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Bob Dupree says:
I am thinking lightly about picking up an '80 Lotus Eclat. Anyone know
anything about them?
Keep your Audi - you'll be needing it!
In 1969, I bought a brand new Elan. The car was utterly insane - it ran
about once per payment (and it was NEW!), and when it did run, it was
Acceleration - similar to a catapult launch off an aircraft carrier (at
least for the first few seconds) - lots of noise, smoke, sudden gone - then
a distinct feeling of unreality (you mean this thing is still running?)
Brakes - stomp brakes, stop now. Period. Keep your mouth closed or your
false teeth will fly right out. Lateral Gees: like wearing a pair of pants -
you turn, it turns. Used to normally take exit ramps at 3X posted speed
limit. (Have grown up considerably since).
Reliability - Monty Python ran the assembly line and warranty department.
Standard British sports car leakage problems - water in and out, oil, brake
fluid, anti-freeze, probably battery acid too. Laughable electrics - fan was
off a Morris Minor or something, bent sheet metal, two whole blades on it,
not enough for Miami, replaced with bright yellow plastic multi-blade fan
from a Taunus (on advice of Coral Gables Lotus dealer - who lived in an
upstairs garage apartment and answered the door in his underwear, holding a
beer), plastic fan flexed when engine was revved, blades hit the radiator .
. . fiberglass body different shape every day - must be REAL SLOW cure,
vacuum operated lights, one night the hose came off, and the lights slowly
sank into the fenders (still lit), can't see where I'm going but front of
the car has a very pleasing glow - fiberglass is so thin it is translucent!
And it goes on and on and on . . . had a couple of mid-50s Jaguars (when you
could buy 'em for $100 or so - really!) . . . no functional difference, same
kinds of problems 15 years later.
I'd buy another in a second - but I'm keeping my Audi, cause I need
something that always runs!