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1992 Lotus “Hethel Celebration” Limited Edition Excel *SOLD*

MAKELotus
MODELHethel Celebration Excel Limited Edition
REGISTRATIONJ928 ORN
ENGINE SIZE2174
TRANSMISSIONManual
MILEAGE99,600
YEAR OF MANUFACTURE1992
CURRENT V5
COLOURCelebration Marque Green Metallic
INTERIORTan Leather

1992 Lotus “Hethel Celebration” Limited Edition Excel *SOLD*

  • Limited Edition Hethel Celebration
  • Number 32 of 35 Marque Green Metallic Models
  • 43rd last Excel Built
  • £7,000 Respray
  • Stunning Example
  • Less than 15 miles driven in 7 years
  • Please scroll down the page past the video to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot – *amended 13th April

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Description

  • A Hethel Celebration Limited Edition Excel
  • Number 32 of 35 Marque Green Metallic Models
  • 43rd last Excel Built
  • £7,000 Respray
  • Stunning Example
  • Less than 15 miles driven in 7 years

The Lotus Excel sports car was built from 1982 to 1992 by British car manufacturer Lotus Cars Limited. Founded in 1952. Lotus started out by making self-assembly kit cars for race drivers, but soon started producing lightweight, high performance sports and race cars. They moved from their first factory, a converted stable in London, to set up a substantial base on an old airfield in Norfolk. This was the former RAF Hethel.

To mark 25 years at RAF Hethel, Lotus added 40 “Hethel 25th Anniversary Celebration edition” models to the Lotus Excel range: 5 in Calypso Red, 35 in metallic Celebration Marque Green Metallic, of which this example is number 32. Today one would cost about £60,000.

This very special edition Lotus Hethel Celebration Excel included a Clarion CDC 9300 head unit, a remote control stacking CD player and upgraded speakers, red instrument lighting, air conditioning, a full tan leather interior with perforated leather panels and tan leather-clad steering wheel. The floors were carpeted in 100 percent Wilton wool. The car’s technical specifications were as for the standard Excel

History

Originally supplied to a Mr Barker by Mann Egerton in Kings Cross, the only Lotus Dealer in London at the time, it passed its way to our current vendor who purchased the Excel in 2015.

With 15 stamps in the original owners manual /service book, 4 from The Lotus Centre, 10 from Paul Matty and 1 from Barry Ely Sports, all Lotus specialists.  We can see from the extensive document pack that this Excel has had no expense spared on it over its lifetime, in fact from 1997 it has had £17,000 spent in various areas and servicing. It’s a shame that there are no receipts from its first five years on the road but it doesn’t worry us in the slightest as the service book has every stamp in place during that time.

The current owner has made the unfortunate decision to let it find a new home as it was a labour of love between her and her husband until he recently passed away. Sadly, if it wasn’t for an unfortunate turn of events, they would be enjoying the fruits of all their hard work right now.  To put some context on those said fruits we can see from the receipts that they have spent close to £8,000 since 2015 bring it back to its former glory.

Exterior

There are surely not many 25th anniversary Lotus Hethel Celebration Excel examples out there that look quite as stunning as this car. We say that with confidence as shortly after our vendors purchased the Lotus they had it professionally resprayed. Those in the know will appreciate that these, like most Lotus’s, are a fibreglass body built onto a galvanised chassis so really do need to repainted properly!

After plenty of research, Stocks Coachworks in Chelmsford, a prominent Lotus Specialist in Essex, were chosen to repaint the Lotus in the correct Celebration Marque green metallic and what a job they have done. In fact it still looks as new now as it did when it was resprayed, testament to the fact it has not covered more than 15 miles since the respray and the fact it has been stored under the wonderful Lotus indoor car cover and kept out of the elements.

To put things into perspective, the glassfibre body on a galvanised chassis  means you really don’t have to worry about the dreaded rust, in fact we would go as far to say the bodywork looks as good as it did when it left the factory, the paintwork really is that spectacular, and with only 35 made in this colour you will be in exclusive company to boot.  Truly outstanding to look at.

Interior

The Lotus Hethel Celebration Excel edition was fitted with a specific interior that only stretched to this model, it included the classic tan leather with perforated leather panels, a matching leather steering wheel and the 100% Wilton Wool carpets.  To expand on how much this car has been loved, our vendor purchased brand new carpets, that unfortunately did not arrive in time to be fitted, so these will be supplied with the car.  If we were to be really pedantic we would question why, as in our opinion the original carpets will come up a treat with a good clean, even then they are presentable enough as they are.

Like we said, the Lotus really has wanted for nothing.  There is some slight wear showing on the drivers seat bolster and a few nicks in the steering wheel leather, but other than that it really is a wonderful and comfy place to be, as you would expect in a premium grand tourer.

Every button and knob has been tested and everything works as it should, even the air conditioning  pushes out cold air, not only will you look cool in this iconic car, you will also feel cool on those hot sunny days.

Wheels Tyres Suspension and other

With this later version of the Excel, there were some fairly substantial changes underneath. Principally, a Toyota 5-speed gearbox was installed, along with the Japanese company’s differential, driveshafts, and even the disc brakes, while the rear suspension was modified to incorporate the Esprit’s top link and lower wishbone layout in place of the Chapman strut.

These are also known for their 50/50 weight distribution testament to Colin Chapman again as that’s no mean feat from a front engine car.  With nearly £800 in parts alone lavished on the chassis including shocks, front wishbones and bushes all round, it truly is a spoilt example that is desperately in need of being driven.

*Since our original article was published, our vendor has confirmed that the vehicle will benefit from a full wheel alignment prior to it being driven as that is one task that her husband did not get time to do before his passing. Great advice in our opinion, considering the extensive amount of new suspension parts that have been fitted to the car.

As with all Lotus cars, once the wheel alignment has been carried out you can pretty much guarantee that the handling will be epic.

The power steering is renowned to be perfectly balanced on these, in fact that goes with most Lotus models, with enough power at standstill and still delivering immense feedback as the needle spins around the dial.

What a shame our vendors didn’t get the time to enjoy the car as they should.

The wheels, like the bodywork, have hardly seen the road since being fully refurbished in the same Marque Celebration Green Metallic.  Specific to the 25th Anniversary Model they complement the car perfectly. The matching 205/50 R15 tyres still have their nobbles on and look in perfect condition, another aspect pointing to the lack of mileage since it’s refurbishment.

Engine

Lotus founder, Colin Chapman’s maxim of ‘simplify and add lightness’ certainly applies here: 180bhp in a car that weighs comfortably less than 1200kg is always going to feel rapid, and with maximum power coming on song at a gloriously screaming 6500rpm, every journey is hugely entertaining.

Lotus’s own type 912 alloy engine, four cylinders and 2,174 cc, powers the Excel with 180 healthy horsepower, assisted by an improved twin exhaust system and mated to the Toyota W58 5-Speed manual from the Supra of all cars.  Outstanding for a 30 year old car.

From the history file we can see that this engine has been serviced regularly with the cambelt replaced only 12,000 miles ago and the latest oil change done in 2020.  Considering the lack of mileage since 2015, the recommendation would be to give the car a once over but it has been started regularly whilst in the vendors possession and started straight away when we popped by to photograph and video the car. In fact you can see the car being driven back and forth in one of the videos we took if required.

Our view

Cars in this condition with so much love and care spent on them do come around from time to time but ones this rare and with this much attention to detail are not so common.

Being one of 35 makes this even less common, even more so to think it was the 43rd last Excel to leave the production line.  We believe it to be an extremely special find and it will be a rare chance to own a car from this truly legendary brand and designer Colin Chapman.

The unfortunate circumstances of this car coming to market are truly heartbreaking but as our vendor states it is time for this remarkable car to find a new home, hopefully it will receive as much love and attention from them as it has previously.

With the slightest of recommissioning the car will be exceptional purchase for the winning bidder.

 

Car Location: Essex SS9 – it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
a********************s £16,750.00 2022-04-28 09:20:28
r*********************m £16,250.00 2022-04-28 08:43:18
a********************s £15,750.00 2022-04-28 09:01:11
a********************s £14,750.00 2022-04-28 09:00:23
a********************s £13,750.00 2022-04-28 08:59:44
a********************s £12,750.00 2022-04-28 08:59:15
g****e £11,750.00 2022-04-27 21:45:49
a********************s £10,250.00 2022-04-24 19:43:18
g****e £9,750.00 2022-04-24 19:29:02
a********************s £9,250.00 2022-04-23 16:25:14
g****e £8,750.00 2022-04-23 16:03:02
a********************s £8,250.00 2022-04-20 19:31:26
g****e £8,250.00 2022-04-21 14:07:53
c*************9 £7,250.00 2022-04-20 18:59:01
a********************s £7,250.00 2022-04-20 19:31:04
c*************9 £6,750.00 2022-04-20 18:48:30
a********************s £5,750.00 2022-04-19 19:09:47
s*********t £5,250.00 2022-04-19 09:20:32
a********************s £4,750.00 2022-04-19 19:09:24
Start auction £4,250.00 16/04/2022 11:00 PM

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