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carspath

Gt3 / Esprit Turbo ..... prices fluctuating / reliability / where to buy

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Hello all ,

 

i,ve been looking for an Esprit for about a year now , and have missed out on a couple ( notably Loose Cannon,s ) due to a combination of dithering and being abroad .

I was particularly interested in an orange 1997  GT3 with the registration K9NAP , and contacted the  well known dealer in Kent who had it up for £32K . Almost immediately it was transferred to another well known dealer near Birmingham , who had it up v briefly for £25k and while I was in the process of organising  to view it , it was consigned to Brightwells auction yesterday , where it sold for £21k. Again , sadly I was abroad yesterday .

Thank you Mark for your expert advice based on years of first hand experience .... I would have gone for this one had it been possible for me to attend the auction .... slightly gutted to be honest .

These hugely differing prices make it difficult for me to assess a fair value for a GT3 .

Any helpful comments / pointers please ?

 

The other Esprit I like is the Esprit Turbo .

How does this compare with a GT3 in terms of reliability , driving experience , outright performance ? These are the 3 things that would concern me , and in that order .

 

Finally where does one look for Esprit Turbos and GT3s ?

Do they get sold by word of mouth ?

 

Thank you 

 

Path

 

The other Esprit that I have always 

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That GT3 was nice - but it was multiple shades of orange and had previous evidence of paintwork and repairs on the front of it when I saw it. At £32k it was very rich. £25k more reasonable. £21k a decent buy. 

Inside was lovely - couldn’t look under the hatch or underneath as it was crammed in the showroom. Don’t think it had much in the way of recent works with it ?

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Only here once

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Thank you Barrykearley .

Yes , £32 k would indeed have been very rich .

Maybe a near miss there . 

Have you any experience re GT3 vs Esprit Turbo ?

Also as per the McLaren Facebook page , is there a forum/meeting point where Esprit are traded by word of mouth amongst owners ?

 

Tx 

Path

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There’s plenty of gt3 owners on here who I’m sure will pop up.

gearboxes are different on gt3 cars as the power stuck through them is different and I’m sure the ratios changed in the box. The engine is 2l and bhp is less. Availability of heads if you ever need is difficult due to limited numbers, or certainly was a year or so ago.

ive never had one - but many love them because they were one of the last run outs of the car.

me - I’d opt for an S4 or S4s anyday


Only here once

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Thank you once again .... this time for putting the S4 and S4S on my radar.

 

i,m aware of the spec differences , but I presume that you prefer these for the way they drive .

 

please could you elaborate why you prefer these ?.... ? Reliability? Straight line performance ? Handling around corners ? Gearchange

THANK YOU  

Path

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Hi Path

The GT3 is a great car, but the supply is limited. Like Barry said if you broaden your search to S4/S then you will have more choices available

Love the look, especially the interior of this one on pistonheads and the price isn't too bad if you consider its had @Chillidoggy  brake conversion done, which is the achilles heel of the S4 models and possibly the early GT3s

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/lotus/esprit/lotus-esprit-s4-1995-gt-world-championship-limited-edition/9562543

plus its one of the limited editions. I was looking at it, but with a S2, ,S3 HC turbo and a S4 at home already, the wife would have filed for divorce on the grounds of 3rd party !

Drage

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16 minutes ago, carspath said:

Thank you Dragan ..... I’ve seen that advert .... just can’t really love a green or blue Esprit.

Path

Looks a very nice car & I know what you mean about green but have you never seen an Azure Blue Esprit?

110201074648-s4s03_orig.jpg
 
And the picture doesn't do the colour justice. 

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Hi Path,

it would be worth getting hold of Absolute Lotus (issue 3 i think), you can get it on back order. That has a review of 5 Esprits including the GT3 which came out top in the comparison although I suspect this had more to do with @Sparky shorts than anything else. 

 

Dan E 

 

 

26 minutes ago, carspath said:

Thank you Dragan ..... I’ve seen that advert .... just can’t really love a green or blue Esprit.

Path

You obviously haven't seen @Chillidoggy S4S 😍. Just a shame about the owner!!!

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Hi Path

Classic Cars magazine out December (Feb 2020 edition) will have a big write up on the differences between 5 esprits (Turbo Esprit, S3 N/A, X180, GT3 and a V8). Might be worth a read.

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17 minutes ago, Dan E said:

That has a review of 5 Esprits including the GT3 which came out top in the comparison although I suspect this had more to do with @Sparky shorts than anything else. 

Gee, I must have worn the same shorts for the earlier Evo comparison!  Hehehe.

You'll almost invariably find that people recommend the variant they own.  I contend that most of them haven't driven many Esprits. 

I have driven every Esprit variant except the S300, and there's a reason I own a GT3.  It is hands-down the most sorted ride of all Esprits, following years of research and improvement.  Handling is as you'd expect from an Esprit, only the car is lighter and feels it, but still absolutely planted around bends.  Reliability?  One alternator and one starter in 8 years.  I very rarely see a broken GT3.  A very nice drive around town, and a bit of an animal on the open road.  And the later ones have a decent ABS system. You will make two major concessions:  comfort and acceleration.  None of that leather and alcantara stuff - you get vinyl (lasts very well) and, if you're lucky, the coveted GT3 seats with about 5 microns of padding.  I love them.  The lost 200ccs are definitely noticeable from a standing start.  Quite pedestrian, actually.  But when boost cuts in it's an absolute joy.

I bought my GT3 from @Trevsked , having helped him collect it when he purchased it maybe a year previously.  It was the best GT3 I'd ever driven, so when Trev came to sell it, I was there like a rat up a drainpipe.  He's my friend.

S4/S4s - lovely cars, faster from the get-go, nice interiors, but crap ABS system.  I'd lump the SE in with these with excellent performance but not quite as refined.  GT3 - a bit slower but lovely mid-range, decent ABS, doesn't rattle or creak.  Esprit Turbo - if you're more of a classic fan, this carbed engine is just lovely but needs a little more care. 

Overriding all of this is the need to buy a car with provenance that's been properly cared for.


British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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Path,

as much as it pains me I have to agree with @Sparky I followed him up to the 70th at Hethel and can confirm his GT3 is fecking quick and sounds glorious. I think it has to be to get away from all the insects following it. 

What he says about provenance is so true a bad one is going to break any dreams you have ever had, you could do a lot worse than paying Mr Sparky above to go and check out any car before paying any money over. I promise you it will be the best money you will spend. 

Now this has been up for sale for ever and looks like a really nice car, if i didn't have to buy a kitchen I would be checking this out

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1111706

 

Dan E

 

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This could be a nice car with a bit of discount off it.

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1181160

 

Id agree with @sparky, the GT3 is probably the best driving Esprit variant for road use, if it’s 4cyl you’re after.

 

Trevor.


I'll get around to it at some point.

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Thank you all for your detailed responses.

Its great to have owners with direct experience , and obvious enthusiasm , answering the questions .

The green GT3 ( in about Sept ,I tried to get over my green phobia ) ... I think that this is the same car that was on sale in Oxfordshire , and I rang the then dealer who was prepared to let the car go for about £25.5 k 

If it is the same car then that’s a £10k increase ...... maybe that’s the Surrey tax.

Looks like I need to reproduce what Sparky has ..... I’m used to waiting for the good things in life .

Meanwhile , thank you again for your replies , and I’m here to hear any more advice that you might have , and most importantly enjoy your lovely Esprits

 

Path

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5 hours ago, Dan E said:

Hi Path,

it would be worth getting hold of Absolute Lotus (issue 3 i think), you can get it on back order. That has a review of 5 Esprits including the GT3 which came out top in the comparison although I suspect this had more to do with @Sparky shorts than anything else. 

 

Dan E 

 

I was robbed

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Shoulda worn shorter shorts.

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British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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That pic's not royalty-free, you know.

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British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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Now, back to the thread......

Path, I'm not sure where you're based, but I can certainly second that if you want an Esprit guru to have a look at a car you're interested in, then Sparky is your man - despite his penchant for hot pants, he is a total Esprit whisperer and will be able to give you the best advice ahead of a purchase. 

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Thank you all for your detailed responses.

Its great to have owners with direct experience , and obvious enthusiasm , answering the questions .

The green GT3 ( in about Sept ,I tried to get over my green phobia ) ... I think that this is the same car that was on sale in Oxfordshire , and I rang the then dealer who was prepared to let the car go for about £25.5 k 

If it is the same car then that’s a £10k increase ...... maybe that’s the Surrey tax.

Looks like I need to reproduce what Sparky has ..... I’m used to waiting for the good things in life .

Meanwhile , thank you again for your replies , and I’m here to hear any more advice that you might have , and most importantly enjoy your lovely Esprits

 

Path

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Hate to interrupt the pressing issue re ( Sparky,s  ) hot pants for the much more mundane and less glamorous topic of Esprits .

The (same) green GT3 is still being advertised on carandclassiccar.co.uk for £26750 , so you can understand my confusion re pricing and availability ( 2 dealers miles apart selling the same car !) 

I take on board the point re provenance that all of you have made ...... so much easier to buy directly off the owner . 

I,m based in Dorset 

Where are you based Sparky ... I assume , not really Florida !?

Path

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Path,

I would like to say I haven’t seen @Sparky in them shorts and I am now kind of worried as he is coming to my 50th 😂.

if you can get a car off someone here then all the better but as @JNW3 ( thinking about it he is coming to my party as well 😳) says Mr S is your man. I would not buy another esprit without him looking at it. I got mine via @Bazza 907 on here so I knew what I was buying and Sparky and GST Performance look after it no one else. Gin is your friend. 

if you don’t like green I will ask that @Chillidoggy posts you a picture of his S4S that will change your mind. It is stunning ( his coming as well) 

you also get invited to parties 😂
 

 

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Whilst I'm not a fan of green, good paint does look amazing as evidenced by Ian's.  The paint has incredible depth.

I'm in Watford, but will occasionally be found in Bournemouth or Poole with family.


British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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15 minutes ago, Sparky said:

 

I'm in Watford in hot-pants , but will occasionally be found in Bournemouth or Poole with family in hot-pants .

FTFY 

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