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The story of the restoration of the Etna


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The other day when I came across a recent copy of Autocar, the same shop had the new Octane magazine. Naturally drawn to it by the cover story on the Countach, I noticed the Lotus Etna concept car also sharing the front cover.

Inside there is a 5-page article (including a 1-page photograph) on the history and subsequent "restoration" of the car by Olav Glasius. I put restoration in quotes because the car is now more complete than it has ever been. In typical Lotus form, they had forgotten the car had got the V8 engine in it and it got covered over. This discovery by the restorer, Neil Myers, led to Olav changing the direction of the restoration from making it a static exhibit to making it a running vehicle.

As I got the magazine on Thursday and Christmas has been a bit time consuming, I haven't read the article yet but it's well worth checking out when you see it in Smiths or Tescos or even, in a month or so's time, in Barnes and Noble,

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

 

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It's a good article. Interesting to read that "the spirit of the Etna lived on in Peter Stevens' remix of 1987."

But it was the yellow Countach on the front cover that made me buy the magazine.

Oh how I love Italian designed sports cars :).

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  • 2 months later...

This is now online

Clicky

car_photo_428929_25.jpg

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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I missed the original post, thanks fo the link Bibs.

"One of only two 909 engines in existance", better take great care of it!

I wonder where Lotus would be now if that had gone into production

Normally Aspirated - and lovin' it!

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The positive outcome of the Etna project was that the V8 engine was used as a basis for the GM Corvette LS5 ( I think that's the right number) engine. A Phoenix rising from the ashes.

A few years ago, after shooting an interview with Olav Glasius with the Etna at a Club Lotus show in Donington (for the 'Club Lotus-50 Years in the Fast Lane' DVD), I thought the restoration would be a good subject for a film 'The Supercar that never was'.

I spent a day with Neil Myers, shooting him with the car and the engine. I also shot interviews with Alan Nobbs who had worked on the engine along with Dave (Harry) Hearsum at the factory.

There's quite an amusing story about the modified Esprit chassis having to be transported personally by Lotus staff to Italy. The reason wasn't one of security, it was so that they could pick up a Gazebo that then Chairman Roger Wickens had bought from an Italian firm and bring it home.

Also, at an engine test, Colin Chapman's camel coat was sprayed with oil from a leak. Tony Rudd apparently received the cleaning bill.

The film kind of fell apart after other things overtook it. Alan Nobbs left the project and Neil suffered a bereavement, so I didn't want to be a nuisance under the circumstances.

I found it interesting and, all the time, I felt I was in the company of real entusiasts.

Alan

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LT5no1.jpg

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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My friend Johan said he bid on it at the Coy's 2004 auction and won, but it was sold out from under him as he was on the way back to the US!

He also had plans to turn it into a working car

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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How was it sold out from under him? I wouldn't think a reputable auction house would be part of something like that. Details!

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I'm not sure, but I remember him saying he won it and then said he was arranging payment and shipping on his way back to the US. When he got home, he said they had sold it to someone else...

From the story above it was sold in the '98 Coys and looks like it wasn't sold in the '04????

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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I recall looking at the Etna whilst sat in a dusty corner at Hethel around '95 ......... Remember how the mock-up centre console littered with supposed buttons...'came off in my hand' ......

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