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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you with an '86 Esprit Turbo HCi model, does your car have the VDO or Smiths gauges? My car has VDO and I recently got a question from a person who is looking at the car and asking about the brand that comes from the factory for this year. Any comparisons would be helpful.
 

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It's hard to see on the 86 HCI on eBay, but the dashboard gauges definitely looks different than yours (large white circles - yours does not have that).

Your VDO gauges all have shiny faces, orange needles, and non-metric markings - my North American 88 (I know, not the same) have VDO matte faces, white needles, and metric markings (Speedo has MPH too).

It would be odd to switch 86 non-metric to 88 metric IMHO (assuming your 86 is a North American car) , but Lotus has certainly done some interesting things...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply. My hunch is that the car on eBay may have some aftermarket gauges, but it is difficult to see them clearly.
 

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Were those gauges maybe replaced at one time?

On my 88 the VDO fuel gauge says 2/4's for half, that always cracks me up.

I bought replacement VDO gauges as a universal set, twice actually, and they are from the 80's. Both fuel gauges say 1/2 not 2/4s, and dont have KPH on the speedo. I only used the speedo from the sets though.
 

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Thank you for the reply. My hunch is that the car on eBay may have some aftermarket gauges, but it is difficult to see them clearly.
Actually, I was implying that your car *might* have VDO gauges that are 'aftermarket' compared to my white needles/matte faces. But 86/87 were such a small run of cars - anything goes here.

The eBay car looks like it has Smith's or a different type of VDO gauges - here's a close up of deloreanz's 1984 Esprit:
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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On my 88 the VDO fuel gauge says 2/4's for half, that always cracks me up.

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Same thing, right? :D apparently, SOMEONE was sleeping during the lessons on fractions in elementary school.


Speaking of that, happy Pie Day, everyone! (3.14)
 

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Cal H
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I have never seen orange needles in an 86-87 before only white needles on the instruments. They appear of a more modern design. I suppose if one were to take a look at the back of the speedo it will have a label with a date or model number that can trace the date of manufacture. When a speedo has been replaced by a shop/dealer they are supposed to place a label in the door jam noting the mileage/date when the change out occurred but sometimes that does not happen, the label fell off or not done when an owner replaces it himself. Then the mileage is suspect or unknown. The HCI instrument panel at the web page below is consistent with the OEM instruments I am familiar with.
86 HCI
1986 Lotus Turbo Esprit HCI 50k Miles, Fully Serviced - Foreign-Exotic Cars - RonSusser.com (scroll down to see instruments)

87 HCI
http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/1987-Lotus-Esprit-Pictures-c8724#pictureId:11017201 (red interior picture)

Typically Lotus gauges have shown the oil can, gas pump, and water temp icons on the gauge faces that have even carried over to the Stevens body cars although with the updated VDO gauges
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info and the link to the blue car. Even some of the switches, such as the headlamp switches, are a different design.
 

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Possibly my memory has faded, but I owned several Esprit from that era, and the gauges did not look anything like that. These appear to be replacements. Even the panel holding the gauges does not look like that era. That makes me wonder if the odometer started at zero when the gauges were replaced, so does not reflect the mileage on the vehicle. Its possible they put the right mileage on the odometer at replacement, I'm not saying its wrong - only suggesting it bears research.

Looking at it again, you can see the two gauges off to the side, on the angled panels, are different. Those are original. The replacement job looks well done, just needs documentation for the odometer.
 
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