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My GT3 for sale

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Hi all. A difficult post this.

For a little while now I have felt my time with the Esprit was coming to an end, no matter how much I adored it (and still do). My mileage has dropped to 1000 a year and often much less, and my trips limited to special events like the factory dos and local stuff like the Jim Clark memorial, plus I hardly visit the forum any more from being a daily visitor in the past. I am really after a touring machine now, and the GT3s rather focussed driver delivery is not condusive to this, certainly not for hours on end on the motorway! I also gain great pleasure taking my little dogs out, and any car that doesn't accommodate them usually gets left behind.

Lat year I put the GT3 on the market at a price I thought would put people off! Surprisingly it didn't and I had many enquiries and  2 serious buyers very quickly which frightened the shite out of me. I got cold feet and was unforgiveably inhospitable to someone who came out to view.  It was obvious the time wasn't right and I withdrew it before I pissed off yet more people with mixed messages. I vowed to keep it another year or two, get my last bit of enjoyment out of the car (like this years Jim Clark event where it has been a bit of a celebrity in the past) then finally sell it on.

Sadly all future plans were tipped on their head a few weeks ago when Lorna, my beautiful, kind, thoughtful, funny, clever and quietly confident daughter, took her own life after a heartbreaking relationship and a long battle with autism. In a stroke I lost the one person who made life fun and whom I could talk to and laugh about anything.

As pleasures go the only thing I can foresee helping me and her mum through the years ahead are those peaceful trips out with the dogs, and maybe, just maybe, some time in the near future a return to European touring and the headspace-clearing open countryside of France and fresh air of the Alps. For that I need something different, a change of scene, a big lazy engine, an open top to blow away the cobwebs and clear the mind of dreadful thoughts.

So I have placed the car for sale again. Because I love it so much in my mind I am still stupidly working out if I can keep it beside something else, wondering if some new job or financial windfall will mean I can pay the credit cards off and it can stay in its rightful place in my garage.

To be honest though I have done the "car collection" thing too many times before, and when you have 4,5 and more cars lying around the place it becomes so all-encompassing that its a pain. Spreadhseets to keep up with maintenanace, MOTs and Insurances, battery conditioners on trailing cables etc. There just isn't enough time in the day usually, and so few sunny days for sunny day cars. Although its nice to pretend to be Harry Metcalfe, you have to admit to being just a peasant.

I have had a little interest in the short time it has been back for sale so far, though unfortunately its a sign of the times that these are now wealthy collectors who are put off by the idea that I have mainatined the car mostly myself, with recourse to specialists only when required for jobs I consider neyond me (timing, rotating internals etc). I try to explain that unlike Ferrari, Lambo and Porsche owners, Lotus guys tend to be a bit more hands on with oil under their nails. Personally I would rather take 3 weeks to do a job myself than dump it at a dealer who has a fixed time in mind and wont obsess about replacing all the rusty bits with stainless like I do. It is increasingly annoying when these buyers (most of whom have never inspected any Esprit never mind mine) point at recent auction sales of cars with higher miles and common colours and tell you thats the value of yours. Unfortunately my current state of mind is rather intolerant as you can imagine. So far I have resisted pointedly asking them why they didn't buy these cars if they were such "bargains".

Anyhow this is turning into a rant rather than an explanation so I'll leave it here for the good friends on the forum who have been enquiring why, and to whom I have not been able to explain.

I have met some great people for no other reason than because of my ownership of this beautiful car. I have met people at the Lotus factory I have admired for decades (the Esprit platform manager lives near me and is a Sunday tea visitor), I am on first name terms with Jim Clark's relatives and friends, bloody hell I even got to meet Hazel Chapman and sit in Colins armchair! All because of this little orange car. If it does sell it will be then end of an incredible era that I will never forget, just like my beautiful Lorna.

 

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Mark, I'm so sorry to hear about your Lorna, I can't begin to even imagine how you feel.

All the best mate, your car should sell in a jiffy, it's a stunning Esprit that has indeed been immaculately maintained.

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Sorry to hear about your daughter Mark, losing a child must be the greatest pain.

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From a guy with 2 daughters, I'm truly sorry to hear of your loss. 

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So sorry to hear of your loss Mark, difficult words beautifully written. 

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I too am very sorry for your loss.

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Mark 

        I am so sorry for your loss of your daughter and cant begin to imagine what you are going through,  my thoughts are with you and your wife at the moment.  

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I’m sad to hear about your loss Mark. It’s beyond any parents imagination. Keep walking. It’ll take a long time but here is an end to the tunnel, keep going and find purpose. I’m sure that’s what Lorna would have wanted. Some day you’ll meet her again.

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My thoughts are with you at this terrible time. Words fail me - I simply cant imagine this.  

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Mark, 

i don’t have the words I am afraid, but I just got my wife to read your post and she has tears in her eyes, I think that sums it up. Please do your very best to get through this as I am sure that is what your daughter would have wanted. 

Dan E 

 

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Thankyou for your kind  comments. She was 22 and only a few weeks away from completing her degree and starting the rest of her life. The University are awarding her a posthumous degree, which is very kind of them, as she had already done enough to pass.

We were going to have fun looking for her favourite car (Jaguar XK8) this summer. Then maybe a trip back to her favourite place, the West Coast and Death Valley. Every holiday, in fact every plan we ever had was built around her. There are now no more plans. Life will be so dull without her.

My little car show buddy. Here she is trying out an XK the weekend before she passed away. We had such an amazing few days; went for walks, went to see Suede in concert, 5 days later she was gone. Treasure your loved ones, you never know what is around the bend.

 

 

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So sorry to hear this news Mark and my heart goes out to you and the whole family. Having lost a child myself many years ago I really do know what you are going through and do hope you can all stay strong for each other and that you have the opportunity, every day, to remember the good memories that you made with Lorna. Those memories will never fade mate as long as you keep them alive inside. If you find yourself every now and again just smiling like a dumb muppet for what appears to others for no reason, then I'm sure it'll be because you are lost, at that time, deep in one of those fantastic memories with Lorna.

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 sending you love and strength .. .  good luck with the sale..

 

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Thankyou all. A Lotus-friend came around last night who didn't know, and I had to tell him the story, which in itself is exhausting. That is going to happen a lot in the future.

He himself has no children (which when I add up a surprising amount of aquaintances don't) and said as such he couldn't imagine what it was like.

I said thet I (now) understand that with other close deaths (parents, grandparents, even friends) eventually you get over it. There is no getting over this, you don't even want to.

My stepmother is the only close person who has been through anything similar to confide in. She has watched various members of her family die through a terrible hereditory motor neurone disease, including her son. She has always seemd a bit dotty to us, but now makes perfect sense as to why she is how she is.

Please please watch out for your children no matter how "adult" society views them as being. In this mad, unforeseen and unpredictable modern world where you are two mouse clicks away from watching someone being beheaded, you are also 2 clicks away from places that will tell you in painstaking detail how to take your own life.

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Mark, 

very sobering to read this. Very sorry for your loss. Certainly adds a dose of perspective to life for many I’m sure. 

 

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Hi

Really sorry for your loss, it’s something I deal with alot in my job and something no one else unless this had happened to them will even understand your pain.

My heart goes out to you and your wife 

Ross

 

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Truely sorry for your loss.   

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I've popped this up on our facebook Mark, hope it helps mate. 

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Very sorry to read this mate............... All the future very best to you

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Mark, very sorry to read this, thinking of you and your family.

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