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I see a very nearby Eclat for just under $8k.

Should I bite?

Edit: oops, it's a 1978 blue Eclat in fair/good condition. 69k miles
You really need to do some research on the Eclat before you make a decision. They are some of the least desired cars Lotus ever made and are notoriously difficult and expensive to keep running. Maybe $8k for a perfect one, but those are few and far between.......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the prompt reply.

So if I were to look for an older Lotus, I shouldn't be looking at Eclats. What should I be looking for?
 

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Thanks for the prompt reply.

So if I were to look for an older Lotus, I shouldn't be looking at Eclats. What should I be looking for?
If you are looking for an old Lotus go for one the of the original Elans from the 60's and early 70's. If you want something more recent, an S3 or newer Esprit or if you like fwd, the new generation Elan. Of course this is just my opinion and as with any advice, YMMV.
 

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Agree with tesprit on most points.

Fair/good condition? What does that mean for a 'normal' car? These cars didn't come new from the factory in fair or good condition!

Can you turn a wrench? All of the older Lotus require a lot of attention, and if you're asking what to look for, it means that under no circumstances should you consider any older Lotus, even the more recent Esprits, without a very competent Lotus mechanic going over it thoroughly. It's worth the few hundred to get the inspection done.

If you really want the older cars and are able/willing to put up with the time/expense/frustration of making one right or keeping a good one in good shape, also take a look at the Europas as well as the Elans.
 

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I absolutely agree with lotusforsale when it comes to the maintenance required to keep an old Lotus in decent condition. If you can't do the work yourself it will cost you an arm and a leg (if not more body parts!) to keep one. These cars do not age well and require a lot of upkeep no matter how good they are when purchased. I left the Europa off my list only because I owned 2 of them and I find the Elan to be a better all around car for the money. The newer cars if bought in questionable condition will even drain your bank account faster, so make sure to do your homework and have someone experienced in the model you are looking at do a pre-purchase inspection on the car.
 
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