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Help with buying an S3 NA wanted


SimonJam

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Hi guys I’m new to this forum. I’m thinking of buying a 1984 S3 Esprit. (My first Lotus)

I have a car In mind and will be looking at it in the next few days. I was after a member/s on here who can give me some guidance on what to look for on this particular model and if the car is a known car in the Lotus world. It’s a non turbo ex 1984 motor show car model. 

Any help you guys can give would be great. The car is reg C358 PVL. White Pearl paint with I believe show correct matching bbs wheels. It also has a manual Sunroof. Is that factory correct?

So anyway, any help you can give would be greatly appreciated as I know these cars can be expensive to put right when they have issues.

Many thanks and I hope to hear from you guys soon. 
 

simon

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Hi Simon, and welcome! I have a 1986 S3, they are great cars and fairly easy to work on. I dont get too involved on the engine side of things, i have a good mechanic for that. The rest though you can learn as you go, which is basically what i did. This forum is the best resource for that, great folks with sound advice. I bought my car after it needed a lot of work and now its almost finished but being a classic there will always be something else that that needs doing. I just take my time. I dont know anything about your car but it looks good and im sure someone will know it and be able to give you more info... My sunroof is factory but without seeing closer pics of yours it would be heard to tell.. All the best

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59 minutes ago, SimonJam said:

Hi guys I’m new to this forum. I’m thinking of buying a 1984 S3 Esprit. (My first Lotus)

I have a car In mind and will be looking at it in the next few days. I was after a member/s on here who can give me some guidance on what to look for on this particular model and if the car is a known car in the Lotus world. It’s a non turbo ex 1984 motor show car model. 

Any help you guys can give would be great. The car is reg C358 PVL. White Pearl paint with I believe show correct matching bbs wheels. It also has a manual Sunroof. Is that factory correct?

So anyway, any help you can give would be greatly appreciated as I know these cars can be expensive to put right when they have issues.

Many thanks and I hope to hear from you guys soon. 
 

simon

90B621D5-76F4-48B8-BEFA-DB026A6319A9.png

Welcome to TLF Simon. :welcome:

I have moved your post into the Wanted section. Hope you find the right car.

I was going to say that the sunroof in an Esprit is manual, but then I thought that maybe you meant whether the S3 ever came with the option?

You should also duck over to the Introductions area and say hi in there as well. :) 

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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Hi Simon

I don't know the car but a mate of mine does - he owns the sister car that was at the motor show and is in the exact same colours. I'll ask him.

Just checking, it wasn't re registered in the last few years from B61 PEX was it? If so search the forum for a thread about it.   

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58 minutes ago, SimonJam said:

The car is reg C358 PVL. White Pearl paint with I believe show correct matching bbs wheels. It also has a manual Sunroof. Is that factory correct?

Picture 12 looks like an original sunroof, looks a nice motor. Good luck & enjoy :thumbup:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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5 minutes ago, 910Esprit said:

Not sure John.  Compare pictures 2 & 4.    Looks aftermarket to me

Good point, it's not there in pic 2, but what about Barrie's question of it being re registered, maybe it's a different car? :ermm:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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I'd have a very good look at the paintwork as the pearlescent white can't be matched if there is a prang and effectively needs the whole car respraying. Brian (identical car, on standby for the motor show) had to have it completely resprayed to get it 100% perfect.

Have to say it does look very nice but I wouldn't be taken in thinking it's worth a huge amount more simply because it was a motor show car. 

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Posted (edited)

Its on for 34k. Which I believe is top whack for an s3 non Turbo. I agree just cos it’s a motor show car doesn’t mean much to me either.mainly posted to help identify the particular car. The sunroof part is interesting I can ask the owner. 

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1 hour ago, SimonJam said:

The sunroof part is interesting I can ask the owner. 

Easy to tell, a factory sun roof fills the whole width of the car between the cant rails whereas an aftermarket one won't :thumbup:

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Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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  • Gold FFM

1986 White Lotus Esprit for sale for £34000 (autotrader.co.uk)

Sunroof is aftermarket and devalues the car, in all senses.

Price is top whack, I don't think the car is worth anything starting with a '3'. Motor Show history is near worthless in terms of £.

On the plus side, Chris Foulds has serviced it, so I would call him. Ideally, get the car inspected by Chris prior to considering a purchase, especially as it has not been used (much) since March 2020.

Good luck

Justin

 

 

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Just Spoke to Chris. It’s had a C service in 2019. Also they advised the owner that no3 cylinder/carb would not adjust and I don’t think this was done or resolved. Also tappet clearances needed adjusting. So I need to check if any of this has been sorted. So thanks guys all good info so far. Chris said the carb seals were also too tight and needed looking at. 😳 it all sounds expensive so far. 

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  • Gold FFM

I have an Excel - very similar engine-wise. You can spend 3k in the blink of an eye - and whatever you do, don't let anyone near it who is not a genuine expert. Chris Foulds, Max500, LotusBits are 3 good 'uns. Avoid Lotus main dealers - too old for their mechanics to know them. Believe me, I know. 

The car is over-priced. Only if Chris does a full appraisal and you know what you are in for should you consider it, with the work done or discounted off. 

Justin 

 

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Even if you buy at that price when you come to sell very few lotus people will be interested with that sunroof without a considerable discount

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hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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  • Gold FFM

If you are seeking an S3 - then this looks nice currently on bidding. A good use and improve car.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/304063674517

the white one is top dollar with a horrible after market sunroof - the motorshow tag adds nothing whatsoever to the car - but it’s a nice talking point.

Only here once

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Posted (edited)

That’s been sold. It’s been on their site for ages, but is gone. There is also a black one from a dealer in Scotland which I asked about. However the dealer says it drops oil sometimes so not sure if it’s more hassle than it’s worth. I think I may give the white one a miss judging by the comments on here tbh. I don’t want any more lemons. I’ve had a few in the past. I want to drive the car not look at it in a lay-by 😁. It’s a shame, cos it does look good, but again it has to be an investment too. 

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  • Gold FFM

If you want to drive your car and especially if that means using all the rev range and not treating it as a museum piece, then you need to buy a car from a either a non-cash-strapped Lotus owner or one versatile with the spanners. Even then, as Barry wisely advises on TLF, mechanical things go wrong so suck it up. 

Any wedge Lotus is potentially an expensive car to maintain. Cambelt is every two years - but nothing compares to it for driving pleasure if you value steering, handling, suspension and poise. And Esprit looks are probably worth the entry ticket alone.

Elise is a safer bet for a Lotus virgin, arguably the best Lotus road car ever made. 

If your heart is set on Esprit - and why not - advertise on here for WANTED.

Don't buy any old car in a hurry. Advise I frequently ignore of course.

Justin

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