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Discussion Starter #1
How about this one:
Lotus : Esprit in Lotus | eBay Motors

Interesting to spend that kind of money to take one of the rarest and most desirable to own Esprits that was the worst Esprit otherwise and sink $13K to make it look like a $13K Esprit and strip it of the current values.

This one is in stunning condition:
Lotus : Esprit 40th Anniv in Lotus | eBay Motors

Truly like new, but I don't think their attempt to take the current selling value of those cars and add it to the cost of their restoration to come up with the asking price is how that works...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How about a 1977 S1 with a reserve bid of $55k
Lotus : Esprit | eBay
Yea, that's very optimistic for an unrestored, far from perfect non-white example. I am not sure a nut and bolt restored S1 in the more desirable white with tartan interior could bring the 60K they want.
 

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Yea, that's very optimistic for an unrestored, far from perfect non-white example. I am not sure a nut and bolt restored S1 in the more desirable white with tartan interior could bring the 60K they want.
Yeah not a chance. There is a forum member who had an S1 like you decribe, white with tartan interior. Pretty much a nut and bolt restoration, at least I remember the engine and all of the brakes, suspension and driveline got rebuilt, brand new interior with nice paint, a beautiful turn key car, although I think there were a couple minor things that weren't "correct", like an S2 steering wheel and front bumper. Anyways he had it for sale for about a year. IIRC he was asking something like 25k which seemed totally reasonable, but when it finally did sell, I think it was for under 20k. The same person also sold a really clean but original black/red Turbo S3 for about 15 or 16k.

That black S1 looks great but is probably a garage queen. I mean a 35 year old car with 9k miles ? rotfl The only 4 cylinder I have seen go for that kind of money was an X180R. It was at a local specialty car dealer and sold on ebay a year or two ago for around 55k. Worth every penny IMO.

I have noticed that 88 anniversary before. They have reduced it a bit, but obviously not enough. The interior is the nicest 88 I've seen but I just don't think there is anyone willing to spend 35k on an 88, no matter how good the car is. It happens to be one of my favorites. I think the early Stevens cars are second in looks only to the S1 and S2, but what I have seen from watching Esprit sales, 25k would set a new market high for an 88, 35k is dreaming. I have seen exceptional examples of older Ferraris sell for way above the average car. For instance recently there was a great condition 308GT4 with factory sun roof that closed for high 30's, a lot for that model, but there doesn't seem to be the same appreciation for exceptionally nice classic Esprits.
 

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I have noticed that 88 anniversary before. They have reduced it a bit, but obviously not enough. The interior is the nicest 88 I've seen but I just don't think there is anyone willing to spend 35k on an 88, no matter how good the car is. It happens to be one of my favorites. I think the early Stevens cars are second in looks only to the S1 and S2, but what I have seen from watching Esprit sales, 25k would set a new market high for an 88, 35k is dreaming. I have seen exceptional examples of older Ferraris sell for way above the average car. For instance recently there was a great condition 308GT4 with factory sun roof that closed for high 30's, a lot for that model, but there doesn't seem to be the same appreciation for exceptionally nice classic Esprits.
I dont get why Esprits seem to languish value-wise. And, no offense but is there really anything intriguing about a 308GT4? A 308 GT4 IMO aint worth more than $20 - $25K at the MOST regardless of condition or story behind it. The badge thing is the only explanation since for the same money you could have a better performing, later model, better sorted and just as exotic Turbo Esprit. I think most people would fine the Esprit much better looking too. And, it aint like the 308GT4 is a status symbol either - No one sees that car and thinks "Ohhh.... must be a Wall Street hedge fund manager driving it" :D

I expect the appreciation for Esprits will slowly come around. I cant see how it wont? Its a classic exotic with timeless looks, great overall performance, visceral feedback galore, and starts conversations whereever you take it. The sad thing is that as more of them become beat up or too far gone, we lose more and more. Just sucks. C'mon people.... if you own one, take good care of her and give her the attention she deserves. If you are buying one, stop trying to squeeze legit sellers with lowball offers. Its us guys that ultimately control what these things sell for. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I second the motion to take care of your car. Look at this one, did they set off a bomb inside the engine compartment to get it to look like such a disaster area?
Lotus : Esprit Turbo Coupe in Lotus | eBay Motors

But give up the fight for higher values. Here's what you might have hoped would raise the prices, and if these didn't, nothing will:

- Discontinue the model
- Founder/creator died (always helps other works of art)
- Major success in their racing heritage
- Finally added a V8 to play with the big boys
- Many are destroyed through the normal attrition

It's all about brand when it comes to collectability, and Lotus just doesn't have it like the other brands. And if they don't have it by now, they never will. And owning them is getting hard and harder to do with less good cars on the road and always threats of parts shortages, so that will keep demand down.

I've owned a lot of cars, and the Esprit still does it for me, but I've noticed that the public perception of Lotus is a lot lower than the first one I owned in the 90's. I think the boy-racer Elise did that to the image even if it did save the company financially.
 

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I second the motion to take care of your car. Look at this one, did they set off a bomb inside the engine compartment to get it to look like such a disaster area?
Lotus : Esprit Turbo Coupe in Lotus | eBay Motors

But give up the fight for higher values. Here's what you might have hoped would raise the prices, and if these didn't, nothing will:

- Discontinue the model
- Founder/creator died (always helps other works of art)
- Major success in their racing heritage
- Finally added a V8 to play with the big boys
- Many are destroyed through the normal attrition

It's all about brand when it comes to collectability, and Lotus just doesn't have it like the other brands. And if they don't have it by now, they never will. And owning them is getting hard and harder to do with less good cars on the road and always threats of parts shortages, so that will keep demand down.

I've owned a lot of cars, and the Esprit still does it for me, but I've noticed that the public perception of Lotus is a lot lower than the first one I owned in the 90's. I think the boy-racer Elise did that to the image even if it did save the company financially.
I begrudgingly have to agree with you on all of this. Maybe I dont want to accept it. It just angers me sometimes that some of the other brands are so revered and they have NONE of those above requirements or just a speckle of them. And those other brands didnt exactly make bullet-proof reliable cars either. Go hunt down an 70's or 80's Italian exotic and lemme know how thats all working out. Right. Thats why they all seem to have like 5K miles on them. You dont dare drive them :D

Lotus has or has had all of those virtues yet....people know the name and some older folks even recognize the Bond reference...but thats where it ends. The Elise has brought the name back out a little and thats a good thing. But, that doesnt do much for Esprit owners. Not sure if Id call the Elise "Boy-Racer" since that implies thats its just like the 86,000,000 Subaru "whatever" GTs that litter the road. Its not.

And, why cant Lotus be bought and rejuvenated by a big company? Look at Lambo now that they have access to Audis parts bins? Things are going great. They were left for dead as many times if not more times than Lotus and made terrible cars for years. Lotus has so much more history and lineage..... why cant someone buy them and give them the "Audi" treatment? I guess it pays to have been a tractor company way back when.

Hey - their slogan was always "for the few who know the difference" and I guess thats pretty literal. At least people seem to appreciate the design, the layout, the looks, etc, etc whenever Im out and about. Certainly dont see many of them around so thats a plus. And, no car Ive owned has EVER caused me to keep peeking in the garage just to "cop a look" for no apparent reason. :)
 

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but I've noticed that the public perception of Lotus is a lot lower than the first one I owned in the 90's. I think the boy-racer Elise did that to the image even if it did save the company financially.
That maybe but wherever I drive the Esprit it is always the center of attention. People always want to take pictures of it and when I am driving I always get people pull up behind and then slow down to overtake and gawk while they are doing that (I usually drive the speed limit in the right lane).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I miss the women hanging out of the car asking if I am married. It was more intense in the 90's.
 

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And if they don't have it by now, they never will.
I wouldn't give up just yet on the entire Esprit line. Demand (and therefore price) are driven by who has the desire for the car and also who has the cash for it.

Speaking for myself, it took a good number of years after selling my DeLorean to make the leap to a V8 Esprit simply because I needed time to get established financially. I'm in my 30s, so imagine this would apply to some other young buyers out there. Usually career and house come first, then car (or kids I suppose).

But it also applies to the other end of the spectrum...I just read an article recently on the price of classic muscle cars going up because retirees are finally able to jump on the dream car they've always wanted.

Eventually that demand will shift (at least in part) from older cars to more recent cars simply because they are the cars we grew up seeing and wanting.

At least that's my take. Though I have no plans to sell my car so it doesn't matter quite so much to me!
 

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<SNIP>

But it also applies to the other end of the spectrum...I just read an article recently on the price of classic muscle cars going up because retirees are finally able to jump on the dream car they've always wanted.
<SNIP>
Ive read as well that a large part of the popularity of classic muscle cars is directly due to TV channels such as Velocity and the car shows such as Meachum Auctions, the Chip Foose shows, etc. I know there are way more auctions here in DFW than I ever remember from prior to 5 years ago... Many buying are seeing from that exposure that their dream (or close to it) muscle car is not as expensive as they thought and the process can be fun as well.
 

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Ben lurking here for quite some time, but will be buying an Esprit within the next couple of weeks.

My selfish response to this thread is that I hope the prices remain where they are for another month:). I'm searching nationwide and there is quite a range of price and model year, with some excellent deals - and some not so excellent - to be had.

There are three within driving distance (from Tacoma) that interest me, and another S4 not far, but I like the Turbo Esprit body style. Cash is king as they say, for these three cars nearby, they all appear to be in excellent or very good condition and if inspection holds up, I'm happy to pay their asking; not because I'm not thrifty, but because these cars are an excellent bargain comparatively.

You can't get a decent Ferrari for this kind of money and they don't work for me anyhow, too much stigma I guess. I'm not a Corvette guy, I grew up in the late 70's, early 80's watching Grand Prix and Lemans races, lived in Europe, so for me Lotus is what driving is all about. Now if someone gave me a GT40 or a Lola MK VI for $25k, I would be done!

I would buy that $11k black car tomorrow if it was in Seattle because I'm a mechanic and just rebuilt a Citroen DS engine and trans and hydraulic system, so this engine would be a simple (but expensive) job, especially with that gearbox having just been done by the Nederlander. Lucky for me, it's not close by, I could easily sink twice more money into that car than it's worth, but hey, it's a hobby!

Besides, for another $4 to $6K, I can get an '88 or so in pristine condition. So that's what I'm gonna do. An interesting blue 88 just popped up on craigslist yesterday, maybe a hundred miles away, but I really like the black '85 in Seattle and I have my emotions attached to that one. Having owned a DS, Citroen gearboxes don't scare me.

I think the old muscle car craze is OK to watch, but I think they've forgotten how those cars handled back in the 60's and 70's. Hopefully, they done suspension upgrades along with the cool paint. Or maybe they don't drive them so much.

Jim
 

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that was the worst Esprit otherwise
Steady on there sir, I think there are more than a few that would disagree on that. The S1 is no less reliable than many other later Esprit models, as long as maintenance is performed correctly and at the required intervals. Granted it is lacking in outright power, but handling and steering are amongst the best due to it being so much lighter than later versions. One must fully understand the car's little eccentricities in order to fully appreciate the car. Which really means get to know the car's weak points and be a hands on owner.

I like to describe the S1 as having purity in design which unfortunately handicapped many engineering elements.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ben lurking here for quite some time, but will be buying an Esprit within the next couple of weeks.

My selfish response to this thread is that I hope the prices remain where they are for another month:). I'm searching nationwide and there is quite a range of price and model year, with some excellent deals - and some not so excellent - to be had.

There are three within driving distance (from Tacoma) that interest me, and another S4 not far, but I like the Turbo Esprit body style. Cash is king as they say, for these three cars nearby, they all appear to be in excellent or very good condition and if inspection holds up, I'm happy to pay their asking; not because I'm not thrifty, but because these cars are an excellent bargain comparatively.

You can't get a decent Ferrari for this kind of money and they don't work for me anyhow, too much stigma I guess. I'm not a Corvette guy, I grew up in the late 70's, early 80's watching Grand Prix and Lemans races, lived in Europe, so for me Lotus is what driving is all about. Now if someone gave me a GT40 or a Lola MK VI for $25k, I would be done!

I would buy that $11k black car tomorrow if it was in Seattle because I'm a mechanic and just rebuilt a Citroen DS engine and trans and hydraulic system, so this engine would be a simple (but expensive) job, especially with that gearbox having just been done by the Nederlander. Lucky for me, it's not close by, I could easily sink twice more money into that car than it's worth, but hey, it's a hobby!

Besides, for another $4 to $6K, I can get an '88 or so in pristine condition. So that's what I'm gonna do. An interesting blue 88 just popped up on craigslist yesterday, maybe a hundred miles away, but I really like the black '85 in Seattle and I have my emotions attached to that one. Having owned a DS, Citroen gearboxes don't scare me.

I think the old muscle car craze is OK to watch, but I think they've forgotten how those cars handled back in the 60's and 70's. Hopefully, they done suspension upgrades along with the cool paint. Or maybe they don't drive them so much.

Jim
Local is great, but with such a rare car you should be buying from an national market. I bought my first Esprit in Boston and had it shipped to Houston, and the second shipped from the West Coast. Shipping is not that big of a cost to get the right car.
 

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It's nice to have a selection locally, but I'm not ruling out national, there's a nice one in ME, excellent price, but that adds $2k to the price.

If I was smart, I would buy the '95 in Spokane, more than My self-imposed budget, but has all the right points, newer model, great condition, etc.

I just really like the turbo esprit style, especially in black. I plan to keep the car, so I want one that I really like. I'm in OKC right now, and I've looked around tx, ks, co, etc. to see if here's one to drive back, but nothing catching my eye really.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I strongly advise against any long road trips in a 20 year old car of unknown condition. What the owner and some PPI mechanic says is the condition of the car doesn't assure that you won't end up broken down on the side of the road paying through the nose for an emergency long haul tow.

I had my car sent to "the best Esprit mechanic in the country" to be checked out and updated before I took delivery, and if I had driven my new-to-me car for a long distance after it was deemed perfect by the mechanic, I probably would be dead right now.

Pay the $500 to $1000 to have the car shipped.
 

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Shipping is the wisest, and I recently shipped a car and a motorcycle, but the costs have doubled in the past few years, it's 900 from LA to Seattle now on U-ship, and goes up from there.

Besides, sometimes I just need an adventure! Not saying I'm smart, just adventurous, and as someone once said "it's not an adventure until something goes wrong!"

In any case, patience will reward with a nice local unit, if I can find some patience somewhere :)
 

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Shipping is the wisest, and I recently shipped a car and a motorcycle, but the costs have doubled in the past few years, it's 900 from LA to Seattle now on U-ship, and goes up from there.

Besides, sometimes I just need an adventure! Not saying I'm smart, just adventurous, and as someone once said "it's not an adventure until something goes wrong!"

In any case, patience will reward with a nice local unit, if I can find some patience somewhere :)
I drove my Esprit home from New Hampshire to upstate, NY and didnt even think twice about it. Adventurous? Maybe so - but I paid top dollar for my car and spent the whole weekend with it and the seller. Whats the point of buying a top car that Im scared of? I drove it home with no issue and have hardly had any since. Lucky? Maybe.... but I say drive the car back if the distance isnt ridiculous. Its a great way to bind with your new girl. :)

That being said, local would be very convenient, of course. And, shipping the car properly is pretty expensive. Good Esprits are hard to come by. Keep looking. I shopped for like 4-5 years before finally finding my car. I learned a LOT along the way so that shopping time wasnt wasted ;)
 

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I strongly advise against any long road trips in a 20 year old car of unknown condition. What the owner and some PPI mechanic says is the condition of the car doesn't assure that you won't end up broken down on the side of the road paying through the nose for an emergency long haul tow.

I had my car sent to "the best Esprit mechanic in the country" to be checked out and updated before I took delivery, and if I had driven my new-to-me car for a long distance after it was deemed perfect by the mechanic, I probably would be dead right now.

Pay the $500 to $1000 to have the car shipped.
$500 to $1000 shipping? Maybe from one state to the next and on an open trailer. 3 years ago I spent well over $2000 for enclosed for a Porsche 928 shipped from WA state to DFW...

I checked my 94 Esprit S4 out very well, spoke numerous times for the owner, looked at records and even info from others who knew him here. Flew up to get it, drove it back approx. 400 miles with no issues..
 
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