1976 Lotus Eclat Barn Find

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It may be the most ungainly sibling in the Lotus family, but the Eclat still offered cheap thrills with enough room in the back for small children and cargo. This 1976 Lotus Eclat is claimed to be a barn find, but we are not quite sure what the seller defines as “barn find”. Even if it is not, it is still a low mileage example of a very unique GT. Find this California car here on eBay with bidding at $404 and no reserve.

The Eclat featured a twin-cam engine up front which was good for 160 horsepower and 0-60 mph dashes of 7.9 seconds. It was not blistering fast, but with its lightweight body and rear wheel drive, it was enough to make things fun. The seller does not mention much about the mechanical condition of this car other than that it does turn over. We can safely assume that it needs a lot of help.

It may look rough in here now, but these were very plush accommodations for a Lotus when new. Long distance trips were even comfortable because this Eclat is equipped with a five speed and A/C. Inside the dash and seats are shot, but that could be a blessing because those colors are hideous. Sourcing interior parts may be tough because there are not a lot of these around, so your best bet might be to find a good upholstery shop.

There are obviously styling cues from other Lotus of the era, but the shape still takes some getting used to. The fastback body was constructed from fiberglass and actually made the car lighter than the Elite it was based on. Tipping the scales at 2,420 pounds, the Eclat was nimble for a 2+2. Be cautious with this car though because the series one chassis can rot where it connects to the body.

The Eclat is a part of Lotus history because it helped them enter the competitive GT market in the seventies. This one is going to need a lot of work, but it could just make for a very interesting Evora alternative.

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  1. Craig Bolton

    My Mom always said, “if you can’t say something nice…” So, here goes- As a Europa owner, I’m eternally grateful to Lotus for producing this car. ‘Nuff said…

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  2. keith

    Oh great since posting it on barnfinds now the price has gone up >>$414.01

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  3. Jim

    Looks like a cross between a Ferarri 308 and a Citroen DS with a dash of AMC Pacer thrown in.

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  4. Rev. Rory

    Lotus Eclair. Tubby…cream filled confection.

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  5. J. Pickett

    Very much a seventies wedge, But Chapman was still alive, so probably a gas to drive, Probably economical with the 4 cyl. and light weight but be handy and ready for a search for parts. Car like this you gotta belong to a club.

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  6. Scot

    Yea okay it is not a good looking car. Most if not all Chapman/Lotus cars are function before form. This car is the epitomi.

    When new if you ever drove one or better yet were a passenger the looks did. It mater.

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  7. Scot

    Should have been “looks didn’t matter”. Darn big fingers on an iPhone.

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  8. Bob

    The license plate seems appropriate!

    San Barnadino!

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  9. Bob

    Same seller has a VW convertible for sale.

    What the heck is wrong with the top???

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  10. TVC15

    The owner could double the value by filling up the fuel tank
    These cars all came with heated rear windows so you could keep your hands warm when you pushed them

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  11. fred

    Kinda looks like a Lambo Espada.

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  12. DolphinMember

    A sibling of the second Elite–the ’70s one. These were Chapman’s first real foray upmarket into “saloon” cars……assuming the Elan +2 is not really an upmarket saloon car.

    I can certainly understand his desire/need to generate more sales so Lotus could survive in an increasingly competitive market. The Seven and the Elan were gone, and being ultra-niche vehicles, neither the Elan +2 nor the Europa were likely to generate much income for the company, so……

    I’ve seen far worse looking body designs than the Eclat. In fairness I think you need to look at this as the product of a tiny company that was trying to sell cars in the folded-paper era of body styles. I don’t care for long overhangs, especially at the front, so I like this photo of the Eclat, which makes it look like less of an overhang than it is:

    I recall that the biggest problem with these was the felt cushion that was used between the ‘glass tub and the steel chassis. This led to chassis rust that was difficult to deal with, which ended up destroying some of these cars.

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  13. craZee

    Would love to make a LeMons car out of it. Nobody would ever guess what it is.

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  14. 6.3

    This seller has had listing(s) pulled, because he makes it too obvious he’s will to sell “outside”.
    The main problem is his auctions are fishy.
    He’s got shill bidders, 4***4(82) among them, who bid the prices up to three times the actual value of the cars….
    Caveat emptor: BUYER BEWARE !!!
    And this car like all his offerings is shined up like a cheap pair of galoshes.
    Armor-all and turtle wax must be giving him quantity discounts……

    …and all his cars are low mileage barn find chariity donations.
    NOW, now !!, what are the chances…….

    Like 0

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