My restoration (to date !)

Inside the car - Upholstery etc.

Seats & fabric

The hard upholstery had remnants of paint and goodness knows what else on it so I removed it and cleaned it with white spirit. Although this helped, it was still a bit grubby, and my wife had the idea of rubbing black boot polish into the leatherette/plastic. Not convinced, I tried a small amount on an inconspicuous bit of plastic - and it shone beautifully. All the discoloration had gone and the polish buffed up to an almost new look. This car was going to look good !

Gear stick gaiter

Once again, I found another part of the car that was a) missing and b) unobtainable (if anyone ever wants to go into making pattern Lotus parts, they'd make a mint.) Now metal/mechanical bits and pieces I can make and/or bodge, but upholstery is not my strong point. Confused (as per normal) I went to Donington and persuaded my wife to at least feign an interest in my dilemma as we peered through lots of windows. Then, by sheer luck we spotted a gear lever cover in the jumble - completely the wrong colour, but a good template to work from, and only ten pounds. As soon as she looked at it, my better half said she could make one for about a fiver - and it would look better than the original.

A week later my wife produced this. She was right.

Home made gaiter


Take a look at the driver's footwell (below) - it's about 3 inches deep in water. The tunnel is covered in paint in places, bare in others and there is no sound insulation or carpetting. In other words, inside the car was a mess.

Driver's footwell This time I did find carpet available, but the cheapest price was 180 quid which I thought was a tad on the steep side - especially when you look at how much there actually is ! So off I trundled to Autobits expecting nothing. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could buy rolls of carpet for £ 11.95, which I was told I could return if it wasn't appropriate.

Cutting carpets My wife took one look at me trying to cut and fit the carpet and decided that a child could probably have done a better job. I got relegated to tea making duties (essential English custom) and she did the work.

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