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Old 01-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Have it narrowed down to 4 different ones, have been researching my butt off and going to try to go drive one tomorrow.

Here is one Randolp ( Cool Cars in Florida - Affordable Fun and Exotics: Porsche, Lotus, BMW ) is finishing up rebuild/troubleshoot on. 1994, 80k miles. They just finished complete engine rebuild, new TB, WP, etc. AC rebuild/replace, fixed headlights not popping up, HVAC vacuum leak, etc. They also did the gas tank POR coating

Any thoughts from you guys on them and / or based on the below photos he sent me?

Story is a Dr owned, had timing belt done by another shop, not done correctly and he gave up and that is where Randolph came in. BTW.. this car is NOT the one others spoke of which has a salvage title and it is not on their website..

















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Old 01-18-2013, 05:51 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Kenny,
I know nothing about this car, but that is a lot of miles for an Esprit. Condition trumps mileage, so it could be a good deal if priced right. However, if you decide to sell it in the future, you'll be in the top 1% in terms of mileage for an Esprit. It's a very different story from your Z or 928. If you stuck to your initial budget, you could find a mint S4 with 1/3 the miles of this car.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:31 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Kenny,
I know nothing about this car, but that is a lot of miles for an Esprit. Condition trumps mileage, so it could be a good deal if priced right. However, if you decide to sell it in the future, you'll be in the top 1% in terms of mileage for an Esprit. It's a very different story from your Z or 928. If you stuck to your initial budget, you could find a mint S4 with 1/3 the miles of this car.
Thanks
He is asking $19k

Others looking at are 1997 w 27k miles for $20k, says C service done recently and others local give thumbs up and 1994 20k miles for $27k, all svc done

Kenny
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:21 AM   #24 (permalink)
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$20K for a '97 with 27K miles is cheap if it is in good condition. $19K for the high mileage S4 probably isn't out of line for a retail price. $27K for the S4 with 20K miles is probably high unless the car is perfect and the seller is patient.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Be 100% certain with that 1997 that the cylinder liner sealant issue has been addressed.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:43 PM   #26 (permalink)
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These cars may be great daily drivers. The previous owner of my car bought it with 7000 miles and then used it as a daily driver for over 20years and raced it as much as possible on weekends . I bought it a few weeks ago and it now has 129,650 miles on it. Is this a record?
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:42 AM   #27 (permalink)
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As an FYI to others, looked at the one fir sake on eBay by dealer in Dallas (luxury cars Dallas is the name I think)
Way Overpriced for condition IMHO at $40k
In serious need of an intensive detail/polish
Headliner needs work
Couldn't drive or start due to being inside so no idea mechanically
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:39 AM   #28 (permalink)
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As an FYI to others, looked at the one fir sake on eBay by dealer in Dallas (luxury cars Dallas is the name I think)
Way Overpriced for condition IMHO at $40k
In serious need of an intensive detail/polish
Headliner needs work
Couldn't drive or start due to being inside so no idea mechanically
It's this one:
Lotus : Esprit Targa Coupe in Lotus | eBay Motors

That's some seriously wishful thinking to get $40K for that car. You probably couldn't get that if it was still in it's factory wrapper.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:41 PM   #29 (permalink)
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A 97 V8 for $20k? Either a hell of a deal or a money pit. Broken V8s are not cheap or easy to fix, much more risk than the 4cyl.

Our goal is restoration/rebuild. A restored car with 80,000 miles may be better than a good car with 40,000 miles. Odds are that the 40 k mile car will need a lot over the next 3 years like fuel tanks, water pump, timing belt, clutch, hoses etc. then after 3 years you have a well maintained car with a leaky tired engine, and a bunch of repairs. If you are strictly a weekend driver then the car may still be pretty good with low miles, but if you drive it a lot it will need stuff. and if you don't drive it it will need stuff.

Sure there are no guarantees or warranties, but chances are the rebuilt car is going to be fairly reliable, and have a lot less repairs and be in better condition 3 years from now.

Check out 'Toms 89 project' thread to see the kind of stuff we do.

So the 94 S4 is excellent mechanically, being all rebuilt, and has a very nice interior. The only issue is the paint is only pretty good and it has a few gel coat cracks. It doesn't need a respray, but it would if you want a pristine car, although a good paint guy could do a partial respray and it would look very nice.

That S4 in TX has a lot of upgrades by John Welch who is a good performance guy, it could be a good car IF not abused and maintained. The problem is you won't know the motor.

BTW those of you hunting used Esprits, I would highly recommend compression testing before you buy

Randy
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:08 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Good points and my thoughts as well

- will be speaking to owner of the 97 tomorrow and depending how that goes schedule a PPI

- for your 94 am waiting your completion and updates

- the Dallas one is not on my radar at all

- the other 94 is from a member here, on my list but not the top as it is approx $7000 higher than all but the 95

- the 95 looks great though like the 94 is $7000 more as well at $27,000

Would rather overpay and get one very well sorted out, ie not making decision with majority being cost being lower IOW

Obviously if the 97 is well sorted it would make the most sense

Will post back when have more info
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:37 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I am not anti V8 at all, but be aware that it is a very different car than the 4cyl.
I certainly wouldn't buy a V8 because it is cheap. With all these cars unless you are seeking a project buy a car that is good and for which you know exactly what the issues are.

At your budget you can find a good 4cyl, but are very marginal on V8s.

Be aware that repair costs and complexity on V8s are much higher by a factor of 2-3.

Also while you certainly want the best car you can find cosmetically, don't buy a car just because it looks nice. Cosmetics are the easiest to assess, but I'd rather redo my seats than my fuel tanks or my engine.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:57 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Points well taken Randy, we are along the same lines

When looking at maintenance items vs interior/paint either can get expensive quickly.

With that said; tried to drive one Saturday but they had it in an enclosed building with no way to get it out other than moving other cars and timing was not good.

Any DFW Texas owners will to meet up and go for a ride? If so PM me!
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:10 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Just got a glowing recommendation from Jeff at JAE on the 1999 after emailing him asking for any info he might have... Indicated the 1999 I'm considering is outside the build dates which had the cylinder linder sealant issue so that is good news.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:20 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I would be very interested to hear if there have been any more V8 sealant issues in the recent past.

I believe it's a lingering fear that has the early V8's being the bargain of the century without justification.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:26 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I would be very interested to hear if there have been any more V8 sealant issues in the recent past.

I believe it's a lingering fear that has the early V8's being the bargain of the century without justification.
Here is what Jeff from JAE told me:

"The liner sealant issue was on a small run of engines done by an outside vendor to Lotus in 1998. That whole issue was a simple miscommunication between the engine builder and Lotus regarding the time frame of assembly using the original Loctite sealant. Before and after that batch there was never any issue and by now every engine that exhibited that problem have been dealt with in any case. No new surprises unless someone finds a very low mileage 1998- Early 99 car thatís been sitting all this time. No Lotus built 96-97 or early 99 on had the issue."
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:05 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Hi Kenny,
I've had my V8 for a couple of years and I love this car! I must admit I was going to buy an S4/s4s but could not find a good one at that time. The major expenses on the v8 IMO are clutch/flywheel ($3500+labor), Turbos (rebuild costs about $1k but you need to pull the engine to get the turbos out), Cats (easy to replace but expensive). I spent +$20k on a low mileage 928S4 a couple years ago and was very happy the day I sold it. My v8 had 50k miles on it but was well sorted and had several nice upgrades that the PO did to the car. Aside from the above maintenance/service issues you need to ask about, inquire about any upgrades it may have like ECU, exhaust, KN filters, Free flow Sport cats etc. Just my two cents. Good luck
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:56 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Turbos (rebuild costs about $1k but you need to pull the engine to get the turbos out), Cats (easy to replace but expensive).
Is that an absolute for removing the engine to get the turbos out? When I look at mine, the bolts are very clean, and it looks like (with a few special/custom shaped wrenches) they could be removed without pulling the engine.

I put cats on my car by buying a low mileage 04 exhaust as a complete system for $400, but if I didn't do that, I would have just had some nice, reasonably priced cats welded into place for a lot less than the factory or aftermarket. I hear people do that successfully.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:11 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Selection made, barring any unforeseen circumstances.. 1994 S4, ~20k miles, excellent service records, etc. Was going to do a 1997 but due to issues with getting it from Canada to DFW (it is a US car which was taken to Canada by the owner) and the expense of shipping went a different route. And the other one is much closer.. Will keep all posted..
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:37 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Congrats!

Just curious, what are the costs to get a $20K Esprit back to the US from Canada?
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:40 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Congrats!

Just curious, what are the costs to get a $20K Esprit back to the US from Canada?
Bids I got were $2500-$3500 enclosed trailer plus unkown fee by shipping company for getting through customs. Open trailer would be quite a bit cheaper but not something was going to consider. So, even though the 1997 was an excellent price, adding that in plus unkown issues with customs, etc. and findiing one much closer (4 hours away) was brought into the decision
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