COMING TO AUCTION
WEDNESDAY 25th NOVEMBER 2015
EASTERS COURT,LEOMINSTER, HR6 0DE
1980 LOTUS ECLAT 521
|Description||Lotus Eclat 521|
|Engine size||1,973 cc|
|Documents||V5; MOT October 2016; old MOTs; sundry invoices and documents|
“The sheer pleasure of handling the Lotus Éclat is something every motoring enthusiast should experience. If your garage contains several beautiful cars with famous names, you will find a strong temptation to use the Lotus for any sort of journey and leave the others behind…Colin Chapman has taken the best things that have come out of racing and combined them in one package.” John Bolster, Autosport.
In terms of exclusivity, performance and price the Lotus Éclat successfully competed against much larger-engined rivals (Ferrari 308 GT4, Fiat 130 Coupe, Jaguar XJ-S and Porsche 911 Lux), offering vice-free handling and vastly superior fuel consumption, thanks to the 160bhp, 16-valve, DOHC Lotus 907 engine. Although well-received by the motoring press, the Éclat was an expensive car (£12,870 in 1980), resulting in just 1,522 sales between 1975 and 1982.
This 1980 Éclat was built to 521 specification: 5-speed gearbox, alloy wheels with 205/60 radial tyres, door mirrors (!), marcasite/brushed nylon trim, electric windows, heated rear-window and a radio. The legendary handling came as standard as did a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 129mph.
The current owner bought the car in 2012 on the basis that it was an honest example with evidence of correct maintenance over the years. He describes the interior as tidy and complete with good carpets and headlining, and the running gear very good – the engine holds correct oil pressure, doesn’t overheat and makes a great noise with the twin Dellorto carburettors. The gearbox and differential are both quiet, and the brakes work effectively.
Crucially, the chassis has been very well looked after and is solid in all the right places. Yes, the paintwork is rather tired (to put it charitably) but on the plus side this means you can drive and park it anywhere without worrying about it collecting any dings or scrapes!
As with most collectors who have too many cars, when an indicator bulb failed, the Lotus was put in the owner’s barn with the intention of replacing it. Three years and many cars later, in October 2015 he decided it really was time to change that bulb. Fluids refreshed and a new battery fitted, the Éclat started first time. With the exception of a stuck driver’s window, all the electrics worked and the pop-up headlamps held their vacuum correctly. The car was then submitted for an MoT test that it duly passed, the ticket expiring in October 2016.
The Lotus now needs a new owner who can enjoy it for what it is and gradually improve it over time as desired. It comes with a good history folder complete with receipts for new parts, details from the DVLA of all previous owners, old MoT certificates, a copy of the owner’s manual, the original jack and some spare parts.
With excellent parts and club support, straightforward maintenance (by today’s standards) and providing great levels of performance and economy, this Éclat makes a fine alternative to more run-of-the-mill classics and is offered here