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Eclat Station runner report


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When I bought my 1981 Eclat 2.2 at the end of September the car had been standing in a barn for some time.  It then stood outside at my place getting soaking wet whilst various things were done to it, and of course that made some things get worse.

The car has had new points, condenser and rotor arm, a new starter, a  new coil, and its carbs have been rebuilt by Eurocarbs.  The fuel pump has been taken off, cleaned, and refitted. The plug gaps have been set properly.  The car has also had new tyres, interior mats, and the interior has been blasted with a  fan heater for two days.  

It is now in daily use, making the eight miles each way railway station commute.   It starts first time in frost or damp, and runs well.   The wipers were sticking but now work  The lamps pop up in a slightly right then left way.  The left one does not close fully flush.  The interior fan works on the fast setting only.  The rear demister doesn't work, and most of the central panel switches are not illuminating.   The driver's door is carrying water as the drain holes are blocked (a job for this weekend).    The passenger door can only be locked from the inside. 

I am really enjoying the car, but need to take it on a long run to give it a proper shakedown.

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Well done for getting her out there and on the road again, you will get used to her little foibles and all her niggles, the headlights will be a leak in the vacum pipe somewhere. Enjoy and have fun with her.

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Wont be a leak in the headlight vacuum on an S2 John - just a little adjustment on the motor or pod.

Seconded on well done on resurecting her. Our cars need regular use. Classic cars make surprisingly goodd station cars (as long as they start well). Cheap insurance, appreciation, cheap tax (relative to emissions based cars) etc.

Years ago I bought a big S Class Benz for exactly this purpose when most people were buying micra's and uno's.

My demister doesn't work either, but as its a high days and holidays car, it never bothered me. John H tells of a relay in the boot behind the panel facing the fuel tank. Worth a look on yours and mine I would think.

Dunc

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Fuses in the boot are well corroded, so the electrics there and elsewhere need a good looking at.  My excellent mechanic Roy Gillard will have the dash off in due course to check the Heath Robinson craziness that lurks behind it. The car has no doubt been much bodged over the years, as they always are. 

Other things that need doing - the boot  support needs renewing.   The cambelt needs a cover.   I may refresh the wheel centre badges and the World Champion badges on the B pillars.  The door mirror joystick needs wiring in. 

My other daily driver is a1983 Lancia HPE Volumex, by the way, but I may sell that.

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It starts first time in frost or damp, and runs well.  .... The lamps pop up in a slightly right then left way.  The left one does not close fully flush.  The interior fan works on the fast setting only.  The rear demister doesn't work, and most of the central panel switches are not illuminating.   .... The passenger door can only be locked from the inside. 

 

Our cars must be simply twins :) how are the last 4 digits of your VIN?

I have altered the glove box and since that my interiour fan and the timer is not working. A look in the wiring diagram shows, that it is linked altogether... The same counts for the rear demister... It also linked with sth other which doesn't work. Don't remember what exactly...

Look on the bright side: if you fix one simple thing, two will work again at once! :)

I have new wheel badges done. They look awesome in my view... Will upload them soon

The old one:

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The new one:

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S2 ah, me thicko. Dunc do you know anyone looking for a very very good Eclat Exel in cracking good order, just listed for a friend of mine in lotusforsale. I recon he has seriously underpriced her going by todays prices as it really is that good but he is aspiring after and Esprit now.

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John -No mate, but I will keep my ear to the ground. Narrow excels in good shape are rare and it is an unusual colour, although the colour might perhaps not be to everyone's taste. What is the asking price, as I didn't see one on the description?

Gerrard - always been a bit curious of volumex HPE's...I've never been in one, but a freind had an HPE1600 when I was in my teens. Does it drive as nicely as the eclat?

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I drove one of those Lancias for a week or two back in the mid to late 1980s.  Remember going to Milton Keynes in it for some reason !

Really quite liked it.  Thought the "estate" looked better than the coupe 

Another well done from me too by the way. 

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The Lancia drives very well, but feels very different to the Eclat.  The Lancia has excellent FWD handling, with classic 80s lift off oversteer if you run out of skill/courage in a bend.  The Coupe version handles a tad better than the HPE as it has a shorter wheelbase, but the difference is marginal, and the HPE has Tardis-like interior space, including the best back seats in its class.

The Lampredi twin cam engine is not quite as quick to rev up in the supercharged version as it is when normally aspirated, but it has great torque in all gears.  You rarely see an HPE without a tow bar.  Some say that the single Weber is too small, and tune the car with bigger carbs and so on.  Old MG and kit car people loot Volumexes for the blowers, so complete ones are rare.  They were never numerous.

The HPE can't decide whether it's a small estate or a hot hatch, but it's quite a good load lugger if you want it to be.  All variants of Beta had five speed gearboxes and disc brakes all round, as well as lavish instrumentation.  Pub myths apart, most Betas are in reality no more or less rusty than any seventies/early eighties steel car.  

More Eclat pics, apols for crappy focus on one. 

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Always fancied an HPE Volumex but never been in one......looks fab though. I prefer the earlier S1 interiors for their outlandish 70 seat style:

5499892645_f22f22836b_z.jpg

But prefer the exterior of the later cars for their 80s chunky bumper look;

Urlaub%20Gardasee%202009%20215_8013_big.

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In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Hi Gerard, having seen your post last week I was amazed to walk past your Eclat in my local station car park as I took the train to London this morning, so I put a note on the windscreen when I returned in the afternoon and the car was still there.  I only travel to London a couple of times a month, but I did use my Elite to get to the station once in the summer, it would have been amazing to have had our two cars there at the same time!

In a further coincidence, I also use to own a Lancia Beta HPE 1600 Series 1,  RLY 392R black with gold wheels, a classic 70s brown and beige interior with that fantastic rear seat arrangement complete with the wedge shaped scatter cushions.  It was a great 5 seater sports car for me, and a load-lugger which once carried a complete raft on its roof rack to the Wallingford Raft Race in 1984, with all the paddles in the car. I particularly liked the 'cruise control' feature, a hand control which grabbed and held the throttle cable at your desired speed!  Unfortunately a snapped cam belt mullered the engine in early 1985, so I sold the car to a Lancia specialist for a paltry sum.

Leigh

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Always fancied an HPE Volumex but never been in one......looks fab though. I prefer the earlier S1 interiors for their outlandish 70 seat style:

5499892645_f22f22836b_z.jpg

But prefer the exterior of the later cars for their 80s chunky bumper look;

Urlaub%20Gardasee%202009%20215_8013_big.

My word, all that rear interior needs is a Fondue set, a Drinks cabinet and thats Abigails Party right there :lol:

Pleased to see you are enjoying the Eclat Gerard, it's looking superb :smoke:

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  • 4 weeks later...

No, I am not selling.  My plan is gradually to bring the car up to a better standard over the next year, whilst driving it as much as possible.    The car is currently outside my parents' house in Birmingham as I left it a there on a precautionary basis as it was running rough because of an apparent obstruction to one carb jet which I could not clear.  The carb may need to be taken apart for identification of the problem, which might just be crud from the fuel system, but I don't know yet.   I hope it will be back up and running next week. 

I wonder if that is an ad placed by the previous owner that he forgot to cancel.  If not that, perhaps a scam, or maybe just a similar car.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Curses be upon Ho Flung Dung Industries and their dodgy replacement parts.  The condenser that was put in the car only months ago decided to cook itself straight away, so that when the car had been running for a while and got warm the ignition would go conko, and not work again until the car cooled down a bit.    Cue much hilarious driving on the hard shoulder very noisily at 20 mph.  Anyway, Roy the bloke has fitted Powerspark electronic ignition, and now I have to go for a long drive to see if that's better.

PS: Thanks to some Romanians, it scrubs up reet tidy.  Here it is getting scrubbage, and then at me Mum's.

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