A local firm has been a driving force in the restoration of a unique sports car that originally belonged to Romano Artioli, the then owner of Lotus and Bugatti.
Wednesfield-based Edward Howell Galvanizers, part of Wedge Group Galvanizing, joined forces with Wolverhampton-based David Lisle on a six-month restoration of a famous Lotus Esprit S300 #25, incorporating a complete regalvanizing of the car’s chassis, which included a four-hour acid bath followed by adding a new protective layer of zinc to replace the old coat, which had been burnt away by years of driving with the S300’s turbo engine.
The UK-made S300 car was one of just 64 built in its production life from 1992 to 1995, and is the successor to the model that featured as a car-cum-submarine in 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. However, this particular model was the only one to have belonged to and been driven by Mr Artioli, who bought Lotus Automobiles in 1993 for £30 million. An automobile magnate, Mr Artioli also owned prestigious Italian automobile company Bugatti at the time.
Mr Lisle’s labour of love also included a full repainting, engine reconstruction, and suspension reassembly. The project began in November last year, and now the renovation has almost been completed, the restored car is set to be returned to its owner, motor enthusiast Francesco Oirio, who will then have it shipped to Canada.
David Lisle, of TR Techniques, a classic car restoration company, said: “This has been a fantastic project to have been involved with, and the owner of the car told me he was ‘very pleased to see one of Lotus’ rare creatures restored to this level of perfection’. The team at Edward Howell Galvanizers have been a huge help and I’m extremely grateful for the high-quality work and professional service they provided in enabling me to restore the chassis back to its original specification.”
Jim Lindsay, Sales Manager at Edward Howell Galvanizers, said, “After helping to restore the chassis to be better than ever, we were all very excited to see the finished product. I’m delighted we could help David revive such a classic car, and take our hat off to him for doing such an amazing job.”
Wedge Group Galvanizing is the largest hot dip galvanizing organisations in the UK with a history dating back over 150 years. With 14 plants strategically placed across the country, the firm offers a truly national galvanizing service.