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Hadders

Eclat Riviera S2.2 A sad story

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Hi All,

I am hoping for some help and advice.....

To take you back to my childhood when i was 14 my dad had a beautiful eclat riviera s2.2 which i believe to be quite a rare model made more rare by having fully colour coded front spoiler and rear bumper and wing mirrors with full leather interior and air con. It was lotus red. Stunning!

Here I am 20 years later. The same car is in the field essentially rotting away...paint peeling, flat tyres, mouldy leather, headlining hanging down. Engine and chassis.....daren't check.

So here is where I get sentimental. It breaks my heart every time I see it and I want to save it!

Problem being, whilst I am a car nut, I have no practical skills or time so would need to pay a garage to restore it. So....my question is any ideas on good people to do this / time / cost? Clearly this is an uneconomical idea and simply one of the heart!!'

I believe these cars in good condition are worth about 4k? As I said this is clearly a bad idea but can't see this car rot and I believe it to be very rare?

Any advice / help much appreciated..,,

Go easy on me!

Hadleigh

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Think yourself lucky! My dad had an elite riviera when I was 14 which Henry on this forum found in a field. He has it and is doing a great job restoring it. Some great photos are on here and he may be able to tell you what he has spent so far.

In really good condition probably worth £5500 or so (others will disagree). Will never be economic but that is not really the point. Very few old cars would ever be restored on that basis. Yes it is rare, but for reasons that escape me, that does not mean it is worth a lot! Do you recall the registration mark ?

Buy it and store it !

Happy New Year !

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Hi Hadleigh and welcome to TLF. :welcome:

 

Restoring a car with help is one way to get practical skills.

 

Hope that whatever decision you make you are happy with. As you said, you believe it to be rare. I am not able to say whether it would ever recoup near its restoration cost, but that's not the point.

 

You should also duck over to the Introductions thread and say hi there.

 

Any other questions with issues or forum use, feel free to ask one of us mods. We're here to help. :)

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Hi Hadleigh.It must of been fab owning the car when new.I can understand how you must feel seeing the car.Good luck .It sort of reminds me of my resent purchase 87 HC Esprit. Needing loads of love.Cheers Mike

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Hi,

Thanks for the welcome and advice.

It is on an x plate.

Happy New Year!

Hadleigh

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It doesn't sound like you are motivated by economics so why worry about the end value? When you say "the field" rather than "a field" does that mean it's in your/your fathers ownership still?

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Hi Loose Cannon,

Yes it is in the field at my parents house and is effectively mine if I want to do anything with it. Dad's view is it had a galvanised chassis and is fine!!! To be fair he was more than capable of a restoration of any car but his current age and health means this will not happen sadly so my mission if I choose to accept it....

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please post pictures Hadders, and sell it to me.. :unworthy:

 

than you can be lucky, because i gonne restore it...

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Ah well if it's yours you have a £600 - £800 head start!

 

The previous owner of mine was also under the delusion that it was OK to store a Lotus in field because of the chassis/body, but a lot of other very awkward things will be rusted, shagged or seized solid. I have never understood why anyone capable of affording a car like that in the first place can't find a garage for it, but hey ho.

 

As suggested some pics would help quantify the cosmetics/interior work. Over and above that, anything standing that long will likely have; Rusty fuel tank and stale waxy fuel deposits, possibly carb rebuild time; Rotten window frames, nasty job; Rotten door beams, ditto; Seized rear brakes and suspension links, a nightmare; Perished belts and stiff tensioner, effectively needs a C service before attempting to start; Perished rubber components, from suspension bushes to pipes; Corroded terminals, switches and instruments; Leaks from perished door and window seals, rotten carpets

 

And more! It sounds like nostalgia is behind this though, so none of the above will matter, it certainly didn't for me.

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Thanks loose cannon, really insightful. I will post pics in a few weeks when I am back at my parents house.

As you point out it is a labour of the heart! Just wondered on costs / value after restoration to see if there is an 'out' if needed in the future to help bring my lovely wife back down from the ceiling when I tell her my plans....!

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As it is the later galvanised chassis it makes the job of bringing it back from the brink quite a bit easier.

Headlining is an easy job, leather work requires a bit more skill but if it's intact you can simply get it re-coloured (re-conollised), if split/cracked/torn then you may need to consider a partial/ full retrim or swap out for better condition items.

 

The engine may be OK but you'd probably need to pull it out and rebuild it which isn't a bad job, simply follow the manual and even a first-timer would be OK.

 

A good starting point would be have a look at the website Lotusbits.com, look at Mike's upgrading document and look at his upgrade components list, it gives a good idea of parts you'll be needing and the prices. It's a bit of a trek from North Yorkshire to Coventry but may be worth taking pics of the car (lots of them, inside and out, underneath etc) and going to see Mike and discuss options such as if he was to supply arts you obviously need how much would it cost? You could also look at using specialist skills if you're unsure about doing some jobs yourself, Mike's engine guy (well, he doesn't work for Mike he rents a unit on the estate that Mike owns) or Gary Kemp (Kemp High Performance Engines) are two people who know those engines very well and a standard rebuild from them should be a good job.

 

As already indicated, you should never look at restoring an Excel/ Elite/ Eclat (or even an Esprit) as a financially cheap way of getting one as it often works out the more expensive way, however as you have other motivations it can work out OK.

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Again, thanks so much for all the info and potential contacts. I will take loads of photos this Sunday as over at parents house and will post some on here and then go from there. No mad rush as it has sat for the last 20 years!

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a four post lift and a pit and help from some friends and a lot of cursing could save you a lot of money and be very satisfying,this coming from me who has spent  over a year restoring a s2 elite doing same 

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Welcome Hadders!

 

I think you should have a go, especially as you have an attachment to it.. Even if you begin, your not going to make it any worse than it is now. Very little on our cars are super complicated - some bits are super fiddly or super annoying, but not beyond anyone.

 

Your Dad's right up to a point, as the major components wont collapse from poor storage, but as Mark points out, the ancialliary items do. As an addition to the items mentioned by Mark, the plywood in the nose of the body doesn't like moisture much..

 

but hey - a galvanised chassis, and a fibreglass body are a pretty good start.

 

tow it onto some hard standing, give it a wash, clean the mouldy leather and spark some enthusiasm.

 

NB don't even think about trying to start it after 20 years without changing the cambelt and putting some clean oil into the spark plugs and turning the engine by hand a few times first. It's so tempting to put a battery on and spin it over, but don't. The pistons will need some lubrication soaking in and the cambelt will be made of liquorice.

 

Sounds like your Dad can probably advise you.

 

give it a go. Imagine the look on your old Dad's face when he sees your car come back from the MOT station with a green ticket.

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Hi All,

 

As promised I took a load of photos at weekend but unsure how to share the album so have attached a few here (hopefully this works!)

 

What do you think.....? I said it was bad...! Note bird remains in engine!!!Nice!

 

IMG_5642_zps65497d48.jpg

 

IMG_5630_zps4447a1c2.jpg

 

IMG_5671_zps016f26c9.jpg

 

IMG_5668_zpsd7018db3.jpg

 

IMG_5680_zps82f46ac9.jpg

 

IMG_5682_zps25145afa.jpg

 

IMG_5657_zps334fb10a.jpg

 

IMG_5650_zps846801e1.jpg

 

IMG_5651_zpsee569209.jpg

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Hi Hadders, good luck with that, I love seeing these old garden / barn finds although I must admit the challenge of bringing them back to life is a major one that would be way beyond my own mechanical skill.

I bought an Elite 2.2 18 months ago  which had been stood for seven years (although it had been kept indoors so looked pretty good outside and in) ; really all the oily bits under the bonnet needed replacing ie. I had new head gasket /valves adjusted /alternator/radiator /clutch/headlight electrics fitted by Ashlea Motors in Muswell Hill - a very traditional enthusiast-run garage who did not blink at the removal/refitting of engine and radiator nor charge me the earth ; however I think the interior does look more of a challenge-shame it doesn`t have the moss-green suede dash, that would blend in ... :huh: .if you like hunting for bits it would be a rewarding achievement !

(Ashlea Motors are on 020 84449641-I write merely as a satisfied customer).

Dan   

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Ouch. Normally I would leap to defend the underdog but that looks well shagged. What a shame it wasn't driven/pushed the extra 20 feet into the garage in front of it?

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Oh c'mon Mark.... she's not that bad.   You'd be replacing the carpets anyway.

 

Seats look saveable, as does dash and doorcards.

 

Whats more of an issue is that it needs paint as the re-spray has worn through on the rear wingtops.

 

Spray some penetrating oil round the plugs. Leave it to soak in for a day or so, then see if the plugs come out ok. If they do, pour some light oil/redex down the plug holes to pool on top of the pistons. Leave for another three days. Put a power bar on the crankshaft bolt, and see if she turns over.

 

If she has seized, I'd probably agree that its a mamoth task.

 

If it turns freely, then I think she is saveable.

 

A bucket of water and soap, an hour or so of scrubbing with a brush, and it'll look an entirely different proposition.

 

The ever optimistic Dunc.

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Hi,

 

This is a hard one - from the outside you look at it and think - that is a lot of work, even if you did most of it or it all yourself it would only just about get it's money back.

 

But for me the main consideration is: what it's worth to you because of your personal connection with the car? Otherwise it's a long way gone, in terms of restoration. The other point is would you be keeping the car once complete or would you want to sell it?

 

My suggestion would be if you have a garage to store it, get it. But my suggestion would be that even if you don't have experience in in cars, if you can do basic dismantling / repairing yourself, that wil substantially reduce the financial outlay.

 

But I think if you can at least have a hand in the restoration, it will be more rewarding and save a bit of money.

 

I would love to be able to find one of my dads old cars - he had a morgan before he had kids, then lots of fords - so I know where they have ended up(!)

 

Good luck!

 

Mat.

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it was a grey car? because under the bonnet its grey? or do i see that wrong?

if you want to make the car perfecht its a big job, but the most things looks good,

it really needs some TLC, or do you still wanne sell it, maby its still something for me,

i have so many spares and bits inside my garage to make this car roadfull agian with a MOT

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Mine isn't much better... I'm not finishied yet, but It's becomming better and better.

 

If you're not counting hours and money - go on!

If you're calculating it's future worth and the needed money - leave it!

 

Having the apropriate skills is totaly overrated - "learning by doing" is the way

 

____

Peter

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i've seen worse lotuses on the road!

 

give it a clean first, you will be amazed at the difference, but it will need a full recommission.

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Lovely full English garden in the interior! Looks better than my lawn  :sorcerer:

Sorry to jest.......... I remember going to look to purchase my very first X1/9..... It was left in the back of a shop in the rear garden.

Had a very similar garden feature inside as the entire footwell had rotted through! Thing was looking back the car must have only been about 6-7 years old then! ..... Hope you get to a decision and it sees the light one day - though It'll take a large wallet I'm afraid to say.....

Edited by nello

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Hi and welcome, love the car as it is much as mine was when she was found and that's 5 years ago only I didn't have the fungus on the floor, as most have already said it is all doable with time and effort and the pleasure when you first start her is like watching your first born coming into the world. Go for it.

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Any update on your plans for this one Hadders?

 

Have you given it a wash and brush yet?

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