DescriptionI've owned my Esprit since 1998 when it was 10 years old. It was originally a standard '88 Turbo, in pearl white. Totally untouched!
Not long after purchase, I had to changed the cylinder head as the gasket went, and the head had already been skimmed and was warped. The pistons were also not so good, so they were swapped for the later SE chrome topped ones. This set me on the upgrade path.
I soon changed to an Emerald M3D ECU, originally just dealing with the ignition. Then shortly afterwards I ditched the carbs in favour of Injectors and a charge cooler setup, using an electric pump and the air con rad for cooling the chargecoolar. (the air con wasn't working when I got the car so I stripped it off).
I then changed the wheels originally for S4 wheels, and started changing some of the body panels. Side skirts changed to the V8 ones with the longer teardrop scoops, then the front and rear bumpers changed to V8 style, as well, as the rear deck changing for the V8 style with vents, and sport 350 spoiler.
As the car was now many shades of the impossible to match pearl white, I decided to save up and get a proper repaint done. The repaint involved all the windows out, all the panels that could be removed were removed, and everything was done properly. The garage who did it, took it on as a bit of a labour of love and took their time to do it properly over 3 months. There is not a trace of white left on the car. I chose Ford Panther Black as the new colour as I knew it would be easy to get hold of and match in the future.. and it's also a really nice colour! In the sun it glistens with blue and red flecks in the paint.
Copious lacquer was added for a super gloss finish! The V8 wheel extensions were added as well at this point, as well as a set of genuine Sport 350 alloy wheels.
I also replaced the glass sunroof for a carbon one.
Mentioning carbon, I've always tried to keep the car light. All the soundproofing has come out, as well as anything not needed. Lots of the nuts and bolts have been changed for titanium and aluminium along the way. The bonnet was changed for a lightweight item.
All in, the car is 100kg's lighter now than standard.
After a while, it was time to change the interior! I managed to get a complete interior off a 98 Esprit (minus the seats) as well as the doors, which were needed for the later style handles, window winder mechanism (I can actually open my windows now!!) and door cards.
I changed the entire dash, and mated the new front wiring loom to the rear loom, adding in a new standard Cobra immobiliser off the later models which controls the central locking nicely. Something else I never had!
Seats are Sport 300 style, provided by SJ sports cars, trimmed in Alcantara and Leather.
Brakes were upgraded to PNM large disc and bells front and rear, along with V8 Esprit front and rear standard calipers which are more than up to the job.
The rear lights were changed for the later round headlight, with custom LED light units.
I've pretty much done all the upgrades I wanted to do, and now I'm just into the maintenance and part replacement stage. My gearbox is current away being rebuilt, and I've changed a load of parts on the suspension for titanium while I've had the chance.
The car cost me £10,000 when I bought it, and I reckon I've spent £20,000 since. I doubt it's worth £30,000 it's cost me.. but it's worth it to me and that's all that counts!