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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1980 Lotus Elite

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Original owner 1980 Lotus Elite for sale on From the seller’s description:

Model 504, Type 75. Top of the line four passenger Lotus, original owner, excellent original beautiful condition, automatic transmission, power steering, air conditioning and leather upholstery. 22,858 miles. Always garaged, carefully maintained. Rarely driven for past 25 years except for biennial smog test. I am the original owner, buying this car new from Lou Mirabile Lotus Center in Long Beach, California. The car has generally been driven only by my wife, who only drove it once or twice a week to her bridge club, about a 30 mile round trip. The car now has 22,858 miles and has seldom been driven for the past 25 years except for the required biennial smog test. It has been garaged every night in an insulated garage with temperature extremes never exceeding 80 high or 55 low. It has never been driven in rain. Two or three times before 1990 it began to drizzle before getting home and of necessity was driven on wet roads. The original black leather upholstery has been regularly treated with leather conditioner and is like new and smells like a new car. The car is original in all respects except for the headliner material being replaced due to the original foam backing disintegrating from age, and one of the two electric radiator fan motors replaced. The air conditioner is the original unit, needing R-12 refrigerant which has leaked out long ago and not been used for at least thirty years, so it will probably need conversion to R-134 refrigerant and possibly some new components. The exhaust system was replaced with a stainless steel system at 17800 miles in 1996. The tires were replaced at 22,586 miles in 2010. Although the car has always been sitting in a protected garage, both front and rear molded polyurethane bumpers have begun to wrinkle as can be seen in the photos. I do not know if this is repairable or if replacement bumpers are available. The car new came with speakers but no radio, leaving the choice of radio up to the buyer, and the radio that I bought is very outdated and should be replaced. The factory electric fully retractable radio antenna on the rear works perfectly. Also, around 1990 a loose shopping cart hit and slightly chipped the paint in one spot in the side panel above the right rear wheel, which can be seen in the photos. I have always maintained this car as it deserves, having obtained the factory Shop Manual (two copies) and the factory Parts Manual. Over time I acquired more books and literature on this car as well as a Certificate of Provenance from the Lotus Car Company, which, together with my purchase agreement and other documents confirms that I am the original owner. The elegant Owner’s Handbook will also be included. Through the years this car has always received compliments and admiration wherever it is driven and my wife is reluctant to sell it. But we are now old and must start simplifying.

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Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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