Dry Texas Find: 1977 Lotus Eclat

It seems vintage Lotus cars are always a rare find when they turn up, but don’t necessarily inspire buyers to fall over themselves trying to acquire one. A Porsche 356 or early 911, sure – there’s seemingly always a suitor for those. Same deal with old-school Corvettes, Mopars, and Camaros. While a 1977 Lotus Eclat will always catch my eye, I’m not sure how many people actually want one right now. Find this example here on eBay with bidding just over $500 and the reserve unmet.

This example comes out of Texas, which does two things: one, it keeps cars nice and dry. Two, it bakes the interior. In the case of this Eclat, it looks like it escaped the second fate based on photos, so perhaps this example was kept indoors while it was awaiting restoration. The body looks straight down the sides and all glass looks good; I’ve always loved the flat-faced alloy wheels these came with.

Most of the time, vintage Lotus interiors are absolute dumpster fires. These things seemed to have been assembled with a hot glue gun and and plastic rivets. That’s an exaggeration, sure, but the case can still be made that these cabins look horrible if the car has been neglected. Not so here – it’s really not bad, and the seats even look usable in their current form. Dash cracks appear to be at a minimum, too.

Based on the listing, it’s safe to assume the seller doesn’t know much about the Eclat’s past. The carburetors are in the trunk, so there’s that, and you can see plenty of exposed wiring here – not a surprise on a vintage British car. The wood trim looks surprisingly good, so maybe there’s a decent car underneath. Assuming the reserve isn’t set much higher, this obscure Eclat could go cheaply.

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Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    I don’t recall seeing this body style before. I really like the shape, it reminds me of the Alfa GTV. Now, about that interior…if that isn’t a dumpster fire, I don’t know what is! Even if it were nice, it would still be just a bunch of black plastic and fake wood. Sorry if that was harsh.

  2. john willis

    Once again,no credit to the sumittor…Thanks ,Lavery…

    2
  3. Tirefriar

    “Assuming the reserve isn’t set much higher, this obscure Eclat could go cheaply.”

    Even if it was given away for free, it would not go cheaply

    3
  4. CapNemo

    Fugly.

    2
  5. Scott

    As with most cars of the era, its a parts bin special , this shares many component parts with other cars , its basically the ELITE with a different back end , series 1 cars had problems with chassis rot as where mild steel , later where switched to galvanised …. the door handles are morris marina / range rover ect manual 4 speed cars where usually ford , later boxes lotus or getrax

    1
  6. DRV

    These look the best of the period to me. It’s unfortunate it will take a Herculean effort to bring this to drivability.
    The door sag is a hint the minimal frame will need attention.

    1
  7. JGeezer

    Every other Lotus will find eager restorers (I just finished a total basket case 1969 Elan+2 myself). Sadly, the Eclat is the ugly stepchild nobody wants.

  8. Jasper

    These and Elites are really cool looking in person. Better looking than a TVR Tasmin but without the less exciting, more reliable Ford V6. Here, the powertrain will be giving fits with everything else around it.

  9. Britcarguy

    Looks like the horrible rear rubber bumper either fell or melted off. A friend had one in SC and it lived outside. The bumper became all distorted from years of being in the sun.

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