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Failed convertible - wrongly described?


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Take from someone who knows, I have cut enough shells in my time, the A pillars offer no structural integrity whatsoever, just a couple of weeks ago I removed the roof off of an 83 Excel, after removing the windscreen I snapped off the A pillars by hand. The bonded screen will offer some rigidity but just the simple act of leaning on the A pillar to get in and out of the car will flex it sufficiently to crack the screen, no coincidence that the screen is already cracked then. An Elise is designed as a convertible and the A pillars are structural, even then you can crack the screen by pulling yourself out of the car by the A pillar. I guarantee that  you will be replacing £300 windscreens on a monthly basis, might end up quite an expensive exercise.

The integral roll bar has either been cut down or entirely removed, the roll bar is a critical safety feature, the door striker plates secure to it and the door beam is securely located by the striker plate in a side impact, if the striker plate is simply bolted to the fibreglass B pillar panel then there is no side protection whatsoever, the door and solid beam would simply fold in and trap the driver, or passenger, against the backbone chassis, I wouldn't fancy anyones chances in such an event. Even if the roll bar has simply been cut it still reduces the integrity of the striker plate beyond what is acceptable in an accident.

You could of course reinstate the roll bar and build a cage to secure the top of the windscreen preventing any flex, however, that would be even uglier than it currently is.

It is a project for a reason, it is ill conceived and badly executed, a veritable death trap, I wouldn't drive anywhere in that.

Totally agree with Ant, stick an Elite or Eclat shell on it and create a hybrid, best of both worlds.

The above is just my humble opinion, I believe that everyone should decide what is best for themselves, good luck with it whatever you decide.

David

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21 hours ago, oilmagnet477 said:

but yours was knackered, everyone knew why you were getting rid coz you told us all lol

This one would need careful inspection though ;)

Good point, well made. Do suppose I should work on my sales pitch!?

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Thank you Gents for all your comments and suggestions , As I said before I am new to the lotus scene , same old story , just hit 50 , midlife crisis .

I recently was at a friends workshop , and saw a silver 81 éclat , it had sat outside since it was parked up in 1991 ,It was parked up with a Europa , and my friend had to buy both cars but wanted shot of the Éclat . I bought it on the spot ( for too much money ) knowing little about the current value . It is in a hell of a state , and when I eventually picked it up I wondered what I had been thinking . But the memory of seeing an Elite at the motor show with my dad in the 1970's , has always stayed with me . Then I saw a 84 éclat excel on ebay and bought that ( remember the silver one ) , Then after a few beers one night I put a low bid on the blue homemade convertible , thinking I wouldn't get , but Bingo ,  I now own 3 . After reading all your comments , and the suggestion of putting an Elite shell on it , I then bought the red elite shell ( that OILMAGNET suggested ) . I know I have a lot of work to do , and lot to learn  , but here goes .

Are there any shows coming up that would have some Elite/ Eclats there . I would love to see some good examples , and see what my personal scrap collection could be like ?

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  • Gold FFM

Concentrate on the easiest one to get running and mot'd - that will give you something to enjoy and keep entertained.

good luck - and post up some pics of the collection !!

Only here once

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1 hour ago, biggee said:

Thank you Gents for all your comments and suggestions , As I said before I am new to the lotus scene , same old story , just hit 50 , midlife crisis .

I recently was at a friends workshop , and saw a silver 81 éclat , it had sat outside since it was parked up in 1991 ,It was parked up with a Europa , and my friend had to buy both cars but wanted shot of the Éclat . I bought it on the spot ( for too much money ) knowing little about the current value . It is in a hell of a state , and when I eventually picked it up I wondered what I had been thinking . But the memory of seeing an Elite at the motor show with my dad in the 1970's , has always stayed with me . Then I saw a 84 éclat excel on ebay and bought that ( remember the silver one ) , Then after a few beers one night I put a low bid on the blue homemade convertible , thinking I wouldn't get , but Bingo ,  I now own 3 . After reading all your comments , and the suggestion of putting an Elite shell on it , I then bought the red elite shell ( that OILMAGNET suggested ) . I know I have a lot of work to do , and lot to learn  , but here goes .

Are there any shows coming up that would have some Elite/ Eclats there . I would love to see some good examples , and see what my personal scrap collection could be like ?

Your more than welcome to see mine in its bits! I have some spare bits you made need too! (Complete head lamp vacuum system springs to mind). There are a few of us in darkest northants. Perhaps a gathering might be in order!

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  • Gold FFM

Brave man Lee. A bit like me, take an unseen shed and turn it into a palace. Good luck with your projects. One piece of advice which I think will be echoed by all.

Go out and purchase a couple of packs of Elastoplast. You will need them.

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9 hours ago, biggee said:

same old story , just hit 50 , midlife crisis .

Midlife crisis? Nope. Those guys buy overpriced Porsche 911. You bought some pieces of british car history. Huge difference!

I agree with Barrykearley - concentrate on the least difficult one. :stuart:

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Bloody hell Lee - new to Lotus and now you have 3 lol

Well done on acquiring the red tub - hopefully it will work out as a good re-conversion.

Is the 'convertible' on excel running gear?

You are in quite a good area for locals but if you are ever over this way (south Norfolk) then I'd be more than happy to show you mine, as long as you show me yours at some point!

All the best

Ant

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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  • 2 months later...
On 08 June 2016 at 13:48, oilmagnet477 said:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-Eclat-Elite-1976-for-spares-/122007804121?hash=item1c683b58d9:g:QBcAAOSwR5dXTer1

A classic example of how to leave car design to the

Advertised as a Elite/Eclat 1976.........

That has to be an Ecxel body surely? Bumper is too tight to the body and also the doors are not the right shape, or is my mind playing tricks?

well , its been a while , busy with work but I have finally got my hands on the roofless wonder . Too busy at the time to collect the car myself , so a friend collected it for me and stored it till now . I wish i had collected the car myself because my friend came back with the car and some tails to tell . The seller of the car was a chap called Karl foulkes halbard , He is one of the ecentric gentry and a real old car nut . He live in a massive house called Filching manor near polegate, complete with its own track and museum . Turns out this chap and his late dad have an obsession with all things connected to the  cambell family  , the fella has just finnished restoring one of donald cambells  speed record boats . He took my mate around the place , and it was packed with cars boats , motorcycle and bike , some rare , early and expensive stuff .

Whether this is true or myth , but the owner said his dad had bought the car blind on the premiss that it was an unfinished lotus factory prototype ( it obviously wasnt ) . When the car arrived , it was apparent this was not the case but a failed home made attempt . His dad didnt see bothered , stuck it in a barn , and his favourite cat lived in it . it the went on ebay and another mug bought it ( me ) . To Be fair for £275 .00 what ever happens I will not lose in the long run . I have tried attaching pics but unable to , will try tomorrow

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Here are some pics of the car . to  be honest its never going to be a safe project with the cut and shut work already done . Its a shame , because as i looked around the work that had been done , someone has spent alot of time ( though not much money ) modifying the car , but honestly the end result is poor  .  

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Cheers for posting up some pictures Lee, intresting car and yes have to agree, some time has been spent on it, sadly by someone who did not know how to build a safe convertable.!  But i think you got a bargain even parts wise. :thumbup:   

What is it with people stripping the cylinder heads of these old cars and leaving them exposed !  It seems all lotus engine projects look this way on project cars, had they never heard of oily rags and plenty of WD40 and plastic covers :ermm:

Looking forward to future posts Lee on the projects, you still thinking about putting that red body on this chassis ?  Very jealous love the Elite :)

 

A

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47 minutes ago, silverfrost said:

Cheers for posting up some pictures Lee, intresting car and yes have to agree, some time has been spent on it, sadly by someone who did not know how to build a safe convertable.!  But i think you got a bargain even parts wise. :thumbup:   

What is it with people stripping the cylinder heads of these old cars and leaving them exposed !  It seems all lotus engine projects look this way on project cars, had they never heard of oily rags and plenty of WD40 and plastic covers :ermm:

Looking forward to future posts Lee on the projects, you still thinking about putting that red body on this chassis ?  Very jealous love the Elite :)

 

another bad decsion on my part , I won the ebay auction for the shell , mine was the only bid . Then got a bit overcome with the scale of the three projects that i had taken on , i paid for the shell , but never collected it , so the shell was put back up on ebay then sold for £80 , so didnt feel too bad for the seller . It seems now all things elite have rocketed , wish i had made the effort and collected it . 

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  • Gold FFM

I like it Lee. A lot of people would have you change it back to Eclat or Elite. I disagree, persevere with it, and have the one and only convertible Eclat. Do it properly and it will be the star of every Lots event. I like the idea of Stag roll hoop, but you could consider VW Golf cabrio and incorporate the front screen and surround, and cone to that even use the roof and rear windows if you want it watertight. There's a complete doner car sat on my drive if you want it.

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28 minutes ago, Steve V8 said:

I like it Lee. A lot of people would have you change it back to Eclat or Elite. I disagree, persevere with it, and have the one and only convertible Eclat. .......

Although it was adverised as an Eclat, it's the Excel Eclat, with the Toyota running gear, not swathes of chrome etc, so could be the only Excel soft-top. It could also be the donor to supply running gear and certain sections of the body to use an Eclat or Elite shell and Excel running gear. That wouldn't be unique but is a desirable combination.

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I do not think you made a bad decision on not collecting the red shell as the bodyshells on these are still worth hardly anything at the moment, but the other parts are definately rising which is why the soft top one was a good buy :thumbup:

A

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