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Is my SE Highwing original ?


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I have aquired a LHD 1992 Esprit SE recently. It shall remain in original state. I like it very much for the classic but spacier interior in gold leather and for the good rear view visibility.

A Lotus certificate was supplied and matches to the reality. According to the paperwork and other history files it is a real highwing delivered to Holland in February 1992.

However a few peculiarities make me wonder:

- there is no ESPRIT badging on the rear side windows ( I have read that his is possibly common)

- there is no side indicator repeater on the front wings (seems uncommon so far)

- there is a neat (in my opinion) extra front skirt in front of the wheel arch color matched and it is  looking fairly original an matching in design

- 2 colour 2 piece bolted standard size wheels came with the car, original OZ rims came as a spare

Any opinions on originality ?




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Those flares in front of the front arches are non-original of course and if the PO didn't like the blister side repeaters he probably had them removed and glassed over at the same time as installing the flares.

The wheels are from a federal model (Lotus sold them off cheap in a TLF parts sale a good few years back now) and the Esprit sticker in the window could have been removed if the windows have been removed and resealed to eliminate a leak, not uncommon. The Lotus badge next to the fuel filler cap shouldn't be there either. 

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Okay, interesting. The seller did mention a new partial paint. That might explain it. I did not recognise any new paint however. The strange round Lotus badges near to the fuel fillers are already gone btw. I did not like the really old style side repeaters anyhow. Just wondering why any MOT/TÜV engineer didn't mind it already.

So there are definitely the Esprit window stickers missing, hmmm. It would help the public to recognise this car. Nobody will ever have seen this one here around.

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Ref:....... According to the paperwork and other history files it is a real highwing delivered to Holland in February 1992.

 It would help the public to recognise this car.................. Nobody will ever have seen this one here around.


Well, I did see it in 1993 (or 1994/1995)'s how...

Sept. 27th 1993 I purchased my 1990 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE from Mr. de Kleer, salesmanager of Kroymans-Hilversum.

It was one item of 4 Esprit's originally imported by Kr. in 1990.

That time they had a red '90 SE and a steel blue '90 SE (mine) and possibly already the high wing in their 2nd hand stock.

I still own my Esprit.

Those days Kroymans was the official Lotus importer for the Netherlands by their sister company Lotus Import Netherlands-Huizen (Neth.)

They stopped after a couple of years, as far as I know because a.o. sales lacked behind.

No problem since they were very successful with their Ferrari and Jaguar branch.

I have seen (absolutely/100% sure) this red high wing with those black rims in their showroom, either in 1993 during my purchase negotiations or in 1994 or 1995 when I visited Kroymans afterwards time by time pure by interest when making a trip with my SE.

I have also opened it's drivers door and looked far as I remember that time the car had 15.000 km's on the odo.........I still remember that the high wing and black rims were not actually my taste.

I am sure that it did not have the flares on the arches that time.

Note: The Esprit SE stickers for Continental Esprit's were not attached to the small side windows but to the body (see my picture).

If you would try to remove them for a repaint they will be damaged.


Enclosed a picture of my Esprit..............

Best regards, Ruud


Edited by rudolphwolven
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On 04/04/2019 at 08:53, MarkL said:

I have aquired a LHD 1992 Esprit SE recently.

- there is no side indicator repeater on the front wings (seems uncommon so far)

Any opinions on originality ?




Additional note:.............The side repeater indicators must have been removed afterwards because without these repeaters this Esprit would not have received 1992 Dutch license plates to allow driving in the Netherlands.

It seems that the red highwing below is your car since it seems to have the flares already........(picture of unknown source)


I also remember that your red high wing has been for sale by "Classic" in the years around 2000-2010.

Edited by rudolphwolven
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Hi Ruud,

I very much appreciate your information on this Esprit. You are alright this is exactly the one I now have. The last 2 photographs you added are most probably made by the seller himself. It is his trailer anyhow.

The last Kroymans service entry in the owners book is from 1998 at 20565 km wheras it already had 10455 km before the end of 1992. On the other hand I have 7 pages from a Dutch Lotus(?) computer database entitled 'Typering historie:REPARATIE' starting in 1998 and ending in 2010 just before export to Germany. Hence the 15000 km you might have remembered do fit very well. It is astonishing !

I like your Esprits colour a lot. If you buy 2nd hand you have not every choice. First hand I would not have chosen a red one for obvious reasons.  Interior is one of my first priorities in every classic car buy.

Anyhow all 4 Esprits I had viewed over a period of over 1 year before buying this one were painted red with black interior and one or another drawback. I have collected around 2 or 3K kilometers upon watching the 'market'.  That's why I mentioned that no one ever sees or recognises any Lotus around my home town. Every of my classic car buys over the last few years ended in collecting annoying Autobahn kilometers in boring family cars....

So where is the choice 😉

Kind regards


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Hi MarkL,

Thanks for your reply.

Nice, that your data and my observations seem to be is a small (Lotus)world actually.

BTW: As far as I remember I never saw your SE advertised at or did you notice it?

Long time ago however I noticed it to be offered for sale by Classic Park-Netherlands as part of their inventory.

Note: my SE had 25.000 km on the odo in 1993 and now shows 52.000 km; the overall condition is still nearly as new; the interior is blue/grey leather with a burr elm dashboard; the same dashboard as you have.

Note of interest: Did you purchase your High Wing for (mainly) driving; (mainly) investing or both? 

Best regards,




Edited by rudolphwolven
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Hi Ruud,

my Esprit was on but not for long. I might attach a sticker reading ESPRIT SE on the rear side windows. That is most probably the correct position for the badges with the HW. I did not find any evidence of a HW having the painted area badged. And I will cheakc for the side repeater locations and what happended to them. Are they readily available from any other car  of the time ?

I have purchased the Esprit for maintenance and care, a little engaged driving and in the hope of making no substantial loss after a period of maybe 10 or 15 years of ownership. That's the way it always turned out in the last 20 years with all classic cars I had or still have. Althoug they had been far less pricey. My Esprit still has to cover 3 years until it reaches the official classic car certificate meaning less taxes and other. Next up is a big C service inluding the cam belt. That's why I actually only do some 30 kilometres in one countryside run every week or two.

I have it insured for a target  3000 km the lowest possible mileage. If I compare with my other classic a MG RV8 I will most probably hardly reach this target. At least again two cars have to be looked after. This won't allow much more kilometres for any of them. My daily drivers are bicycles and public trains. Furthermore the RV8 had nothing substantial left for me to do in my spare time recently. That's why I had looked for another English classic car. And I admit low interest rates at the bank did play a role too. Meanwhile the MG is leaking at the water pump for a vengeance I believe....

KM wise my new Esprit is similar to yours having covered 15000 rather quickly and now has maybe something around 40000 althoug the replacement odometer reads 65000 which were not adjusted when the old faulty device got changed out a year after it had been reading 26000 in 2013.

Another task is to restore the front spoiler paint and reinstalling a correct original rubber lip I have bought from SJ sportscars. And I initialy thought of redoing the standard OZ wheels that came with the car. But reading it was most probably delivered with those 'federal' wheels I hesitate. Let's see next year or another 2 years later.

Best regards


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  • 2 weeks later...

H,i it is not difficult to understand if it is an original highwing.

All the highwings have ABS brakes, they have a rear door without glass and front rubber lip spoiler, the inside trim is like the SE but the seats are different, similar to the S4,  the tunnell is lower than the SE, and the heating panel is like the s4. In practice inside it is an s4 but with the old steering wheel, the old wiper and indicators levers, old doors panels,but with a new tunnel and heating panel and new seaters

From 1991 the badge lotus se were moved from the body to small glass , a new rear writing lotus badge and new gear knob are used ,this in all SEs, so also the SE HW is the same .

I have 1991SE and I have the badge in rear quarter window ,new rear lotus badge and new gearknob like SE hightwing but I have old tunnel and old seats.

this is se Highwing seat


you can see here the differences between 89 / 90 and 1991


Edited by RS blu
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  • 3 weeks later...


meanwhile I have found a set of photographs from a HW I had inspected before buying the actual one which is labeled 'ESPRIT' on the small side windows. 

Your interior colour ain't 'Gold Leather' ? At least not the seats. My 'Gold Leather' interiour looks like it is yellowed but it is the original flavour I guess.

The link is interesting reading and new to me, indeed.

Anyhow I like the mixture of SE door trims, wooden binnacle, newer heating panel knobs, old style stalks, old steering wheel and the roomier place to be.

Sometimes I even feel the Highwing seats ( = S4 ?) are to wide and comfortable for me. Are the S4 smaller again ?

The Delco ABS is a pain when bleeding. But I finally managed to handle with the two bleeding nipples at the master cylinder. The engine is best running when doing this.

Check light's cured....


Edited by MarkL
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  • 11 months later...

Evening guys, I’m generally a purist when it comes to the aesthetics of the Esprit but I do love the flares on the front bumper!!! Are they lotus or after market... and if so, where could I pick some of those up... if I so wished????



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