The Lotus Cars Community banner
Showcase cover image for 71type65 intro

General Information

Esprit V8
Gunmetal Metallic
SE, glass sunroof, full leather interior
3 prior owners, well maintained
By way of introduction, I've been a Lotus fan - correction: fanatic - since the 1970's. Something about a car company that builds the DNA from its innovative race cars directly into its street machines. And of course much more affordable than a Ferrari, but probably also a natural extension of my affinity for British sports cars.

I still clearly remember as a youngster the very first time I saw a Europa on the highway. Awestruck, it had launched me firmly on the Lotus path. So after owning an MGB and a Triumph GT6+ back in the day I finally graduated to a well used Lotus Europa S2 (Type 65). All were daily drivers.

At that point it was car love heaven for me, even though for daily use the Europa had its 'issues.' But I learned to adapt and overcome. For example a friend made a custom leather tool bag for me to carry in the car, and I learned to always try and park on a slope so I could 'roll start' in case the starter didn't work, which it frequently didn't. There were limited funds for replacement parts so necessity indeed became the mother of invention, or rather improvisation.

That went on for a couple years which included a road trip to Watkins Glen for the 1977 USGP. Which in turn set the hook even more firmly seeing as how at one point I was up close and personal in the track F1 garage with the soon-to-be (for the 7th time) World Champion JPS team.

Introduction of the gorgeous wedge called an Esprit sealed the deal. At one point, in a sort of deja vu, I was driving the Europa when a beautiful brand new Esprit S1 pulled alongside. We both stopped by the roadside to have a chat. Turned out he was the local distributor, and gave me some promo material. More fuel was piled on the fire.

I had to have one. But it was not to be for a very long time...

Long story shortened I eventually converted and built the Europa into an SCCA race car. Full body off the frame, stripped bare, sandblasted/gusset reinforced chassis (I was a professional welder back then), did all the fiberglass work (piecing together fenders from a donor car, flares, etc), roll cage (which also tied into chassis suspension pickup points - I mandrel bent the 1040 mild steel tubing, torch cut, fitted, and stick welded after the body went back on), did all the engine builds, fabricated my own brake bias bar assembly (who needs Tilton? ha ha), aluminum dash, fuel cell mountings, modified the suspension links, rear stub axle mods, etc, etc. Needless to say it was an incredible amount of work but also an incredible learning experience. Raced it in the 1980-81 seasons.


Then life...well, mostly work with extensive travel as a field service technical representative...took precedence. Lotus and all car stuff to the back burner. Where it continued to smolder...

Fast forward...finally realized the dream of Esprit ownership in 2019 with the 2003 Gunmetal Metallic V8. While it's an exotic with all the issues and concerns that brings - specialized (read: expensive) maintenance, limited parts availability, very sparse dealer network, etc - I felt relatively comfortable because I had known the Europa from the inside out and the Esprit was really just a fully matured Europa...right? In fact the first Esprit prototype was built on a stretched Europa chassis, which further reinforced that concept.

Shortly after taking delivery (private sale) and as if to test my confidence, the first order of business was a 1200 mile road trip in the Esprit encompassing Corvettes Carlisle, PA (yes I'm also a Corvette fan) then LOG 39 in Sturbridge, MA. She ran flawlessly, rain or shine, of which there was plenty of both during the trip. And she has continued to perform well beyond what I could have expected in terms of comfort, reliability, and just overall usability. No garage ornament, although she serves that function well also, she is driven practically every week.

So I look forward to more interaction on the forum. Thanks to all who have helped me so far, and especially to the unsung moderators.








Elise steering wheel w/ suede leather cover
Upgraded Alpine BT head unit, JBL Stadium and Morel Maximo speakers


There are no comments to display.