Lotus Elise

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February 2013

So I came home from work on 1st February, parked on the drive and happened to walk past the front of the car to find that some kind soul had reversed into the front of it and hit it with a tow hitch, judging by the grease on the front around the broken pieces of clam! Needless to say I stalked the roads around work for several days looking for the likely culprit but found none.

Well, I was planning to have the car re-painted later in the year so decided to remove the front clam and repair the damage myself to stop the damage getting worse.

As Police traffic sergeants report it "Damage found"....

Front clam in a temporary home to thoroughly dry it before the repair and the the finshed repair from inside.

The repair from outside sealed with nail varnish! I just needed a temporary cover for the raw fibreglass to stop damp getting in before the re-spary happened.

While the clam was off it seemed like a good idea to take some pictures of what was underneath.

Later in the year after a cold spell I noticed some bubbling paint on the front clam along the leading edge under the lights, over the wheel arches and above the A post cover panel. This meant a full respray was on the cards. I took the car to four SELOC reccommended paintshops for an assessment and quotes. Two thought the front clam was porous and needed replacement and two said they thought it hadn't been prepped properly in the first place. A proper quandry.

Eventually, I settled on a local(ish) paint shop. I'd seen some of their work and was very impressed so the car was booked in whilst we we away on our summer holiday.

Whilst the car was in being painted, I gave the painter Ade, my small digital camera so he could take photos during the process. Below are the photo's he took. The first set are the prep work.

The next set are painting and reassembly.

Having had the paint done the car looked fantastic, really pleased with the results. I got it back in September but by February 2014 the blistering on the front clam was reappearing. I spoke to Ade about it and he recommended a replacement clam.

I spent two months looking for a good second hand clam as new ones aren't available. I couldn't find a K series clam but found out that a 111R clam would fit. Bonus, I prefer the 111R clam so the search widened to look for either type. Eventually one turned up in Suffolk. This was duly collected and delivered with the car back to the paintshop for painting and fitting. I had to go from home to the painters in the back of my brother Ian's horsebox!

This 111R clam has a slightly different central spine and completely different inspection panels and grilles. These were sourced and also delivered to the paintshop for painting and fitting.

The final results were stunning, a real transformation.


Also in April 2014 I bought new adjustable suspension units as the OSR damper had a slight leak at the previous MoT. After much reading I settled on Nitron Street series 2 units. These were simple to fit, it took about 30 minutes a corner including jacking and wheel removal. Setting them up was a different matter however.....

I spent several days adjusting the ride height to give the correct attitude on the road but had difficulty in getting it even and high enough to get off the drive without scuffing the splitter! Not helped by an uneven drive made of riven slabs. Eventually I had the geo setup done when it went for a service just prior to our boys long weekend away to the 2014 Classic Le mans.

As you can see, I'd created a Low-tus!


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