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  1. Hi folks - yes still in the Isle of Man with my 1990 SE (currently undergoing a body off resto and respray - it seems Calypso doesn't like too much sunshine!). I've known a couple of Esprits and other models - a pal recently bought a lovely M100 - but not Simon's I'm afraid. Maybe it was from before my time here (1997). Always happy to help friends in the Lotus family with visits. This is one of the few places without a national speed limit, and whilst hoonery is frowned upon, an early morning 100mph dash over the Mountain Course isn't considered a flogging offence unless you crash. Just a couple of hours or so on the fast ferry from Liverool.
  2. I feel your pain. I bought Lottie new in 1990 at a particularly exciting time in my life, and used her as a daily drive. Moved to the IOM in 1997 and wasn't using her much at all (it's a small island and I was working from home!) and she started to play up to the point that a mechanic I trusted said she needed a complete overhaul rather than messing around fighting small faults. So I rented a lock-up while I saved the £5k we thought that would cost (by now I wasn't making much money any more). In 2002 my mechanic started the overhaul then called me one day to say he'd taken the engine out for a bit of refreshing and decided it actually needed completely that was the budget gone with lots still to do. I'd been talking to Lotus engine guru Garry Kemp about the overhaul, and told him the bad news - he said he knew someone looking for an SE as a resto project, so to cut a long story short I sold her. It was like selling one of my children - as the trailer was pulling away I knew I'd made a big mistake. Luckily I kept in touch with her new owner, who did lots and lots of work over the next four years, and told him if he ever wanted to sell her, to give me first option.. He did exactly that in 2006 and I bought her back, with a gleaming new paint job (which has now faded yet again) and an uprated engine per Garry's specification and guidance which he reckons makes 370-390bhp. I think he might be right, although I'm not going to risk a dyno run to find out. Now we're back at square one - I don't use her much, she needs another respray and is booked in for new oil coolers and a raft of other jobs. I sometimes think I should swap her for an Elise (more sensible on our narrow roads here) but I know I'd regret it. We have too much shared history of good times (and bad). So find out where yours is Gavin and plant the seed...
  3. More thinking at present Paul! I'm due a couple of quid from a pension and will decide what to do when that modest payday arrives! The consensus here seems to be to leave the body on and address the issues individually. I've also had a restorer recommended here (IOM) so may chat to him too. Maybe an engine out job to check the tanks (they were POR'd 10 years ago), do a major (cambelt) service, change all the hoses and anything else that will be crumbling, stretched or worn-out after 24 years and then go from there. If there's enough money in the pot I'd like to respray her (colour change to something that won't fade as quickly as Calypso), if not a vinyl wrap may be an option as a partial solution.
  4. I interviewed Clive there when making my 'Best of British' programme, in what I assume had been Colin's office originally. The sense of history about the place for someone who grew up following Jim Clark was quite palpable. Very redolent of the 60's film 'Grand Prix'.
  5. Thanks Paul. Sorted sounds good!
  6. John - I'm not averse to spannering, but inevitably end up with a box of 'spares' after rebuilding anything, and I'm too old to bugger about in this weather on a gravel one of my conscious decisions in life is to sometimes take advice from people who know and find an expert you can trust (the reason for the thread). I can probably make more doing what I'm good at than I'd save in doing a maybe substandard job on Lottie - she deserves better. She's still driving well and there's nothing major that I'm aware of - just a number of niggles. I've never cured the fuel smell despite having the tanks and fillers checked and the crossover breather replaced. I suspect a duff sensor somewhere - boost isn't coming on until higher in the rev range. Brake calipers need replacing, oil leak I mentioned in the OP. Bushes were changed for polys less than 10k miles ago, along with new shocks. New exhaust manifold and tyres. I've had the chassis/body mounts modded behind the seats and tightened up, but the body still feels sloppy to me (maybe needs new rubber seals all round too). Of course, if it's silly money I'll just do the bits that need doing - but I seem to remember the body removal/replacement wasn't a huge hours tally and it would seem to make sense with an almost quarter century old car to be able to check everything properly, fix any issues and make sure it's properly nailed back together again. At the back of my mind I was guessing that I'd maybe spend £5k on the project, but it seems that's too little. I'm not looking for a concours garage queen, she's always been a driver. And I promised her when I got her back from Gavin that I'd never sell her again, so that's a complete non-starter - it would be easier for Arthur to give up Excalibur! Reason I asked was that I often see fond comments on a number of jobbing Esprit spanner men within this forum, but as I'm out of the loop of the usual LEF suspects I don't know any of the faces.
  7. Hi Folks. Lottie is almost 24 and with over 140k miles (not sure exactly as I replaced the speedo and lost count) and again feels tired, irritable and like she needs a thorough refreshing. The paint Gavin did when he 'borrowed' her for 4 years has faded and bubbled in many places (damp in the spray booth?) so needs redoing (I'm thinking of a wrap to allow more money for mechanical work). Apart from a new head gasket we've left the mechanicals much as he and Garry Kemp upgraded ten years ago. Question is this: as ever I don't have a lot of money to invest, but I'm useless with spanners and need to entrust her to someone (ideally who loves Esprits above easy money) to overhaul. As she shakes and rattles a bit these days, I think I'd like a body-off inspection of the chassis (and any repairs doing) which should also make the other jobs much easier. Fingers crossed her engine and gearbox are still good (although I need a new translator assembly) but I think it's time to fit the new steering rack, cambelt, check the tanks for leaks (again), renew all her brake lines, coolant and heating pipes and hoses etc. Just noticed a pool of oil under the front left side (presume a pipe or the oil cooler). Any advice and a likely budget to allow? If anyone wants to PM me with a recommendation, please feel free. With such a big job I'm happy to take her anywhere in the UK (I'm on the Isle of Man) and leave her with a guru for 2-3 months. Thanks Stu
  8. Replacement speedo on Lottie so not sure but probably approaching 150k now.
  9. Bought a S4 Seven around 1983 and kept it for a few years - actually raced it once too! Bought Lottie new in 1990, sold her in 2002 (major mistake), bought her back in 2006 (yay). I keep thinking I'd be better with an Elise on our narrow bumpy roads, but I couldn't bear the loss a second time!
  10. Great to see an Esprit racing. In the late 80's/early 90's I raced a modsports MG Midget and an old Formula Ford - mostly at Oulton Park. When I bought Lottie in 1990 I managed to convince those in charge to let me take my pal out for a couple of laps in her during the lunch break in a test day. On the short circuit she was good for around 1:13s laps (from memory) against the MG (1:11) and the FF (1:09). Since she spent a good deal of the time on three wheels, I concluded that an LSD, harder springs and better brakes would be a must if I were ever to race her!
  11. Bought mine back after 4 years with someone else, I missed her so much...
  12. Funny thing is Mark, I hired a Heritage Softail (more modern version of mine with fuel injection) in North Carolina around 7 years ago, and enjoyed it but was underwhelmed after the V-Max. Maybe it's being a bit older and slower, but Roxanne (she had to have a suitable name!) really hits the spot at the moment - especially round town when it's sunny and I can skirt the 'rush minute' we get twice a day here!
  13. Mad Sunday is all about riding like a nutter and in many ways scares me - instead I did a civilised charity lap the week before (when the picture was taken) and enjoyed it tremendously.
  14. 1. Type 49 2. Esprit Sport 300 in Norfolk Mustard 3. Elan Sprint (Gold Leaf colours) 4. Exige S 5. Seven S3
  15. When I was 16 I rode to the Gaumont cinema in Manchester with some pals - I had a Suzuki 50 (sport!) at the time - and watched Easy Rider. I remember painting stars 'n stripes badly on my crash helmet with Humbrol enamel, which is as close as I got to being Captain America! Ever since I've fancied a Harley but been talked out of it by biker friends - which is how I came to buy a Yamaha V-Max a few years ago ('do everything a Harley will, and more'). They were all wrong. A pal over here had a 1985 Softail Custom but needed a van instead for his decorating business, so I bought it a month ago for five grand. It's fantastic. All torque and noise - happiest at 60mph when you can hear every power stroke (feels like it's doing 500rpm), the vibration isn't as bad as people think and the knees in the breeze riding position is much more comfortable for a chap of a certain age. And the best thing: I don't feel the need to go fast, race anyone or get my knee down to enjoy myself, so I may even make retirement age.
  16. Looking forward to welcoming a group here from the the S.E.L.O.C. group in a couple of weeks - they'll be enjoying the same roads, although SOME do have speed limits!
  17. Wondered what had convinced Kia it was worth damaging a dozen cars and returfing a rugby pitch. Then realised the global reach of TG and the unnaturally positive test of the Kia Ce'ed earlier in the programme, and the scales fell from my eyes. Dreadful - but it must be impossible to think of interesting new things to do to appeal to a mass audience. VBH 'racing' a jet on 5G last week smacked of the same desperation. They need Pollyanna Woodward on the show as eye candy - none of the rest will matter then.
  18. Stuck between a rock and a hard shoulder...
  19. Ged, congratulations on fighting your corner! I've been a Lotus fan since I was a 10-year old, and have owned a Seven and my current Esprit (which I've now owned for 23 years, apart from a 4 year holiday she had). But Lotus as a brand is no longer affordable for me - I love the Exige S and quite like the Evora, but couldn't afford either, and the Bahar collection of new cars was all completely out of my price range. I think the rendering looks splendid - doubt I could afford £40k for a car again these days (I think I paid £42k for Lottie in 1990 as a dealer demonstrator) but I'd be perfectly happy with this Caterham and wish you all much success with it.
  20. Amazing - I just found this by chance whilst following random jumps on YouTube and signed in here tonight to post the link! Fascinating, and great to hear so much from the horse's mouth. Shame the 'angle' was how much money he'd made (and how intrusive some of the questions!) but listening to him talking about Jim Clark was very moving. Interesting that the F1 car Jackie Oliver wrecked was valued at just £18,000 - methinks the price of things in F1 has outstripped inflation!
  21. What TG needs is Pollyanna Woodward. Dunno if she can drive or knows anything about cars, but she almost makes it a pleasure to watch that massively irritating 'Gadget' show.
  22. Come to the sunny Isle of Man. Groups from all the UK regions could aim for Heysham or Liverpool for the ferry, I'll organise an airfield racetrack where you can pitch tents (probably) and there are lots of delightful derestricted roads to enjoy. It's been talked about a couple of times, but never firmed up. The M100 and 7 boys have been over a few times and love it. I'm happy to help as local contact if the idea generates any traction.
  23. I had the chance to drive the Tesla around the TT Course here one wet evening a year or so ago. I'm a big fan of electric (also rode a TT Zero bike briefly a couple of years ago). The most disappointing thing (apart from the eyewatering price) was the amount of wind and road noise at speed. So I'll stick with my Esprit (or give me an Elise for now) - at least the engine drowns out the rest of the noise!
  24. Only problem with cleaning and recolouring leather seats is that you'll lose the red stitching. I have the same colour combo as you and quite miss the red contrast.
  25. I had to buy two for my top overhaul a couple of years ago. Apparently the uprated head bolts/studs on my car are slightly bigger than the originals, so my mechanic had to drill some of the holes out. First one ripped... and because I'm the customer with a non-standard motor it was MY fault so I had to buy another! I've not been back since...
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