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Details of XCE 656T, yellow Rover V8 powered Elite...

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Hello Lotus enthusiasts.


I was wondering if anybody could shine any light or information regarding the above car?


Going back to being a kid, my Father built the car over a period of about 2 years, he painted it in bright yellow (was previously red I think?) and I can remember walking around a 'Spyder' factory who he bought a brand new chassis from.  It was trimmed in a tan colour leather on the bolsters with striped tan/black velour centres from memory, a Rover SD1 V8 was fitted with a big shiny circular 'pancake' filter on the top, a 5 speed box and some form of a Jaguar LSD.


Literally every component on it was new/refurbished. 


I would love to know what became of it.  I have checked the DVLA website and it appears to be SORN at this moment in time which would fit in with what I was told about the person who bought it.  Apparently he was in the legal profession and had some sort of private collection of vehicles, he spent around 20 minutes viewing it and said he was 'smitten' then bought it.  LOL.  It was sold about 16+ years ago at a guess?


Does any of the above ring true for anyone?  Has it been seen at a show or the like anywhere? 


I used to think it was the best thing since sliced bread as a nipper but having seen one recently, they haven't aged gracefully have they?  No offence intended to any owners out there.


Thanks in advance, Wayne. 

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I've not see that one around, sorry.

Sounds like your dad built a "Spyder Donnigton", using the kit from Spyder to fit the rover V8 and the Jag IRS tail.

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Spyder Donington?

I haven't heard of that before, was this a particular chassis setup that Spyder made for the Elite Eclat?

Do you have any info/pictures Dunc?

I remember seeing a strange body kit advertised in the 1980's for the Eclat, was that part of it?

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Yes, the Spyder Donnington was a special chassis replacment kit for people wanting to fit Rover V8's.

They are no longer available, and differ slightly from the Spyder replacement chassis in Mark's link above in that they grafted in a Jaguar IRS at the back, which provides an easy way of adding an lsd, the correct gearing and disc brakes to your V8 engined monster. The "normal" replacement spyder chassis in the link above doesn't offer the mounts for the V8, and it offers the possibility of Spyders own top rear link rear end with the standard diff (which has been criticised by some for its geometry).

Whether the Jag IRS was better, I have no idea. It would certainly be better in a straight line, but going round corners I just don't know.

I believe Denis on here has a spyder donnington equipped elite with a 4.6 V8.

I spoke to Spyder at Castle Combe last year and asked how many donningtons are likely to have survived, and they guessed a handfull, however whether or not owners/convertors would have any need for further interactionwith Spyder after buying the kit is perhaps debateable.

There is an eclat for sale in Wales recently that had a spyder chassis without the rear link kit, and I believe as a straight replacement they are supposed to be ok. A freind acquired A spyder chassis recently - perhaps the one Mark mentions....

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