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Elite Riviera

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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.




Your welcome, i'm sorry I can't glean anymore information at the minute, I will speak to some more older friends when I next see them.


Did you buy the car from the Weymouth area ??

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I got the car from a garden in Winchester (literally from inside a bush), so not a million miles from Weymouth. It had definitely been sitting in the garden since 2003 when I first became aware of it...

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Had a great time at Castle Combe at the weekend. Really good to meet everyone and put some faces to names. I really should have cleaned the car as mine was the dirtiest car there by a considerable margin, but it didn't stop me going out for the parade lap. It rather took me by surprise so I didn't turn on my camera until a few laps in, but here is the video:



Had a blast - definitely the best parade lap I've even done! It was great to go round with the other Elite owners there, made it feel that bit more special  :thumbsup:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great pics! 1 S1 car and 2 S2.2 cars, also the one from leigh!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm trying to sort out new seals for the sunroof.


These are the old ones, does anyone recognise them?









I have heard Lotus Esprit S2 bonnet seal mentioned, but they look a bit different don't they?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I seem to have tried everywhere for the trim: Lotusbits, Woollies, Baines and Google. No luck yet!


I received the car back today from having the roof covering and part of the headlining done. I'm really pleased with the result, and can't wait to receive the rest of the leather back. David has done a fantastic job as always:





(You can see where the vinyl had pulled back from the back edge of the roof and wrinkled up, and the colour was really uneven)


After (the targa panel hasn't been done yet):






And the headlining is absolutely perfect! I haven't finished putting it back together, but it will look amazing when finished. So happy right now!



Edited by Henry8601
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  • 3 weeks later...

Not much progress to report, except the last of the leather is now out for re-colouring and for a new driver's seat base:




Once this has been done I will put everything back together, and then I will send the Riviera off to Lotusbits (booked in for 2nd week October for an MoT and service - I have never come across a garage that was so keen not to get a job!!)

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  • 1 month later...

I have just heard that I will be receiving the leather back on the 24th Sept. Can't wait to see the improvement! I then have the car booked into Lotusbits for 12th October for a service and MOT, and I'm not expecting anything too major to need doing.


Latest problem that I have discovered is that I think the temperature gauge is over reading. Is this actually possible? I changed the gauge as the face on the old one was ruined, and then when I started the car and left it idling for a while the temperature went almost all the way up. At first I was worrying about faulty fans or a faulty thermostat, but I have tested them separately and they still come on. I then left it idling for an extended period and the fans did come on, but I didn't really want to in case it actually was overheating. It used to be fine, and the only thing I changed was the temperature gauge, so is it a safe assumption that the new gauge is faulty, rather than a sudden overheating issue? 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Lots of progress to report! I spent the weekend putting the car back together after receiving the trim back from Nightingale coachtrimming.


Starting point:



One side back in:



Other side and one of the rear seats:



Both rear seats:



Drivers door card:



Front carpets:


I also had to replace a sheared rear seat bolt, but luckily I found a spare bolt of exactly the correct type:


What I started with:



Old stud removed:



New bolt installed and held in place with bearing lock:


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I also started restoring some of the corroded metal paint work. I use some really excellent paint by VHT, and it is a million times better than anything else I have used: VHT GLOSS BLACK EPOXY PAINT - SP650, and I got it from:


These are bars under the seats that help lift them out of the carpet to allow the seats to easily slide backwards and forwards. The were really badly corroded. The left one I have cleaned and repainted, and the right one is as found:



I then moved on to the grill that sits directly in front of the windscreen. It looked really bad with corroded and peeling paint:





I stripped the loose paint off with a rotary wire brush:



and then gave it a couple of coats of VHT SP650:





Much better!

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May I ask how mush the refurb was on interior? Mine needs similar attention and though I've requested quotes from several companies they all want to see the condition in person before quoting.




The complete job was around £700 to recolour and recondition the leather, and change the seat bases, and about £900 for the headlining, vinyl roof and other bits and pieces. This did not include taking it all apart as I did that myself. I had it done by David Nightingale at For the amount of work it needed it was a really good value, and the job is absolutely top quality, bit it did rather hurt my wallet!!

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On Tuesday the Riviera went off to Lotusbits, and I am happy to report that it passed the MOT first time with no advisories!! (I know I shouldn't be surprised by that, but I feel like it's  a major victory!!




While they have it there are a few more things that I have asked them to do:

Replace leaking master cylinder

Fix over-reading temp gauge

Investigate potential earthing problems

And probably many other bits and pieces

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Everyone loves a BJ!

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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