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Value of a Non-Matching (Engine) Esprit Turbo


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Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and would greatly appreciate your help.

I'm considering buying an 84 Esprit Turbo that I've sourced locally (in Jordan) but was told by the current owner (who's a reputable local mechanic) that they recently changed the cylinder on the car and did an engine rebuild even though it had only done 22,000 km since new. This effectively means the number on the cylinder isn't matching to the car.

I know numbers matching matters on most cars. Would this effect the value of an Esprit Turbo or does not matter since they're so rare anyway?

If it does have an effect, how much? And does this nullify it as a potential investment?

I'm obviously buying the car to restore it to original specs and enjoy it. However, a big part of me justifying paying so much is also potential price appreciation as well considering Esprit Turbo's have always been undervalued relative to 308's and other supercars of the time period.

Thank you!

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According to the owner its originally Copper. It was repainted white by the two previous owners, going for the Bond Submarine look. Interior was also re-upholstered but I'm thinking of going for the t

Hi and welcome An engine change is not the end of the world with an Esprit and plenty are like it, for most it wouldn’t be a concern and for the few it won’t have a big impact value wise. Ce

Hello and welcome. When you say cylinder do you mean the block? Any performance car engine can fail for any reason at anytime, if you have the history behind the failure and the reason for t

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Hi and welcome

An engine change is not the end of the world with an Esprit and plenty are like it, for most it wouldn’t be a concern and for the few it won’t have a big impact value wise.

Certainly a rare car in Jordan so if a good car just go on what feels right and join a rather exclusive club being just that little bit different. 👍🏻
Good luck and hope you agree a purchase

Dave :) 

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Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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Hello and welcome.

When you say cylinder do you mean the block?

Any performance car engine can fail for any reason at anytime, if you have the history behind the failure and the reason for the block swap that would be the important thing. Having documented history gives the car pedigree and that is just as important as matching numbers. So an enthusiast would not really be worried about it. Diehard collectors like matching numbers cars..

The more important thing is the quality of the rebuild. What was replaced in the rebuild and the quality of the components used. It is very important to get the paperwork on the rebuild. Without it the value of the car is lower in my opinion. The 84 cars I believe used aluminum pistons which I understand we’re not up to the job. So try and find out if upgraded pistons were installed.

Best of luck!

 

 

 

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Wow thanks for the helpful tips! I'll definitely make sure the owner who is also the mechanic who worked on it, documents everything so that I do have the correct information for my records in the future. I was told he did switch to new pistons when changing out the block, although it is concerning considering the car had only travelled 18,000 km when the rebuild occured!

It's now gone some 22,000 km and seems to be sorted mechanically but needs some TLC,  namely a new paint job, sunroof, steering wheel and a few other bits.

I just want to make sure I'm buying something that will be a valuable edition of the Esprit Turbo considering the low mileage (even if the block was swapped).

Do you know how I can identify the original color of the car?

Edited by kalypso
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According to the owner its originally Copper. It was repainted white by the two previous owners, going for the Bond Submarine look. Interior was also re-upholstered but I'm thinking of going for the two-tone black dash and red interior so that the steering wheel can be switch back to black.

 

 

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Think interior looks great ,why change it. In the things to do you mention sunroof ,assume it hasn't got one so don't put a non standard one in as sure to devalue it if you do

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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56 minutes ago, pete said:

Think interior looks great ,why change it. In the things to do you mention sunroof ,assume it hasn't got one so don't put a non standard one in as sure to devalue it if you do

No they ended up breaking the sunroof during storage some years ago. They ended putting in a fiberglass replacement for the space but since will try to create a temprered glass mold of it so that the car has one just like original.

As for the interior, it's not bad but I'm not fond of the steering wheel in red. I could just keep everything else as is but the carpet quality isn't to my liking and they used the same red-ish carpeting in the engine bay area and it looks quite worn.

I'm also not very keen on the carbon fiber surrounding the binnacles or the hazard switch (especially if I want to go for a period correct look).

You'll also notice a panel is missing from the engine bay and the engine cover is also missing (but not a biggie considering many people like leaving it exposed)

I do however need to find the original air box somewhere... the intake he's got on now, is probably doing more harm than good in a hot engine bay.

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Edited by kalypso
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1 hour ago, kalypso said:

You'll also notice a panel is missing from the engine bay and the engine cover is also missing (but not a biggie considering many people like leaving it exposed)

I don't know anyone who likes leaving the engine exposed. The cover is there to channel the airflow out of the louvres on the turbo engine rather than just let it waft around the engine bay.

Not sure of the random air filter either. There should be a large diameter pipe going to the right hand ear so that the engine gets cool(er) air rather than getting it from the engine bay.

Replacement water header tank? maybe needed in the hot climate of Jordan. 

I agree with you re the steering wheel - should be black. Ditto the carbon fibre. The hazard switch is a strange one - should be same as the other switches, maybe needed replacing and couldn't get the original? How does the red binnacle reflect in the windscreen? In my Excel, I have red 1/2 leather with a black binnacle to stop the reflection.

What's the circular thing in between the window switches? On mine it's a rectangular pull choke.

Can you take a picture pf the boot area/engine bay from behind?

Best colour for an Esprit :wub:

 

 

 

 

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If the engine passes the usual used car test....no strange noises on cold start, no smoke, good oil pressure and has good compression. Being as the seller is a mechanic a compression test should be easy. Then I would by it. It looks good.

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53 minutes ago, ChrisJ said:

I don't know anyone who likes leaving the engine exposed. The cover is there to channel the airflow out of the louvres on the turbo engine rather than just let it waft around the engine bay.

Not sure of the random air filter either. There should be a large diameter pipe going to the right hand ear so that the engine gets cool(er) air rather than getting it from the engine bay.

Replacement water header tank? maybe needed in the hot climate of Jordan. 

I agree with you re the steering wheel - should be black. Ditto the carbon fibre. The hazard switch is a strange one - should be same as the other switches, maybe needed replacing and couldn't get the original? How does the red binnacle reflect in the windscreen? In my Excel, I have red 1/2 leather with a black binnacle to stop the reflection.

What's the circular thing in between the window switches? On mine it's a rectangular pull choke.

Can you take a picture pf the boot area/engine bay from behind?

Best colour for an Esprit :wub:

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately he doesn't have the cover. I'll have to find a cover but can't seemed to find any online. Nor can i find the weatherstripping around the louvers from the inside, his is worn on one side.

Based on the vin the car is made for a hot climate (was supplied for Jordan / Middle East region as new) and the current owner hasn't reported any overheating issues.

The circular thing in between the window switches, is a push start engine button. It's been disconnected but I'm going to reupholster that to make sure the car looks stock if I end up agreeing on a price with the seller.

Re the color I'm hoping for silver or copper to be on the trim tag. Can't stand the white.

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My ignorance here, what is that stuff in the cutout?

I'd give LotusBits a call to see if they have an engine cover/

 

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Just an observation, the struts are not correct, these should angle back to the front corners of the engine bay.  Interestingly. I've never noticed that type of black plastic side trim before.  They extend to the rear corners of the engine bay on my 84.  It also has a cam belt guard fitted - never seen that before on an Esprit either.  

Edited by 910Esprit
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It certainly has potential to bring it to its glorious original self. The steering wheel centre pad looks deformed & out of proper shape with incorrect stitching, but not too difficult to either re-do or source a quality used one. Yeah, the carbon fibre is odd looking in this cockpit with wrong hazard switch. Definitely get a proper engine air intake box & filter system (especially in your region with dust) & like others mentioned an engine bay cover too with fan ( like factory set up for cooling). Looks like a proper metal coolant pipe has been replaced with rubber hoses & some sort of mocked up plumbing & reservoir (maybe that’s why there’s a metal shroud over cam belt - to keep improper rubber hose from rubbing into the belt & pulleys). I’ve never seen hatch struts anchored so far back. Metal cover is missing to protect coil & electrics, no buggy. The trunk carpet has got to go, luckily there’s an awesome provider here on Lotuforums. Again its got potential, not too difficult to get this Esprit upto where it should be (it already looks pretty decent) & besides it’s a Turbo so it could be a fun running project. 👍Good luck, she’s already pretty but I think there’s a supermodel hiding behind these gripes 😜

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I can't begin to explain how appreciative I am for all the help of the community. You guys are great!

Considering your experience and opinions regarding these vehicles - what would be a fair value for it in your local market?

The reason I'm asking is we've had historically high customs charges and car prices are exorbitantly high here, especially those that are not electric (no subsidies). If I do restore this car to its former glory and do decide to sell it on abroad, I'd like to know how far out of the money I'll be.

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20 hours ago, ChrisJ said:

My ignorance here, what is that stuff in the cutout?

I'd give LotusBits a call to see if they have an engine cover/

 

They don't have one. They would be able to create a mould and create one from fiberglass for me but it'll set me back some 2000 GBP due to labor expenses! You'd think over the years at least one person has paid for it. I can't imagine being the first to need an engine cover!

Edited by kalypso
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I cant quite put my finger on as I have not got my car here for reference, but I can see a number of differences between my car in the boot setup - also an 84.    The engine sides are different as they do not have a connecting piece across the bulhead.  The cutout for the coil is different.   Also the sides themselves dont have the raised lip for the 'rubber' trim.   I dont think a standard UK 84 engine cover would fit.   I'm not saying its wrong, but its different - maybe its a regional diffence for a hot climate?

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Here's my 81 turbo for reference, the engine cover sits around the raised inner lip. As @910Esprit says it looks like a standard engine cover will not fit anyway as the surround is a completely different shape. It does look like it's a different design for that particular market so you may have to try and make (or have made) an engine cover to that particular shape.

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You’re right Steve, it’s a completely different engine surround. Lots of unusual bits around the engine Bay. A standard cover will never fit. My 83 is a hot climate car. It’s built like a UK version, very few differences. 

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It looks more like an S3 surround, or the later cars that had a straight panel at the rear of the engine. Shouldn't the cover have a fan arrangement to move hot air out but out of where?)?

Edited by andydclements
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