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Sport 350 and gt3 opinions


NiallEvo

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In addition to the s4s, I've also been looking at this:

https://www.selectinggear.com/auction-lot/lotus-esprit-sport-350/

And also this:

https://www.uksportscars.com/view/lotus-esprit-gt3-turbo-1999-chrome-orange-metallic-stunning-example-and-one-of-the-last-gt3-esprits-in-chrome-orange/

The sport 350 does strange things to me but with 8 owners I'm wondering if any of you know the car. Research on here has revealed a Mike Ring and a Trevor as previous custodians. 

The gt3 has 87k miles and although lovely I'm wondering if it's overpriced?

Thanks.

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Blimey, I've worked on and driven both of those.  The GT3 is possibly a little expensive; IMO the 350 good at its current level.  The 350 has a professionally balanced Nitron kit that's worth a lot and makes quite a difference.  The cars are polar opposites in Esprit terms; GT3 is only 2000cc and very much lightened, but a joy to drive.  350 is a monster with all the trim. 

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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A GT3 sold last week on collecting cars in the same colour for about27000 plus 6%

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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To add some figures for perspective:

GT3

1230Kg unladen

240bhp -  216 lb/ft  (0.2bhp /Kg)

V8 350

1300Kg unladen

350bhp - 295 lb/ft (0.27bhp /Kg)

 

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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Thanks for the replies chaps. No one is using the word "dog" or telling me to run away so that's a good start.

Yes I know they are very different cars but the dream since my teens was an esprit, not a specific model. I've owned so many weekend toys (noble, tuscans, corvette, gtr, 911, cobra rep, etc.) and found aspects to enjoy in all of them. I'm as happy with precise and delicate as I am with raging beast - if I had the funds I'd buy both of them. It's the 350 that stirs me though...

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13 minutes ago, cweeden said:

I'm a bit biased so probably don't have to say much at all ...

No please, whet my appetite. 

One thing I'm not a fan of is a really crashy ride. How will those expensive nitrons be on the road?

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If you are stirred by the Sport350 then try and organise a test drive.

Like Chris, I'm a huge fan of the S350 having bought mine from new.   I have since modified it for significantly more power, but in the factory form they already have savage performance.

I cannot speak for the Nitrons, but assuming they are adjustable you should be able to tailor the settings to your taste.

Looking at your previous cars, I have a feeling that the S350 might meet your expectations more so than the GT3.

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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9 minutes ago, mike_sekinger said:

If you are stirred by the Sport350 then try and organise a test drive.

Like Chris, I'm a huge fan of the S350 having bought mine from new.   I have since modified it for significantly more power, but in the factory form they already have savage performance.

I cannot speak for the Nitrons, but assuming they are adjustable you should be able to tailor the settings to your taste.

Looking at your previous cars, I have a feeling that the S350 might meet your expectations more so than the GT3.

Yes I think so. I am accustomed to some decent shove. Will phone Gerry, the auction site guy, today. 

 

So you've owned it for 22 odd years? That's wonderful. What sort of power? Can the transmission take it or is that beefed up as well?

Edited by NiallEvo
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Although I did buy the car new, I sold it when no longer in the UK only to buy it back some 9 years later.

Mine is running over 500bhp but does have an upgraded clutch and UN1 gearbox.  The stock turbocharged engine is not chargecooler/intercooled, so there is a lot of scope for performance increases.

Modifications are not for everyone, but as stated the stock performance is extremely satisfying.  It would be interesting to hear of your observations if you do get to test drive it.

 

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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9 minutes ago, mike_sekinger said:

Although I did buy the car new, I sold it when no longer in the UK only to buy it back some 9 years later.

Mine is running over 500bhp but does have an upgraded clutch and UN1 gearbox.  The stock turbocharged engine is not chargecooler/intercooled, so there is a lot of scope for performance increases.

Modifications are not for everyone, but as stated the stock performance is extremely satisfying.  It would be interesting to hear of your observations if you do get to test drive it.

 

That must be extremely lively...

Yes, I will post my observations when the time comes (unless someone else beats me to the car). I assume these come up very rarely although I did notice the one about 6 months ago that started at £65k and was slashed to £55k before it sold.

Off to Google UN1 gearbox...

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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Thank you Chris - all very helpful.

I do worry slightly about running costs. This one seems to be well sorted though. If I put aside 2-3k pa to cover servicing and maintenance is that too optimistic? 

I drove an evora 400 at b&c last year and was very impressed- the smarr thing might be to spend my budget there. Of course, what I'd (theoretically) save on maintenance I'd probably lose in depreciation. 

And it's an esprit I want.

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£2-£3k pa - that’s enough to keep an esprit going as long as it’s good to start with. A V8 engine that detonates can quickly eat £15k though. A solid one will look after you if you look after it 👍

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Only here once

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All I can say is that @Trevskedspent a lot of money sorting this car (it's what he does), so when it left him it would have been in outstanding condition.

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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6 minutes ago, Sparky said:

All I can say is that @Trevskedspent a lot of money sorting this car (it's what he does), so when it left him it would have been in outstanding condition.

And yet according to the ad it needed another £12k to take it to it's present condition. How recently did trevor sell does anyone remember? I wonder if it was abused/neglected at some point in between. 

My hope is that the current owner is just very fastidious and now the car in minty mint throughout. Probably too good to be true. 

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Hi Niall......best of luck deciding but I think the 350 is the way I’d be leaning. Here is some info of the same car.

https://www.pistonheads.com/news/ph-spottedykywt/lotus-esprit-sport-350-spotted/36408

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Trev's s350 and my GT3, amongst others, in an Evo article a few years back...

https://www.evo.co.uk/lotus/elise/14118/lotus-esprit-s1-vs-essex-turbo-vs-sport-300-vs-s4s-vs-gt3-vs-sport-350

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British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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2 hours ago, NiallEvo said:

And yet according to the ad it needed another £12k to take it to it's present condition. How recently did trevor sell does anyone remember? I wonder if it was abused/neglected at some point in between. 

My hope is that the current owner is just very fastidious and now the car in minty mint throughout. Probably too good to be true. 

Thought current owner was Hoffman's

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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Great articles, thank you. I'd read the 1st before, not realising it was the very same car. Was that before or after the nitrons i wonder. 

The guy from Selecting Gear says it is being sold on behalf of a private owner (hence no warranty option) which doesn't tally with the Hoffman's theory...

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