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My Lotus Exige – First Drive After Another Rebuild…

A project car is never finished apparently…   There are always a few more little things to fix, upgrade, or just change for fun.   The biggest thing I had to fix was the air conditioning, as the condenser had corroded. I decided to do the work myself, which meant fully taking the front end of the car apart to access everything. I also replaced the radiators in the car at the same time to hopefully prevent any issues in the future.

Maintenance is a little boring, so I was keen to have a little fun with some upgrades while I had good access, the main thing being the headlights!  If you don’t know already, the original headlights are dangerously bad, and it was actually quite scary to drive at night as they were so dim, with a poor spread of light.  I therefore decided to dismantle the headlights, then swap the projectors for some which actually worked…  This turned out to be quite challenging, but I eventually managed to make everything work, and while I was at it, I got the plastic trim pieces within the headlight refinished in carbon fibre, and the DRL lens refinished with a painted yellow tint to match the lights in the grill.

There were lots of little details which I addressed while rebuilding the car, which I won’t bore you with, but the car was back together and working for the first time, and I decided to catch the Sunset in the Ashdown Forest as the perfect first drive. It was an incredible feeling to be back in the car after a long break, it made me appreciate just how special the car is, and makes all the hours of work, and stress worth it!

The drive home in the dark was my first real opportunity to drive with the upgraded headlights, and I was blown away with how good they now are.  First of all, they light up the road perfectly, it’s staggering how good they are, then the edge of the dipped beam is perfect for visibility without blinding any other road users.