Ever had an Eclat? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
View Poll Results: Do you now, or have you ever, owned an Eclat?
Yes 10 23.26%
No 33 76.74%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Ever had an Eclat?

Do you now, or have you ever, owned an Eclat? I've never heard anybody here say they have.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 12:48 AM
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But I know someone who did, in England, about 30 years ago.

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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 02:24 AM
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Do you have one?

Do it once. Do it right.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 03:34 AM
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Eclat In Maryland

Here's one, owned by a guy in Maryland. I took the picture back in 2010, at the LOG in Gettysburg. If you go to a Lotus Owners Gathering (there's one each year), you'll see a lot more than Elises.

--Bob Collum
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBH View Post
Do you have one?
No. I considered it once though.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 08:22 PM
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Tim has one.

Phil Ethier Minnesota USA
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 01:58 PM
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I helped put a timing belt on one...

Atwell Haines / '88 Esprit / Succasunna, NJ USA

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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 04:02 PM
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Eclat

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Originally Posted by Possiblelotusfan View Post
Do you now, or have you ever, owned an Eclat? I've never heard anybody here say they have.
YEP
Bought one used, about 1972 in South Florida, Palm Beach County.

It was in good condition except it was repainted - fair job - silver gray as I remember. One headlight (Left I think) didn't like to open/close - but a few hits on the fender usually got it wake up. No other troubles.

Bought it for cash ~10k - I think - but maybe not that much.
Keep it for about 6 months, then traded it it for a new Dodge Charger - got back all my original investment.

As I remember there was nothing special about driving it, not a lot of power and just fair handling. It was not bad looking but nothing special either.

At this time I own several sport cars including a 2005 Elise - which is everything that the Eclat was not.


Herb

Last edited by Herb; 09-03-2014 at 04:11 PM. Reason: added used
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-03-2014, 05:26 PM
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I have maximum respect for anyone who has one of these in decent condition. They were, well, the bottom of the Lotus barrel. I mean, they are super cool, but what a fragile car.

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Possiblelotusfan View Post
No. I considered it once though.
So what do you drive?

Do it once. Do it right.
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Possiblelotusfan View Post
Do you now, or have you ever, owned an Eclat?
I own two. A red 1979 and a black 1978. Both are 523 models with leather, 5-spd, A/C, Power Brakes and Power Steering. Both were built late in 1978, and are only a few serial numbers apart.

With the exception of the Lotus-Maxi 5-spd transmission, I don't consider them any more fragile than the Esprit S1-S2 of the same period. The engine is very robust, but it's not tolerant of neglect. The 5-speed's gear set was from the Austin Maxi, and they're not up to the task. Popping teeth off 2nd gear is the usual failure mode.

The only downside is that all Federal 907s of the day were pretty low on torque due to emissions tuning. But that's a 907 thing, not an Eclat thing. If you don't have to pass an annual emissions check, then you can tune around that. But the best bit of tuning you can do is to convert it to a 2.2 liter with 912 parts. It may be that 0.2 doesn't seem like much, but it makes all the difference in the world. But if you do that, you're just putting more stress on that weak Lotus-Maxi 5-speed, so you should also consider a transmission upgrade at the same time.

The interesting point is that the front-engine, 4-seat Eclat handles better than the mid-engine, 2-seat Esprit. That's the reputation, and I can confirm it since I also own a 1980 Esprit S2, and have autocrossed them both.

Regards,
Tim Engel
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 02:36 PM
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Love the look of these cars. Esprit2, would you please share some pictures?

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
2011 Evora S Racing Heritage Edition (#3 of 4) (Now with alexsharkeyross)
2005 Elise LRG, track prepped ,
1974 Lotus Europa Special 3841R in JPS livery
2007 Toyota Tundra (about 10 cup holders), traded for 2015 Tundra TRD PRO
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-04-2014, 04:40 PM
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I don't have many digital pictures of my cars... but here are a couple of the red 1979 at the LOG 13 track day at Grattan Raceway. It won it's category in the Concours.

It was a very low mileage, super clean car when I bought it in 1990. Initially I was reluctant to drive it for fear of putting the first nicks in the paint. The drive to Michigan and back for LOG 13 popped it's cherry, especially going through all the road construction in the Chicago area. For the same reason, Grattan was the first time I'd had that car on a track. Man, it's high speed handling was great, it's really at home hanging the tail out, and I had a wonderful day.

Regards,
Tim Engel
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 03:13 PM
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I had its big brother a 1974 Elite in Sable with oatmeal interior. Bought it in great condition around 1978. Was a nice car and trouble free. Wonder where it is now!
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Boomerang for modern SD
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-09-2014, 03:32 PM
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Here's that Maryland Éclat again, just this past Saturday...
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 07:28 PM
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I owned one for a couple of years. It moved on to Dusseldorf Germany. It had some nice updates, but I couldn't get over the amount of "deflection" in the rear suspension. I also didn't like the way the interior was held together. With mine it was glue and tape. I have some shots of the car, but I don't do this enough to know how to simply attach a photo from my computer... Now back to my Europa.
jason h
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-24-2014, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocelotspot View Post
(Snip)... I couldn't get over the amount of "deflection" in the rear suspension. (Snip)...
Jason,
Define "deflection". If you mean the rear end's tendency to step out in a corner, I like that. The tail isn't going around; the back end just steps out, takes a set, then stays there all the way around a long sweeper. It's very easy to control, and to throttle-steer, but first you need to embrace it. I like oversteer, and the Elite/Eclat are two of the best at controlled oversteer.

In this age of front wheel drive dominance, I suppose heavy understeer is more the norm... what most drivers have grown up with.

Regards,
Tim Engel

Last edited by Esprit2; 09-25-2014 at 05:51 AM.
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 03:48 AM
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Don't feed the troll.

Jason

06' Fed Elise

My frame, rear subframe, steering rack, A-arms, front crash structure, suspension uprights, and fuel tank are stock.
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 12:29 PM
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I believe that there are a few of these running around with V8 power. That would make it a super cool car.
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 09-25-2014, 12:51 PM
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Oh, I thought this would be a thread about donuts. Oh... carry on.

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