No, really, it was found in a barn, in Sussex. Simon paid £400 for this charming, shabby Lotus Elite and we bumped into him on his maiden journey to the local Marina. A sympathetic MOT after paying someone a few quid to get shot of this tatty classic taking up space on the farm and he was on the road, smiling.

See how my camera pans quicker than this car can drive? It’s a bit smokey but the slant 901 engine runs and sounds fine, “FFS don’t touch those carbs if it runs OK” was the advice I once heard with these engines. The paint isn’t original and some of the trim, never Hethel’s strong point, is a mile adrift. But who cares? It runs!

This is a type 83 (four seat Elite) in 502 spec (base model plus air con) and the devil is in the detail. The wiring is a mess, there’s a toggle switch for under bonnet illumination, for example, and there are homebrew looms everywhere. The headlamps were possessed but you be a loon to drive this far in the dark anyway. Or the day. But check that F1 championship badge, this marque is a winner.


There’s no intention to further restore this, says the owner, it was an impulse rescue and just a bit of weekend fun. Maybe us ‘punks will take it on for further fettling fun when times allow. We’d need a good auto electrician, like, really good.

If, like us, you love a bit of Lotus then check out our sister publication, Absolute Lotus, here – https://absolutelotus.co.uk

 

 

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 Porsche 968 Sport, MK1 MX-5, Sinclair C5 and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike which he loves.

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