Rare 2+2! 1982 Lotus Éclat S 2.2 Riviera

Merriam-Webster defines éclat as a “dazzling effect: brilliance,” and that’s better than my initial impression that it might be a bland variation of the ever-tasty éclair. If you’re familiar with your 1980s Loti (and who isn’t?) the dreamy Esprit tops the list of poster and movie appearances. However, British automaker Lotus, known for lightweight and superb-handling sports cars, also shipped the lovely Éclat to The Colonies. This 1982 Lotus Éclat S 2.2 Riviera in Ogden, Utah, is rare even within the scope of the Éclat, one of 223 Rivieras built. This fairly complete example comes to market here on eBay, where at least five bidders have set its market value above $2900. Despite not running, at least the engine is fully assembled and not in boxes. Mileage is estimated at less than 40,000.

The 2.2L (135 cid) inline four-cylinder made 160 HP during a year when the Chevrolet Corvette made 40 more horsepower and weighed an extra 1000 pounds. This car’s five-speed manual certainly tops the available three-speed automatic as the gearbox of choice for any serious driving. Potential buyers should check for rust in the rear chassis, a known problem area.

The interior flies its ’80s flag high, looking like something from the 1982 Sci-Fi classic Bladerunner, with added British optimism. While the steering wheel insert looks like the result of a misguided trip to Joanne Fabrics, it’s remarkably stock-appearing, though perhaps not 100% original. The claimed 37,000 miles would not account for the wear, but outdoor storage and UV rays could certainly be a contributing factor. What display of an English classic would be complete without some wiring dangling beneath the dashboard?

The Riviera featured a removable roof panel (not well-displayed in the listing), air conditioning, a “vented bonnet,” and the rear spoiler visible here. While the hatchback body style has fallen out of favor in America, it remains a practical way to maximize cargo space in a sporty car like the Éclat.

Side pods allow storage of dehydrated vittles for long space voyages. What looks like supple leather likely requires complete replacement at this point. Near-stock upholstery will help preserve the value of this rare British classic, but no one will be comparing your ’82 Lotus to another unless you attend a Lotus club event. What would you give to own this rare wedge-shaped 2+2?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    The buyer’s guide for these has ONE page in it.
    The cover has a picture of the car and says –
    ” LOTUS Eclat RIVIERA BUYERS GUIDE”.
    The page inside just says – “DON’T!”.

    Like 6
  2. dcor

    I wouldn’t touch this one with a ten foot pole. Mechanical and parts availability nightmares

    • Skorzeny

      C’mon dcor, don’t be such a Debbiedowner, this could be fun! Maybe an engine swap? But, one look at that steering wheel gave me the creeps. That would have to go. I do love the looks of the car…

      Like 1
  3. Rob

    Well there is a decent one here locally for $1200 which I passed on, so apparently not much.

    Like 4
  4. John Walsh

    Thats a good price. Here in the UK, that would be selling for around 7k USD. Parts are easy to find with the exception of chrome trim, which is a little more difficult.

    Like 5

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