New member - new owner

General Excel discussions. You may also post Eclat and Elite information here. If there is enough call I will set up new categories or even a new BB for them.

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Oi_Oi_Savaloy
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New member - new owner

Post by Oi_Oi_Savaloy »

Hi everyone; I've been a member on here for around a month (perhaps a little more) but haven't posted or commented yet. I didn't want to get too involved, just in case the Excel I'd found, didn't happen. A friend of mine spotted a car (turns out to be an Excel) about 8 weeks ago and it's taken a little bit of time to get to the point where I was able to agree a price with the owner yesterday and put a deposit (he's not a trader or anything - it's just that he's having some work done to the car at the moment - I sent him 10% of the price as a commitment to purchase and foramalise things between us) down yesterday. Until that point I didn't want to get involved in here just in case it didn't happen.

Once I've got the car back to my barn (it's an agri barn but I've had a 4 ton two-post car lift put in it and there's loads of space to park it in here long term if needed) I'll take pictures and update this thread or start a new one in the correct forum.

It's a 1987 SE, in green. It's done around 52,000 miles but it's had a documented change of clocks at 26,000 miles (ish) so the odo reads lower (they started the clock from zero again). I've not had a chance to go through the vast history that comes with the car which seems a bit odd but I bought in to the owner, than necessarily being exhaustive with checking out every last bit of paperwork; this was very much a decision, based on the heart rather than the head in that respect. The current owner had finally come to the decision to sell, after a particularly difficult last 5 years (ill health and his wife passing away) and I was lucky enough to stumble across it through a friend, whom new I was looking for something like this, at the right time.

The plan is to get it MOT'd and then use it, primarily for business visits/trips and high-days and holidays (I'm in property - I travel along the M4/M5 visiting development sites - but with Covid changing my job's landscape somewhat I now expect to do around 7-8,000 miles a year, rather than 30,000 I used to do). It'll very much be a third car and it'll be kept inside under a cover when not in use.

It's going to be a rolling restoration - I want to use the car as much as is practicable and possible. Mechanically it's sound; it's the bodywork and interior that needs alot of TLC. But I've got the space, the time and the budget so that was a major part of the decision - I feel like I needed to save it (it's under a cover outside at the moment - not doing it any good whatsoever). Perhaps I've bought the wrong car in that respect (easier to look after the mechanical side of things?) but the car and the owner spoke to me and therefore there was no way I wasn't going to try and agree terms to buy it. Once I've got it MOT'd I'm going to do a few trips in it and prioritise things afterwards. There are obvious things that need doing but overall I don't think, at this stage, it's going to take much to get it through.

Pete Boole
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Pete Boole »

Hi and welcome! Sounds like a great project! Looking forward to seeing some photos :D

Pete

Oi_Oi_Savaloy
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Oi_Oi_Savaloy »

Thanks Pete; I think when you see the pictures there's going to be an intake of breath.....but I simply had to buy it (there are others on the mkt or have been that perhaps I could have chosen) so it is what it is. I'm praying that underneath is ok. But at least the engine works and it's driveable.

:)

richardw
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by richardw »

Welcome! You’re in the right place as there are lots of people here with experience of what you are planning. You’ve made a great choice of car.

Cheers, Richard
Image

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Hawaiis0
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Year: 1986
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Hawaiis0 »

Welcome. M4/M5 indicates a possible wilts/Glous location? That would be my area too.

Happy to visit another great green car :D :D

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MetBlue
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Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
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Year: 1974
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by MetBlue »

Welcome.
Your description sounds very much like my car 18 months ago. Good engine, shame about the face (Paint and interior).
If you've got the time, it's very rewarding bringing the visuals up to good standard and not too expensive if you can DIY.
Looking forward to seeing piccies.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

Oi_Oi_Savaloy
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Oi_Oi_Savaloy »

I'm actually in Pembrokeshire but all my business is in Glos/Oxfordshire/Berkshire. I'm trying to get access to the members map to see whom is close by too. I have to say I love Glos/Oxfordshire - I'd move there tomorrow but sadly I've no connections to the area and as I'm welsh and all my wife's family are in Pembs we'll be staying. I love driving however so if there are any meets up there - once I've got the car into a driveable/useable condition I'm going to come up with it.

I'm starting to browse the interior/bodywork forum now - the interior really needs some tlc. the A pillars need taking out and re-gluing (or replacing? possible?), the square dash element has started to separate at the edges (can I glue that and clamp it?) and the dash (particularly where it meets the windscreen is in a shocking condition - it's peeled away. I'm hoping that once I've got it out of the car I can heat it and tentatively but firmly re-glue/sort it. I'm keen to keep as much of the car as original as possible.

One of the window frames is poor too - that'll need changing (lotusbits? or somewhere else? find a parts car being broken on ebay?) too.

The drivers seat needs a steam clean (once it's dried out.) But as luck would have it - the headlining has been done.

All 4 wheels need a refurb, the tyres need changing too (be great if I could find oem sizes rather compromising slightly).

And then I've got to tackle the paint - the lacquer has started to flake off sadly. Looks terrible. But I just want to get it mot'd and drive it - worry about the paintwork some of time! Plan is to get it back to my house over the next two or 3 weeks and then assess things. Wheels need a refurb but are fine otherwise - so it'll be a case of driving around in an ugly duckling to start off with but will blossom with time...... :)

Are there any meets happening before xmas - I'd like to see what others have done with their excels - gives me a guide as to how things should look.

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MetBlue
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by MetBlue »

Your lacquer peel is just like mine was, but with a few rattle cans, you can make a big improvement for little money. Sounds like your starting point, like mine is one of "I can't possibly make this worse" 😁.
Sounds drastic, but I've taken lots of lacquer off my car with a razor blade!!! You'll find some more detail in 'First job jobbed, two more found' thread. Other's have suggested a jet wash. Once off, a quick rub with 1200 wet n dry, a flash over with a colour matched can, then a couple of coats of clear lacquer. It will be cellulose, but at least flat and all one colour - and first impressions much improved. Your problem is that it's now the wrong time of year - too cold and damp. I found shaving lacquer is a lot easier when car has been in the sun.

Good luck though with whatever you start with.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

Oi_Oi_Savaloy
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Oi_Oi_Savaloy »

Thanks Metblue - I've read your thread and will be using it to refer back to. And you're right - I literally can't make it worse....! So in actual fact it gives confidence to tackle things.

I want to buy a steamer to get the seats clean for example; so much I want to do.

I also feel that the car will much prefer to be used (and that perhaps some of the mechanical unhappiness, if you will, will sort itself out once I start using it). I've had two Bmw e30's (a 320i and 325i) that always felt a bit truculent to start off with but as soon as the car had warmed through they seemed to come back to you (hard to describe) and just get better and better. Did over 100,000 miles in the 325 touring - still miss it. Even got 29.4mpg over the life my usage (it did an awful lot of M4 - used to work in London and live in Pembs).

Can't wait tbh.

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Ray-s
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Ray-s »

Oi Hi and welcome look forward to progress report and photos of car ..I took the easy way out with the lacquer and took it to spray shop in Grantham but front end needed respray anyway ....
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Ray...
Why is there always bits left over ?

Oi_Oi_Savaloy
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Oi_Oi_Savaloy »

Hi Ray-s - what sort of cost did that come to?

I'm literally 2 mins from a paint shop here in Pembs (good reputation too, although I need to ask him if he's familiar with working with fibreglass etc etc).

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rbgosling
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by rbgosling »

Choosing a painter is a minefield! I had mine painted this summer - for exactly the same scope (exterior respray in the original colour, no under-bonnet, fix some minor chips and bumper damage) I was quoted £1,800 - £8,500. Clearly not happy with either extreme, the cheap one was bound to skimp on the prep work, and the expensive one was more than the car would ever be worth, even with shiny new paint.

Eventually I was very lucky to find one guy operating on his own out of a barn in the middle of nowhere, who clearly knew his stuff and quoted me £2,500-£3,000 depending on how much work became involved as he stripped the old paint off. In the end he had the car for 3 months (although he was only working on it for maybe 1/2 - 2/3 of the time), and I think did way more work that he thought would be needed. He did stick to his promise of £3,000 max, although I ended up paying him a bit more as frankly I felt he deserved it.

Based on this I wouldn't want to go with anyone quoting <£3,000, and even over that money you really need to get a good feeling that they know and understand fibreglass and will put the time in on the prep (my quoted varied between 2 weeks and 4 months for total job time). Feel free to go as high as you want / can afford, I've no doubt that the finish will improve with more money! I'm very happy with mine, but I never was aiming for show quality, and I will admit there is still a very faint orange-peel effect to the finish that is not the mirror-finish you see on some cars.
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2004 Jaguar X-Type Estate

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DavidOliver
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by DavidOliver »

Hola Oi Oi, great nickname.
To remove lacquer I am told it can be done with tank tape, much like women removing hair from legs.
I wonder whether the sticky stuff women use could work on your car.

You can find on this Forum comments on the best first things to do, timing belt, hoses etc.
To do anything, removing the bonnet is very easy, do not hesitate, a one man job.
Also consult your physiotherapist before attempting the Lotus Position, required for throttle linkage, fuses etc.

Looking forward to some pics, which in itself posting is something you need to master, I keep forgetting some of the necessary steps.

Dave the cog.

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barker_001
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by barker_001 »

Welcome Oi Oi Saveloy! With a username like that you either had to be from South Wales or Essex! :D

There are 3 or 4 other Excels along the M4 in South Wales - myself, Alan_M, and one in Ammanford who is active on Facebook rather than this forum. We get together from time to time, hope to see you around the patch too!
Bryan

1990 Excel SE

"Look, there's a Ferrari..."

Oi_Oi_Savaloy
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Re: New member - new owner

Post by Oi_Oi_Savaloy »

That's great to hear Barker :)

On FB - which pages do people tend to use on the Lotus Excel front?

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