorset yourself?

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No (wish I did, might happen one day).

 

I just did a bit of digging about the Rivieras as I have one in similar condition to Henry, plus wanted to help Guy find out more about his dads old car, which looked so good in the period adverts.

 

It's nice to hear that someone remembers it, you are right it's partly the human element that make a classic cars so interesting


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Recalling my memory, viewing this car and particular driver you could easily be led to believe he had just come from a photo shoot for brut33 or old spice etc

 

I just had a thought. I have a friend from my Porsche club days, now in his 70's who also owns 3 elans & 2 europas.  He has lived in Weymouth for 40+ years so may even know Dave Stevens.  I will ask him when I see him

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I spoke to someone at the football club who said he had passed away, how long ago not sure. Still would benice to see if anyone else has memories or pics of a unique car and owner


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I spoke to my friend Alan today, he remembers the car but unfortunately he didn't ever get the chance to speak to Dave Stevens

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Steve, thanks for posting the information about Dave Stevens, it's really interesting to learn more about the car and its history. As Mark says, the teacher that I acquired the car from owned it from 1994 to 2008 when I took the car on, and according to the v5 he was the 4th owner.

 

Mark, do you have any copies of the letters that I could have? I would love to be able to add them to my history file.

 

For those who are interested I will be at the Castle Combe Club Lotus day on 25th May with the Elite, although it will be a bit bare inside as the interior is still off being repaired. All I need to do is locate a new sunroof seal before next weekend - hopefully Lotusbits can help there! (Thanks to David for pointing it out to me)

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If there was a "mystery" 3rd owner, or if you just want to see the original paperwork, it might be worth doing a DVLA history check. Fill in a form (http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/data/relinfo/howtorequest.aspx) and send off a fiver and they photocopy everything they have, sometimes has info on the various dealers it has passed through too, well worth it.

 

I sent photocopies of the correspondance to you when my scanner was down, you'll have them sonmewhere. It was collated by Michael Marsh when he was the marque registrar, Duncan on here will have the originals now.

 

BTW I seem to remember reading that the sunroof seal was an item used on an Esprit Turbo for another purpose, might be wrong.


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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