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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter #1
So one of my neighbors stopped me today, and has a '76 s1 esprit in their backyard. It is apparently is rough shape, left out doors uncovered for lord knows how long. Is something like this worth anything since it is a first year car?It would be nice to connect it with someone who could bring it back to life, but I am sure it would cost way less to buy one that has been cared for, unless the first year cars pull a premium. I find it fascinating there are two esprits in my small suburb, within a mile of each other.

At least mine is running!
 

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For a 'total restoration' it will cost more or three times what the car will bring on the open market.

If this is the car you want and keep it for the rest of your life I say go for it. If your looking for a quick fixer-upper for a flip it for a profit... it has been known to fail.

Maybe some 16 year old will pop up, at least they can brag to High School friends they own a 'Lotus'. I'll leave that to 'Kid #9' for him to Educate the 'Want to be's ' on what it takes to own a Lotus.

Keep in mind they only made about 500 a year during that production period, maybe less.

Robert
 

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Super Moderator
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pics would help determine how badly decomposed the body and ungalvanized chassis. it may be valuable OUTSIDE the US judging by some recent activity

76 Esprit production WORLDWIDE (unknown how many to US) - 134 units
(Lotus Esprit - The Complete Story (as of 1990) page 31) Jeremy Walton
77 Esprit was 580units same source

So if this truly has a VIN 76xxxxx, it's definitely rare. Rare is not necessarily profitable for restoration
 

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Glutton For Punishment
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Discussion Starter #4
I am going to go see the car sometime and take some pictures, and see how bad off it really is. I don't have any desire for a project like this, but I hate to see rare cars rot. I'll post up pictures once I get them.

That is very low production numbers, so a VIN check is certainly required as well. The nice thing about the restoration costing more than the finished value of the car, is that only people with a passion for the car will get involved. No quick resto for a buck people will be interested.
 

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If this is the car you want and keep it for the rest of your life I say go for it. If your looking for a quick fixer-upper for a flip it for a profit... it has been known to fail.

Maybe some 16 year old will pop up, at least they can brag to High School friends they own a 'Lotus'. I'll leave that to 'Kid #9' for him to Educate the 'Want to be's ' on what it takes to own a Lotus.

Robert
Thanks for the kind words Type 82. I will educate the ones that come around wanting them in high school.

I am going to go see the car sometime and take some pictures, and see how bad off it really is. I don't have any desire for a project like this, but I hate to see rare cars rot. I'll post up pictures once I get them.

That is very low production numbers, so a VIN check is certainly required as well. The nice thing about the restoration costing more than the finished value of the car, is that only people with a passion for the car will get involved. No quick resto for a buck people will be interested.
Pictures are a must and price. You are correct its all about the passion of cars. I'm never selling any of my Lotus Cars unless they get to a million dollars... Yeah I'm dreaming.

Seriously though... I love the S1 esprit and so does my dad, if you can get the engine running and make it a nice little runner for a few weekends why wouldn't you go for it? It doesn't have to be perfect, no lotus is. Pictures would be nice, I know a guy in Massachusetts that has some parts for a S1 Esprit that would help with the restoration. Also has Europa and Elan parts too.

The S1 Esprit is not the most desirable Lotus or Esprit type, but in my opinion its the prettiest Esprit out of them all and the most simple just like any Lotus car in the 60's and 70's they are really simple. No turbo problems in the S1 either. Get some pictures... I'm interested to see how it looks.
 

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It may not be worth restoring but it may be worth something as parts. Sports Car World buys parts and sometimes whole cars. If you can get it cheap enough you may be able to flip it that way. It is definitely a "Money Pit" for a restoration. The only way you could do that is if you have a lot of parts already that you can use towards a restoration.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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6,098 Posts
Take some pictures of the S1, if the owner wants to sell, post it either directly on the S1S2S3 mail-list on Yahoo, or see if a "mutual" member wants to post the notice. Then you will see how much interest it generates, and even get an idea of what it is worth.

Esprit2, Roo, and Type82 all post on that mail-group. Send a PM.


:clap:
 

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Europe is a much stronger market for the S1 than the US. Many LHD S1 and S2 Esprits that got listed on eBay in the US ended up being exported. Especially when the Euro was strong against the Dollar. The S1 was a fragile car, so one that has been abandoned for a great length of time is sure to be rather sad. However, mechanically they are very simple and pretty much most mechanical parts are still available. Body and chassis not so much. Interiors did not do well at all in sunny climates. If the car is complete and the body and chassis are respectable then the car is definitely worth saving. If not by you then it is worth trying to connect someone with it who has the passion.

Just to diss spell the rumor that the S1 was a dog of a car. I have owned mine for five years now and apart from the initial work of bringing the maintenance up to date the car has performed faultlessly and has never let me down. The only frustration I have with it, is the lack of space to work in. But that can be said of all Esprits. I will also add, that cost of ownership has been a fraction of the $ numbers I have seen posted here for the later cars. The appeal of the S1 is the purity of the design. IMO much like the purity of the original Lamborghini Miura. Both cars being handicapped by engineering shortfalls.

There are many S1 owners on The Lotus Forums as well as the Yahoo group.
 
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