1976 Lotus Elite

Less than Japan Original Miles $11,500

All of a sudden its 1976….

Rare, unusual and in amazing condition you are viewing a 1976 Lotus Elite with 33,250 original miles, VIN: 75/08371B. 

A true time warp -barn find sports car.

The records show this Lotus was purchased new in Sunnyvale, CA from Camino Datsun/Lotus on January 24th, 1976. It appears to have spent its entire life in the Yuba City  – Central California area. The original owner enjoyed the car for 32,201 miles and then parked it for long nap sometime shortly after it passed a smog inspection on 10/16/1998 when 31,382 miles were recorded. The registration was changed to non-operational in 1998 and the car appears to have not been driven for 13 years. 

I purchased the Lotus in early 2011 from an individual outside of Fresno, who bought it at an estate sale. The car remained in non-operational status until I received it.  I now have clear CA title in my business name.  The Lotus included some very interesting partial records including the original dealership window sticker and owners manual. The original owner paid $17,460 for the car in 1976! While the dry California climate is more gentle to old cars than most locations, this vehicle must have been garaged and/or stored indoors “its entire life”, as the condition can best be described as a time warp barn find.  

Additional photographs can be viewed via this link:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=107852717702585212521&target=ALBUM&id=5774335300106554673&authkey=Gv1sRgCMq6gpu96M3-Jw&invite=CPLGyv0N&feat=email

Once in my possession the Lotus received a slow, steady restoration and refurbishment. While not a model that usually receives alot of attention, countless hours and a small fortune have been spent to bring this car back to life and make it right:

Cosmetically the car was in pretty good shape – likely due to being garaged. The silver paint had received a quality trim off respray at some point in its life. The paint work was done to a very high standard and has held up well. There are two small quarter sized areas where the paint has lifted from the fiberglass body (see photo) and the usual minor scratches. But other that than that the paint is very presentable and attractive – with no immediate needs. From underneath, I do not see any signs of past collision damage, so I can only guess that the original paint failed or maybe something fell on it – requiring it to need repainting. The original front and rear bumpers were in poor condition and could not be saved. I replaced them with new european fiberglass bumpers and had them painted black OEM spec. The interior is amazing – original and very clean. The headliner was sagging, so I had a vendor re-secure it. It was missing a few trim peices and required a couple switches which I was able to source from the UK.  The wheels were all polished and repainted to factory correct standards. value of domain name calculator The upholstry, dash, door panels and carpet are all in great shape, and the glass is all good. The engine bay was detailed and it cleaned up very well.  

Mechanically the car needed just about everything. It now starts, stops, turns, shifts, and drives very well and sounds great!  Twist the key and the car starts easily, runs cool and just about everything works, including the A/C, the clock, heater, power windows, lights, turn signals, wipers etc.

Here is a list of parts fitted and repairs completed:

  • Replaced engine bay hoses and belts / tensioner – including the timing belt (in May of 2011 with 32,202 miles)
  • Fitted new engine cylinder head gasket set
  • Installed a refurshished radiator and electric cooling fans
  • Replaced fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel filter and misc. fuel hoses
  • Removed, cleaned and reinstalled fuel tank
  • Repaired front and rear brakes, fitted new brake pads, hoses, cylinders and resurfaced rotors and adjusted the hand brake
  • Rebuilt and tuned the carburetor
  • Repaired the vacuum popup headlamp system with new diaphragms, solenoids and vacuum values
  • Fitted new poly bushes in the front suspension and rack boots on the steering rack
  • Complete R&R of the A/C system including compressor, receiver/dryer, condensor, valves – The Air Conditioning system now works!
  • Fitted five (5) factory spec. size tires – Falken 205/60-14, and installed a new Intersate battery
  • Replaced spark plugs, cap, roter, ignition wires, lubed chassis and renewed all fluids: engine, transmission, rear-end & radiator 
  • Misc. electrical repairs and teathing to resolve many small issues
  • Installed new door seals
  • Removed rear-end and renewed all input and output differential bearings and seals (a big job that had to be done – it turned out great)
  • Installed two small glass pack mufflers – sounds wonderful now, a little quiet prior   

The body is made from Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (fiberglass), so there is no rust there or course and there is no rust or corrosion present underneath.

The original steering wheel and repair manual come with the car, as does the Elite owners manual and misc. partial records. The steering wheel on the car is a Lotus MOMO unit that is period correct and came on a limited edition Lotus Excel. This steering wheel is very rare, desirable and expensive.  

This car will put a smile on your face and it is ready to enjoy or show. It has been a real experience to own and drive. It is a hit everywhere it goes, gaining positive comments from young and old a like. 

Questions, please call Ken @ 310-595-4286

 

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