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78 S1 Basket Case


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Just a quick hello and introduction. I bought 545H about a year ago, a frame off restoration was started 2 or 3 owners before me. At some point a tree branch fell on the car, breaking the windscreen. The condition of the interior and paint deteriorated quickly while it was exposed to the weather.

The car appears to almost complete, I have been researching and doing small jobs since purchase. Short term goal is to have a rolling chassis with a fresh engine this summer. No idea when it will be completed.


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Welcome to the forum, you should find all the help you need here, quite a few S1 owners now!

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Friedrich Nietzsche

find me on Tripadvisor


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Thanks all...

One of the things I have been doing is compiling a weight database on all the parts. I will publish this information when complete.

When researching the car I couldn't figure out why it was so heavy. I have a mid 80's Corolla GTS which is roughly the same size... 96" wheelbase, steel frame, cast iron engine, ac, 4 seats etc that is lighter than the esprit. Federal S1's in the real world are ~2450 lbs. or more.

What I have found so far has surprised me, the engine and chassis are remarkably light. The bonnet, doors and rear hatch are portly but not hugely overweight (well, maybe the tailgate is at 50 lbs).

In general the little things add up, for example:

Lucas starter 17lbs ...a toyota starter is 9

Headlight popup mechanism (single motor design) 9lbs .. a toyota popup motor is less than 2 lbs (3.5 for a pair)

Speedometer cable 5.5 lbs

Improved performance through lightness, the lotus way. Seems we can make some improvements and keep the original appearance.


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Welcome to the forum, William. Nice to see another S1 being restored. Looks like it's in good hands.

Interesting stuff on the weights of parts especially as Lotus is all about lightness.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE


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Welcome to the forum, Bill!

Nice choice of color for the S1. . . :)

I've been spending way too much time looking at the serial number list that Frank put up at, and I'd say you have the distinction of owning one of the very latest Federal S1s.

Have fun with the project!

- Tony

Tony K. :)


Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1983 Turbo Esprit, Investor Edition #03

1991 Esprit SE

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I will repaint in white, the roof and bonnet paint was totally ruined while stored under a tarp. I have some S2 upgrades from what I can tell, 3 cooling fans, a/c (might be dealer add on, I am missing most of the parts it is hard to tell), Dellorto carbs. The car was close to being parted out on ebay when I found it, was really looking for a later model but the S1 has grown on me. Like most Federal models the bumpers are junk now, I will be installing a euro front bumber and lights for sure.



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Nice project man!... Can't wait to see what happens!

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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