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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been sort of hankering after an Esprit V8 for a while.
There's an 01 been sitting at a dealer in Pa for some time now.
Price doesn't ~seem~ that bad. Color isn't thrilling, but it's not awful.
They are about 3 hours away from me so it's not something one idly drops in on - plus I'm not a marque expert on Lotii, I'm better on older Brit stuff.

Anyone have prior dealings with this vendor?
Wondering if there's an obvious problem with it, or if it's just a bad time to be selling toy cars. If the latter and no-one's been ripped off by them previously, then I might have to take a drive out there.
 

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Hey Alan, If you haven't yet registered on the LotusPALS website (the local club, Philadelphia Area Lotus Society) do it! I'm sure that someone local has experience with that dealer.


In fact, PALS member Steve Harris just bought a 2003 V8 over the summer. I know he looked at a LOT of cars, so he might offer some insight.
 

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Now what may one question about a Dealer? …..are they trustworthy?...>...come on, they're a dealer. ….maybe I could haggle with 'em a little?...>..they're a dealer so, of course and the car's been sitting a little time. …..if people don't have too much bad to say about them, does that mean the car's just fine?...>...how would those people know? ….does the car have some hidden flaw?....>…..it's 20 years old, so what do you think? ….is the title clean?....>….fair question but there are ways to check that out before you would buy it. …..is there a lot of past paperwork on the car?.....> ask to see it. ......…will the car pass whatever, if any, pollution stuff applies in my State?.....ask 'em.

Here's how this really works. You're buying a 20 year old car.....I did the same. and the whole time I'm saying to myself, "There's stuff either wrong or soon going to fail unless I seriously baby the car.....and then I'll get that fixed in spite of the cost...….because I want an Esprit V8" And believe me I haven't babied the car...….get this >> new crank and bearings, new head gaskets twice, new exhaust on one side, new starter, A/C fixed, new timing belt, repaired seat belt, new brakes, new tires, new clutch and hydraulics, three hours in the parking lot of the auto parts store carrying in and out batteries figuring out which battery not only fits but is the most powerful one I can find....and I forget what else.....do I regret any of it? ……….nope. If you want the car, to heck with the after-budget...….you're not going to be taking the money with you. Now where you going to drive it?...….only to car shows like a little ol' lady drives?.....or on the high banks a Daytona like I get to do occasionally. These cars are a little like real estate....they ain't making any more......sure the car's got expenses....but real estate has taxes. Buy it...….but only if you like the color.
 

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Oh.....and twice the car has failed out on the track......but that's the best way to find the next "weak link" (forgot to list > replaced the front pulley/harmonic balancer when it let go coming out of the horseshoe at Daytona) …...unless one either trailers the car a lot or drives it like a little old lady you'll not find the car's next thing that needs fixing.
Don't know what you'll do with it but maybe you'll be able to say something like this some day....."other than when it failed out on the track and was waiting to be towed in, multiple sessions, it's never been passed at Daytona"

...maybe I should stop directly downshifting from 4th to 2nd at about 70 miles and hour ???
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Seriously. This isn't the first old car I ever bought.
I asked if anyone that knows these cars knew anything about this one or the dealer.

When one is purchasing a used 911 it's widely known to avoid a certain vendor in NJ that has a number of shiny ones for sale for instance.
I know that because I did some research before I bought my 911.

Simply trying to do the same here.
If someone knows (for instance) that this was flooded in Sandy and sold without being totaled, or used to be owned by x and they had nothing but issues then that's what I'd have expected. There aren't that many of these things. I hoped someone would know something about it, not get told "you are an idiot for asking and I track my car so I'm really cool".
 

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Don't buy a Lotus just because it is "nearby". Don't buy ANY Lotus without a PPI (Pre Purchase Inspection) by someone who knows what they are looking at. Best money you will ever spend on the car. Don't buy a Lotus without service history unless the price is low enough so you can replace everything that could need to be replaced during a proper service. $45K is a fair price for a V-8 that is fully sorted out and up to date with it's service. The question is, "Is this one fully sorted out and up to date with all of it's service"? If you are serious about buying this car I would get the service history and hire R S Motorsports to help you figure out if you should buy this car and what it is worth.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Flood ? …..someone takes the shotgun door panel off and has a long hard look inside…..that's a little extreme but it's the best way to know. Alternative …….have the dealer sign your drawn up affidavit stating the car has no history as salvage / totaled / flood. It might be a little harder to dicker for the price when you do so but if they won't sign such it just maybe says something
 

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If the car was flooded AND if the loss was claimed and paid out by an insurance company, then the car would have a salvage title indicating it was totaled because of flood damage. Notice how both things must happen. It is possible the car was not insured OR a claim was never filed. In either case the car would NOT have a salvage title. During a good PPI you should be able to find evidence of possible flood damage.You cannot take the fact that the car does not have a salvage title as proof that it was NOT flooded. Another way to get a "clean" title is to title it in another State where you can "wash" the title and get a "clean" one issued. A final possability is to repair the car and have it reinspected by the State to get the title re-issued but it would say reissue on the title. Anyway, if you want peace-of-mind that the car you are buying is in good shape, you need to have a PPI done. Just seeing a clean title is not enough.
David Teitebaum
 

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Discussion Starter #12
O.M.F.G is this for real.
I've got one telling me how special he is and another telling me what a PPI means and how Carfax and the insurance business works.

One useful post - Mr Haines, thanks for the tip.

I asked about a specific vehicle on a single marque forum and instead get car buying 101.
I give up. Forget I asked.
 

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Anyone have prior dealings with this vendor?
Wondering if there's an obvious problem with it, or if it's just a bad time to be selling toy cars. If the latter and no-one's been ripped off by them previously, then I might have to take a drive out there.
Alan, can't comment about the dealer but for the mileage it is priced fair. Car looks decent in appearance and Gun Metal Grey looks nice in person. The underside also looks decent and correct for the mileage. Watch out for signs of oil as the front oil cooler leak is a known issue with the V8. If re-clamp the hose fittings don't solve the issue, be prepared for a 7-10 hour job in replacing the oil lines. The car should also come with a body colored roof. I would recommend go through the service records and see when the belts were done.

As for the exotic car market, it is VERY VERY soft. Ferrari F12 TDF that was once $950K~1.1M are trading in the $750K range. Regular '13/14 F12 ares now under $200K...these were selling $225~250K just 5 months ago. Esprit isn't nearly as sought-after as some owners think they.

Good luck.
 

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"O.M.F.G is this for real.
I've got one telling me how special he is and another telling me what a PPI means and how Carfax and the insurance business works.

One useful post - Mr Haines, thanks for the tip.

I asked about a specific vehicle on a single marque forum and instead get car buying 101.
I give up. Forget I asked."

With all due respect, in your initial post you stated having knowledge of 'older Brit stuff' but no knowledge of Lotus. You basically asked if the dealer was legit and if it was a good deal without any mention of getting a PPI or other standard pre-purchase tasks.
Similar posts appear here quite regularly from people expressing their love of Lotus and their desire to buy one, but they have no experience in older cars or any idea about what they are getting into financially or mechanically. Having knowledge of older Brit cars and having experience buying, selling, and repairing older Brit cars are two different things. Lotus cars are finicky and have their quirks (as do all older imports), so most of the responses you received were meant to be helpful and let people know what to expect before jumping headfirst into what could turn out to be a financial disaster.

BTW- the plural of Lotus is Lotus. Hethel even put our a memo expressing their dislike of the word Loti.
 
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