Fastback Flashback: 1976 Lotus Eclat Sprint

The Lotus Eclat was a fastback version of the Elite. It also looked much, much better.

Very few of these were made, and even less are around today. Lotus only built 1,519 between 1974 and 1982, according to the seller.

Styling is classic 70s wedge shape. When Lotus debuted the similar-looking Esprit a year later, their range was suddenly thoroughly uniform and updated, with all their cars having fiberglass bodies, tapered snouts, hidden headlights and funky interiors.

While these were powered by only 2-litre inline four cylinder engines, they were mated to manual transmissions and directed power to the rear wheels. Thanks to the fiberglass body, weight came in at under 2,000 lbs, helping to make this a relatively sprightly performer, once it got going, that is.

The seller is this example says the odometer reads only 78,587 miles. Lotus cars were rarely driven regularly by owners for various reasons, so low mileage is actually the norm.

Mechanically, the seller proclaims it starts and runs fine, and list a host of repairs done.

Cosmetically, they say the cloth seats do have a seam parting and have some sun damage. However, they say the paint is all-original and the vehicle was garaged.

I like these. They are extremely rare, but still look cool. This one seems to be without any major problems, but it's still an old British car, so reliability and build quality will not be top-shelf. But if you're a die hard Lotus fan, this could be a great snatch. Hemmings CPI Value Guide estimates a 1975-80 Eclat Sprint Coupe in fair condition to be worth $1,700, good condition $3,550 and excellent condition $8,150.

Find it here on ebay in Santa Rosa, California with bidding at $3,250 and a buy it now of $7,900.

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