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tarcus last won the day on October 24 2009

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  • Name
    Ian Rawlings
  • Car
    1989 Esprit SE

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  1. Broad and sweeping generalisations have been made on the "Esprits are very reliable" side, and I did not label all members of the board as fanboys, there's just one or two in this thread, please don't put words into my mouth as others have done repeatedly throughout this thread. Also I've mentioned some of the problems I've had, and pointed out that the cars are expensive to run if you do high miles on them, that is helpful despite what some seem to think. Particularly as he is looking at an OLD car not a modern one like some here seem to have decided.
  2. Bibs, grow up. Try attacking me for something I've said. I bought an '89 SE and am very happy with it and have said so, but you decide that I think it's a dog because I have the chutzpah to point out it's not the perfect car. Get a life. The question was THE ESPRIT IS PERFECT DISSENT IS NOT TOLERATED EXTERMINATE EXTERMINATE! *sigh* Fanboys eh. IIRC the Elise S2 was built on the VX220 production lines, as Lotus at the time couldn't really afford to do anything else. The VX220 was a development of the S1 in that it used the same technology with modifications to make the reduced sill height irrelevant as the improvements in the technology made the VX220 stiffer than the S1, and the early S2 Elises used the same engine and drivetrain as the S1. This is all from LOTUS not a mate of a mate. Jonathan sez: I used to use the Elise and Esprit for common commuting. Long distance - Esprit EVERY time, short trip to the shops - Elise. To me the Elise was a lot less bother, less of an event, much more of a turn key car to drive and much more fun in the wet (180's and lots of wheelspin under silly amounts of control) That's odd, one of the reasons why I'd prefer the Elise for wet driving is because the stock S1 has relatively little power and I've not managed to accidentally make mine lose the back end, whereas my SE was quite a handful in the wet, mostly when trying to pull away in city streets. The demister in the old cars is terrible too, I can remember driving back through torrential rain one day and having to keep wiping the windscreen with my hand for the whole trip with the heater on full blast, however it was *seriously* heavy rain. I could only keep a tiny patch of screen free of mist on that vast windscreen. However I do agree the Elise is more of a turnkey car and less of an event (and did say similar previously, not that the fanboys will have noticed), the Esprit is more of an occasion, a bit of theatre, whereas the Elise is an excellent fun car that's ready every day. If I was going to Goodwood, I'd go in the Esprit, if I was going to Waitrose or a client site, I'd go in the Elise. Jonathan sez: I do agree on the parking, steering and so on, but park further out where the parking spaces thin out and walk + do some pushups....just do pushups... You have to do that to a degree with the Elise too, the S2 Elise is a bit easier as the roof can be removed quicker, but the Esprit is wider than the Elise, the doors I think are longer, and you can't take the roof off so if you get someone parking next to you, you're a bit stuffed. It is however easier to get in and out of an Esprit than it is with an S1 Elise, not sure about the S2 Elise as it's supposed to be easier than the earlier cars. Jonathan sez: LOVE that Europa btw, great car, understated futue classic - wish my bird would buy one. Yeah nice cars, if I wasn't such a fan of agricultural, no-comfort vehicles I'd go for a modern Europa, although not being able to afford it might throw a spanner in the works ;-) (sorry for the borked quoting, crummy site restrictions)
  3. IIRC the Elise S2 was developed from the VX220 and the Europa was developed from the Elise S2, however the VX220 was based on the Elise so it's hardly something making much of a distinction over, personally I was only having a prod!
  4. Tsk, it's a Lotus-based-VX220-based Europa ;-)
  5. Blimey, quite a few people seem to be forgetting that the OP was talking about a 1988 car, not one of the later cars, which I had said are a much better prospect reliability-wise as they're much better made. It would be nice if people would read what I write before trying to shoot holes in me. As for posts not being voted down, there are scoring buttons on the posts and at least one of my posts was voted down. Given that the OP didn't state what he was going to use the car for, assuming he's going to use his 21-year-old prospective purchase just for jollies isn't safe, and as I drive unusual cars daily I thought I'd offer my own experiences as my impression was that he wanted a more comfortable car for longer trips, a point I can see given my experiences. I wouldn't use a 1988 car to help make long trips easier though, but I would happily buy one (and indeed did) for fun day trips and pleasure trips around the continent. And as for deriding other people's choice of car, I also have a 1989 Esprit SE, I'm hardly going to deride owners of that now am I! Mine cost me a lot to maintain and in the first year and a half I had it, I had a turbo fail, a gearstick come off, the rear calipers seize partially on and eat the rear discs in a short space of time, the steering UJ inside the cabin fail, the vacuum pump bracket break, the vacuum pump fail, the rear dampers fail, rear quarter-light windows leak, the filler cap vent hose rupture making it stink of petrol, the engine mount rubbers expire, the radiator spring a leak, the air con fail and the head gasket went. I didn't walk into Esprit ownership with rose-tinted specs on, please don't force them onto new members particularly if you've never used a spanner on them yourself so don't know how marginal they are, and are basing your experiences on the later, much better made cars. The age is not not not irrelevant, the later cars are much better made than the earlier ones and more practical in many ways, power steering for example makes parking a lot easier, and given the amount of minor bits that can fall off the older cars (I've not bothered detailing the little things that went wrong with mine like bits of trim coming off, heaters breaking down, window winders breaking and so on), pretending they're all equal isn't on. You pay more for the later cars because you get a better car that's had less wear and tear on it, this model has been around for many years and has seen many changes in production in that time, and that can't be ignored if you're going to be realistic. Some of the problems I had were directly related to the age of the car, particularly with rubber components. So if the OP is still listening, get the car, they're great fun, and yes you can drive them on long trips and you're likely to make it home, but if you put high miles on the car you're going to have to pay a lot in maintenance, find parts that are no longer made, fix iffy electrical connections, come home on a flatbed on occasion and put up with the hassle of trying to park a wide car with looong doors, high-geared unassisted steering and a tiny steering wheel in parking places that are hard enough with a eurobox. You'll also have to worry about where you park it, more so than the Elise, as it's a much more distinctive car and even an old 1989 car like mine got vandalised by kids chucking stones at it, I had someone thrown a coke can at me out of a moving van coming in the opposite direction, and came back one time to find it covered in kebab. My Elise doesn't attract so much attention and that, coupled with it being an easier car to live with, repair, run and in general be more reliable, makes it the better choice for everyday use than an old Esprit. I've also found that people tend to react differently to the two cars, an Elise isn't seen as quite so ostentatious as an Esprit even though the Elise can be more expensive to buy, I've had people I know be quite rude about the Esprit but loved the Elise, despite the Esprit having a bit of a tatty paint job. These are all factors that a new owner intending to use the car should be aware of, not brushed under the carpet.
  6. That's a pleasure trip, my reading of his post was that he's got an Elise that he's using regularly but for longer trips he wants a more comfortable car and is considering an Esprit. This is similar to my position, in that I have no "normal" cars, just two Lotuses, a 1973 Army truck and a very agricultural Defender. If I had to go on a business trip of 400 miles, I'd take the Elise, not the Esprit, or the Defender, or the army truck, as the Esprit, the Defender and the truck are much more likely to be more costly and cause me more trouble than the Elise. This despite my Elise being older and less comfortable than his. Hence my suggestion that he'd be better off sticking to the Elise for long trips than the Esprit. When I first got my Esprit I used it for a few business trips but the problem of not knowing where I can park it (it's a wide car and attracts unwanted attention, mine was vandalised within a year of me getting it), the cost of fuel, and of the likelihood of a poorly made 20-year-old car having problems on the journey, just made it too much of a burden for trips on which the aim of the trip is to actually do something rather than just a trip for the fun of it. For a long pleasure trip then that's another matter as problems with the car are there to be worked around as part of the pain you pay for the pleasure. But as a more comfortable, practical car, no, I do love the Esprit but like my old army truck, it's something I have because I want it, not because it's useful. That's "practical", something that you have because it's useful, not because you want it despite its flaws. Pointing out that you did a 400 mile weekend trip is hardly demonstration of a car's practicality, it'd be a pretty poor car that couldn't manage that. Would you be happy to drive it regularly on long business trips?
  7. Does that make it more reliable, cheaper to run and as practical as a more modern Lotus? Also that kind of use is hardly remarkable!
  8. Doing high miles in an old Esprit isn't going to be easy on the wallet, doing high miles in any 20 year old car won't be as cheap as doing it in a much better made more modern car, no amount of voting my posts down is going to change that. Keep the Esprit for the day trips and the Elise for the everyday stuff. A 20 year old car that has done 90k miles has not had a hard life, a car that's going to be used for long trips will have done over 120k in its first 9 years or so, a 20 year old Esprit that had been subjected to that kind of use would have been around the clock twice. My old Audi started falling apart at 9 years old and 177K miles, and it was a lot better made than my 1989 Esprit. No expense spared servicing will help of course, but that, coupled with the low fuel economy and the bashing it'll get in the car parks due to its width, mean it makes it an impractical car. It's a fun car, and great to own, but it's not practical, certainly in comparison with the Elise. Keep the Esprit for the special occasions and pile the miles and abuse onto the Elise. If you can stretch to it, get one of the later cars, 1993 onwards I'm told was when the build quality began to approach that of other manufacturers, it's only when you start taking these things apart yourself that you realise how marginal the build quality on the older cars is.
  9. Saw it again today, driving this time, driver was in his 40s or 50s, and gave me a wave, hello!
  10. Blimey, personally I'd use the Elise for the longer trips as you've got more chance of arriving, the Esprits before about 1993 or thereabouts weren't terribly well made, and that one is over 20 years old now unlike the S2 Elise. When pulling mine apart I was amazed at how bad the build quality is, it's slightly worse than my Land Rover Defender. As for problems, anything that can fall off probably will, in my case that included the gearstick coming off in my hand while changing gear as the pinch bolt had rattled loose! The later cars are much better I'm told.
  11. Hey I've not done it yet, don't give up giving up hope!
  12. Hello Alan, good to see it's still on the road! I'm aiming to get mine to a dealer by the end of the year to finish it, as I'm never going to do it at this rate.. In the meantime the Elise is doing good service.
  13. I used to be an Elise snob so can't criticise too much.. They are very different cars to the Esprit, if someone wants what an Esprit has then the Elise won't satisfy them, but the Elise has things the Esprit hasn't got, so which one you go for depends on what you want. I want both of them, however the Elise is the easier car to live with, less eye-catching and so more practical for parking without attracting unwanted attention, much more economical and doesn't cost so much to maintain. The Esprit however is more of an occasion, a rare treat, rather than a daily blast. Personally I think the Elise is more Lotus than the Esprit, it fits in better with what went before, a modern-day Elan, bog standard components with not much car attached, the way it was back in the good old days! I do love the Esprit though, and if they don't call the new Esprit an Esprit (they've not confirmed the name yet) I'll be hopping mad. However cars like the Esprit are much harder to enjoy than the Elise as you have to be going so much faster before they come alive.
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