Has anyone been to the Espirit shop in Orange County, CA? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Has anyone been to the Espirit shop in Orange County, CA?

I went there with a co-worker this past Saturday, holy SH*T...it made me want an Esprit. I was there with my Exige. Great group of guys and a LOT of awesome Espirit action, both old and new going on.



I was probably looking at some of your cars. hehe

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by erics75218 View Post
I went there with a co-worker this past Saturday, holy SH*T...it made me want an Esprit. I was there with my Exige. Great group of guys and a LOT of awesome Espirit action, both old and new going on.

I was probably looking at some of your cars. hehe
where is this shop? I've only been to Viking Motorsports.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 04:49 AM
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That's Lotus Prepared by Claudius (Lotus PBC) in Cerritos.

'03.5 Final Edition Esprit ~ 5.7lbs/hp; mildly modded - 430rwhp, 353rwtq
'65 Karmann Ghia, '80 930, '89 928 S4, '92 Corrado, '02 Maserati Coupe, '06 Murcielago
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 06:17 AM
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My Esprit was in that shop when a PO had the car in California. The complaint was overheating. Claudius recored the radiator and changed the fans to Spals. To me it looked like a royal hack job. They chopped the ductwork to remove the radiator quickly instead of dropping the "cooling package". Someone, (looks like a child did it) blob-welded tabs onto the radiator frame to attach the fans and then Jack the Ripper hacked up the wiring to connect them. I guess it saved time so the PO was happy but the car got gutted underneath. I was able to repair it so it's not as noticable but the PO paid plenty for the "work". I have the old bill. From what I saw I would not bring my car there but that won't happen since I am on the other side of the country.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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wow, that's not my experience AT ALL. They hand make some awesome chargecooler kit for the Espirit v8's. A guy I know at work installed one himself, it's crazy.



The charge cooler on the right is off, so that he can make a jig. The brackets to hold the charge coolers and their own water tank and pump looked great, bolt on. All the braided hoses and aircraft fittings, again looked top notch.

I'm not TRYING to defend them, i haven't even given them one CENT, I just thought they had some awesome Esprits, there..a friend has one of their chargecooler kits and loves it. I talked to the son, who was explaining to me that you can tell if the rear side marker light is an original or not, based on the slight angle that Lotus put into their parts black mounting base v.s. reproduction units. Maybe he saw that on TV, but it convinced me these were some serious Lotus nerds! He was also doing a full body off restore of an old first gen Esprit. He won best of show in a Lotus classic show somewhere...with just the frame + engine..saw the trophy, funny.



The engine is bored out, with some other mods I can't remember. The car looks GREAT I can tell you that much, I also know he's been restoring it since 2001, but it's his own car so he doesn't work on it that much. Explains the dust everywhere.

At any rate, I didn't get the impression they are anywhere near 1/2 ass, that doesn't explain your very real experience. Maybe they have changed...maybe they hated you or your car....maybe they suck..I'm just not trying to give anyone any good or bad press.

Like I said, lots of cool Esprits there, and I learned a lot listening to everyone go at it!!!

Here is me with the grandpas.....HAHA!

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 10:20 PM
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that pearl white Esprit looks buttery.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 10:41 AM
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I was never too impressed with this place
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2010, 11:33 AM
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I took my 1985 there a few times - Claudius is a personable guy. This was nearly 20 years ago - not overly impressed at that time. Prices were high. But, remember, this was about 20 years ago, and I have not been there recently, or with my newer Esprit.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 01:50 PM
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Any shop is only as good as their worst guy on a bad day. I am sure Claudius does not work on every car that goes through his shop. But he IS responsible for his employee's work and it is ALL a reflection on how they take care of the customers and it affects his reputation. The exotic work is most likely done by the most senior, qualified mechanics. The routine, grunt work is usually delegated to the less experienced, less qualified "techs". At least that is how most shops assign work. In the best shops even the least senior guys are better than the most senior guys in most shops but that is hard to find. I am sure Claudius's shop is capable of work of the highest caliber but that is not what the PO of my car got. But he did pay for it!!!!!!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 04:49 AM
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... as for his chargecoolers, they may look cool but there's no hard data that they work. A local Esprit owner a few years ago offered to do testing on the kit, and it if worked he'd buy a kit (at a premium too) and Claudius denied.

Also, the "500hp" builds out of his shop other local Esprit owners and I have seen, although not many, have nowhere near 500 crank hp.

'03.5 Final Edition Esprit ~ 5.7lbs/hp; mildly modded - 430rwhp, 353rwtq
'65 Karmann Ghia, '80 930, '89 928 S4, '92 Corrado, '02 Maserati Coupe, '06 Murcielago
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPI...bwPaEI4JFbyCrA
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