The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,
im am very closing a deal on a 1988 Esprit turbo, just wondering if i should seal the deal....here is what i know thus far..
older gentleman owned the car for 3 years, put approx 5k miles on it..
a knowledgeable collector, loves his cars who is downsizing his fleet..
i also bought a Lancia from him..(proof of downsizing)
no service history available, as in house mech did the work..
4 gear grinds...(how bad will this be)
60k miles on the clock..

what would you all do??? Please help!! :shrug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,515 Posts
Hi there,
im am very closing a deal on a 1988 Esprit turbo, just wondering if i should seal the deal....here is what i know thus far..
older gentleman owned the car for 3 years, put approx 5k miles on it..
a knowledgeable collector, loves his cars who is downsizing his fleet..
i also bought a Lancia from him..(proof of downsizing)
no service history available, as in house mech did the work..
4 gear grinds...(how bad will this be)
60k miles on the clock..

what would you all do??? Please help!! :shrug:
He inherited no Service History when he bought the car for the previous 55K miles of its life? Those are a lot of undocumented miles, with no idea if all the service was done. Skipping service on these cars is not good.

Only driven 5K miles in three years. Again, you can put too many miles on these cars, but having them sit is equally bad for them.

If he has an in house mechanic, his guy isn't documenting any of the service done in a journal? The few serious collectors I know who have actual fleets to maintain and in house mechanic or dedicated contractor keep pretty meticulous records of what is done.

If you are seriously considering it, have someone who is knowledgeable about the Steven Esprits, (this was the first year for them) and go over it front to back, including compression checks.

Unless this car is in the very low teens in price, given it's total lack of history, I'd probably pass. Even then, you've no idea what is going on inside that transmission (synchro maybe?). These things can nickel and dime you to death a thousand dollars at a time.

Again, get the car thoroughly checked out by an knowledgeable, impartial third party. Pay the few hundred now to save thousands later. Even with a clean bill of health, though, these things can hit your wallet with little warning.

Great cars, good luck.
 

·
98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
Joined
·
310 Posts
It depends on the price, but I'll be extra cautious about buying a car w/o service history. Do a leak down test + compression test by a Local dealership. If all services were performed in-house, they should at least know the mileage when performing any sort of maintenance (belt change, fluid change, clutch job...etc). Otherwise, I'll probably walk away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
If he has an in house mechanic, his guy isn't documenting any of the service done in a journal? The few serious collectors I know who have actual fleets to maintain and in house mechanic or dedicated contractor keep pretty meticulous records of what is done.

Great cars, good luck.
Agreed. I'm by no means meticulous, but even I keep all my receipts in a folder for every part I buy including motor oil, etc. I wouldn't buy a car without it. Of course, it's worth taking the chance on at the right price, but an Esprit with 60k miles, no records, and in need of tranny work (synchro?) isn't worth much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
1988 esprit...should i buy

How easy/hard is it to have someone fix/replace that 4 grear? The gentleman says its a very very slight grind, and he felt the obligation to tell me about it. Which tranny does this year esprit have? The only work he had done while the car was in his possetion, besides oil and filter, was the clutch, and he had the same problem with 2nd gear, but had that fixed. The car is 15 hours away, so an inspection and leak down test are not happening. The purchase price is in the very low teens. Still undecided....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,964 Posts
without knowning the price.. I say walk away....
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
839 Posts
Listen,

60k miles is nothing.. if anything it's actually too little in a 1988 automobile.. I just hope to god the seals/bearing etc. are all ok and don't need replacing.. I am someone who firmly believes that a car driven 5k miles a year will simply last longer than one driver 1k miles a year..

High mileage is nothing that should frighten anyone.. and as long as the car is in good condition mileage means nothing.


The gearbox? do you have a good personal mechanic? it should cost 500 bucks to remove the tranny and anothe few hundred to open the box and fix the gear.

the big question is.. why not get a 1987 and keep the original guigaro design!!?? I love it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,450 Posts
How easy/hard is it to have someone fix/replace that 4 grear? The gentleman says its a very very slight grind, and he felt the obligation to tell me about it. Which tranny does this year esprit have? The only work he had done while the car was in his possetion, besides oil and filter, was the clutch, and he had the same problem with 2nd gear, but had that fixed. The car is 15 hours away, so an inspection and leak down test are not happening. The purchase price is in the very low teens. Still undecided....
don't take this is an attack:

is there anything anyone could write in a post in this thread that would get you to not buy this car? and that's not to suggest that anyone will write a doomsday post, i'm just curious what your threshold is.

i ask because you are considering purchasing a 20YO british exotic, with an unknown service history and some sort of tranny issue. you haven't done your homework on the specs of the car and aren't willing to get it prepurchase inspected.

this is not like buying a 2002 honda accord. these cars can break the bank.

to me, this doesn't sound like the beginning of a happy marriage.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
839 Posts
very low teens.. man.. that is really cheap.. but think about this.. you could be shelling out 10k to "make it right"

I purchased an late model v8 w/ low miles and all that jazz and I still had to toss 15-20k to make the car right after I bought it..

you never know the condition of the trannies or engine for that matter..

and it is an exotic.. which means everything is expensive.. everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Still undecided....

Are the rear breaks outboard (closer to wheel) or in? And are they fuel injected or carborated?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,515 Posts
Are the rear breaks outboard (closer to wheel) or in? And are they fuel injected or carborated?
I'm sorry, but this isn't just about not having it pre inspected by a mechanic, but you've not even inspected the car yourself in person.

And because you don't know even these specs you really don't know much about the car itself.

Unless you've got lots of extra money to spend in case it's not quite right, or unless you like to turn wrenches and have an aptitude to learn as you go...I wouldn't buy this car if I were you.

And NO WAY you should buy it without spending the time and money to at least go look at it, sit in it, drive it, crawl under and in it, yourself.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
839 Posts
Also that price worries me too, low teens for an 88? because a good condition 87 is worth mid 20's still..

so what kind of condition is this 88in?! I definitely worry just thinking about that prospect!

just look into it amigo.. you truly can be paying 20k to make the car right.. I was prepared to spend a ton of extra cash when I bought mine but if you are not.. then..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,297 Posts
what would you all do??? Please help!! :shrug:
Find a local Esprit owner or two to take you under their wing and learn to work on the cars. I've wanted a late V8 (updated AP brakes or later) for a while.

The experience has been invaluable and while I'd still like a Stevens (well, Thomson, really) car, I'm holding out for the new one.

If you have to do it, and an old Stevens car is your preference - try for an '89 or later (doesn't have to be an SE) and avoid anything with known gearbox issues unless you're fully prepared to absorb those costs and they're factored in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
Later HCI Giugarios in great condition seem to go in the $15k range, maybe a bit more.

Non-SEs Stevens cars seem to go for the low teens. 60k on the car is a fair amount, as the prevailing wisdom is that these are pretty much 100k motors, although Stallion is right that more miles per year, within reason, is better than less.

SEs go from mid teens to low 20s. And yes I have experience with these as I have been involved in two sales of these cars over the last few years.

In short, the price seems about right, but the lack of a service history is troubling. Moreover, never buy an Esprit without driving it, several times if possible, and having a mechanic look it over. As Stallion says, it could easily need $10k in work as is.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
839 Posts
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?num_records=25&search_lang=en&page_location=findacar::ispsearchform&search_type=both&distance=0&address=18954&marketZipError=false&style_flag=1&make=LOTUS&model=ESPRIT&make2=&start_year=1981&end_year=1990&min_price=&max_price=&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=&color=&keywords_display=&sort_type=priceDESC&body_code=0&certified=&advanced=&default_sort=priceDESC&awsp=false&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&systime=

this is everything listed from 1990-1981..
the only car selling in the high teens is a red 86 for 19900.00..

so according to autotrader 1990-1988 seems to be selling for 20k-28k.. if he is unloading this car for "low teens" that would be 12k? so that is 10k less than a 1988 car w/ 53k miles on autotrader.. so according to autotrader prices it is 10k less than comparable cars
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
lotus...decided...definitely maybe..

seems right, the car was acctualy mid teens without room to move, but when i offered to buy 2 cars, he was flexable and thus the low teens. I have just found a shop 25 mins out, and the guy said there is nothing he cant do to these cars, from basic service to seal's and overhaul, and at exactly half to cost of what my local lotus dealer would charge. I think im jumping in. Worst case, i drive it for a bit, if im not feeling the car, i can allways sell it. If the cars not feeling my wallet, il keep it. This forum is great, thanks to all, great views and great opinions!! Keep the coments coming, im learning more and more...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
lotus..

Can someone confirm that this car has a 5x108 bolt pattern? Is it hard to find wheels for these cars? I know that the rear, because of the breaks, longer bolts and spacers are required. Has anyone done this, or have a set of wheels on these body cars?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
We can go round and round on this, but autotrader is not a good example of what you can actually get for these cars. it is the price someone "hopes" to get, not an actual sale price.

I've sold two SEs in the last 3 years, a 91 for $17k and a 93.5 for $20k. They were listed higher on eBay and on Autotrader and took several months to sell.

Low to mid teens for a non-SE is a fair price if the car is in good shape.

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?num_records=25&search_lang=en&page_location=findacar::ispsearchform&search_type=both&distance=0&address=18954&marketZipError=false&style_flag=1&make=LOTUS&model=ESPRIT&make2=&start_year=1981&end_year=1990&min_price=&max_price=&transmission=&engine=&drive=&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=&color=&keywords_display=&sort_type=priceDESC&body_code=0&certified=&advanced=&default_sort=priceDESC&awsp=false&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&systime=

this is everything listed from 1990-1981..
the only car selling in the high teens is a red 86 for 19900.00..

so according to autotrader 1990-1988 seems to be selling for 20k-28k.. if he is unloading this car for "low teens" that would be 12k? so that is 10k less than a 1988 car w/ 53k miles on autotrader.. so according to autotrader prices it is 10k less than comparable cars
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
Not sure -- the 93.5 had Revolution "knock off" wheels I liked and the 91 had BBS aftermarkets, so I assume wheels are available.

Do the standard stuff when you get teh car. Honestly, if there is no record of the timing belt being changed, I'd do that first. Stainless clutch hose next. A BOV is a cheap mod that helps save the Turbo. You'll probably need cam tower gaskets, they all leak on the 4 cylinders. Check the rear brakes, the pads wear quickly and on an inboard model if the rotors get chewed up it can be an expensive item to replace. The gas tanks sit on a foam pad that can absorb water, and the tanks can rust out. If you smell gas when driving, it might just be teh balance hose that runs along the roofline at the back. Change that first. If that doesn't cure the smell, then you may want to pull and repair/reseal the tanks.



Can someone confirm that this car has a 5x108 bolt pattern? Is it hard to find wheels for these cars? I know that the rear, because of the breaks, longer bolts and spacers are required. Has anyone done this, or have a set of wheels on these body cars?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top