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I live near Tampa Florida and I am purchasing a 95 Lotus S4 from a Lotus dealer in Chicago, Illinois.
the car has red leather interior and black exterior. I have never seen a Lotus Esprit with red interior? I am flying to chicago on wednesday to look at the car. What do I need to look for, the car has 15K miles on it. Oh, something odd. The car has the S4S spoiler and the S4 spoiler on it. Yes, 2 spoilers. Which one should stay on.? The price of the car is $32,000 including shipping back to Florida, is that a good price? Are there any Lotus dealerships or mechanics near me?

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I live near Tampa Florida and I am purchasing a 95 Lotus S4 from a Lotus dealer in Chicago, Illinois.
the car has red leather interior and black exterior. I have never seen a Lotus Esprit with red interior? I am flying to chicago on wednesday to look at the car. What do I need to look for, the car has 15K miles on it. Oh, something odd. The car has the S4S spoiler and the S4 spoiler on it. Yes, 2 spoilers. Which one should stay on.? The price of the car is $32,000 including shipping back to Florida, is that a good price? Are there any Lotus dealerships or mechanics near me?

Thanks
I just took a look at the car on the FVMC web site and you are right about the rear spoilers.......very strange. I can't imagine you can remove either of them without leaving holes, so I guess pick the one you like and see how much your local body shop will charge to repair the holes left from the other one. Some have complained that the lower spoiler blocks rear vision while others say the higher spoiler looks strange, so it really all comes down to your opinion.

As far as the red interior goes, with the Esprit, red is a very polarizing color.....you either love it or hate it. It is a very bright red and is very striking against the black exterior, but I have to admit I am in the hate it category. Once again, if you like it, that is all that matters.

The price seems reasonable considering the mileage, but what you really have in your favor is that FVMC is selling the car. The staff there is great and they will be honest with you concerning the car. The main thing is to check the car for prior body/chassis damage (have them put it on their lift so you can see the underside too) and take a good look at the service records to see if all the scheduled services (especially the timing belt) have been performed. Also make sure all the electricals work correctly (windows, instruments, headlights, etc.) and that the car runs and drives smoothly and correctly. Just ask them go over the service records with you and ask T.J. (twaszak1 here on LT), the Lotus service tech there, if he has worked in the car and what his opinion of it is. If they say the car is good it should be.

The S4 and S4S were the best of the 4 cylinder Esprits so you are looking at the right car. Good luck with the purchase!
 

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Jim,

I know of at least three other Esprit owners/enthusiasts in the Tampa/St. Pete area. PM me and I can put you in touch with them.

As for the car you're looking at, price is a little steep unless it's in absolutely perfect condition. Red interior is striking but as was mentioned doesn't appeal to a lot of people so could affect resale down the road.

Check the service records for fuel tank replacement. It's not a question of if, but when they will start leaking due to rust and it's at that age now. Repairing/replacing the fuel tanks is a major PITA and quite costly if you have to pay someone to do it. A buddy recently bought a nice S4s at top dollar with less than 20K miles and 3 months later one tank was leaking and the other almost rusted through.

Check for rust as it's a northern car. If driven on salt roads at all there will be evidence on the half-shafts and various bolts/nuts. Not necessarily a deal killer as the body/chassis won't rust but corroded bolts, fasteners etc. make it a lot harder to work on the car and it will need repair and maintenance as it's almost 15 yrs. old.

Are you going to work on the car yourself or will you need a mechanic?

Personally I wouldn't pay that much for that car unless it had a complete service history and everything was up to date and was in pristine condition. An S4s yes but not an S4.

Good luck!
Jim
1995 S4s
1994 S4 brg
 

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98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
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Same - It's worth the money if it's in top notch condition.

If I'm buying the car myself, besides what was mentioned above...I would do the following:

1. Ask Fox Valley to do a complete Pre-Purchase Inspection & Leak Down Test, and send you the report before you fly over. That way you know exactly what you're buying.

2. Go through the entire service history. Pay attention to the big bills (clutch replacement, timing belt replacement, or a major maintenance), figure out when or at what mileage they were done, and when you have to do it again. You'll know how to budget the bills coming up, not just the car.

BTW...I'm a big fan of the S4S wing (the big wing on mounted on the body)...

Good luck and hope to see photos or video clips on your new car soon!!!

Alan
 

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I agree with all the above comments (forgot about those rusting gas tanks). Perhaps one of guys on this forum that lives close to FVMC can stop over there to check it over for you to give you an unbiased opinion. I would do it, but it is a two hour drive each way for me.

Like I said before, the guys at FVMC are straight shooters and I am sure they will be happy to show you everything they know about the car and will be honest about it. I purchased my Esprit used from them back when they were called St. Charles Motors (over 15 years ago) and I was able to negotiate a fair deal on a very clean car that was everything they said it was and had no hidden problems. The same staff of sales guys is there today so that says something about them and they also have a very good reputation on this forum. Which person have you been dealing with so far on this Esprit?

Can anyone local to FVMC check this Esprit out for him before Wednesday?
 
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