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Esprit S2, S3 racing car info from the ‘80s - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content

Esprit S2, S3 racing car info from the ‘80s

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I’m considering taking on a lotus esprit project and turn it into a replica race/rally car with An FIA historic technical passport (htp) ideally a series 2, 2.2 or series 3 turbo or non-turbo.

So, just to start, I’ve seen a blue S3 turbo raced by Gerry Marshall in the ‘80’s on this forum. (Photo below) Has anyone got any more info, technical spec or photos of the car as it raced in the day. 

Also, was there any other Series 2 or series 3 cars racing at this period in time? clubman, amateur  or professional?

Any help would be much appreciated.


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Story is that the car has being converted back to original road car spec. 

One good source of info of Lotus Esprit chassis raced is :

Basically what I found of early Esprits there were 2 cars build for Fia (DRM) races build along the lines of Group 5 regulations. 

1 is the "Jenvey" car which is rebuild and running historics. And one is in the USA. (And for sale, please let me know if you are interested)  Both are Lotus esprit bodies over a space frame chassis. The USA car got a bit more original Lotus left in it. Rear suspension is modified to some formula spec and engine a Ford DBA. To run them competitively they need over 300 Hp for sure. 

Other cars build are the Turbo as you pictured, this was for UK club level racing only. And very close to a original car. There was also a "Paul Matty" hillclimb car. Which was a spaceframe, without any Esprit bits. And there were various thundersaloon/modsport/special GT chassis made. Basically also spaceframe without any real esprit bits. (The AET car was re-bodied with a Skoda body) Some are for sale though for cheap:

Also there was a black Esprit for sale a while ago in the UK. Not sure if it was a modsport or Group 5. Looked a lot better than the current for sale items. 

And the S1/S2 car which ought to have run Daytona in 1981 was for sale in the USA some years ago. Not sure what happend to it. 

To get something with a HTP you either need to build something along the lines of a Group 5 car. Maybe the for sale modsport cars can be a good base. Or build a Group 4 along the Fia regulations. But not sure if there was ever a Lotus Esprit in a official Fia group 4 race. 

My car was a USA SCCA car which was build along the lines of Group 4 regulations but raced club level in the USA. So if you need any details for inspiration please let me know. 




VAN DER LEE Turbo Systems     -

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Thanks Jaap,

that’s a lot of information. Thanks!

I’ll need to be going in the direction of the car being based on a road car and not a space frame and would need to be road legal. Historic competition road/race car. That’s why I linked the blue one above, but can only find limited info on it. I do know it’s now in a museum in the Uk. But I would need to know it’s spec to copy it as it ran in the day. Or something similar which raced in the ‘80’s.



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I don't think the blue car was changed much other than the roll-cage and other safety features. Also I don't think it will be OK for Fia HTP other than to use it under Group 5 regs. Which would make it uncompetitive against the space frame cars. 

If you want a HTP for a road car based, you can better use a S1 or S2 for a base relating to the Fia Group 4 homologation document. Specifically with a 2 liter engine. 


VAN DER LEE Turbo Systems     -

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S3 is a 2.2 Although ,maybe they made 2 liters for Italy. (Not sure) also the suspension is different. 

Do you have a specific preference for LHD or RHD?

A good S1 base :

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Yes, it is.

I still can’t find much info on it though.

I’m after the technical info of what parts where used and make model of them etc.. anything really! So, if anyone knows anything or has any photos inside the car when it was a race car of the dash/interior, under boot, etc. engine bay photos showing the engine that would be much appreciated.

You could send them to my email address: [email protected]


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Hi just been speaking to motorsport Uk about fia historic passports.

Was the blue lotus turbo OPW 679W ever raced in Fia events in the day or just national events? That’s my main hurdle I need to know.

Any help is much appreciated. 

Thanks again to all who have helped so far.

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