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Hello and a big thank you !


slay

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Hello all,

First of all, I have got to start off with a big thank you to this forum, possibly from a potential purchase mistake.

Like many, I will be (hopefully soon) a first time Lotus owner, definitely the Esprit model and currently deciding on either a V8, S4S or a GT3, have been admiring the wedge shaped Esprit for a long time.

I only just missed out the VB GT advertised on ebay for 27.5K, maybe someone on this forum bought it, but an owner has kindly agreed to show me his 1999 V8 Esprit tomorrow, which is probably out of my budget but useful to see one as a benchmark.

I was quite keen on the 1995 S4S that UK Sports Cars is selling, it looks great with the OZ split rims and the wider wheel arches, just looks a lot more purposeful even stationary.  The car has done 81K, so a bit on the high side, but I am ok with it provided that it has been properly maintained. Dealer is telling me that they are prepared to sell for 29.5K given that they have just got it, and will put up the price once they start to market it.

Then there is a silver 1999 GT3 being advertised for 30K, but seller keen to sell at 26.5 K but I will need to cover the cost of a service. I like the lower cost and the fact that the GT3 has the updated interior from the V8, minus the wing and the widen wheel arches unfortunately.

Ok, I have not seen any of these cars in person, but having read the review of UK Sports Cars, I think I am going to give it a miss, it is interesting that google has a few positive reviews of this dealer, but I guess it depends on what people buy I guess, they seem to have sold quite a few Esprits?  I am guessing that these were all sold to people like me then (first time lotus esprit buyer)?

On the V8, I am a little concerned just based on what I have read on the perceived reliability of the V8, especially the gear box and this common issue of the engine cylinder seals.  I am fine with the higher maintenance and running costs, but want to minimise any unexpected repair bills.

The GT3 looks like a good buy assuming it does check out, but I will forever be looking at beautiful S4S and V8 exterior ...

Looking for some expert opinion on this forum, so any suggestion or recommendation would be most appreciated.

Thanks.

 

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The black S4s belonged to @fflyingdog for a very long time until recently as he's swapped for an Evora.

UK Sports Cars used to have a poor rep but in truth over the last few years I've only heard good about Cluggers. I'd have a chat to Nick about his car and perhaps revisit UKSC. Saying that, the GT3's really are good Esprits too, nice choice to have! 

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  • Gold FFM

Personally I would give the V8 a wide berth, luckily for me I get @Chillidoggy S4 as part of my inheritance so i am just waiting to take to a trip to Beachy Head with him with a decent head wind. 
 

GT3 is the way to go IMHO 

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1 hour ago, Bibs said:

The black S4s belonged to @fflyingdog for a very long time until recently as he's swapped for an Evora.

UK Sports Cars used to have a poor rep but in truth over the last few years I've only heard good about Cluggers. I'd have a chat to Nick about his car and perhaps revisit UKSC. Saying that, the GT3's really are good Esprits too, nice choice to have! 

This is a good start then, a S4s owned by a forum member, most likely well looked after. I will contact Nick (@fflyingdog?) to find out more about his car... He still have an esprit or moved onto newer models?  

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1 hour ago, Dan E said:

Personally I would give the V8 a wide berth, luckily for me I get @Chillidoggy S4 as part of my inheritance so i am just waiting to take to a trip to Beachy Head with him with a decent head wind. 
 

GT3 is the way to go IMHO 

I am very tempted to go for the GT3... If only it looks as good as the S4S.  Well, still a great looking car with the same wedge shape, just does not have as an aggressive stance I guess.  It is possible to have the S4S rear wing on it, would it cost a lot?  Or better leaving the GT3 in its standard form.  The owner (obviously an enthusiast as well) asked me not to put the rear wing on it to ruin it!😁

I am glad I found the forum first before buying!

I thought there might be a few for sale on the forum, but actually none at all!  People must be holding onto their cars.

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Slay - if I was you I’d buy Nick’s S4s......it’s been a very loved car for many many years! I’m sure he’ll be on here and convince you likewise. Very special in black too with red accents and carpets😎

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7 minutes ago, stephenwhyte said:

Slay - if I was you I’d buy Nick’s S4s......it’s been a very loved car for many many years! I’m sure he’ll be on here and convince you likewise. Very special in black too with red accents and carpets😎

Well, it was hard not to consider it, the photo does a lot of the convincing!

when did Nick sell the car, was there another person who owned the car after Nick?  I have already dropped him a message!

7F6B4749-BD07-42EF-8652-38714214BB13.jpeg

9 minutes ago, jep said:

The classic Esprit is a 4 pot. By the S3, it was well developed and basically sorted.

S1, S2, V8 are in my judgement for the more experienced Lotus devotees. 

Justin 

 

Yeah, maybe a V8 Esprit for the first time Esprit owner is not such a good idea.  As a matter of fact, the power is not that important to me, it is the look and the driver experience.  

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3 hours ago, slay said:

The car has done 81K, so a bit on the high side

A Lotus need to be driven regularly, so the more miles driven the (especially over the last few years) means that everything should be working fine - so longs as it has been serviced correctly over those few years. You need a car that is driven regularly rather than one that has been sitting around doing nothing, which means more things to replace.

 

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A general question on value...

between a 1999 V8 (57k) a 1998 GT3 (71k) and Nick’s old S4S (84k) what is a reasonable price to pay for each of these, assuming all in great condition?

Obviously will not be using the Esprit daily, should I worry about any Esprit approaching 100k?

3 minutes ago, ChrisJ said:

The more miles a Lotus has done (especially over the last few years) means that everything should be working fine - so longs as it has been serviced correctly over those few years. You need a car that is driven regularly rather than one that has been sitting around doing nothing, which means more things to replace.

 

Hmmm, I should be worry about the GT3 then... I think it has been in storage since jan 2019!

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2019 is not a long time.

I'd check how many miles it has driven over the previous 5 years, who serviced it and when.

I bought my Esprit in 1987 with 26k on the clock. drove it 20k until I went abroad in 1994. recommissioned it in 2012 - for a fair amount - and it is now on 61k, annual service cost is around £350 and £800, depending upon a cam belt change.

 

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Excellent guys, thank you all so much for the information!

why didn’t I do this earlier!!

now I just need to speak to Nick about his old car, it is very reassuring to know that the car (N435 RGA) was indeed Nick’s old S4S right?

I was tempted by GT3’s lower price and updated dashboard, but just love the S4S engine and the look!  Did all S4S Come with those  beautiful looking OZ Racing wheels?

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  • Gold FFM

Great news.

Varied mix of owners on TLF. Some OCD, many handy with spanners, track day specialists but also many who have little clue about mechanical stuff but just love driving a Lotus. 

I hope you have a wonderful debut Lotus experience.

Justin 

 

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Well, it is a new record for me as well!

As a matter of fact, I only signed up to the forum less than a day ago.

Indeed, from should I to deposit paid in 18 hours sounds crazy, but I know it is the right car for me having spoken to Nick.

I thought about the GT3, while it is 4 year newer and the updated interior, but personally prefer the S4S and the V8 exterior, especially the OZ Racing split rims on the S4S.

I wanted to be more cautious given the "perceived" reputation, but I think a lot of this is urban myth having read many posts on this forum.

Pity I won't be able to do a lot of driving in the S4s until spring next year, but I will be visiting Nick before I put the car away into storage.

 

 

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3 hours ago, ChrisJ said:

@slay - congratulations :thumbsup:

Whereabouts in the country are you located?

Chris

I live in Teddington, Greater London, hope to meet you guys and see your pride and joy soon, well normality returns!

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