Just bought my first Lotus, picked up 1997 Esprit V8 last week. Also live in Fort Mill, so if you see a Calypso Red Esprit, chances are it's me! Did you ever find a local Lotus mechanic?
I believe I’ve meet you once or twice at a C&C. Although the guy I’ve talked to has a for sale sign in it... hope that’s not you! I haven’t been able to find a place that will do any major work, but if you’re ever in need of some help let me know I’m near uptown Charlotte.