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Discussion Starter #1
Well, this is one of my first posts here, but I've been lurking for awhile now. Getting ready to move on from my 2016 Ford Focus RS and am looking to either buy or trade for an 02+ Esprit V8. This is a car that has been on posters and (computer) wallpapers for me since I was a kid, and now I'm finally in a financial position to be able to afford one. Price range is negotiable but I'm looking for a driver, not necessarily a show or investment-grade car. I'm fortunate enough to live within a few miles of Gator Motorsports, so I've got the technical expertise nearby to keep one well-maintained. I'm not too picky but I'd prefer not to have a red, yellow, or black car.

Thanks!
 

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Lotus Technician
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105 Posts
Great choice!! Good luck finding the right one, they pop up, just be patient. I told someone the other day, driving V8 Esprit is so great, I feel like I am cheating on my wife!!

Good luck in your Hunt, and post pictures when you find one!!

T.J.
 

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Scott M
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294 Posts
Welcome! We're a solid resource for helpful info and camraderi. I wish I'd spent more time here before buying my own 2003 from a forum member, but it seems to have worked out well for me regardless.

My sense is a few Esprits pop-up for sale here each year (maybe 1 or 2 V8s from MY 02 to 04) so casting a wider net could help you scratch the itch more quickly than LotusTalk alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome! We're a solid resource for helpful info and camradery. I wish I'd spent more time here before buying my own 2003 from a forum member, but it seems to have worked out well for me regardless.

My sense is a few Esprits pop-up for sale here each year (maybe 1 or 2 V8s from MY 02 to 04) so casting a wider net could help you scratch the itch more quickly than LotusTalk alone.
What are some other good places to look? I'm very hesitant to look at autotrader for something this niche, and places like Hemmings are going to carry a premium I'm not willing to pay. I've seen one or two on BaT but man were they opposite ends of the spectrum quality-wise...

Like I said, I live within 45 minutes of Gator but from my talks with them, they don't see these too often.

Thanks guys!
 

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Premium Member
2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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809 Posts
There's really no disadvantage to finding a car on Autotrader/Ebay. You still run the VIN and inspect the car the same way in any case. Most dealers give a free carfax report on the VIN, which at least helps with some of the hunting (though keep in mind that not all accidents are reported).

Of the last three cars I have bought, one was bought through Ebay auction (private seller), two through Autotrader (one private seller, one dealer).

I found the 'security' of the dealer sale more than offset by the annoyance factor, but then I'm probably a better mechanic than most people who work in mass market car dealer shops anyway. YMMV.

I found mine by searching on AutoTempest, (it was indexed on Autotrader and a couple of other aggregators as well) and then pulled up the dealership listing directly to confirm details. In my case, I inspected the car twice before putting in an offer on it, and did a lot of reading on LT and other places between the two inspections to set expectations and confirm findings.
 

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Scott M
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294 Posts
+1 On autotempest, although I have also tended to scour Autolist, CarGurus, Autotrader, and eBay. Sure... most listings give me pause for some reason. For recent private party purchases I made of a modified BRZ and an X5M, I needed to complete a ton of other leg work to know the vehicles were solid. Frankly, I would only trust a couple dealers nationally for an Esprit. If I had to do it over again, I'd figure out a way to enlist the help of an Esprit expert from LT, Lotus Ltd (the national club), or some other informed enthusiast rather than pay Lemon Squad. Lemon Squad, a 3rd party inspection service, knew NOTHING about Lotus...or at least my inspector didn't. I guess I avoided likely purchase disaster in part having spoken to the owner in detail about his stewardship over a couple hours across a few conversations (phone, and in person before wiring money).

I recognize my finding my own Esprit on LT was rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
+1 On autotempest, although I have also tended to scour Autolist, CarGurus, Autotrader, and eBay. Sure... most listings give me pause for some reason. For recent private party purchases I made of a modified BRZ and an X5M, I needed to complete a ton of other leg work to know the vehicles were solid. Frankly, I would only trust a couple dealers nationally for an Esprit. If I had to do it over again, I'd figure out a way to enlist the help of an Esprit expert from LT, Lotus Ltd (the national club), or some other informed enthusiast rather than pay Lemon Squad. Lemon Squad, a 3rd party inspection service, knew NOTHING about Lotus...or at least my inspector didn't. I guess I avoided likely purchase disaster in part having spoken to the owner in detail about his stewardship over a couple hours across a few conversations (phone, and in person before wiring money).

I recognize my finding my own Esprit on LT was rare.
So I take it autotempest has gotten better? Last time I tried to use it about 18 months ago it was worthless and missed ~40% of cars on autotrader and other sites.

I see that you have a Focus RS- that's what I will be selling to make room for this car. (If you're willing...)Besides obvious interior differences, tell me about how they compare to you. I know it's an apples to orangutans comparison, but given I have yet to have the ability to drive an Esprit I welcome feedback from someone that has driven and lived with both.
 

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Scott M
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294 Posts
So I take it autotempest has gotten better? Last time I tried to use it about 18 months ago it was worthless and missed ~40% of cars on autotrader and other sites.

I see that you have a Focus RS- that's what I will be selling to make room for this car. (If you're willing...)Besides obvious interior differences, tell me about how they compare to you. I know it's an apples to orangutans comparison, but given I have yet to have the ability to drive an Esprit I welcome feedback from someone that has driven and lived with both.
RE Autotempest: It seemed good recently, but that's based on a post purchase assessment on my X5M given what was available from other platforms, and thinking about my other ~5 vehicles I keep track of the market for regularly (wish list, or just thinking about it vehicles).

I'll PM you about the FoRS vs. Esprit question tonight when I have some more time. Both are excellent... just different, especially in how I enjoy them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, replied.

RE Autotempest: It seemed good recently, but that's based on a post purchase assessment on my X5M given what was available from other platforms, and thinking about my other ~5 vehicles I keep track of the market for regularly (wish list, or just thinking about it vehicles).

I'll PM you about the FoRS vs. Esprit question tonight when I have some more time. Both are excellent... just different, especially in how I enjoy them.
Thanks for the detailed assessment! Would love to talk more and I'll check out autotempest.

The other ones on my list have been the NSX, [strike]C63 Coupe, TTRS,[/strike] R8 (extra $10k), and GTR (extra $10k).

C63 crossed from list because it just doesn't have that special feel I'm going for, though it hits the sound criteria better than just about anything.

TTRS because at the end of the day it's still just a Haldex AWD system with the engine way out front. Again hits the sound criteria great since I love 5 cyls.

NSX would work great with a SC, but I've seen exactly one I could afford and would consider buying in the last 12 months.

R8 V8 is a really intriguing choice but I'd be looking at about 10k on top of what the Lotus would cost, and I'm not sure it's 10k better. Certainly not as "cool" to me

GTR is the Subaru of this genre to me. It check every box I have, but... do I really want to be associated with the people that buy one? That's the reason there are no P-cars on my list. I've had nothing but terrible interactions with all but two owners I've ever met.
 
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