1983 Esprit on Bat - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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1983 Esprit on Bat

Hi all, A colleague of mine is really interested in getting a classic Esprit and sent me this link for Bat
https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1983-lotus-esprit-3/
I am not as familiar with the Esprit as I am the Elise/Exige models. Even though I love that body style. It seems to have some nice upgrades as well as quasi recent maintenance. I would like to ask the experienced members here if they think this is a worthwhile endeavour. My friend is a physician and doesn't know squat about motors of mechanical stuff but is at a point in his life where he can afford his dream car. He wants to drive it not investment. Is there anything from the add that would throw up a red flag? Thanks to all of you. Tommy

05 elise ardent red sport touring VF1 s/c, pro rad, arquay twin, etc etc etc
05 elise GG sport touring BWR s/c Charliex s/p dent in chassis=total loss
17 BMW 428i conv wifes car
03 GMC Yukon
90 eclipse gsx 420 whp sold
04 civic si sold
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Last edited by tommyc; 03-30-2019 at 11:48 AM. Reason: fixed grammatical errors.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 12:42 PM
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Nothing seems terribly amiss with the car from the photos. The stereo, sill plates and cup holder are not original, neither is the red paint on the intake runner and cam covers. The smog equipment is still intact. There isn't any information on the gearbox or other service history, which is important for assessing value. I would want to know when the cam belt was last serviced and the valve clearances checked, or be prepared to do that work right away.

Mike

'83 Esprit Turbo (The Fabulous Trashwagon)
'87 Esprit Turbo (FrankEnSPRIT)
'90 St Tropez Turbo
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 10:53 PM
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Love those wheels, looks like a nice well kept car.

1985 BRG Turbo Esprit
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike.griese View Post
N[snip]The smog equipment is still intact. There isn't any information on the gearbox or other service history, which is important for assessing value. I would want to know when the cam belt was last serviced and the valve clearances checked, or be prepared to do that work right away.
The smog equipment is not intact. The previous 2018 auction (link is in the current auction) has commentary that confirms the smog pump and other items are removed and not included.

That being said, I know of a 86 that will be coming on the market shortly (a forum member here told me he traded it in and a dealer will be selling it shortly).

There is a Facebook Esprit member interested in selling his one-owner 86 black Esprit (stored in a Northern California garage for over 10 years - likely needs to be Service updated). He also mentioned a 1989 (?) white SE one owner car may be coming up for sale as well.

Eddie B
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 04:54 AM
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I wonder if your friend - not a diehard motor head - busy, would not get more enjoyment out of a newer model Esprit? More creature comforts, better AC etc.

There is a nice looking S4S on EBay right now.

If there is a decent shop nearby? maybe even a V8 model?

Not knocking this car.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleekgt View Post
The smog equipment is not intact. The previous 2018 auction (link is in the current auction) has commentary that confirms the smog pump and other items are removed and not included.

That being said, I know of a 86 that will be coming on the market shortly (a forum member here told me he traded it in and a dealer will be selling it shortly).

There is a Facebook Esprit member interested in selling his one-owner 86 black Esprit (stored in a Northern California garage for over 10 years - likely needs to be Service updated). He also mentioned a 1989 (?) white SE one owner car may be coming up for sale as well.
The pump and cat have been removed from the other auction comments - the belt shield and air injection plumbing are still there.

Mike

'83 Esprit Turbo (The Fabulous Trashwagon)
'87 Esprit Turbo (FrankEnSPRIT)
'90 St Tropez Turbo
'04 Boxster S
'05 CO Elise, LSS, Touring, Hardtop, among others
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 10:35 AM
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What are the reasons your friend is interested in a Lotus, an older model in particular? Is it because it is cheap or nearby? Is it for the performance? Generally you are always best served buying the best car you can afford. When thinking about buying a car like a Lotus, if you don't get the recent service history, it can be very expensive recreating it. If you don't know when or if certain service work was done you will have to do it. When buying an older car you also should know things like the date codes on the tires because if they are over 7 years old you will be replacing them and that is not a small expense all by itself. All of this stuff should be taken into account when considering buying an older car so you can decide what it is really worth before making an offer. The ultimate would be a PPI (Pre Purchase Inspection) by a qualified tech but that can be expensive and you would only consider doing that if you were serious about buying the car. Because some of the emissions equipment is either missing or non-functional you need to know what is necessary to pass inspection in your State. It could be prohibitively expensive to get the car passed if it is all required and hard or expensive to obtain the needed parts. The older the model Lotus, in general, the more finicky and harder to maintain. Harder to get parts and harder to find techs who know what to do. One way to start is to find the nearest Lotus shop. If your friend does buy the car (and you say he doesn't do his own work) he will need that shop!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 01:01 PM
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Anyone else have cup holders on their doors? I like the idea, are they useful or in the way & a bother?

DD- '97 Ford E350 diesel van
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 01:37 PM
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Unless your friend lives near an experienced Esprit service shop (not a dealer) Id tell him to pass.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 10:12 PM
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Anyone else have cup holders on their doors? I like the idea, are they useful or in the way & a bother?

I have the same exact cup holder that I installed but screwed it into the sill just forward of the parking brake assembly. Unfortunately, I positioned it too low and the floor mat interferes with it.

It still works OK - I may raise it to clear the floor mat. It's handy for storing a bottle of water, but not quite as easy to reach as a door-mounted holder.

But I like the fact I can remove it and there would be little trace it was there as the screw holes in that area would be near invisible when uninstalled.

The cup holder folds up and out of the way - very unobtrusive when not in use.

Eddie B
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mike.griese View Post
[snip]The smog equipment is still intact. There isn't any information on the gearbox or other service history, which is important for assessing value. I would want to know when the cam belt was last serviced and the valve clearances checked, or be prepared to do that work right away.
The 2nd to the last paragraph of the introduction lists some service history:

"A 2015 service included resealing the cam towers, a new timing belt, valve and carburetor adjustments, and a new front main seal. Approximately 6k miles have been added since."

Eddie B
87 Esprit 'SLEEK GT'
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all I will pass along the responses. He just prefers that body style. Tommy

05 elise ardent red sport touring VF1 s/c, pro rad, arquay twin, etc etc etc
05 elise GG sport touring BWR s/c Charliex s/p dent in chassis=total loss
17 BMW 428i conv wifes car
03 GMC Yukon
90 eclipse gsx 420 whp sold
04 civic si sold
13 Ford focus ST
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tommyc View Post
Thank you all I will pass along the responses. He just prefers that body style. Tommy
Like a pretty girl that turns out to be high maintenance, it's best to be as rational as possible in evaluating any specific Esprit. That gorgeous body with perfect paint can hide a frustrating money pit.

Owned, loved, enjoyed, and now gone:
1969 Europa S2 Blue
1970 Europa S2 White
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1984 Turbo Esprit Calypso Red
2005 Elise Starlight Black
2005 Elise Saffron Yellow
2005 Elise Ardent Red
2006 Exige Graphite Grey
2007 Exige Canyon Red

Other:
1970 MGB GT
1970 Datsun 510
1984 Honda CRX Si
1984 Pontiac Fiero
2004 Chrysler Crossfire
2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:26 PM
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Tommy Is your friend still looking? I know another Dr in your town that has a slightly newer one that he was looking to sell about a year or two ago. Dont know if he sold it or not but would be interesting if it was the same guy who might have sold it wants an older model.Is he an emergency room Dr that moved here from Mississippi about 3 years ago?
I will call you this week or call me since I dont go on the forum that much.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 04:04 AM
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I did not buy Penelope to be a investment,, but then I sure have a good feeling about this sale. I have been pondering whether to sell my 83 and buy an Exige. This certainly adds some more fuel to the consideration. I wonder if this deal will end with a purchase.
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