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After many years of being on my wish I hope to be the owner of an '89 Esprit. I purchased last week but still have to go see the car in person to confirm condition etc. I've owned a couple older model Porsches but this will be my first Lotus. I'm in the process to trying to find someone to possibly go and inspect it for me. It's got less less than 12,000 miles and if it has been represented fairly it's it looks to be in very good condition. As a new owner going in is there any advice you could give or anything specific I should be cautious of?
Thanks,
Travis

Update 1: I am in Ga but the car is located in Orlando Florida. The owner says that they have all the service records including timing belt etc. and also AC serviced.
 

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There are a a lot of things to watch out for in buying a Lotus. It varies greatly by model. You really have to get someone who is knowledgable in the particular model/year. Better now than after you buy it. Where are you so we can recommend a nearby shop? One thing that is pretty universal to have for a Lotus is a through service history. If you don't have that you really have to start from the beginning assuming nothing was ever done right or when it should have been done. That means your early services will be expensive because you have to do EVERYTHING!
David Teitelbaum
 

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before I bought mine, I looked at the obvious visual condition (paint, leather, tires, body...)

But more important quick indicators for how the car has been treated are to look in the coolant tank. Look for signs of corrosion inside the tank.

Also look at the body inside each opening. Look for cracks, patches... Look under the rubber door seals, in the front bonnet, in the rear trunk area, also look where the hinges are for the hatch.

I also looked at the suspension bushings for unusual wear.

The engine should be compression tested, and the ECU checked with Freescan, but you'd have to know how to interpret the values.
 

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There are a a lot of things to watch out for in buying a Lotus. It varies greatly by model. You really have to get someone who is knowledgable in the particular model/year. Better now than after you buy it. Where are you so we can recommend a nearby shop? One thing that is pretty universal to have for a Lotus is a through service history. If you don't have that you really have to start from the beginning assuming nothing was ever done right or when it should have been done. That means your early services will be expensive because you have to do EVERYTHING!
David Teitelbaum
I agree...

Congratulations!
 

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Congratulations. Consider having the local dealer take a look at the car after you get your hands on it. A full inspection and fluid change might be in order.

There are a bunch of Lotus folks in Georgia. Atlanta is a hotbed of activity. Contact the Lotus Ltd South East folks.

Have some fun.
 

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Travis,

Congrats on the purchase, it sounds like it could be a good one.

I'm in Orlando and would be glad to take a look at the car for you. Check your PM for my contact info.

Is this car at a dealer? I thought I knew of all the Esprits in the area but this one is not familiar.

Jim
 

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1988 Esprit Turbo
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I thought I knew of all the Esprits in the area but this one is not familiar.

Jim
Hey Jim, I stopped making claims like that. :huh: They always seem to come out of the woodwork at times don't they?
 

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Hi Travis, welcome......congratulations on the pending purchase. Hopefully everything checks out OK.
 

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How handy are you with a wrench? Owning an Esprit is a lot cheaper if you can handle the minor difficulties yourself. If you have to take it to a shop for every little quibble, it can eat you out of house and home. Overall, mine has been quite reliable, but there's always some little thing to attend to. My heater motor is out right now, have to go at it with a voltmeter and figure out where it lost power.

Believe it or not, I find my 90's engine easier to service than my 2001 Mercury sable wagon, where most of the accessories are on the bottom of the engine.

If you need tires, I highly recommend Toyo T1R's. They can be had in the 15 and 16 inch sizes you need, and they stick like crazy.
 
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