The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,563 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy all.

I recently acquired this '74 Elite (serial number 102B) and will start "restoration" (really just a freshening up) this summer.

I lucked out in that the previous owner *just* rebuilt the engine and carbs, and a few other sundries. It needs transmission work, seats redone, and a general once-over, but isn't too far off the mark as it sits.

Mine runs the S2 bumpers (with Rover SD1 tail lights) and Dellorto carbs (I thought the US cars came with Strombergs?)

For what it's worth, I also race a '74 Elite running a Chevy 350 through a Muncie 4-speed to a Jag XJS rear end (complete IRS unit) with another member of the forum. We've been running that car for 8 years now, but this is my first time working on a road-worthy, original Elite.


Lotus Elite 1312 by Brian Knudson, on Flickr


Lotus Elite 1330 by Brian Knudson, on Flickr


Lotus Elite 1344 by Brian Knudson, on Flickr


Lotus Elite 1322 by Brian Knudson, on Flickr
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,563 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
By the way - being that I'm new to this whole idea of "make it nice" (street car) as opposed to "make it fast" (race car), I'll happily accept any recommendations on resources for parts and/or Elite-specific hints/tips.

I'm familiar with Lotusbits, SJ Sports Cars, and RD Enterprises, but that's about it at this point.

:shift:
 

·
Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
·
5,653 Posts
You might want to ping @Esprit2 with any questions. I'm sure he could answer your Carb query.

That car looks to be in fairly nice shape already! Got any interior shots?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,563 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
You might want to ping @Esprit2 with any questions. I'm sure he could answer your Carb query.

That car looks to be in fairly nice shape already! Got any interior shots?
It is in fairly good shape. I think "restoration" is a bit of a strong word... maybe I should have said "freshening up". In fact... [ post edited ]

I've only taken a couple shots of the interior - strategically placed to capture only the most flattering angles. ;)
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,304 Posts
By the way - being that I'm new to this whole idea of "make it nice" (street car) as opposed to "make it fast" (race car), I'll happily accept any recommendations on resources for parts and/or Elite-specific hints/tips.

I'm familiar with Lotusbits, SJ Sports Cars, and RD Enterprises, but that's about it at this point.

:shift:
Dave Bean and JAE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
beautiful car! Love the funky '70's Elite looks. rare to see a roadworthy condition one for a change. trashed ones are a dime a dozen...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,563 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Nice Brian! How do you fit?

Come down and visit us - we have a '73 Europa torn completely down for restoration. Check it out: HERE
Hi Shinoo! The Elite has to be the most spacious Lotus out there -- tons of room, relatively speaking. (I might be singing a different tune if I was more torso and less leg, but long-legged me fits perfectly)

The Europa looks great! I haven't been to to your shop, in person, in years. Definitely need to make the trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
Nice. A real labor of love.

Please resist modding her more than functional improvements of fail prone stuff. There are only so many of these that will ever exist. When I have seen
them at LOG or such it’s so so cool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,117 Posts
Did you happen to buy this car in Georgia? It looks like the twin of the one a friend of mine bought new, then sold years later. The 2nd owner passed away and his widow sold it to another local guy who restored it to some degree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,563 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Did you happen to buy this car in Georgia? It looks like the twin of the one a friend of mine bought new, then sold years later. The 2nd owner passed away and his widow sold it to another local guy who restored it to some degree.
Sorry to bring back an old post, but I'm just coming back to the forum and seeing this for the first time.

Yes, I bought it in GA from a local guy who restored it to some degree. He bought it from the widow of the previous owner. ;)

If you have any more information on it, I'd love to hear it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,304 Posts
No need to apologize for bumping your own post. Hope you are enjoying it, I have been enjoying my newly acquired Excel


You should get a timing belt in it, if the time/mileage is unknown

Keep us up to date on your progress
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
45 Posts
Hi Brian, I've got 3 of these. A '74 and Two '77's, one of the '77's is on the road after a 4 year rejuvenation. It's the one in my avitar. The other two are in need of resto.
I'll post some more pics when I'm on a real computer not this pad.

Good Luck and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,563 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
A little update...

To make a very long story short: after fixing some electrical gremlins (turns out, I hadn't fixed all of them), I took the Elite to an upholstery shop to get an estimate for recovering the seats. By the time we were done talking, we'd agreed to redo all four seats, door cards, and replace all the carpet with wool and high quality sound deadening. When I went to leave the shop, the gremlins came back, and it wouldn't start. I came back later that night and eventually got it running by using jumper cables as a giant ground strap.

It was closing time for the shop & the shop owner saw me fiddling, so came out to see what was going on... because it was there, I asked him, "Do you just want to keep it and do the work now?" Oddly, they had an opening, so I pulled it into their garage and let them have at it.

Unsurprisingly, finding matching seat upholstery was a challenge. The car originally came with a corduroy-like material that I really liked and wanted to keep. It took a week and a half to find something that was reasonably close, but close was as good as it was going to get, so we ordered it. Initially I wasn't a fan of the color, but it's grown on me & now I'm quite fond of it. For what it's worth: I learned, during this process, that you can't use just any fabric for car seats - among other attributes, it has to be UV resistant.

Without further ado, here's some pictures. These aren't great... the car hasn't left my garage since its been back - I'm replacing the entire engine bay wiring harness as we speak, so haven't taken it out into the light for better pictures.

What it looked like when I dropped it off:

Interior “before” picture
by Brian Knudson, on Flickr

Carpets redone (of note: I gave them a picture of the carpet set from the parts catalog and had them repeat it as best they could. They did a bang-up job):

Carpets mostly finished.
by Brian Knudson, on Flickr

Front seats rebuilt and recovered; door card fabric replaced:

First look at new interior.
by Brian Knudson, on Flickr

Rear seats recovered:

Seats being rebuilt and recovered.
by Brian Knudson, on Flickr


For anyone in the LA Area: I had this done at Julio Auto Upholstery in Highland Park. It's the second car I've taken to them... they've earned my business for life. They've gone way above and beyond to get everything just right. They're a little nondescript shop in one of those auto strip-malls with several other mechanics' shops, but they do amazing work & always seem to be working on interesting cars - like this Interceptor that was getting done right after mine. Yelp link: Julio Auto Upholstery - Cypress Park - Los Angeles, CA

Interior reupholstery progress.
by Brian Knudson, on Flickr
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,139 Posts
Looks great. I have always thought these were good looking cars, and sad they didn't catch on. I think the colors go very well together.

Looks like a '69 Jensen hiding there, too. Another car I wish I owned!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
108 Posts
Beautifully done! One of the lessons I've learned is to use the best materials for the job. The craftsmanship from Julio is wonderful. He must be very proud of his team and their accomplishments.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top