5k: 1980 Lotus Eclat V8 Swap

The Lotus Eclat is one of those weird cars from the ’70s when engineering got ahead of common sense.  The Eclat was built to be lightweight and had a glassfiber body bonded to a mild steel chassis with a mixture of moldy cardboard and Elmer’s glue…did we mention that the steel was British.  Any hint of moisture from a damp climate or a car-wash or spilled coffee will turn the cardboard/metal interface to rusty-mush and the space shuttle shaped glassfiber top will take flight.  Luckily for us – this 1980 Lotus Eclat has not shown any signs of hull/saucer separation and is equipped with a Rover V8 – for sale on ebay, currently bidding at $4600 (reserve not met).

The Eclat won’t win any beauty contests – but it does have a good funky 70s vibe – and a nice fastback rear end with plenty to room to store your Eclairs.  The hood seems to be up in most of the photos and the seller recommends that the car be purchased by someone with ‘greater mechanical ability’.  An omen or would you pop the hood at every traffic light to show off the engine too?

Normally an Eclat would be powered by a 2 liter 4 cylinder engine – but that has been replaced with an all-aluminum Rover 3.9 liter V8.  The Rover V8 was evolved from a 60’s Buick design – but this engine is not stock at all and likely makes quick a few more ponies than the 190 horsepower it originally came with.  We expect it would only add a few pounds to the Eclat’s 2300 lb curb weight and would be an absolute blast to drive around.

Inside the Eclat is a sensible dark Brown on Tan interior – but the seller does say that it has some issues with the heater fan and headlights – but with wiring by Lucas it should be really easy to figure out what is wrong…since Lucas is the Prince of Lightness…or am I getting that wrong..?  Regardless of potential electric problems with car is equipped with the original Lotus 4-wheel independent suspension and Spax adjustable coil-over shocks.

It should seriously concern us that the hood is popped in all of the photos – but for some reason once we start thinking about driving this glassfiber rocket ship around – we really want it.  Its rare, its cool, its got a Rover V8 – what else does it need?  A new driver – is it you?

See another Elite/Eclat/Eclair for sale?  Email:  tips@dailyturismo.com