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John Bond

New Esprit S1 - need advice for maintenance

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Mate, after all the delays I've had for the last 3 months, I'll be playing catchup well into Spring!

I do love playing with a nice S1.

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

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5 hours ago, John Bond said:

Hi everyone

I am new to this forum and this is my first message. As a keen collector of Bond cars, I recently acquired a nice white Lotus Esprit S1 to add to my collection. Although the car is originally english (it's a RHD), it is am import from another european country. She arrived safe in London where I live last week. This vehicle is in decent condition (pictures attached) for her age,  but I still would like to do a complete check as the car has not been driven a lot in the last 10 years and there are a few things that need fixing (the rear gear is very hard to find and there seems to be a starter issue). Do you know any specialist (ideally close to London) that are used to working on old Esprits ?

Many thanks and HNY everyone


That looks like a good find :) What chassis number is it?

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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Sorry, I'm based up on the North Yorkshire coast, but I have tackled pretty much everything on the S1. You can check up my restoration blog on 'catch up' here

Generally, the car is pretty much standard mechanically, but finding a mechanic who appreciates it, and is going to put in the groundwork to research it's intricacies isn't going to be easy, but you certainly do not need to go too far to find someone as is usually indicated on here or on the various Facebook groups.

The reverse gear selection is most probably just a turn of the nut adjustment on the gearbox bellhousing  near the engine block, or an adjustment at the gear selection lever on the top/rear.

Starting issues could be the starter, which is weak for the size of the engine, or a tuning issue. Check that it has a good earth connection before doing anything else. It'll be a simple maintenance issue.

If the car hasn't been run for much for 10 years, check the timing belt and tensioner. It'll probably be OK for road testing, but some indication from the previous owner of it's age would be ideal. However I assume you purchased it from a dealer. 

There are a number of other S1 owner/restorers on here. @Paul Coleman above, @jonroberts, @bgalbraith, @grimreaper, @madrocket amongst others. They're a font of knowledge. Other folk are @CHANGES and @Sparky mentioned above. They seem have a very good general knowledge of all Esprits.

Don't go down the rabbit warren that some do, these cars are relatively simple and the answer is usually the obvious one.

@JNW3 is London-based and I'm sure he knows someone decent to recommend for maintenance. 

I'd suggest checking out Mark at Stocks Coachworks as probably being one of your classic esprit folks

I've heard UK Sportscars (Kent), who deal in them are best avoided. Easy for me, as they're flippin' miles away!

Good luck, and enjoy!

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17 minutes ago, John Bond said:

Thank you so much for this very informed post - much appreciated @Fridge

Welcome to "the club".

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If you're looking for a G Esprit specialist garage, then try Nick at Tomorrow's Classics (07719 945325‬). What he doesn't know about an S1 etc. He also restores Bell and Colvill's (in Sussex) classic Lotus'.

Sudders and Dany

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Hi there - congrats on the car - looks good in the pictures :) 

Gerald at GST Performance in Newmarket looks after my S1, but you need to book your car in well in advance - any genuinely good specialist will have a waiting list of cars and you just have to join the queue, so you'll probably need to be patient! @Sparky is in Watford and is also an Esprit whisperer and while I have no doubt that the @Dan E clutch issue will probably turn into a full rebuild of his car, Sparky probably would still be your quickest option near to London.

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