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1988 Esprit Stevens N/A


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After 4 years ownership I’ve decided to sell my normally aspirated 1988 Stevens X180 Esprit. This is an extremely stylish classic which has been a great car to drive, always attracting attention wherever it goes and with the potential to appreciate in value. 

I went looking for an Esprit having previously owned an 1984 Lotus Excel which shares the same high compression engine. This has been my fair weather weekend car averaging approximately 1,000 miles per year for my usage, always garaged and well pampered but now replaced with a convertible.

Not being familiar with Esprits, when I purchased the car I took it to my nearby Lotus specialist (Rapid Mechanical Services Ltd, Romford) to have them assess both the good and bad. They noticed a problem with the handbrake efficiency but other than this, I was very pleased to be advised that all the ‘big jobs’ had been done and that my purchase was a sound one.

These items included:

  • Protech Adjustable shock/coilovers (13 settings)
  • New front Rads/Fans
  • Replaced Polyurethane bushes 
  • Both fuel tanks replaced with aluminium units
  • Steering rack replaced
  • Stainless steel twin pipe exhaust system
  • Auxiliary and timing belt just done
  • New header tank
  • New fuel Pipes
  • Wheels refurbished
  • All leather interior

The handbrake issue was addressed immediately, purchasing (circa £1,000) and having fitted the PNM upgraded Brembo Calipers, Discs, Pads kit as used on the Lotus Elise (see photo). It was also missing the sunroof leather bag and wind-deflector which I purchased separately for £250 and this of course stays with the car.

The car has been a pleasure to maintain and service with only a few odd jobs completed by specialists when needed. It runs cool and even on the hottest of days this year stuck in traffic it stays within the low-mid 80 degrees. The previous owner fitted a battery cut-off switch which has allowed me to leave the car for long periods without any restart probelms.

Recently completed.

  • Dellorto DHLA45 twin carb service kit applied tuned and balanced 
  • Oil and Filter changed (Millers fully synthetic)
  • Both cam gaskets replaced from SJS
  • New HT Leads and Plugs
  • Fuel Filter
  • Hunter Wheel Alignment
  • Radio with USB connection for phone (previous Alpine unit included)
  • Redex regularly added to fuel
    The odometer was replaced some 15-20k miles after an engine rebuild according to the previous owner making the true mileage approx 45k – I’ve not seeked to validate this.Please do not expect perfection here as this car is 33+ years old. However, as you can see from the photos, the overall presence of the car is not diminished by any such imperfections which I’ve already allowed for in my price expectation.

    I’m an enthusiast and not an expert but will endeavour to answer any questions you should ask. I would prefer/expect serious buyers to have viewed in person first or to have contacted me for more pictures/information that I will try and provide. Hopefully this car will pass on to a like-minded UK enthusiast which is why I’ve posted my ad here first.

The car will also be advertised soon on Ebay/Pistonheads – Please send me an email if you are interested:

[email protected]

Thanks for looking.

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  • Gold FFM

Interesting, they are looking for a quick return then I guess with minimal investment - good luck to them.

Whoever buys it will not have to do too much to keep enjoying it - they may of course have already quickly attended to the imperfections.

If any forum members are thinking to buy and have questions about the car I'll try and help.

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Hi FFM,

I'm hoping that someone can use some of the parts I'm clearing away now that my 1988 Esprit has gone.

I've put the details of the parts for sale link shown:

https://www.lotusforsale.com/ads/stevens-esprit-x180-garage-clearance/

If any existing members in Essex or near enough to make the trip to my home CM13 2SF are interested please send a message and we can agree a deal that suits you.

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