Lot 006: Lotus Excel
Launched in 1982, the Lotus Excel was a development of the earlier Eclat and shared the same well-proven 2.2-litre DOHC slant four that had also been used in the Esprit. Producing some 160bhp, it could propel the lightweight car to 60 in just 7.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 135mph. As with all Lotus cars, it was the handling that really impressed and it could run rings around other more powerful sports cars thanks to its superb agility.
Unlike many of its predeccesors however, the Excel was also remarkably well built thanks to a joint venture with Toyota which saw Lotus sharing their chassis know-how in exchange for some Japanese reliability. This meant the Excel shared its five-speed gearbox, drive-train, VDO instruments and electrics with the Toyota Supra. It also had a fully galvanized steel backbone chassis and a spacious interior that could accommodate four occupants and their luggage with ease. Add in the rust-free glassfibre bodywork and an integral steel roll cage, and it made for a very safe and sporting family carriage. Just 2,160 examples were made in all before production came to an end in 1992.
Dating from 1986, this particular example has been in the current ownership since 2001 and has covered less than 70,000 miles from new. It was treated to a thorough engine-and-gearbox-out mechanical overhaul at Bell & Collvill in 1994 less than 20,000 miles ago, including a new clutch, carbs balanced, new exhaust and manifold, new rear brake discs and pads at a cost of over �3,600. The cambelts were changed in July 2001 at 58,526 miles and again in October 2004. Fitted with an immobilizer, it has an MOT until October 2009 and comes with six old MOTs back to 2001 showing regular light use. Said to be a "useable classic" that is an "excellent runner it certainly fired up quickly and ran very smoothly during the occasion of our visit to take these pictures.
Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia|
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Registration number||D320 DPF|
|Engine capacity (cc)||2174|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|