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In the beginning



I'm a newbie so please be gentle. This is the first Lotus I have owned, having come from many years of Aston ownership. Funny thing is many of the parts on my Esprit are also used on period AMs.

Having never worked on a Lotus before this is a voyage of discovery. My aim is to keep my "JPS" as original as possible but refresh it so it's mechanically perfect and reliable. I have no plans to repaint the car as it still has its original black L15 and all the Commemorative decals. The paint has suffered from some thermal stress after being left outside under a tarp for a few years, luckily from a few feet you don't notice it. Even though the seats were retrimmed the PO kept the gold fabric and leather which I have refurbished and will soon fit back into the car. Carpets are original except for those under the seats that I used to patch the drivers sill and floor mat.

Mechanically it is now completely sorted and the underside is cleaner that the day it left the factory. Lots of details are in my blog at but I'll also reproduce them here.

[b]12.29.12 My JPS: [/b]At 34 years of age the Lotus Esprit S2s are starting to show their age. My car, Federal #010, is no exception.

The materials used back in 1979, while amongst the best for their time, have begun to break down with extended use. The headliner in the cockpit has failed on every car I've looked at, it's made up of a foam core sandwiched between 2 layers of cloth. While the cloth will last indefinitely the foam, being oil based, wants to return to its original state. Hence it turns to powder and the headliner sags. It's easy enough to replace and is on the list of fixes scheduled over the winter.

Tires originally fitted were 205/60 14 on the front and 205/70 14 on the rear. Made by Dunlop, they were V rated for speeds up to 150 mph. As the Esprit was lucky to reach 130 mph downhill with a tailwind, H rated tires are more appropriate. It's ideal to fit a matched set from the same manufacturer but finding them is difficult. Federal Tires makes a H rated 205/60 14 for the front and a 215/65 14 for the rear in their SS657 series. The rears are only 0.30" less in diameter so wont upset the balance or speedo calibration. I've just fitted a set to my original Gold Speedline wheels.

Speaking of the wheels, there seems to be some confusion to the colour they were painted. After some extensive research I've found it was the same Gold used on the Esprit S2 of the period. The Lotus paint code is A04. It is an Acrylic metallic with a clear coat. The correct wheel centers are the black ones with gold logos.

Another area that's become a distraction for some owners is the Gold corduroy seat material. It's become rarer than rocking horse droppings and with the wear and tear of constant use a lot of cars need it replaced. Before that happens a good cleaning is in order. The best solution I've found for doing mine is a bottle of Windex window cleaner ( the one with ammonia) mixed with a teaspoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid. After vacuuming the seats, shake the cleaning solution vigourously and spray the fabric until wet. Use a soft brush to scrub the material. Let sit for 5 minutes then get it wet with clean water. Use a microfiber cloth to soak up the solution then vacuum up the residue with a wet/dry shop vac. Let it dry overnight.



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