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Is this Elite modified or prototype?


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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/lotus-elite-s1-1974-/381357501098?hash=item58caadaaaa

Hi everyone

Noticed this Elite for sale and wondering about the unusual finish to the bumpers and centre line trim.

Does anyone know this car - has it been modified or was this an early elite that left the factory like this?

Thanks

Ant

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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The waist trim has been removed and ground off,. Quite common modification as a lot of people don't like the original finish, but serious question marks over the structural integrity afterwards.

The bumpers look like they have had an inch or two shaved off to bring them flusher with the bodywork, not seen this done before. Along with colour coding, blacked out chrome and the (rather nice) wheels I would say this is someone's personal statement rather than a prototype

Apart from the waistline removal I quite like it!

$_57.JPG

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Like Mark says, rub strip has been removed, a bad idea as it added strength to the doors. I have a different theory on the front bumper, it looks like an early Excel one to me (very early model) it doesn't look quite like it was made for that car, hence the strange effect.

Wheels are horrid on that car. The original ones make it look retro, which is both cool and will add value.

Dunno whats happened at the back but either it's jacked up or theres something missing as it isn't as close to the ground as it should be. Look at the picture side on, the one in the sun and the bottom line doesn't flow along the sill and up the rear like it should. [Edit: looking at it again the sill is wrong which makes the back look wrong. It's not flush and sticks out]

Sorry but original is beautiful:

SouthNorfolk-20140828-00791_zps95a60c7f.

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I think i saw this for sale a few years ago when i was looking for and elite and it was big money at the time. it's a tidy car but for me original is best. This is a car which has been modernised to an eighties look and the value of these cars is now in the 1970's flared trouser, big moushtache, shag pile carpet, hairy chested, medallion, smoking is good era

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I think this is quite a thoughtfully done restoration. I take the point about the 70s style being lost, but it does evolve the Elite shape quite nicely into the 80s which I actually prefer. The bumper look less obtrusive and painting the side window brightwork black is reasonably successful. For me it now needs a black leather interior which would complement the red exterior clour well.

 

ATB Richard

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Agreed, it would have been classed as tasteful in the late 80s/early 90s when the 70s were a no-go zone

This is the best "modernised" Elite I have seen, again personal taste, and again I would always prefer original, but a cohesive approach none the less;

1954909917_2f2b164823_o.jpg

1954910935_9277d328ff_o.jpg

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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  • 2 months later...

Like Mark says, rub strip has been removed, a bad idea as it added strength to the doors

 

 Well I hate to make a stink here about something small, but there is absolutely no added strength by a half inch wide piece of tape. Think about it.

The only real reason for the tape is to hide the body seam crack, the top half from the bottom which in time, will likely crack the entire length of the car including front and back, if the car is driven.

 If you take apart the car, on the inside, to view the body seam, you will see that is where there is a large 4 or 5 inch wide band-aid type fiber glass clothe running the whole length of the seam. This is where the body is joined together. And I must say, it is also inadequate to hold the body together without cracking the outside painted surface right at the seam. 

 

If one thinks the bumper is too short it is an easy fix to find an oem factory replacement. I kind of like the look of it myself.

This car, above, is in better shape than most Elites I have ever seen by far. Very nice paint job!

This is the look that Lotus went to (shorter bumpers than the Elite) with the last version of the Elite, the Excel which they also painted the bumpers body color and the "A" pillars. I did this with my Elite as it makes the car look more modern and is an improvement that Lotus thought so as well. 

 Looks like the body panels match up quit nice which was not the case with my early '74 Elite. . To have my car this straight, it required me to skim the entire car (and block sand it all down by hand...over 400 hours) to fill in all the holes and valleys and make it straight and smooth. Rolls Royce and Aston Martin also do this on their cars for a perfect body.

Not sure how long Lotus used a body mold or if they had many to make the Elite but it certainly wasn't very good early on, I assure you of that. 

 

cheers,

Richard

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regarding the de-seaming

I think you had a flat surface bonded to a flat surface and by grinding it back to remove the rubbing strip you have removed the extent of the boded flat surfaces.......

how much design went in to the area required to achieve the required fixing.....not a clue......

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)

 

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one thing that is interesting for me is the relative strengths of the bodyshell betweent he s1 and s2 cars. My 77/76 series 1 feels a lot lighter and flimsier than my series 2 and excel. When you push the rear end you can feel it flex inwards on the S1 - whereas the S2 doesnt. The car above is a series 2, which using my cars as a sample suggests its a stonger, heavier unit, which may be less prone to cracking.

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When I re painted my '74 Elite, I took off all paint down to gel coat to see every crack and any damaged areas. I was amazed that one area was so thin ( behind the rear tires) that you could easily push in and move the body panel. Almost no resin was on the fiberglass mat. Very thin. 

The Elite started out at 2,190 lbs. Sorry I don't relate  to kg. lol This was before any options like ps or ac which pushed them up near 2,400 lbs. 

 I can easily push my elite all around in my garage by hand. As I remember, the first Esprit was 1,980 lbs but they gained weight fast and were over 3,000 lbs before too long which was a mistake in my opinion. Luxury has it price and optional equipment adds up fast.

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 Well I hate to make a stink here about something small, but there is absolutely no added strength by a half inch wide piece of tape. Think about it.

cheers,

Richard

I'll tell MJK, one of the 2 designers of that car, that he's wrong then. Or, maybe you can :) he has a habit of telling me to shut up when I try and contradict him on something he designed.



In all seriousness though, it wasn't tape it was a small piece of box plastic moulding but if you feel it it's pretty solid. I don't know the whole story because when Dad starts talking technical stuff I switch off but  I would assume it either stops flexing or just gives the door a bit of support at a weak point.

Incidently, did I mention he won the Don Safety Trophy for his design work on the Elite? It was for innovative design and safety features :)

 

Funnily enough it was still on the later models (my car)

 

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  I would assume it either stops flexing or just gives the door a bit of support at a weak point.

Hey Kimbers !

On the door, there isn't need for support there as it is a one piece fiberglass panel so this is the only place inline with the body seam ( here it is seamless)  part that won't crack.  I know the body molding was used as a trim piece and it does look good but we are only talking 1/4 inch of body ( each half of the body seam that the tape sticks to is only 1/4 inch wide ) for it to grab ahold of so there can't be much help there. Maybe they thought it was or used it as an excuse but to not have one on your car will simply expose the crack along the seam. Again this is my take as I am not trying to cause trouble but I took my car apart as far as one could without taking it off the chassis and this is what I found.

I remember Chapman arguing with officials about his aluminum coated paper fire wall that he insisted was fire proof on a GP F1 car. So maybe Colin said it was for strength. I don't know but it isn't very strong if it is.  

Incidently, did I mention he won the Don Safety Trophy for his design work on the Elite? It was for innovative design and safety features :)

  Yeah, pretty cool alright.  I read that when the car came out and even a year before saw and read about it as it was on the cover of Road & Track. Still have that magazine. lol 

 Then I never imagined I would actually own one. I much prefer the design of the Esprit but I actually think I got the better car for the road with the Elite. I love the road manners. Great ride, and sticks to the road like glue even to the point of being kind of scary as it can go around corners so fast. Top shelf. Tell your dad he did an excellent job! Too bad they didn't use higher quality parts like in the rear wheel bearings which have a short life.  ( actually the bearings were from the Austin Maxi which was just too small ) This same rear suspension design was used by Jaguar and on the Corvette without any issues so we know it is good. 

They finely got the body right with the Excel. Lovely example you posted ! Great color too !  nice find !!!!

 But the rear suspension design was changed somewhat and I don't think it was as good as the Elite where the inboard brakes were hung on the chassis and not outboard riding on the wheels, slowing the response down and requiring stiffer springs which hurt the ride and quickness of response to road irregularities. I also think the rear travel was just right at nearly 8 inches up and down. Almost as much as a dirt bike. lol  Great suspension which is why I never sold it in the first place as it cornered better than anything I had ever driven a the time. I only bought initially to fix and sell for a profit because it was broken with 16 bent valves. 

  I have never seen an Excel in person as I don't think there are any here in the US nor an Eclat but they did import the later to Canada our next door neighbor.. 

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