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Old 01-13-2013, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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On the hunt (or Trade)

Been browsing, searching, researching, etc. like mad..

Currently have:

1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, pretty close to pristine condition, with 72k miles.

1989 Porsche 928 S4; excellent condition, 52k miles

Am looking to trade/sell the 928 and get an Esprit, prefer 94+ models. Been looking here and unlike other forums I frequent dont see to be "sticky" posts with hints, tips, etc. on why buy one year over another, etc. nor sticky posts on mainentance.

So.. am having trouble discerning benefits/tradeoffs/downsides to the 94 or new 4 cylinder turbo models versus the 8 cylinder versus the 8 cylinder turbo models and thought would reach out to you folks..

Will be a semi daily driver (trade between the Z and Lexus GS350)... Have full array of tools, etc. (pretty handy, swapped out original automatic transmissin in the 300ZX for a manual in one weekend by myself). Not so much on repairs though when it comes to outright teardown of an engine. i.e. timing belts, suspension, clutch, etc. good to go on

Found a few Esprit's been looking at so look forward to any suggestions or leads you folks might know of. Looking to budget $25k-$28k

This is the one I am leaning towards though have not spoken to them, etc. Got to figure out what to do with the 928 first

Lotus : Esprit ESPRIT S4 in Lotus | eBay Motors


THANKS!

Kenny
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So.. am having trouble discerning benefits/tradeoffs/downsides to the 94 or new 4 cylinder turbo models versus the 8 cylinder versus the 8 cylinder turbo models and thought would reach out to you folks..

Kenny
I thought all V8 Esprits were turbo.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The V-8's can cost another magnitude over the 4 cyl. They will be newer (and usually lower mileage). Either is a LOT of car and there is not all that much performance difference (at least in street driving) between the S4, S4s, and the V-8. The V-8's also cost a lot more to maintain. IMHO I would not use a Lotus as a daily driver in traffic. Among the problems are:
Low ground clearance, you will hit potholes, parking bumpers, and driveway dips. Large SUV's won't see you in their rear-view mirrors. When you come to a traffic light all you will see are lugnuts alongside. Too many people aren't even looking anymore, they are to busy with their cell phones talking and texting. If you are interested in buying a Lotus, unless you want to spend a lot of time and money sorting one out, it is best to buy one from an enthusiast who took care of it. Buying off E-Bay or an auction or a dealer and you can get one that will give you a lot of trouble. Always by the best you can afford, preferably with a service history. If that means an older, better taken care of car then that is the better choice rather than the newer one that was flogged and not taken care of. Lastly, spend the coin and have a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection) by someone who is familiar with the make and model car you are considering. It will be the best money you will ever spend on a car that you don't own! Better to get out cheap than to get in over your head. All of the V-8's are twin turbo. Check out http://espritfactfile.com/ for more background information.

Now that I have given you my disclaimer, I have a red/tan '99 V-8 for sale with 20,000 miles and a recent "C" service, new tires, brakes, paint, and interior. Both tops, bag, tool kit and two complete sets of keys, satellite radio and Tubi S/S custom exhaust.
David Teitelbaum

Last edited by jtrealty; 01-13-2013 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Now that I have given you my disclaimer, I have a red/tan '99 V-8 for sale with 20,000 miles and a recent "C" service, new tires, brakes, paint, and interior. Both tops, bag, tool kit and two complete sets of keys, satellite radio and Tubi S/S custom exhaust.
David Teitelbaum
Thanks and I fully understand the disclaimer! The Z sits pretty low as well and neither it or the 928 are ground clearance friendly!

Tell me more about the one your selling, price, pics, etc

Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Either is a LOT of car and there is not all that much performance difference (at least in street driving) between the S4, S4s, and the V-8.
While this may be true, the way the performance is delivered is quite different. The difference is big enough that I would suggest driving both before deciding if possible.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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if you want to check out my S4, you can check in lotustalk, lotuses for sale, under "1994 S4". Now has 20k miles, no issues. the one on ebay looks good, is a '95. But mine has a built in SRX radar/laser $27,500. Car is extremely reliable, can be driven anywhere, anytime.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like you'll be OK.
Go V8, it has a lot more low end end punch than the 4 pot. It's also a very nice engine.
For me, that makes it more fun to drive.
As long as your roads and driveways are appropriate for a car with a long nose, you won't have any problem with it as a daily driver.
The usual facts of life about cold weather, ice & snow, etc. apply.
People don't feel the compulsion to deface the car in parking lots and will take a picture of it instead.

On the down side, the interior (at least mine does) tends to rattle and squeek some, especially when it's cold out.
If it's not a daily, you have to worry about the alarm system sucking the battery down.
The biggest maintenance PITA is the cam belts on the V8. Learn how to do it yourself, and if you can borrow some of the specialized tools, you can save a bundle.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For pictures you can see my car over at
globalautosports.com
The car is in northern NJ near the Tappan Zee Bridge. The nearest Lotus service center is RS Motorsports in Closter, about 10 minutes away. He can do a PPI if you want. Right now the car is parked for the winter. If you get me your e-mail I can send you some pix. PM it. I agree the V-8 is more fun to drive but it comes at an additional cost. Not everyone will choose to do that. I also agree that any prospective buyer should try driving a V-8 and a 4 cyl to see for themselves what they like. It becomes even more important if the driver is large or not very flexible. Driving a Lotus is more like putting on the car and driving, not so much getting into a car and driving. A much more intimate experience, especially with the Elise or the earlier Lotus's. Not built to accommodate large people!
David Teitelbaum
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Midlife, also, check out Lotus Esprit World. Tons of valuable information on what to look for and what to expect. There are several guys on here that drive their cars almost daily with little or no trouble, while others have experienced many issues. Spend the money up front and get a well sorted, taken care of car, rather than a "fixer upper" or a "Steal". In the world of Loti, a fixer upper or a steal usually cost way more down the road than a well sorted one from the get go. Also, the engines in both the 4 cylinder and V8 can be finnicky, as can the clutches and gearboxes. Nothing like our Z's. The technology is from a different planet and philosophy altogether! Trust me on this. I have built the engine for both my Lotus and my Z as well as both entire cars drive trains and electronics. NO comparison! Not a bad difference, just a noticable one!
Artie
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Kenny, at your budget you should be able to find a very nice S4 or S4S, but you will be marginal on a good V8.
We ran a 928 S4 for about a year. Hated the thing, ok motor, but everything else was crap and expensive to fix. Much prefer the Lotus, but a completely different car.
I think you can use the Lotus as a most day driver if it is well sorted and you cAn fix a few things, especially the 4cyl.
Currently we have in our stable two S4, two SE and an 89 turbo.
Where are you located? Except for the 89 everything is for sale. The two S4s are completely redone, one SE is pristine and the other is being rebuilt now.

The car in the ad looks nice. You want to do some research and sit in a few before you buy.
There is a huge variability in price, condition and service on these cars, no matter what the year. Also Lotus changed stuff along the way frequently, but not by model year. And owners often make changes, like the S4 in the ad has V8 wheels and the later V8 center exhaust. Pay attention to service, brakes, trannies, oil leaks, and fuel tanks.

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Old 01-14-2013, 06:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Went to the website, not seeing your car at

Lotus Esprit - Lotus Esprit For Sale



Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
For pictures you can see my car over at
globalautosports.com
The car is in northern NJ near the Tappan Zee Bridge. The nearest Lotus service center is RS Motorsports in Closter, about 10 minutes away. He can do a PPI if you want. Right now the car is parked for the winter. If you get me your e-mail I can send you some pix. PM it. I agree the V-8 is more fun to drive but it comes at an additional cost. Not everyone will choose to do that. I also agree that any prospective buyer should try driving a V-8 and a 4 cyl to see for themselves what they like. It becomes even more important if the driver is large or not very flexible. Driving a Lotus is more like putting on the car and driving, not so much getting into a car and driving. A much more intimate experience, especially with the Elise or the earlier Lotus's. Not built to accommodate large people!
David Teitelbaum
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks! Can you get me links to the ones you have for sale? THANKS!


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Originally Posted by 89.5 Esprit SE View Post
Kenny, at your budget you should be able to find a very nice S4 or S4S, but you will be marginal on a good V8.
We ran a 928 S4 for about a year. Hated the thing, ok motor, but everything else was crap and expensive to fix. Much prefer the Lotus, but a completely different car.
I think you can use the Lotus as a most day driver if it is well sorted and you cAn fix a few things, especially the 4cyl.
Currently we have in our stable two S4, two SE and an 89 turbo.
Where are you located? Except for the 89 everything is for sale. The two S4s are completely redone, one SE is pristine and the other is being rebuilt now.

The car in the ad looks nice. You want to do some research and sit in a few before you buy.
There is a huge variability in price, condition and service on these cars, no matter what the year. Also Lotus changed stuff along the way frequently, but not by model year. And owners often make changes, like the S4 in the ad has V8 wheels and the later V8 center exhaust. Pay attention to service, brakes, trannies, oil leaks, and fuel tanks.

Randy
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Went to the website, not seeing your car at

Lotus Esprit - Lotus Esprit For Sale
I believe this is Dave's car:

1999 Lotus Esprit for Sale in Washington Township, NJ 07675
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That link shows as a 1999, Dave in a prior post said the one he has is a 1994..
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Nope, a 99 is correct:

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Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
Now that I have given you my disclaimer, I have a red/tan '99 V-8 for sale with 20,000 miles and a recent "C" service, new tires, brakes, paint, and interior. Both tops, bag, tool kit and two complete sets of keys, satellite radio and Tubi S/S custom exhaust.
David Teitelbaum
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Nope, a 99 is correct:
OK, got confused by judgea and jrealty

The 99 in the link is more than I want to spend, click thru to it says asking $45k
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
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OK, got confused by judgea and jrealty

The 99 in the link is more than I want to spend, click thru to it says asking $45k
Judgea's car is for sale through this forum; if you click on his username and look up his created threads, you will find his car. Seems nice.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I wanted a '00 or newer because I like the updated interior and also wanted a V8.. mine could easily be a dd since I work only 5 miles from work.. but don't because just when it's warmed up I'm there.. I'm they nking with your budget tho, that's probably more a 4cyl range.. and given enough patience you'd probably get a good one..
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Judgea's car is for sale through this forum; if you click on his username and look up his created threads, you will find his car. Seems nice.
Got it! THANKS!

Got some solid bites on the 928 and much, MUCH more research on Esprit's to do..
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I would drive the Esprit you are going to buy for more than a few minutes, stop it, restart it. Make sure it gets to operating temperature when you do drive it. I drove my 88 Esprit for 45 min. before I bought it, and it needed everything sorted out along the lines of preventative maintenance, brakes, tires, paint etc. But it did run good and smooth. But now that its sorted out, both mechanically and cosmetically I drive it whenever its not snowing/raining. Its been extremely reliable and I would drive it anywhere. I myself, like the more modern looks of the interior of the v8's, but the exterior of the car is pretty similar since the late 80's. But the S4 and V8 comes with cost, which was more than I was willing to gamble on an Esprit after all I read about them prior to owning one.

One of the best things about my 88 Esprit is it gets like 20 plus miles per gallon being only a 4 cylinder, im sure any 4 cyl. Esprit is similar MPG. I dont know about the V8 though. Dont know if thats a concern for you or not, but I never though of the gas mileage prior to buying.
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