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Peter H.

Could buying this be a huge mistake

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Hi guys, I'm a newby here and seeking advice on THIS  potential purchase.

The car has only done 28,000 miles, but I am guessing very few in the last 14 years. This forum is full of threads about the problems with little used cars, but I wanted to compile a list of the Top 10 issues.

I wondered if I could call on your help to list the main problems, with a rough cost of DIY repair and view on the difficulty.

Many thanks in advance.

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For some reason this particular model is quite difficult to sell.


hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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Yes.

ive had a couple of cars in my time. That’s very strong money for what will turn out to be a complete money sucker.

a complete lack of real ongoing maintenance. You are completely missing 15 years of mot history. Which essentially means every single rubber bush is fooked and needs replacement.

low mileage yes - but it’s gonna shake a whole load of issues out once it’s used in anger. 

Maybe it’ll be just fine........

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43 minutes ago, Peter H. said:

I wondered if I could call on your help to list the main problems, with a rough cost of DIY repair and view on the difficulty..

Fuel tank removal, treatment/replacement refit. At least 6 hours to get them out  and the same to refit. Replacement is about £1200 a set if you buy off the shelf - less if you have them fabricated or repaired.

suspension rebushing. Probably about 24 hours of swearing, cutting and sweating. £1000 of nuts, bolts and bushes. You will need plenty of patience - a huge press - and an angle grinder. This is assuming your shocks and springs are fine and not the usual titanic bottom of the ocean find

fuel lines if they haven’t been replaced will need replacement - be under no illusion.

tyres - no mention of these. If they are over 3-5 years old - then they need to be skipped - £400 at least.

radiator - probably about to spew its guts all over the floor. It’s not been heat cycled properly for a very very long time. It’s a bastard of a job to drop the rad pack. Couple of hours grinding every nut and bolt off to drop a rotten lump onto the ground. £250 to recore the rad pack - then you will want to replace the fans as they will probably be knackered.

you could very very easily spunk £4K on this car and still have another couple of grands worth of work waiting in the wings. I won’t even mention exhaust manifolds.

all that aside - these are amazing cars and I’ve enjoyed (hated) every minute of the above works on my various cars.

 

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Personally I think that’s top money for the model regardless of the limited edition pitch and as Barry says, likely to need a lot of work once on the road.

If you like the special edition aspect there’s a nice green S4 on autotrader at a reasonable price.

Only other cars I’ve seen for sale at the moment seem to be red which I know isn’t an option.

Did see an 88 turbo in white on eBay, had 98k on it but the description said it had a lot of history and work done so might be worth enquiring, plus it’s £8k less than the one above. 

Southwest lotus have a nice looking clean lined white esprit for sale but it’s not a turbo.

Pete at PNM was at one point looking to sell his own white turbo, not sure if that’s still his intention but you could always call him and ask if he knows of any suitable cars for sale?

good luck in your search.

 

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Tempting miles and photos but expensive if it's not running and on the road. It's a colour combo with perhaps more limited appeal too, albeit a special edition.

Heed Barry's advice and wisdom - it's based on real life experience...

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Not worth starting anything now...🍺

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9 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

Fuel tank removal, treatment/replacement refit. At least 6 hours to get them out  and the same to refit. Replacement is about £1200 a set if you buy off the shelf - less if you have them fabricated or repaired.

suspension rebushing. Probably about 24 hours of swearing, cutting and sweating. £1000 of nuts, bolts and bushes. You will need plenty of patience - a huge press - and an angle grinder. This is assuming your shocks and springs are fine and not the usual titanic bottom of the ocean find

fuel lines if they haven’t been replaced will need replacement - be under no illusion.

tyres - no mention of these. If they are over 3-5 years old - then they need to be skipped - £400 at least.

radiator - probably about to spew its guts all over the floor. It’s not been heat cycled properly for a very very long time. It’s a bastard of a job to drop the rad pack. Couple of hours grinding every nut and bolt off to drop a rotten lump onto the ground. £250 to recore the rad pack - then you will want to replace the fans as they will probably be knackered.

you could very very easily spunk £4K on this car and still have another couple of grands worth of work waiting in the wings. I won’t even mention exhaust manifolds.

all that aside - these are amazing cars and I’ve enjoyed (hated) every minute of the above works on my various cars.

 

I could feel your memories flooding back. Did you keyboard survive or did you throw it at the wall remembering all this 

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That's number 3 of 40 limited edition, I used to own number 4. Great car, loved it, especially the chatter of the waste gate when changing gear.l :driving:


Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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to be fair the advert says it's been re-commissioned.

You need to enquire as to what has been done.  It might have had all new bushes etc.......  
Go and see it.  See whats its like.  
I really don't know why everyone tries to talk down prices of our cars.  Just be aware it will require a budget for on-going maintenance.

Good luck with search

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Was never a fan of those wheels especially in white...........................

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I can only agree with what has been said. I don't think the price is too high, as the car looks nice and is certainly very rare (even less built than the Sport 300). But if it really has seen little or no use for 10+ years, you'll be chasing problems for some time to get everything sorted and/or will need to spend a lot on new parts.

If you like the car, are willing to do (some of) the work yourself and can live with a rolling restoration, it can turn out to be a good deal. Go on and see it, ask what has been done, try and verify and take your time to decide.

Filip


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Many thanks guys, I really appreciate the real world input from you all.

I think I might give the car a wide birth.

Strangely,  number #3 also pops up on a thread on LotusTalk. Its listed as a USA car.....I can only assume the numbering of the US cars also started from #1 ?!?!

 

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At the price that’s at @Peter H. it could be worth looking in the classifieds on here. There’s a lovely GT3 👍👍

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5 hours ago, Peter H. said:

Strangely,  number #3 also pops up on a thread on LotusTalk. Its listed as a USA car.....I can only assume the numbering of the US cars also started from #1 ?!?!

 

Yes, they had their own number sequence in North America.


Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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The potential issues called out above pretty much apply to any Lotus which has had little use for a long while. So long as you know what to look out for, you'll be able to make sensible evaluations on condition and price.

Good luck in your search. :)


It's getting there......

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5 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

At the price that’s at @Peter H. it could be worth looking in the classifieds on here. There’s a lovely GT3 👍👍

Agreed... For that money you are well into S4s/GT3 territory, widely considered the best of the 4 pot Esprits. 

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Could even pick up a V8 @Steve V8......and save another man from destitution 👍

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fun fishing GIF

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It's a 4 pot Esprit. Even at its worst it won't be as big a money pit as a V8. At 28000 miles how rusty could it possibly be to necessitate painful removal of bushings etc? I redid my suspension on the SE and it had 61000 UK miles and I barely needed to use a Dremel or angle grinder.

But it, change the belts and fluids and take it from there. No fear. 

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Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '91 Elan SE | '04 Maserati Coupé Cambiocorsa

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I've seen the car several times and been out in runs with it, it's a stunning car and has had a very well qualified owner so definitely a decent example, it's in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Hi Peter. Tried to buy this car at King's Lynn car auction last month hammer went down at £23500 reserve set at £22000 now noticed car back 4 sale at same garage. Last year they tried to sell same auction at reserve of £28000 did not sell. Company bought car I believe from someone on ebay about 2 years max for approx £18000 found old listing on Web details of car history etc not great. Cheers Sean

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