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Should I grab this Eclat?


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Hi Dave no problem, Engine, gearbox, power steering all rebuilt complete with new clutch assembly, new timing gear and all belts, rebuilt carbs with parts from Eurocarb, re polished wheels, new brakes back and front, new wheel cylinders on the back with all new springs, new oem exhaust manifold, only think not working is the speedo for some reason as new cable fitted although I suspect the right angle drive off the gearbox, also comes with a new set of spare front brake discs and pads ready for the next change although there is mies of meat on the existing set. You have copies of the photos with the body off and the chassis etc.

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Hi Dave no problem

 

 

Hi this old Eclat has a fantastic history having originally been owned for the first five years of her life by Lotus Cars, Team Lotus the F1 team. She was registered to Mr Andrew Ferguson who was at that time the Team Lotus manager and author of Lotus The Indianapolis Years, I had been told she was used by the F1 team drivers ( Mansell, DeAngelis and Andretti ) and as a PR car and a team runabout. Mike Kimberly formerly CEO at Lotus remembers the car. I know of her sister car which is a Met Blue Elite in Belfast, James her owner has several photographs showing the Elite at Monaco and at the German Grand Prix with the Tisot trophy on her bonnet and the Lotus team standing by including Colin Chapman and Andrew Ferguson. and just a snip of the corner of what is thought to be the Eclat next to the Elite but not enough to prove it is in fact her. There has been a lot of debate over the years as to and whether this was in fact true as it seems lotus had registered many cars in their own name, some say this was to try and raise the sales figures and other say it was a way of selling off cars through the back door so to speak, again raising figures and desperately needed cash. Well I thought it was time to either prove or disprove the story so I contacted with a very helpful chap by the name of Mr Andy Graham who runs the Lotus Archives. For a fee of £35.00 Andy will did a search of all archives and sent me a heritage certificate with the build details of your car which will include build No, engine No, chassis No etc, for an additional £10.00 he did do a further search which gives the sales history from the time it was built, who it was sold to and when and what dealer it went through. My certificate gave me some fantastic information, for instance I did not know she was the last car built in her colour out of 947 Eclat's (The car underwent a colour change to Lotus Yellow during a body off restoration in 1996/7.)  and the 3rd out of only 4 cars completed in her original colour with a cloth interior as most were completed in leather and that she was the very last of the Eclats in her spec with the full Eclat S1, 523 options pack which included Power Steering, Ermine coloured roof cloth and Air Conditioning. Andy sent me copies of the original registration documents showing she was delivered to Lotus Cars, on the 22-02-1980 although she was built and completed on the 20-08-1979. Lotus Cars kept her for five years eventually selling her on the 26-01-1985. The history file also explains why she has no service history for the first five years of her life as it had all been done by Lotus. Well worth the £45.00 I paid for the full build details and confirmation of her exclusive first ownership. The car eventually landed under the ownership of a guy called Julian Yell. Julian carried out a body off restoration and colour change to what was the most popular Lotus colour of the time, lotus Yellow at the same time the car underwent a full mechanical and interior rebuild, so in 1996/7 she was completed as virtually a new car. On completion the Eclat was presented at Castlcomb show where she went on to win best in show. Julian who’s hobby is restoration then decided he was finished with her and sent her off to a classic car auction so that he could make a start on his next project. Unfortunately the company who were the organisors of the Auction absconded with the proceeds’ so Julian and a host of other did not only lose their money but also lost their cars as the new buyers had full legal title to them. Many years later I came across the Eclat in a back garden in Cumbria and managed to purchase her, again she was given a mechanical restoration and retured to the roads where she belonged. This is a kind of potted history as since that time she has again had a full mechanical restoration which included a rebuilt engine replacement, gearbox, brakes and just about everything else a 30 year old Lotus could want. Full details will be supplied on request along with historic photographs of her re-spray and restoration. 

She will not be the cheapest Eclat ever sold but will have the most concise history based on fact that has come up for a long, long time.

She is only for sale as I am about to start on a new project, yes another Lotus and therefore need the space and to be honest the cash for it to start.
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Just to clarify the text above, the blue elite mentioned in the text belongs to Leigh Greenham rather than James in Belfast. I believe James had merely corresponded with john on the subject of Colin's cars. The Essex elite car has been Leigh's for a long time and is unique as the Essex livery elite owned and used CABC.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Cheers for that Duncan, although I edited the original history the document posted was an old copy, as we both know there was a misunderstanding on that point. No deception intended. 

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Fantasic :).  It looks a nice car and it's had money spent on it.  If it was me I'd be tempted to put S2 Speedlines on it, they look great.

I might consider that, but the car alone and getting it taxed etc will eat into my money a lot so have to take things easy with it.  First off (even though I know it's been well looked after) will probably be a full oil/coolant change.  

 

Where does one go about sourcing factory service manuals for these things?  Had a quick scan and not come up with anything yet.  Need to learn up on these cars quickly.  I know a few things, but my area of expertise is mainly restoring/modifying/tuning Japanese cars.

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Might I humbly suggest that you join here as a full member...

among other benefits, you get the parts manual online (at least you do for the Esprit), which I've found to be at least as useful as the workshop manual. Seeing the exploded diagrams helps in a way that the manuals don't necessarily cover, and if you have the rudiments already....

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parts manuals come up on ebay now and again. There was also a guy sellingf copies on CD rom. Yellow folder cover for series 1, black cover for series 1 & 2. Don't pay over the odds for them though - I have seen them going for silly prices.. Also, they are proper workshop manuals designed for pro's so don't expect much in the way of explanatory diagrams, pictures and info like you get with a Haynes manual. I have the full set, and in truth, I hardly ever look at them - apart from the electrical diagrams.

 

Just pick it up as you go along. For normal servicing : If you know one end of a spanner from another, there is nothing particularly difficult on our cars that you would need the manual for unless you want to rebuild an engine or gearbox etc.

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Fantasic :).  It looks a nice car and it's had money spent on it.  If it was me I'd be tempted to put S2 Speedlines on it, they look great.

Humour me... how much would it cost for a set of S2 Speedlines?  I'm going to guess at 100-150 a corner or something like that.

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Here's a set of Speedlines for an Esprit and they just under £200 for the set.  They come up occasionally for an Eclat / Elite.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LOTUS-ESPRIT-ALLOY-WHEELS-LOTUS-ESPRIT-SPEEDLINE-ALLOY-WHEELS-LOTUS-ESPRIT-S2-/291238875562?pt=UK_CarParts_Acc_Wheels_tyres_Trims_Car_Rims_ET&hash=item43cf3091aa

Unfortunately only 2 wheels according to the description: 1 front and 1 rear :(

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Be careful.

 

There are two variants of 14 inch speedline that have different pcds and centre bore's.

 

The ones for an S2 Elite/Eclat have a different pcd, so you need to change the hubs as well.

 

The ones for an early eclat excel have the same pcd as your car (114.3x4) but have a different centre bore, so you would need some machining work to the hub flange or the wheel centre.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A word of thanks to all you guys for giving David unbiased opinion of my old Banana, David arrived yesterday and immediately decided he liked the car. Everything was shown to him, the good the bad and the ugly of which there was very little. To be honest and I think David will agree I kind of pointed out the worst in our cars as in, the hassle of keeping the back brakes up to standard, the wonderful task of taking them apart and rebuilding them, adjusting the handbrake lever with the rear axle in place, oh the joy's. anyway, David and I reached an agreement on price at which we were both happy with and he depart the North East of Scotland with a boot full of spares, owners manuals and a collection of history that has taken me just over 6 years to collect.

David left at 11.30 this morning in torrential rain, gail force winds and piss poor visibility, I sent him a text at about 7.15 pm to find he had arrived safely and was more than happy with Banana, in fact his long drive in those conditions went quicker than even I thought it would.

Of course David being a new Lotus owner has already sent me a fair few questions on how to improve this or that etc and I am sure he will do the same to all you guys on the forum.

All I can say is welcome to the TLF David, get ready for greasy knuckles, some heartache, some head scratching and bucket loads of fun, the life of Lotus you will give it all and remember, a text, an email or call will almost certainly give you all the advice and assistance you will need.

We all started somewhere and most of us are still hanging on.

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Always a good idea to buy within the forum from another enthusiast. Good to hear that a special car has found a caring new owner who will stay within TLF and keep us up to speed with its long term care

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Thanks Dunc, best deall all round and we will always know how old Banana is doing, David has already posted a load of questions to which I am sure all you guys will help him with, he is more used to flash and fast Japs having lived there for the last 10 years so this is his first forray into the world of Brit UK classics.

 

Anyone see's old Banana down round the Wakefield area, give Dave a flash and a welcome, he is more than willing to speak Lotus and soaks up information.

 

I just to be warned I will still be bugging the life out of you lot with my usual stupid questions as I now have the next project coming home, yep gone and got another one and of course it's a Lotus. No12. crazy or what.

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