My restoration (to date !)
Exterior and bodywork
The car came with door handles, but they were unattached and not complete. One of the most useful things to know about Lotus cars is that they 'borrowed' quite a few parts from other makes of car and I discovered that the outer handles were the same as a Marina's. Obviously, a Lotus door handle is going to cost you twice as much as a Marina one, and if you go to a breaker's yard, you're laughing...Try as I might, I could not track down a door rod to the driver's side door. I had become quite used to opening the passenger side door and then opening my door from the inside, but this apparently was now an M.O.T. failure - all doors must open from the inside AND outside independently. (Strange how the first M.O.T. place passed the car for doors, but failed it on headlight aim !)
Various people had suggested making a door rod and, although this seems to be a simple and logical suggestion, have you ever tried to make a 4 mm thick rod bend in EXACTLY the right place in a space about 2 inches wide ?
Eventually I obtained one from America and began merrily fixing the rod to.....oh dear, there was also no tang to accept the rod to attach to the door lever. I scurried around in the garage looking for a bit of metal and eventually found an appropriate piece to bend. It was trial and error finding how to get the tang to fit in relation to the rod and the gap - and still be able to open the door - and I'm not afraid to admit that I was there until WAY past bedtime. I wasn't helped by the fact that the previous owner had apparently been playing with the door mechanism and refitted it 5 mm too low - so the door rod was catching the fibre glass of the door. Not so judicious use of a large drill bit sorted that out.
Brightwork ? what brightwork? Oh, you mean that phenomenally expensive stuff that is slightly more durable than tin foil and unobtainable ? The stuff that makes the car look less like a misshapen canoe and more like a finished car ?
Look at the pictures - there was none ! Some of the old stuff did come with the car, but it was pretty tatty. And when I did have a full set, I then had to work out which bit went where and how it all fitted together.
All I can say is that it's on there now, it looks O.K. and it's not coming off !
The lipped spoiler on all the Eclats is essential for forcing air (and thus cooling) into the radiator. I don't know where the original one actually got to, but I never found it.
One of the modifications that is recommended is to upgrade the S1 spoiler (which covers the middle 3rd of the front) with the S2 spoiler - which goes all the way round. It has the added (essential!) advantage of looking good too.
Considering that to buy an S2 pattern part from SJ Sportscars in Devon (very nice to do business with) is cheaper than to buy an original Lotus S1 spoiler, it made sense to go that route.
With the boot shut, the hinge on the boot seemed sufficient, but I really had to replace the other one as it hadn't been supplied with the car. It only needed a sharp gust of wind to catch the single-hinged boot and it would either break or wreck it's mountings.
Because I am interminably optimistic, I actually 'phoned a Lotus parts supplier and genuinely believed that they may be able to get hold of a boot hinge arm. Naturally the part number had changed and was no longer available anyway. However, undaunted I set about rectifying the situation. At first I looked for old bits of angle iron and steel to make into a hinge - poor old Chapman must have been rolling in his grave - the hinge arm would have been the heaviest part of the car ! Remembering the Lotus philosophy of "the lighter the better" (and the amount of effort actually involved in manually sawing through a 5mm bit of angle iron !) I found some 5mm aluminium and some 'chemical metal'. The results, while not aesthetically perfect, are still serving me nicely.
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