A sense of Déjà vu took hold. The bare bit of field, as I staggered cross-country back from the pub last month, was very familiar. Then I remembered. Until recently there was a Lotus Excel here, sans engine, a very long way from the nearest road and at least two fences from the nearest farm track. Here are some words from when I first found it, in 2012…

We all love a wedge, don’t we ? It’s the polar opposite of the wind-tunnel smoothed, crash reg legislated, amorphous blobs that modern manufacturers now turn out. When some Lithuanian builders dragged a dead Excel out of a demolished barn on an empty farm near me recently, and dumped it in a field, I had to have a look…

You’re probably thinking “I wonder what that’s worth ?” and I was too. I tried to ask the immigrant builder, but he mistook me for someone from the Department of Work and Pensions, and hid. This called for a bit of CSI (Cruddy Sportscar Investigation) work. Firstly, the tax. The DVLA last milked the owner of this car on April’s fool’s Day, back in 2005. The owner went to the post office in Redcar, 200 miles from the Lotus’s resting place. How did it get here? More clues: The ‘EXI’ plate meant either the car was from Norn Iron or the owner wanted a cheapskate private plate. The peeling stickers told me the car is an SE, powered by a slant 4 engine with 180bhp (not bad for a normally aspirated 4 pot designed c.30 years ago), with a revised fascia and switchgear. Peering inside the dials were hanging out of the dash, wires everywhere, Lotus clearly not having done quite enough revising. A solitary bolt and half-consumed packet of Wrigleys rested on the leather centre consol. Green grass grew inside. And moss. I can imagine someone slowly grinding their teeth, poking the electrical spaghetti, and giving up. How hacked off with Hethel must they have been not to have even gone back for their chewy?

If you know the eventual fate of EXI 9533, please let us know. We’d like to think it went to a good home. 

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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