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Hello to everyone! I'm new to this forum and am hoping to get as much feedback, advice, etc. as I can before buying my first Esprit. Briefly, I've loved Esprits since I was a teen in the 80s and am finally at a point where I'm ready to buy one. I'm by no means an expert and am still reading and learning about their nuances and idiosynchracies. I have no plans to work on the car myself and I am fortunate enough to live near a big city (Atlanta, Georgia) that has a Lotus dealer that can service the car. Without trying to sound vain, money isn't really an issue. I will pay for the one that I want and have the means to maintain it. That being said, I'm asking what I need to know that I don't know I need to know! My favorite model is the V8 SE. I like it's styling and appearance the best. It's the one I really want. I've read forums on things to look for and red flags to pay attention to when buying an Esprit. I may have left things a little vague in my posting here, but I'm not sure what questions to ask. What can you tell me in your experience that might be helpful as I begin this process? ANY tips, info, advice, etc. would be much appreciated!
 

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Fantastic.
You have distinct taste rather than the norm.
Like to know what other cars youve owned.
Mike
 

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[snip]Briefly, I've loved Esprits since I was a teen in the 80s and am finally at a point where I'm ready to buy one. [snip] I have no plans to work on the car myself and I am fortunate enough to live near a big city (Atlanta, Georgia) that has a Lotus dealer that can service the car. [snip]... and have the means to maintain it. [snip]
Change your '80s' to '70s', 'Atlanta' to 'San Jose' and you have my story too.

Check out my 'garage' under my avatar on the left. I have owned my Esprit since 2011/30K miles on my clock (60K on the car).

I failed to budget accurately for my 30K miles - spent far more money than expected, but daily driving an Esprit like me may not be on your agenda.

One key point - check out the Lotus dealer (or other Esprit-savvy (not just Lotus-savvy) mechanic) reputation. The Esprit has been discontinued since 2004, bulk of parts inventory sold off to independent vendors; dealers are not guaranteed to have many Esprit-knowledgeable mechanics.

My local Lotus independent shop is mainly an Elise shop, but so far has done my Esprit very well. I highly recommend researching a good Lotus mechanic (dealership or otherwise) especially if you don't do your own work. It WILL be critical as the Esprit has its idiosyncrasies that a non-Lotus mechanic may be unable to fix or worse, can damage further.
 

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You'll love Lotus I think. The owners are a bit a of different sort. We are all a little bit crazy I think...

You need to call and meet Arnie Johnson. As far as dealerships go... good luck in Atlanta. I had a cottage industry job when I lived in Mobile, AL fixing all the crap Atlanta dealers did to Lotus and Lamborghini cars. My favorite things are items like forcing the wrong oil filter element into a Gallardo (with an air wrench) and putting new oil in a car... but failing to take the old oil out.

So, my advice is locate a good independent. Arnie knows a couple and will be happy to help you! As noted above... the Lotus club thereis quite good as well. They are very helpful with knowledge.
 

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If you limit your search to only a V-8 FE you have very few to pick from at any given time. There are very few differences from '99 till '04 with most of them being cosmetic. If you get even more picky and try to find a certain color you make it even harder. Then, on top of all of that you want to find a "good" one too! My advice is to try to keep an open mind on any V-8 after '99 that is in good condition. Since you admit you do not know what to look for, any car you find you need to invest in a PPI before purchasing it. There is nothing particularly special about the FE except the badging.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for everyone so far for the replies! To mpesik, my first car was a 1985 Alfa Romeo Spyder (that's where I feel I got my feet wet with temperamental cars!). Since then I've owned an '86 RX7, a couple Hondas and other normal, daily drivers. I'm looking at the Esprit as an indulgence of a lifelong dream and, maybe more importantly, as a hobby of sorts. It won't be a hobby in the sense that I'll be doing my own work, more that I know it'll always be a sort of work in progress. I'm not wanting it as a daily driver, however, I've learned enough thus far to know consistent driving is important for the 'health' of the car. I'm not afraid to put miles on it as I plan to keep it until the wheels fall of (which is later, rather than sooner, hopefully!) Good advice on checking with the local Atlanta Lotus club and with Arnie. I'll do that. I'm guessing that's someone I could find via the club??? I haven't necessarily limited my purchase to an SE, but it's definitely my preference. I know it may sound silly to some of you, but I do find those the most attractive and I prefer the lower wing to the higher ones of years earlier. It's a small thing, but I just like the looks better!
 

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I'm selling my 2002 with just under 16k. Mint condition. If you're interested, you can text/call me 251-367-0638. My name is Adam.
 
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