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S2 resurrection after 25 years in storage

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Some of you may have seen my intro post. I've recently purchased a 79 lotus S2. I think it's a JP edition however I'm researching to confirm. I'm not fussed either way.

I purchased it sight unseen as a basket case.

Hopefully I'll have the time to strip this puppy down and rebuild from the ground up. I'm hoping to complete this project within the next 18 months. Now there's a challenge. Mental note to buy the wife some flowers. Lots of them!

I've restored various vehicles over the years, most recently a 912 and a 356's. I love the restoration process although I'm a bit of a novice.

I'm new to lotus. I was really surprised at the lack of information that's available compared to other popular Marques. This forum and the moderators are a blessing! How in gods name did anyone restore pre Internet?.

For the record I thought I would upload a few pics so there's a reference point.

The engine turns over and that's about as good as it gets with this thing. Oh, and the door locks.

I'll chime in again once it's arrived at my place which will be in a couple of weeks time.

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Going by the Lotus data plate and signs of over spray it's had a paint job at some point, but regardless, good luck with her.

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Wheels look good!

 

Good luck with the restoration.

 

:thumbup:

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I need to take the body off the chassis and was wondering if there is a post that could give me some pointers? I've had a look but haven't found anything that goes into detail.

Many thanks

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Just go into giugiaro Esprit tech forum, then to interior/Exterior section, then just type in the search box body removal and theres  a good discription by lotus4, second one down. paul

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From what I can make out on that plate looks like VIN ends in G so it's a UK import. L15 for paint code which I think means black is your original colour. And looks like it's a '78 not '79? It's actually a bit younger than mine (524G).

 

Hope your chassis isn't as bad as mine!

Edited by Freemason

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I have another question please....

This car has a retro aftermarket sunroof. I intend to make this car 100% stock. However:

1/ this is part of the cars history

2/ the concept of a sunroof appeals and I believe the cabin would be claustrophobic without it.

What does everyone think? Delete or keep?

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Generally with these things it pays to err on the side of originality. If the sunroof is aftermarket I'd say it has to go. Doesn't look particularly appealing from the outside.

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My view. Get rid  :smoke:

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Get rid! Get the headlining done in a light colour, it makes a big difference to the feel of the cabin, especially if the rest is dark.

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Mine's got an aftermarket sunroof, and while it does affect originality, I like driving the car on a sunny day with the sunroof open or out completely.

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I'm still preparing for the big resto...

With other marques, some restorers go to great lengths for originality. Right down to getting the correctly stamped nut heads.

I strongly believe there will be a day where these cars are of real value where authenticity & heritage are a major consideration. Humour me - let's say they become " trendy " & valuable and are worth $100 - $150k (I've seen other Marques go from $30k to $100k in three years - Eg.early 901's). All of a sudden correct paint codes, floor carpets, brake lines etc become relevant.

I'm curious to find out whether any of you have restored these cars back to complete factory spec originality. From bolt heads to the inferior red plastic clutch lines. The whole lot.

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If the prices were to go to those realms your sunroof isn't going to knock even $5k off the price if the rest of the car is immaculate. But it's one of those awful aftermarket, cheap looking ones that are compromised in operation and size. You should pull it off unceremoniously and before it get's a chance to breed, torch it. 

 

In my humble opinion.

 

Having said that, it's there now. If you were going the Pebble Beach route and I was your $100k buyer and I later found traces that it had been there under the headlining or whatever, the car having been billed as a concours d'elegance candidate... I'd be a very very unhappy douchebag.

 

I'd love to think the Esprit would go the appreciatng classic route, in the magnified sense, but feel the G-cars are unlikely to get past the 20-30k range, if that.

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... the G-cars are unlikely to get past the 20-30k range, if that.

 

We could fake Giorgetto's death!

 

Joking aside it's a really interesting subject Rolls, pouring through the incredible list of cars he designed, some were icons before they even left the paper they were drawn on. The Esprit would comfortably fall into that category, but will it appreciate?

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Thanks for the replies. I'm not in it to make money. If I come close to breaking even I would be stunned.

As I'm new to Esprit, just curious to gauge people's opinions of "hardcore originality" to "original with modern day improvements".

Further pics attached. Feeling daunted. Where to begin???

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I think I'd like to have another S2 in black, had one many years ago as my first Lotus and yours looks great. Get rid of the sunroof and good luck with the restoration.

Trevor.

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Totally jealous! It looks so cool. Never been a fan of the speedlines but your photos make them look really good. Love the black interior too, is that a new front bumper included in the deal? I pick my S2 up in a couple of weeks just like you sight unseen. 

 

Where to start... I'm planning to run a compression test and then go engine and box out first. It's unlikely that with the main threats tackled (timing belt, fuel lines and cooling system) it'd be driveable, but I would like to get a week or two out of it before I go full resto. It'd be nice to have a frame of reference to compare before and after. 

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Thanks for the comments. I'm trying to work out whether to:

1/ take the body off at home and then transport it off site to storage facility for the next year or so

OR

2/ take the body off at the place where it will be stored so I don't need to transport it

From what I'm reading it sounds like it's quite transportable with the promise of beer. So I might just transport it from home.

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Tough one. One guy with a low loader can safely move a rolling chassis. The body would need a small team and is more vulnerable by comparison during the exercise.

 

Kid gloves whichever way you go.  :)

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A few friends and a beer or two!

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Hey Paul

How many people did it take to lift?

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Hi Roland, it took 6 of us to lift it on the van, it was quite heavy, 2 strong people at the back and 4 people at the front.

I made a trolly for the chassis, i made it using 2 swivel casters on the from and 2 fixed casters on the back, also i used 6x2" wood and bolted the casters on. I will take a picture of it tomorrow although you may be able to see the casters in this pic. Its really easy to move the car around the garage, better than axle stands. 

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Your VIN is 7807/0445G

UK car 46th S2

Made during the 3 month ramp up to September release for the T registered cars

 

Good luck!

Earlier than mine I have 7808/0465G !!

Clive

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You are lucky in that you have the very rare Mario Andretti steering wheel from a JPS S2 Esprit. I think it is the only alternative wheel to the two spoke original S1 and S2 wheel which looks really good and period. 

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And so the restoration begins..... I've taken hundreds of photos. The car appears to be unmolested which is great. I spent an hour or so "WD40-ing" every single nut I could find. I find the more time you give this stuff to work the better.

1st task - seats out. Always love the little bits you find under the seats. An ear ring, two spanners, some coins, broken glass....

The runners where rusted to the carpet. Rusty crap everywhere. I would daresay the result of a leaky sunroof. The seat rails are cactus. The top and bottom rails are fused together. I therefore cannot access the front screws that affix the rails to the seat. Rather than try to slide the rail forward by taping it to reveal the bolt (which would risk shearing the bolts off) I will use my cutoff wheel to essentially cut the rails off. In doing so I will save the seat to rail bolts. Please chime in if you have other thoughts.

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2nd task: disconnect piping from fuel pump to body. Side note - I intend to keep the car as original as possible. I would dearly love to restore the original pump opposed to replace. Has anyone tried to do this or am I dreaming?

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