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Ugly Inside And Out: 1976 Lotus Eclat


The owner of this 1976 Lotus Eclat just emailed us and told us that they found this car in storage. They do not elaborate, but they claim that the engine looks rebuilt. Unfortunately, the interior is long gone as well as the title. They are asking $4,900 obo and will consider trades. We are not quite sure what we would do with it though. These Eclats are not as popular as their Lotus brethren and this one might be too rough to justify the cost of a restoration. Take a look at their craigslist ad here.


The engine looks good, but we are not sure why they think it has been rebuilt. Maybe all the blue wire connectors give it away? This is Lotus’ 901 slant four and it was good for about 160 horsepower. It was also found in the Jensen-Healey, Espirit, and Elite so someone might just want the engine. The price would have to go down a bit for that though.


Outside things look okay for an Eclat. It definitely isn’t the most handsome car ever built, but it did offer a little more functionality when compared to other sports cars of the era. The body is fiberglass and it is mounted on a steel backbone chassis just like other Lotus at the time.


We saved the worst for last. It looks like the Prince of Darkness may have driven the last owner mad. Hopefully the next owner can sort it all out. The future of this vintage Lotus is at stake and it is going to take someone with a lot of love for these ill-favored fastbacks to save this one. Any takers?


  1. zog

    It’s an Eeeeeeeek-lat

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  2. Warren

    Two words: Parts Car.

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  3. Michael

    Did a nuts and bolt resto on a 74 Elite for my wife. Not for the faint at heart. And our car was way better than this one, and waaaaayyyy cheaper!

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  4. scottski

    When an English car’s electrics have been Lobotomized… that’s a good time to call it a day.
    And run for the hills.

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  5. novabeatnik

    One of my favorites, but that’s a rough one.

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  6. nd
    • Jesse

      Good find! If anyone is serious wanting one of these, this would be a much better choice. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. TMP

    I’m fairly certain I’ve seen several similar condition Eclats for sale for under a grand not too long ago.

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  8. volvotechmikec


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  9. Scheese

    Run away! Write the check for that blue one in NY in the link above and be happy ya did.

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  10. Dolphin Member

    Seller could maybe use a dose of reality about value/price/resto cost of these, and I’m guessing that will come as this ad ticks along.

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  11. Jason

    I think the interior is in excellent condition , this one would really turn so heads

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  12. Frank

    Well I emailed the guy about this car for a client/customer who needs the whole nose and pass door, his son crashed the car last year and we’ve been looking for parts in tristate area. seems like a nice guy who didnt know too much about these. will be trading the car for one of our project bmw 2002. ill let you guys know how it goes this weekend.

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    • scot c

      ~ @ Frank.
      you may have the right slot for this, salvage parts. best luck.

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  13. paul


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  14. Ian

    I love lotus’s even the éclat but I wouldn’t give $5. For this one! Not worth the investment, for the money buy an esprit that needs a fortune spending on it.

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  15. Fred

    I like the line: “THESE CARS ARE Rare to find in this condition.”

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  16. James Wallhauser


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  17. Mike Behan

    I love modern Lotus’ and I know the 70’s were kind of a dark time for car design but were these ever considered a good looking car? Or would I have had to live through the 70’s to appreciate a shape like this?

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  18. David

    This looks like a car theft recovery victim and it looks like all the thieves wanted was the interior. Unbelievable damage to the dash!

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  19. scot c

    ~ that is frightening. is there even enough Lotus love on the planet to rescue this poor … this pitiful … thing? the body says ‘maybe’, the engine says ‘perhaps’, the interior says ‘you wish’, but the dash electrics scream ‘i DARE you’!

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  20. Robert J

    I bought a ’72 Jensen Healey with the Lotus engine removed and a ford 2800cc (Capri) V6 purring under the hood from a guy who had two Lotus Eclats sitting around gathering dust and presumably for sale. I secretly wanted one, but when it came down to it, the Ford engine purring under the Jensen Healey bonnet made me feel warm and fuzzy…the Eclats did not.

    By the way, everyone rips (rightfully) on Lucas electrics…but a basic Painless wiring system and some new switches can actually be a fun challenge for a garage mechanic. You know you want to tackle that last frontier, the wiring harness, just to say you did. If your Brit car was wired by The Prince of Darkness, the switches and bad grounds are actually the main issues to sort, but hey why not just swap it all out for kicks? I have and I can tell you; it isn’t such a big deal.

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    • william Robinson

      Thats what I was going to say. After completion youd have evicted the PRINCE OF DARKNESS and shone some light on a terrible looking car thats probably a blast to own and drive after sorted.

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  21. Rene

    Don’t think the design is that bad, after all

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  22. Larry

    Did he really say “great looking wheels” in the ad. This is one Ugly car, sorry, just one persons opinion. I think the lucky guys are Frank and his customer, oh and the guy selling it.
    Good luck Frank :-)

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  23. twwokc1

    Parts is parts…

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  24. Craig

    Not my “cup of tea” but 1976…all cars were required to be ugly weren’t they?

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  25. John

    Not just “no” but “he’ll no”. Just getting the headlights to pop up again would take Devine intervention. And the local parts supply house probably wouldn’t have a listing for its front bumper.

    I really can’t think of one good reason to even consider this one.

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  26. Tom

    British version of the AMC Pacer.

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  27. Richard V

    The engine may be the same as the Jensen Healey, but not the carbs! The US versions were choked out with the dual Strombergs.

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    • Horse Radish

      that’s why most had Dellortos or Webers installed later as are on this car…..

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  28. Tricky Dickie Member

    Just now I got UP and ran screaming from the room…………….

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  29. smg365

    perfect candidate for the lemons race coming up.

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  30. Mark W


    For an extra $100, he’ll punch you in the nose and kick you in the shins!

    Such a bargain

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