The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Please let me take a bit of your time for introductions.

I’m a 50+ year old guy that amongst other things has a passion for cars, or more accurately for beautiful, functional machines. IMO the MY 2002 – 2004 V8 Esprits certainly qualify in spades.

Recent circumstances present me with an opportunity to buy a 2002 from a local who is the original owner and seems to have “cherished” AND regularly driven his car.

Of course I have a bunch of questions before making the leap.

For reference I currently drive / AX / participate in DE’s with my very sweet 1996 Porsche 4S (993).
I’m a competent driver, but not a racer. I’m an instructor with the local club for both AX and DE, but to tell you the truth I enjoy washing / polishing / staring at a beautiful car as much as I do driving it.
I’m also a very capable wrench and do all my own maintenance up to and including engine drops and clutch assembly R&R.

The 993 is an “occasional driver”, as would be the Esprit. Daily driving is handled via biciclette or Audi Avant. The 993 is a relatively visceral car with great looks, sounds, handling and braking along with adequate acceleration. It is on the flat end of the depreciation curve and may actually be appreciating a bit.

I expect the Esprit would likely have better acceleration, braking and handling and also has great looks. Not too worried about Appreciation / Depreciation but I assume Esprits are not “appreciating”.

Please feel free to comment on some of my fears regarding selling the 993 and buying the Esprit, (don’t have $$$ or space to keep both), including;
1. The Esprit is different and not well understood by me, ‘course so was the 993 initially, but the San Diego Porsche community is large, knowledgeable and welcoming <mostly>. A Pcar focused internet forum, RennList, has been a hugely beneficial resource and I’m hoping this forum and others will prove helpful?

2. The air-cooled 911 sounds great to my ears. I read on Lotus EFF where the V8 Esprit sounds like 2 sewing machines? <grin> I know turbo cars typically don’t sound as raw as NA cars, but I assume there are some muffler mods if I choose to add a bit more sound?

3. I’m not a go-to-the-dealer kind-of-guy. Do online forums and technical manuals provide adequate info to handle all Preventative Maintenance? If not, what PM is typically outside the scope of a home-based wrench who won’t spend big bucks on special tools.

4. Where do you buy PM parts? Is there a non-dealer network parts supplier?

5. I really enjoy getting up early, loading a bicycle into the 911, (have to remove passenger seat), and ride in the hills, then repeat the same route in the car. I don’t see much chance of putting a bike in an Esprit and can’t imagine putting on a roof rack. Sacrilege?

I’ll keep reading this forum, Esprit Facts File and will join the yahoo groups turbo esprit community to lurk and learn. Where else should I go to read “stuff”.

Thanks for your time to read and reply.
Sorry to make this seem so clinical, I’m just trying to get involved with the community.

If you need any help with your 993, feel free to ask!

Cheers

Craig
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
Hell keep the 993 as it is classic and get an elise throw around. You won't be dissapointed


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
1. Take a look at 4 cylinder Esprits. Less headaches, very interesting car, gets a lot out of 2 liters, far more parts (and Esprits) than the V8. Relatively straightforward to work on.

2. Parts are available - two in California (JAE and Dave Bean) one in the east (RD Enterprises) and Lotus is still in business too....

3. No bike racks on the Esprit - definitely sacrilege

:sad:

4. Great community of owners, lots of advice, hand-holding, and help via the web.

Good luck
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,594 Posts
In terms of exhaust sound, can't you get the prospective seller to let you hear it?

A cherished and regularly driven Esprit is worth a premium. You don't want one that's been tracked regularly or used for stop light races every weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Nice Porsche.. The one thing about those is you see them quite often.. The Esprit is quite uncommon to see on the roads and is one reason why I love it.. nobody else around will have one.. This may foster unwanted attention or not..

Anyway my 01 v8 is relatively easy to work on, parts are available.. and if you have an opportinity to get a well cared for one then I'd say go for it.. esp from an original owner.. keep the belt up to date and make sure its not leaky then you should have a winner..

There are many regional lotus groups too which can be helpful if you need a second pair of eyes on anything.. being in CA shouldn't be hard to find..

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the initial feedback.
Looking forward to hearing more.
Hoping to swap cars with the Esprit owner soon for a short drive so that I can see what the Esprit is like and he can see what a 911 is like.
That should answer a lot of questions.

cheers

Craig
 

·
My car sneezes
Joined
·
656 Posts
I currently own a 996 Turbo, a 930, a 928 and my Esprit. If you are used to the stiff chassis, great build quality, overengineering and practicallity that went into the aircooled 911's, you may be dissapointed in the Esprit.

The Esprit actually has more body roll than a 911, yet the Esprit still handles great. The Esprit's build quality does not even come close to the aircooled. Everything in the Esprit is engineered to be just enough; cooling, pistons, turbos, trans, halfshafts etc. Although a sorted, stock or near stock Esprits can be very reliable. The functional front spoiler in the Esprit is very low and will have issues over driveways & dips where the 911 wont. The Esprit's rear and side visability is horrible compared to the 911.

But the Esprit is not all bad. You cant deny the Esprit's looks, a 911 cant compare. A 911 blends in whereas an Esprit stands out. Then there's the sound; there isn't anything out there that sounds like an Esprit. The growl of the flat-plane crank V8 mixed with the woosh of the turbos is intoxicating. An aircooled 911 is a great car but the Esprit is a true exotic. IMHO, driving a well sorted esprit with a nice exhaust is sensory overload.

If I could only have one fun car (for under $100k), the Esprit would be it even with all its flaws.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top