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Restore or sell ?


spuddy95

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Hello, im new to this site and forum 

 

i have a lotus elite 502, its been sat in a field under a (leaky) shelter for over ten years! non runner and a seized rear end along with every other cable in the car, apart from the bonnet relise. i have all the v5 and all the service history along with the car as the previose owner was my dad. so it brings me to my question! im 19 i would like to think im good with my hands and with some help, would it be a monster of a task taking on restoring the elite seems such a shame to sell it ?   opinions welcome.      im sorry for any incorrect spelling and any questions please feel free to ask.      i will also attach some photos     thanks in advance will   would also like to add that it would not be quick rough job !

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  • Gold FFM

Welcome to TLF Will. :welcome:

 

You are 19 and you have an Elite. I would say restore it, but I don't know what cost you would be looking at to do it. Other guys will come along that are far better versed in what it will cost you.

It would be a great project and would be rewarding in the end. (I love Elites)

 

You should duck over to the Introductions section and say hi in there as well. :)

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of the Moderators. (I'm not one of the elves anymore, but I'll leave the link here)

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  • Gold FFM

For sure, restore but it would all be down to how much of the work you can do yourself. The fact that it was/is your fathers car may have extra meaning to keep it in the family, and as Budsy say's there are very few original's left.

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  • Gold FFM

Will - be brave and go for it. Your the right age to do so as well......

As the others have said not many of these about - so it's sure to be worth good money in the future. It's far better fixing this than some old mini or triumph.

Just don't go getting too keen and trying to start that engine - it needs new belts and love first

Only here once

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  • Gold FFM

Just a question. Why did your dad take it off the road?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of the Moderators. (I'm not one of the elves anymore, but I'll leave the link here)

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I'd say go for it but as mentioned above don't under estimate the time and money needed to bring it back to life. You're young enough to take your time and I'd estimate 2 years and 500 hours (yes 500 hours at least) to get a really nice car at the end of it. Things to check for first, look at the chassis (is it rusty structurally) is the body straight (no major cracks in the shell), is the interior clean (difficult to find a good one now) and will the engine run? I don't want to put you off restoring the car as they are great cars and a truly awesome shape but at times they can be really difficult to work on and seem like the issues never end. We are all to happy to see a new generation appreciate the car and I'm sure everyone will chip in with advice should you need it.

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  • Gold FFM

^^ and there speaks the man who knows

Check out the panther on his resto thread for inspiration coupled with frustration - but a cracking outcome

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Only here once

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My dad brought it from a local man in Exeter for £900 he replaced the windscreen and all of the exhaust! The water pump went on it and it was put in the garage then moved down the field and with five kids I geuss he had trouble finding the time for it ! I understand that it woodent be a simple job and then engine would most likely have to come and rebuilt and cleaned as god knows what's it like in there !! The body it self is actully pretty good No cracks just a couple scratches, but there could be more once it's washed down! The paint work on the Bonnet and roof the laquer has peeled badly. I jacked the car up and had a look under neith the rear end and there was a lot of surface rust but nothing that seemend bad, read in a couple other posts that the rear cross member tends to rust so that would mean the body would have to come off ???. I would like to keep it in the family just for dad's sake as he seen it wasting away ! As for time and money, I don't go out much and the misses lives up in Thame (her dads just finished restoring a 2cv) and I'm a full time chippy so funds for the restoration could be done over a lengthy period. Sorry if I went on about it :). I

And thanks you all a brilliant ! I didn't think I would get such a warm welcome !!!

Also the interior is good the seats are good the head lining isint so that would be replaced ! Along with some carpet and a few wooden knobs in the seats

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Hi Will,

You have a really good starting point with your fathers Elite so take advantage of it and restore!

You will need to treat it like a building project and do a schedule of work, otherwise it will overwhelm you with the amount to do (and there is a lot!)

The best way forward is to remove the body shell and restore the chassis, running gear, engine and gearbox so that you have a good foundation.

Then put the body back on, do the electrics and get it running, then tackle the interior and paintwork.

Many years of work but they are great cars, get some inspiration and support my going to a meeting or two to see the cars in action and talk to owners.

Good luck!

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And although it's not going to be cheap the sad truth is there have been so many of these amazing cars broken for parts that, with a bit of patience, you can always find that one bit you need for less than you'd expect. And this forum is a fabulous resource, both for great advice and the odd spare part too.

Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

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Hello and welcome to the forum

I too would agree with some of the others and say that you should restore it. it will take a while but it will become a Labour of Love and you will know that when it's finished you have put it back on the road and you have saved another lotus.

Feel free to ask any questions here I'm sure people with Elites would be more than willing to help.

The Faster You Drive...The Slower You Age

(Albert Einstein  14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)

 

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Hi Will,

You have a really good starting point with your fathers Elite so take advantage of it and restore!

You will need to treat it like a building project and do a schedule of work, otherwise it will overwhelm you with the amount to do (and there is a lot!)

The best way forward is to remove the body shell and restore the chassis, running gear, engine and gearbox so that you have a good foundation.

Then put the body back on, do the electrics and get it running, then tackle the interior and paintwork.

Many years of work but they are great cars, get some inspiration and support my going to a meeting or two to see the cars in action and talk to owners.

Good luck!

Hi Will,

Take Paul's advice. This is the route I'm heading down with mine and it's very rewarding. I will be all in for 15K I reckon and you do need a garage but... use your dads! and be sure to rope him in to help get the body off. this is not difficult and can be done in two days (engine out 0.5day, removing all body bolts in the remainder of first day then lift on the second day...!). it's far easier to do all the mechanicals like this and you know what you are dealing with once you can see it all.

In 10 years this car will be more appreciated I'm sure since pop up headlights in themselves will be an exotic site in 2026. Do it now while parts are relatively cheap rather than wait would be my advice. They are not difficult cars to work on. No electronics to go wrong and basic realy.

As Charlie say's do under estimate the time needed either.

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Wish my dad had been that cool :( although he did have a 3.5 Rover SD1 which wasn't too shabby (until it rotted away lol)

Go for it - loads of support on here and it'll be another one to encourage me to get my finger out!

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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okay thanks guys !! i will have a good long hard think about it, but its good to know if i go for it there is plenty off help out there ! would be nice to get the little beut back on the road again! if i do i will be sure to put a thread up on hear, is there many people on hear who has restored one ??

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Yep - Quite a few, most of whom have already posted.

I'm looking out for an Elite project so if it happens any time soon we might be able to support/provide therapy to each other lol

GL - get her under cover as soon as you can, especially with winter approaching........

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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And I'm not far into my Elite project but as it's an S2 I won't be lifting the body off. I'll do the basics first to get it through the MOT and then start on the fine detail. They are fun cars to work in. They're even more fun to drive.

Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

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When I brought my car it was a runner... although not very good at it. If I were you I would get it tunring over (not running) so you can check that (a) it turns over and (b) the cylinder compression is good. I would then drain the oil and check the quality of this, remove the rocker covers and do the same. This would give you a view on the engine without it running.

Then whip it out with the gearbox, get the body off and take a good hard look at all the bits. Change all the suspension bushes and the shocks while your there. Refurb the brakes - that's if you don't need a chassis swap but this will be a piece of cake at this stage. And second hand chassis (galvanised can be cheap - 100 quid for mine!).

Drop the body back on, change the belts on the engine whilst it's out, check out the clutch, then put the engine and box back in and get it going... body and interior can be done once you get an mot.

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Evening!

From my own personal experience interest in projects come and go and there's always something else round the corner. Over time though I've always regretted letting any car go. Including the ones my father owned. 19 is a great age to get your hands dirty so if you have the space and time ... Its a great way to pick up some tricks. Al

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Hi Will and welcome to the Lotus forum.

Lots of knowledgeable and talented individuals lurk amongst the topics and posts, and all have one thing in common Lotus.

You will find if you ask, nearly anything you need to know, there is some one here who will help, or advise, mainly from personal experience.

I agree rebuild it, and first thing I would suggest is try to get it under cover, as makes it so much easier.

I'm about 10 miles west from Exeter, and part way through an Elite restoration, and like most people on the forum its a labour of love that has to fit in around life.

So if  I can help with hands on advice, let me know.

Welcome to the world of lotus

Mike

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Welcome to the forum Will!

 

Spend a day cleaning it, it'll make you feel a lot better about perhaps taking it on, and it will show up its flaws.

 

Then get it up in the air. Your car is a series 1, and the kicker is the chassis. Get right under it when its safely propped up in the air and shine a torch up to the flat chassis area above the diff. Also have a good look at the front turrets and arb outriggers at the front. If the car has sat in a field for a decade, be suspicious of it and have a good prod around.

 

If the chassis is rotten/crumbling, and in need of replacing it becomes a big job and you shouldn't underestimate it. Guys on here have swapped out rotten chassis, but I don't think I could be bothered with the hassle. There will be better prospects out there that would be a more rewarding use of your time and money.

 

If its crumbly, sell it.

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