Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

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neilbennet
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 22:58
Model: Elite 1974
Colour: Blue
Year: 1982
Location: Sussex - between Gatwick and Brighton

Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by neilbennet »

Hi all,

I have a barn find that is now ready to start being explored and I know nothing about an Elite N reg.

Know the engine is bad so I have a rebuilt engine but nothing else has been touched part from the gearknob which had split and fallen apart.

I think we are looking at a good 20-30 years of static nothing happening due to the previous owner passing away many years ago.

If anyone can visit I would appreciate some guidance before i try my best to get on the road.

kind regards
Neil

Lotus Elite N reg in blue
Lotus Elite 1974
Jensens - Healeys, GT, Interceptor III
Gilbern Invader
Derby Bentley

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Tanz
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Model: SE
Colour: Calypso Red
Year: 1988
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by Tanz »

Welcome to the forum! There are people on here who are restoring Elite's and can guide you. Got any pictures?
Cheers, Phil
Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway!

neilbennet
Verified Poster
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 22:58
Model: Elite 1974
Colour: Blue
Year: 1982
Location: Sussex - between Gatwick and Brighton

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by neilbennet »

Unfortunately not recent, I will find some and also hopefully will take some this Saturday.

Hopefully a local Lotus person maybe able to come too if there is one down here. Especially as I have no idea where to start only than to swap the engine, clean, clean and more cleaning.

It is a one owner Elite , the owner driving and then passing away a long time ago, his wife then registered in her name but not sure if she drove. But also hopefully the car has always been indoors, well in a barn anyway. Amazingly l am now storing in a barn until I can work out where to start.

It will all be me as I have no budget to spend so hopefully apart from the engine it will be cleaning, refurbishing and getting on the road.

One question please - Is there any reason why I cannot connect a new battery and see what happens (No engine start, this will be disconnected) Please what battery should I buy.

kind regards
Neil
Lotus Elite 1974
Jensens - Healeys, GT, Interceptor III
Gilbern Invader
Derby Bentley

neilbennet
Verified Poster
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 22:58
Model: Elite 1974
Colour: Blue
Year: 1982
Location: Sussex - between Gatwick and Brighton

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by neilbennet »

I have found some photos but which button do I use to add them please to this post.

Thank you
Neil
Lotus Elite 1974
Jensens - Healeys, GT, Interceptor III
Gilbern Invader
Derby Bentley

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MetBlue
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Posts: 732
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Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by MetBlue »

Adding photos is not the easiest thing, but this link Alan created should help
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11571

Would love to see some pictures, not least the interior. Sounds like a good chance its not been too messed with, in which case I might just need to take a drive down to study before you tidy it.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

TAR
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Model: Elite Type 75
Colour: blue
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by TAR »

1974 is a very early Elite and a very worthwhile project.

The chassis won't be galvanised like the series 2.2 so that would be worthy of investigation. They tend to rust out at the back where it attaches to the body. This of course is really hard to see for inspection. If it's low mileage and spent most of it's life away from the weather it could be OK.
The rear brakes are also a bit of a nightmare to adjust if they are stuck or worn. You can't access them properly without dropping the rear diff out.

I would also make sure you have a new cambelt. Possibly a new water pump and replace the rubber fuel lines. The suspension bushings will also likely need replacing as the rubber perishes and goes hard if not used. The fuel pump may also need an overhaul but parts are readily available as it's a standard SU pump.

There should be no problem attaching a battery to check the electrics. They may all work or they may all need cleaning of the contacts and fuses in the engine bay.

I'd love to see some pictures :)

neilbennet
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 22:58
Model: Elite 1974
Colour: Blue
Year: 1982
Location: Sussex - between Gatwick and Brighton

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by neilbennet »

Hi all,

Here is a very original Lotus Elite 1974 - so original the chassis plate corroded away as most of the aluminium has done and turned to dust.

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Photos were taken at the location which took all cars from the barn and before I collected. New tyres were fitted as per another post so Lotus will roll easily and tyres stay up.

All I have done is to wash the exterior. Vacuum the Interior to remove the cobwebs. Repair the original gearknob; well I tried as the wood was no longer very good.

cheers
Neil
Lotus Elite 1974
Jensens - Healeys, GT, Interceptor III
Gilbern Invader
Derby Bentley

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MetBlue
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Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
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Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by MetBlue »

Neil
I'd really like to come down and look over your car with you before you start.
I have an M reg in Lagoon Blue with Oatmeal interior. It looks like the two cars are virtual clones. 😀. Mine has been retrimmed though but from your photos, yours looks completely as it left the factory. I would love to see and photograph how it originally was. There can't be too many reference points like this around now.
You also have the original cassette / radio. Do you have the microphone? They fetch a considerable price in working order.
I'll PM you regards a visit.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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DavidOliver
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Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by DavidOliver »

Neil, you lucky devil, your car looks to be in very good condition, including chassis, I doubt there are other 1974 Elites this ready for restoration.
It looks so good that to restore as original should be well worth considering. If I was ten years younger and living in the UK I would be trying to buy it from you. You mention you have a replacement engine, in my opinion if the replacement engine is not as the original 2.0 litre I would renovate the original engine no matter what condition it is in now.
I had a 1974 Elite in the same blue and transferred it to a LHD, not difficult, it burnt out in Calais while travelling back to Spain, 1980-ish.
Elite curiosities to replace before returning to road use, drive shaft Universal joints, four of them, find a cam belt cover, shock absorbers to original spec and not adjustable, original brake flexible hoses, spare cogs for gearbox, suspension bushes, master and slave brake cylinders, non-return air valves for headlights and replace vacuum hoses.
I see you have Air Conditioning, I think, well worth keeping.

You lucky devil.

Dave the cog

Pete Boole
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Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
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Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by Pete Boole »

Looks exactly like mine did when I bought it but mine's Monaco White. Same interior though. Great project! I think you're going to have to remove the body to inspect the chassis above the diff - you cannot inspect it/paint it otherwise. Keep us updated! Looking forward to seeing it sometime. My resto thread is "Elite Restoration Begins", but I'm a serial modifier! :roll: (no hope).

Pete

TAR
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Posts: 80
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Model: Elite Type 75
Colour: blue
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by TAR »

Wow! That looks like my car but in better condition in body and interior. It's even the same colour inside and out. Mine is a 1978 and waiting inspiration to start restoring it. My advantage is that it has a galvanised chassis, rebuilt engine & gearbox and all new brakes and suspension.
Hopefully I'll get a start on it in the spring. :)

neilbennet
Verified Poster
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu May 14, 2020 22:58
Model: Elite 1974
Colour: Blue
Year: 1982
Location: Sussex - between Gatwick and Brighton

Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by neilbennet »

Hi all,

Knowing where to start is important to me. As there is little more than general cleaning I can do before I have an experienced visit. Someone who knows where to start.

I have no money today for a body off restoration but knowing what is required would help as I could just add a battery, swap the engine, clean up and off I go.

This engine going in is only temporary. It was out my Jensen GT and rebuilt by Lotus engine specialist Martin Shirley. So ready to go. unfortunately my Jensen GT was too bad so had to scrap it . ! :x !

Can anyone recommend a battery that is big and fits so I can try a battery connect this Saturday and see what happens. This could be the first battery connect in 30 years

I plan to swap the engine early next year once I have advice on what to disconnect and if it is engine/gearbox out or just engine.

I fully know to replace fuel line / brake lines / drop fuel tank and clean and rinse out / overhaul brakes - Please is there anything ELITE 1974 important - To be done first.

I will do my best to paint as much of the chassis as possible with rust/zinc coating - No lift so it will be axle stands on the highest and me underneath coated in dirt.

cheers
Neil
Lotus Elite 1974
Jensens - Healeys, GT, Interceptor III
Gilbern Invader
Derby Bentley

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MetBlue
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Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
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Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by MetBlue »

Neil
Engine and gearbox out together. Did you find my PM?
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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MetBlue
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Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
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Re: Help with Barn find in Sussex near Brighton/Worthing

Post by MetBlue »

Good to speak earlier Neil and I trust you had an enlightening day. Post some more pictures and let us know what you learnt.
Regarding batteries, I believe type 048's will fit Elites.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/114220519111 ... %7Ciid%3A1
You need a particularly narrow battery. Type 048's are only 135 mm and I think worst case, may need a small packer underneath just to raise slightly ( the higher you go, the more the lower valance flies out and the more room you have).
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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