Transmission limited and also chassis limited, Arnie said at the LOG36 that the HP of the glass transmission V8 Esprits exceeded the chassis design. I would have Arnie build an engine for me any day. Just not the week before LOG unless of course he would be ready to help install it over night to make it on time to registration. In my honest opinion an owner can do whatever he feels like on HIS car, It is however destroying the small amount of these cars for preservation even with all the time period built in flaws. The idea of a hot powertrain is a fun thought,, and it it should just stay that way. I am not a absolute purest but do it with something that is not in collector car status. Say something like a Ford Pinto or a Chevy Cavalier.:grin2:Arnie Johnson said that his retirement project will be rebuilding Esprit engines. I recall him saying that he could do the 4 cylinder in his sleep. Apparently the V8 requires a bit more concentration. Since the car is transmission limited I don't see the point of massive power.
Pretty much all low volume auto manufacturers, and not just the British, took parts from the global parts bins to make their cars. TVR, Morgan, Iso, and even Jaguar and Aston Martin had a mish mash of parts. Not all chose the absolute best available option either - for a variety of reasons not always related to cost (think Chrysler killing the Tiger because only the Ford engine would fit). I tend to be a preservationist but applaud those who choose to "update" their cars - both because I find well thought out mods interesting and also because it makes my original car more unique. Compare what's happening with the Esprit to what's happened with the Pantera. These days most Pantaras are modified, some slightly, some heavily, and the few remaining original, unmolested cars are in high demand. So too are the modified cars for the right buyers, although the highly modified cars seem to trade in a thinner market. Are the mods generally improvements? You bet. Did the stock Pantera have design issues that begged to be corrected? Absolutely. Just like our Esprits. So nothing wrong with modifications in my book, even major ones. However, based on what we've seen happen with the Pantera don't expect to get paid back for your modifications, except in terms of fun and enjoyment along the way, and that's OK by me. Mod away, have fun doing it and please do share, but I'll be enjoying my car just as it came from the factory, warts and all.While these Esprits are very nice cars, they're not ferraris or lamborghinis. They just aren't in that category. They were basically kit cars to start with. Modify away and have fun with them. Let the "preservationists" and the arm chair/turtle wax mechanics ramble on about originality and go do something unique and fun with your car.
We looked at a couple Panteras before shopping our Esprit. Rust WAS an issue!!!One of my daughters saw me in traffic in the rain driving my car, called me on her cell and said "you're driving the Lotus in the rain?" I said "it's just a car!"
I'll respectfully argue with you on that point. I own one of only 712 Esprits that were imported into the US 30+ years ago, so it's more than only a car.I have a sign that I put on my dash at car shows: "Go ahead, touch it, IT'S ONLY A CAR!" >