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Hello All,

My first post on the forum and it is to ask for some info!

Does anybody have information or pictures of a couple of Gold Lotus Eclat 523's that Team Lotus used as drivers hacks in the 1979 season?

I have been told that Nigel mansel was often seen in one!!

This one has come up for sale.

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Edited by pbharcourt
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I've seen the car for sale, but was unaware of any team lotus connection. There are a few ex team lotus cars kicking about and from memory they are usually *AH *** * registred, which I think is Norfolk. I think Colin Chapmans green elite was FAH *** S and I think the Andrew Ferguson car was also FAH **T. Not sure of Leigh's blue chapman elite's reg, but I think it has been out of the country, so may not be on its original numberplate in any case.

Have a look at the registration number on this one and see if it is a Norfolk car. I believe the factory and team cars were usually Norfolk registered.

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If a racing driver had it as his company car, it would have been thrashed. Not a problem with a car so old, though as how it has been maintained since will be most important. Note that Mansell didn't get a regular F1 drive until 1981.

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I have asked MJK and much of the "F1 drivers having Company Cars" was a myth to a point. Much of the time they were apparantly "lent" to the driver whilst he was visiting or working at Ketteringham Hall or for press events. The number of spurious "This is Andretti's Eclat" claims for example. "This was the Colins Car", when his main car was a Merc is another example. I'm sure you can even find pictures to back the claims up! One I remember is Colin driving through Norwich after winning the 1978 Championship, waving to the crowds as the F1 cars lit up the streets! However, straight after he handed MJK the keys, only having driven it around Norwich once.

Heres another example!.....Hmmmm. Mario, Left Hand Drive, getting into it....Mario's company Lotus. I took this shot after meeting Mario at a factory visit where MJK showed him around. I discussed this with dad yesterday and when I asked if it was Marios car he said "Nope. It was a European Spec car that we lent him to drive for 3 days around the factory visit to up the PR". So XNG 700S was not Mario's car.

See its easy to claim something with a photo but rarely true and there are a huge number of spurious claims out there.

IMG00011-20110420-1017.jpg

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Kimbers,

Undoubtedly true, but to save offending any of the owners of the cars I mentioned in my first post; as well as the spurious claims for cars that were once no more than factyory demonstrators/test/loan cars there are also some cars with a bona fide history that is been confirmed by the factory or V5, such as the green elite that used to belong to Dave Ward, Leigh's Essex Elite and the Andrew Ferguson owned car which is now up in Scotland.

NB did your dad have an "A" plate copperfire elite 2.2? It's owned by a club lotus acquanitance and someone approached him and suggested it was once your Dad's car, but he's not 100% certain. Do you remember it?

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I did state "To a point" mate. I ran through 3 cars that had claims on them with MJK and he discounted all 3. That said there have been some that he has agreed with. My point was that its easy to say something was somebodies with a pic but that doesn't make it so. Like you said, sometimes the factory can help. BTW MJK had one of those gold ones as well.

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Voila. Nes Pa? :thumbsup:

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Nice photo!

I love period pictures of Eclats and Elites with the rich and famous as it underlines the status these cars had when new, bearing in mind that most are now deemed worthless by classic car enthusiasts (the same enthusiasts that thought E-Types were worthless in the 1970's!)

I have been told that the first registered owner was Team Lotus rather than the factory, does this make a difference if true?

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Yes it would Paul, because the 2 were seperate companies and if the first owner shows as Team then it means it was physically sold to them and may very well have been a Managers or Drivers car.

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To answer Duncan's question, I had assumed that the LCL 852V registration was chosen specifically by Lotus Cars Limited when they registered my Elite in the company's name, but I have been told that *CL was a Norwich prefix at that time. From 1987 to 1997 the car lived in Holland, so the original UK registration number was lost, but when I bought the car in 1997 and repatriated it, the DVLA was able to let me re-register with the original number.

Fortunately I have the original DVLA documents filled in by the factory and a load of 1980 documents from Team Lotus and Andrew Ferguson showing insurance details and ferry tickets for the car to get to various European GP circuits, and some good pics of the car with Colin, Mario and Elio in the Monaco and Hockenheim paddocks that year. The car goes back to Europe next week, when we will drive through France and Belgium en-route to the Dutch meeting of Elites/Eclats/Excels with Oliver Winterbottom. See the Events section of the Forum for more details.

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Say hi to my God Father! I was chatting with him the other day in the pub and he had totally forgotten that he was my God father! There again MJK sometimes says he forgot I was his son......maybe on purpose! :whistle:

Indeed. Private number plates weren't really the in thing at the time, though I do seem to remember the old man having several with a similar prefix....must hunt out those old photos!

Have a good time next week mate.

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To answer Duncan's question, I had assumed that the LCL 852V registration was chosen specifically by Lotus Cars Limited when they registered my Elite in the company's name, but I have been told that *CL was a Norwich prefix at that time. From 1987 to 1997 the car lived in Holland, so the original UK registration number was lost, but when I bought the car in 1997 and repatriated it, the DVLA was able to let me re-register with the original number.

Fortunately I have the original DVLA documents filled in by the factory and a load of 1980 documents from Team Lotus and Andrew Ferguson showing insurance details and ferry tickets for the car to get to various European GP circuits, and some good pics of the car with Colin, Mario and Elio in the Monaco and Hockenheim paddocks that year. The car goes back to Europe next week, when we will drive through France and Belgium en-route to the Dutch meeting of Elites/Eclats/Excels with Oliver Winterbottom. See the Events section of the Forum for more details.

I think Lotus had a batch of the LCL numberplates or registered a number of cars on the same day. LCL854V was first registered 01/05/80, but disposed of 23/07/80 - so hardly treasured long term by its factory "owner" Dennis Jewell. Car has every option ticked - metallic, fancy radio and air con

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It's a trick still used by current manufacturers to fudge the monthly sales figures, just register a few hundred new cars in lean times and sell as ex-factory demo cars in good times, makes the balance sheet look good for your investors! :pirate:

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Go buy it Paul....

regardless of whether it was driven by a racing driver or not, its a special car that deserves to be saved. Body colour looks good, and the missing bits won't be hard to find. There is also a Galv chassis on ebay for £80.

Go get it!

:yes:

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I agree. Not enough Elites and Eclats are saved! Go buy it, sod who owned it. Save another classic!

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I was thinking the same thing! especially as the wife is away this week :whistle:

I will of course hold you both fully responsible when she finds out! (they made me do it darling!)

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Wheres my delete button!! :whistle:

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I am now the owner of a Gold Eclat body shell with reg docs and a dubious old steel chassis! no diff, engine, gearbox, interior, wheels, clocks, switches............

At least it was cheap enough at £20 plus £20 to borrow a trailer.

I think this might be ripe for a V8 conversion, unless somebody has a complete rolling chassis lying around un-wanted? or do I continue the breaking process to supply parts for my Elite S2?

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V8??????? Get it back to original!! V8??????

arg...gak and other strangled noises!

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ordinarily, I'm the first to champion the 8 cylinder route, however, in this case I'm gonna break with tradition. Buy a galv chassis (one of the tlf'rs is selling on on ebay right now in essex), and buy a scrap elite/excel and use the running gear.

Or speak to mike at the magic yard about getting the bits.

If you think this one might have an interesting history, keep it as it is.

D

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