You got the right attitude, Mike...I wish you all the best with Mike's old car...if you ever need a lift to use, come to Buffalo anytime...it would not be the first time your car was on my lift anyways...Ah, the "joys" of old, exotic car ownership. The 1987 I purchased was in great condition, had never given the previous owner any serious trouble in his five years, and worked flawlessly on my four hour test drive.
Ten days after purchase - horrible clutch failure lead to it going to a local exotics shop. Two and a half months later, and a bill reaching $6,000, it is still down for the count with no idea on when I'll have it back. Esprit ownership has sure not started off well for me.
My point? As always, it is best to buy the best condition car up front, but even if you do, sometimes you're just going to end up having bad luck. These are old, hand-built exotic cars after all.