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Gargamel

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Gargamel last won the day on April 18 2010

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  1. They took the car here for service: http://www.unionjackexotics.com/ I talked with the guy who runs the shop. He seemed nice enough, but he clearly missed some things. Or maybe the owners told him not to fix them, I don't know.
  2. Damn, Jim. You're good at this.
  3. For sure, it's a disappointment. However, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I had a unique experience on the flight home that I wouldn't trade for the world, and if I'd bought the car, I wouldn't have been there. So, it's not so bad.
  4. Non-functional odometer. Owners had neither documentation nor knowledge of when it ceased to function nor anything beyond a guess on how many miles were put on the vehicle since. At least one out of state trip was taken (last week, to a mechanic in Maryland) during which time miles were not logged. Beyond that, who knows when it last worked. Owner says he hardly drove it and he's sure the odo was working very recently, but I personally felt the wear on the interior was much higher than the odometer's 37,xxx miles suggest. In the end, it comes down to future value. The owners are aware of an odometer discrepancy and are therefore required under state law to fill out the odometer disclosure statement on the title indicating such. This will permanently flag the vehicle in state databases, causing red flags on future Carfax/Autocheck statements and significantly reducing its resale value. The only other option is to commit fraud by replacing the speedo and lying on the odo disclosure. You could be semi-sort of honest with this by tweaking the new odometer to estimate the miles driven, but it's still fraud to not tick the "uh oh" box on the disclosure given knowledge of the problem. Obviously, this is not something I'm in any way comfortable with being a part of! There were other, less serious disappointments that were not disclosed to me. Passenger side mirror electrics are faulty (no up/down movement). ABS light blinking & ABS non-functional. Given throttle off idle, engine chokes and sputters and tries to die (and did, twice). There was a potential oil leak. Car was low on coolant when they had it serviced and not sure where the coolant was going - possible pinhole leak. Also, probable leak in the A/C; they said it needed recharging yearly. (The A/C was the only issue disclosed prior to purchase agreement.) There are a LOT of rattles when driving and I'm not sure, but it seemed to me both doors were sagging on their hinges. That may be normal for an Esprit of this vintage, I don't know. To be fair to the owner, they offered to fix some of these problems and/or work with me somewhat on price, but the odometer issue was far too big for me to stomach. Beyond that, the car just seemed to have deteriorated into a condition that, given my DeLorean experience, I knew was going to cost me a lot of time and money to make right again. It was advertised as excellent, I was paying an excellent price, and I really do not want another exotic fixer-upper with a bunch of unaddressed little gremlins running around. Occasional gremlins come with the territory, but unaddressed gremlins add up fast and cause a general deterioration. This was once an excellent vehicle. I think it could be an excellent vehicle again, but it's going to need some work. A couple grand worth of interior work, a few grand to fix the mirror & ABS & tune the engine up a bit, and trace back through the documentation and history during the last 1.5 years of ownership to get a good solid estimate on when that odometer actually died and come up with some evidence on how much it was actually driven since. The body is beautiful save for some rock chips on the front. Once you move the engine past idle, it runs like a bat out of hell. It's a very fast car. The mods are tasteful, exhaust sounds great. It's definitely worthy of saving, but as it sits now I would have only given half the asking price. I have purchased vehicles long distance via the Internet on 5 other occasions, ranging in price from $5,000 up to $55,000. Two were through dealers, one through a broker and two through private parties. This Lotus is the first time I've had any problems with misrepresentation. I have learned this lesson: Never, ever buy through a broker who does not have a professional business brokering cars, with references. Always talk to the owner himself. My opinion on the guy who brokered this deal is that he does this on the side from time to time as a hobby. I don't believe he has any kind of a professional inspection checklist, or he would have found and disclosed these issues. I'm not even sure he took this car for a test drive himself, to be perfectly honest.
  5. My choice. Found something non-trivial that wasn't disclosed.
  6. Unfortunately, I am on my way home in an airplane. The deal did not go through.
  7. Yeah, Mike seems like a real cool guy. He's been outstanding in talking to me and answering my questions and he isn't even the seller. I'm buying it from the guy who bought it from him, but barely drove it. I'm psyched to be getting a well cared for car that had an attentive, enthusiast prior owner like Mike.
  8. Nope. I bought Mike Arcane's "Evilyn". I can't wait until I pick her up Sunday. Time is going by far too slowly at the moment.
  9. Thanks for the replies. Christopher, I'm in Washington State.
  10. Yeah, sign me up for this. I'm interested.
  11. Sorry, correction - I was looking at the specs and the seller was wrong about it being a late '93. It's an early '93, so doesn't have the factory alarm system, etc. It does have the increased interior space & wider door opening of the '93 model year.
  12. Hi folks, I've wired a down payment on my Esprit and will be picking her up in a couple of weeks. She's a '93 1/2 SE. I'll post more information and pictures once I take delivery, but I wanted to hop on here, say hello and thank you all for your help. Without your input in my "Frequent Driving" thread, I would have had much more trepidation in doing this. Now, I'm quite comfortable with my decision. I look forward to interacting with everyone here in the years to come!
  13. Wow - you folks are awesome. Thank you for all of the replies! I am in the U.S., but if I had to wait for parts, no big deal, as I will have another vehicle to drive. Two more questions: 1. Those of you who are putting miles on your cars (Christopher - 20k miles in a year! Awesome!), how intensive has the maintenance been during that time? I don't care about the little stuff, a hundred bucks here and there is no big deal, but how frequent are the $1000+ repairs? Also, I don't live in a major city and will not have the benefit of a Lotus mechanic, so I'll be doing my own maintenance and want to make sure I'm not getting myself into a serious time vampire. 2. Any advice on buying a super clean car with extremely low miles, that has mostly been "used" as an "investment" / showpiece in a garage, and then putting it into regular service? Am I asking for trouble? Now, I'm not talking about a car that has been sitting under a tarp for the past decade - I wouldn't touch that - but rather something that might have been driven one Sunday a month, if that, and is mostly original due to a relative lack of use. What I found with the DeLoreans is, the lower the miles = the less used = the more problems if you suddenly start using them. Rubber hoses, seals, o-rings, you name it, they're dried out and shot. DeLoreans are also ~10 years older than the Esprits I'm considering, which definitely is a factor. I am very familiar with the curse of the DPO and am meticulous about my repairs, as I don't want to become him. I'm no expert mechanic and have no formal training, but I've been working on my own cars since I was a teenager. I have a fully stocked garage with decent quality tools, plenty of air tools, etc, and don't "hack" anything together. So I think I'll be OK. Definitely, with the help and advice in this forum I'm confident I can accomplish anything.
  14. Hi folks, I'm considering the purchase of an Esprit and my budget falls in the late eighties to early nineties range. This car would not be a "daily" driver as I have a Hummer I enjoy, but it would definitely be a "frequent" driver, as in I expect I'll be driving the car roughly 75% of the time. Likely 100% for the first few months of ownership. It's hard to find an Esprit with high miles. I'm wondering why. I'm also seeing cars for sale with 40k miles that have already had an engine rebuilt. Again, I'm wondering why. What can I expect to deal with in terms of maintenance, expense, and depreciation if I take one of these cars and start putting 8k miles on it every year? Are they really suited for that kind of use - were they made to drive? Or are they more useful as fancy garage sculptures? I mean no offense, I really want to know. How does parts availability look? Are there critical components that you just can't get anymore? I believe I have enough experience to maintain the vehicle. I owned an '81 DeLorean, drove it daily for 3 years and performed most of my own maintenance - electrical, fuel systems, cooling systems, hydraulic systems, you name it, I've had it apart. Pulled the transmission twice, by myself. So, I'm no stranger to getting my hands dirty on what is effectively a British sports car. That being said, I don't want a basket case on my hands that I have to screw around with all the time. I want something reliable that, yeah, I might have to tinker with now and again, but I'm not going to be dumping thousands of dollars and dozens of hours worth of work into every few months. What do you think? Should I be considering an Esprit of this vintage for a fun, regular driver? Thank you!
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