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The Lotus

The Lotus Elite has always been a car that Lawrie has lusted over. Pop ups, that amazing wedge, the huge glass rear window. It's just amazing. 
The Lotus Lawrie got, was not the best example of the brand. In fact, it may be one of the worse. 


Current Status - Undergoing Shell Swap

History

The Lotus in it's first incarnation appeared in 1974. The car Lawrie purchased has very little of that original car. It *should* have a four-cylinder Type 907 2 litre engine, but this was swapped out to have the 3.5 V8 out of a Rover SD1 - and it wasn't just the engine. The car took the dash, various bits of the interior, the gearbox, and various other bits. It was re-chassised to have the superior, but similar Lotus Excel Chassis, which was galvanised, and featured disks all round, and had a custom prop shaft to work. The doors appear to be Lotus Excel, with the handles remove and smoothed over, with remote opening activate by hidden buttons. 
The conversion was done rather poorly, with several parts of the very important structure of the fibreglass being hacked out to allow the new engine to be dropped in. The result was a severe lack of rigidity, and having the radiator mounted directly onto the fibreglass led to the shell cracking. The buttons for the doors frequently failed, and if the battery was flat, the doors wouldn't open. 
It took much fettling to get the thing to start running nicely, including a new alternator, and much work on the internal electrics. The worst thing about the whole conversion, that the significantly bigger and heavier V8 generated only 20 more Horsepower. 
The car wasn't right, but was usable, and Lawrie drove the thing around, enjoying every moment. When the car was driven by one of Lawrie's friends the fan belt snapped, but they failed to notice. The result was the radiator failing. 
When the LMM team began to disassemble to remove the radiator for repair, the extent of the conversion and damage became apparent, to which it was decided to remove the old engine, and perform extensive repairs on the shell. 
More recently Lawrie obtained a spare Lotus Elite, and plans to use the much better shell on the Excel Chassis. 

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