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Hemmings Find of the Day: 1976 Lotus Eclat

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Rare even among the Lotus lineup, it’s a 1976 Lotus Eclat for sale on From the seller’s description:

Owned and brought back to great shape by an owner/technician at Brit Bits, a classic British service and restoration shop. Time for a new home so I can get to other projects.

My history with this 1976 Lotus Eclat.

I was so impressed with this car when I first saw it on a ride I did with the British car club in Nova Scotia, that when the owner needed to sell it, I bought it. I knew he kept it in a heated garage but had not used it for health reasons for a couple of years.

That was a dozen years ago.

 As he hoped, I have continually maintained and upgraded it so it is in excellent shape mechanically and rides and handles great.

It turns heads wherever I take it. Most people think it’s a Ferrari or something like that and I get a special feeling that I’m driving a Lotus.

The first thing I did was replace the original plastic fuel line with a metal line. The Lotus forums note the original plastic lines will have hardened with age and become prone to cracking and spurting fuel on the exhaust system, causing many cars to burn up.

I replaced the plugs, wires and distributor cap. I replaced the points and condensor with an electronic unit. I rebuilt the carbs and tuned everything so the car runs great.

The interior was redone at our upholstery shop with a new headliner, seats and door panels, all in materials that match the original

I rebuilt the brakes with a new master cylinder and the rear drum brakes with new shoes, wheel cylinders and brake adjusters.

I rebuilt the upper end and front end of the engine. That included completely desmogging it, doing a full valve job and reshimming the valves. I changed all the timing belt pulleys to the later rounded style to use the later belt that lasts longer and is much less prone to jumping teeth. I used adjustable pulleys on the two cams and changed the valve timing to pre-emission specs.

While the engine was out I rebuilt the water pump and the five-speed transmission.

In 2018 I changed the wheels to 15 inch with Yokohama tires as there were no high-quality tires available for the original 14 inch wheels.


1976 Lotus Eclat orange red side view Hemmings 1976 Lotus Eclat engine 1976 Lotus Eclat interior 1976 Lotus Eclat parked Hemmings find of the day

Location Marker
Rye, New Hampshire
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