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Some introductory notes... - Neil's Esprit Turbo refurb - The Lotus Forums - Lotus Community Partner #ForTheOwners Jump to content

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Some introductory notes...

Neil Potter


[u]February 2014[/u]

Hello all! Here's my tentative foray into the world of blogging.

I've had my Esprit Turbo for nearly 18 months, so why start a blog now?


Lots of reasons.

1. Having suffered injury, disappointment, diminished finances and frustration; I wanted to reassure the world of people contemplating ownership of an Esprit, or similarly rare and eccentric choice of vehicle for heart-over-head reasons, that, so far at least, IT IS WORTH IT.

2. I've learnt some interesting things along the way, and wanted a single place to record these nuggets. Some of these blogs and the "Project and Restoration" threads have been sooooo helpful in working on my own car; I feel it's my civic duty to reciprocate.

3. I wanted to honour some friends and acquaintances, and some specialists, who have provided excellent work and support in my quest for a sorted Esprit Turbo.

4. Nice to have some public record of my efforts in the (unlikely) event of selling on!

Now, allow me to ramble about my car:

It's a 1988 model, one of the early Stevens models, chassis 147 out of the first 200 painted with the grey sills at Hethel. I bought it as a present to self on the occasion of my 35th birthday, October 2012, having coveted the Esprit since being old enough to have an opinion. This one is green, not BRG or LRG but a metallic shade of mid-green called Atlantic Green. No spoiler, original wheels.

Advice note number 1: when buying Esprits they say drive as many as you can and don't buy a cheap one. THIS IS GOOD ADVICE. I didn't take it.

I thought at the time I would buy a runner, enjoy it for a bit, get it out of the system so to speak, and sell it on. In short, I'd be one of those Dreaded Previous Owners happy to take a hit on the resale to get rid, who does little for the reputation of the car and the marque.

But then something strange happened. The bug struck. It didn't take long either, it happened when driving home. First there was that odd sensation of skimming along the ground, peering up at Land Rovers from my leather cocoon. There was the old-school noise of the carbs, and the induction behind my ear. The 80s-chic cockpit dials and square telltale lamps. Then, on stopping for petrol I couldn't start it again. Embarrassment was looming and the courtship was fading. Then I remembered the immobiliser and, with relief, all was well. The dance resumed. The car felt quickish when the turbo came in, but had a slight misfire which seemed to get worse the closer I got to home. I went to sleep with mixed feelings - buyer's regret combined with the beginnings of infatuation.

The next day I took a long look at my new purchase. The interior was tired and the leather had been redyed rather badly at some point. The carpets were original and very manky. The stereo was an early 90s tape deck attached to rotten speakers. The speedo was erratic, many of the dash backlights didn't work, the gearchange was better than the others I had driven but still couldn't be as originally intended. Electric windows very lethargic. Foglights were very rusty, and headlights weren't far behind. The bodywork was OK, paint actually surprisingly good after 25 years. In the engine bay the vacuum hoses were cracking, the header tank didn't look healthy, rusty bolts and clips abounded and there was a worrying smell of petrol I hadn't noticed before. There was a little bit of freeplay in the steering which seemed worse having now bought the car. It would be some months before it was warm enough to notice that the air con wasn't working.

On the upside I knew that the exhaust manifold had been replaced, the cambelt was newish and the clutch was also recent.

The journey started by spraying WD40 on the clutch pedal mech to fix the squeak. An easy fix, and an annoyance gone. The car was slightly better and that felt good.

My fate was sealed...


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