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Considering an Esprit advice needed


TrevS

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Hi all

I am new to looking at Esprits and considering ownership as my next bucket list car. Having ticked the Aston Martin box and E-type jag I am looking for a replacement weekend toy and I can't stop looking at late model year esprit's. They were a poster car for me as a kid so I am very seriously looking at them at the moment.

I've been looking at late 90's V8's but prices seem to have really ramped up from the last time I looked as with a lot of used cars. So am also considering a GT3. I've not considered a 4 cylinder car before as the V8 was always the car I had assumed was the one to have but I've seen a few articles suggesting the GT3 is a brilliant car in the range. As I've got older the desire for straight line speed isn't something that is hugely important to me, but I want a car that will feel special and not feel underpowered.

Does anyone have any advice for an Esprit novice on which car might be right for me, either v8 and GT3? Are there any guides, threads etc I should start reading and what price should I look at paying for a good example of either late 90's GT3 or a V8?

Thanks

Trev

 

 

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It's possible you may have read something involving my GT3!

Of all the Esprits I've driven (a few), the GT3 is absolutely top of the tree for me.  Subjectively, of course.  Not quite as perky from a standing start, but really makes up for it in the midrange.  S4s is a different animal, and the S4 is not to be discounted.

Best would be to try a few.  Where are you based?

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

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Thanks for the advice so far. I haven't read your post Sparky but will have a look now. I've just read a few journo articles saying that the GT3 is the best handling. I do love the V8 looks though with the high rear wing, wider arches, bigger wheels etc but I am sure you could make your Esprit the way you want but important to get the car that feels right. I am based in Warwickshire, UK so if anyone fancies showing me round an Esprit then I would happily take up the offer. Otherwise if there are any events on to meet a few owners that would be great.

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Ahh Sparky, your car was in the Evo Esprit test I was referring to. Stunning car and what a good review. You also have the only colour I would consider for an Esprit. Looks amazing

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Beware journalists' take on things in general, they need copy to fill space and thus will obfuscate. Every Esprit built has handled brilliantly, it's in the DNA quite obviously. Where I have found noteworthy distinction is in the finer points of steering feedback, though only between early non-Turbo and Turbo cars up to the SE spec. @Sparky gives fine advice here, drive 'em and see for yourself.

Cheers 

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15 minutes ago, TrevS said:

You also have the only colour I would consider for an Esprit.

Clearly a man of singular breeding and outstanding taste.

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

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Exactly what I would have posted at this time last year, before I bought Nick's S4s.

I was also looking at the V8, but was also worried about the potential cost of engine rebuilt, and I just love the OZ split rims of the S4s, and the rear spoiler ...  

Performance is more than enough, I can only imagine how 4.6 second 0 to 100 time must have been perceived back in 1995!  Anyway, the timeless look of the esprit is probably one of the reasons why many of us bought the car.

I love the whole analogue driving experience.

I would recommend that you wait for a car owned by a forum member, to ensure that it has been probably looked after !

The previous owner of my car - Nick, he owned the car for 17 years, definitely a car that has been treasured and I see myself as another guardian of the car for the (hopefully) next 17 years !

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13 hours ago, TrevS said:

Any advice on prices to pay for good late 90's cars as budget is also a factor?

You could always buy my S4, but it is in Australia. 🛫🛬🚢🛫🛬?

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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14 hours ago, TrevS said:

Any advice on prices to pay for good late 90's cars as budget is also a factor?

@TrevS for an S4, between £25 and £30k. For an S4s between £30k and £35k. Sure, they'll be outliers, a really perfect S4s might be upwards of £40k. I was put off by the cost and too many stories about V8 reliability, rather the costs if something went seriously wrong. I would have liked an S4s but ended up buying an S4 from a forum member. Very well looked after before and since and I've zero regrets, she's been an absolute dream to own these past 2 years.

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Ok I’ve done a bit of reading yesterday to better understand models and differences and starting to build a picture of car I would like. The v8 is out I think because of big bills if any engine issues. The S4s looks fantastic on the outside and seems like it’s in the sweet spot for performance at 300bhp. However the interior really isn’t for me and that was what pushed me to a later esprit in the first place. That then leaves the gt3 which has the updated interior but lacks some of the exterior drama of the s4s and some performance which I think I could live with.

So the car I want looks like a late model v8 but with a 4 cylinder. I think that’s means gt3 with some exterior cosmetic changes (arches, wing) as I haven’t been able to find any s4s esprit owners that have managed to update the interior. 

What’s the general view on modifying Esprits. Do many owners update cars etc or is it a big no no in the community? 

Trev 

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17 hours ago, TrevS said:

Does anyone have any advice for an Esprit novice on which car might be right for me, either v8 and GT3? Are there any guides, threads etc I should start reading and what price should I look at paying for a good example of either late 90's GT3 or a V8?

Have you read this and this or this or this:thumbup:

Edited by jonwat
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Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Early GT3's had the S4s interior with the 'banana' binnacle, the V8-style 'eyebrow' dash arrangement was introduced during its production run. I seem to recall the older interior was rather more numerous, but TBC by someone more knowledgeable than me. If that's correct though, your choice will be even more limited if you're set on the later interior, with only 196 in total. There are also two different seats available, luxury and sports. Regarding modifications, it is of course subjective, however my own preference is to keep the car looking as original as possible with any modifications being discrete, appearing to be factory-fitted where possible.

Margate Exotics.

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Did some work on the orange one; owned by a TLF member who sold it maybe 2 years ago.  Lovely colour!  Don't know the red one though.

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

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The orange one has been for sale for a very long time. Also, UK Sports Cars sometimes keep cars on their website that have been sold so would need to check

Long time Lotus admirer, recent owner

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I saw the orange one a while ago and doesn’t see to have sold so I’ll check with dealer and doesn’t mention mileage either. Ticks a lot of boxes with late interior binnacle and rear wing but really wanted a yellow car (not making the search easy for myself). There is a yellow gt3 on autotrader but that must be one of the earlier gt3’s as it has the banana binnacle. 

Trev

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1 hour ago, mike_sekinger said:

Being a V8 guy, I would just suggest not to completely discount the V8 without driving one in comparison to the various 4-cylinder models you are considering.

It is a very different car and delivers a totally different driving experience which may suit your own desires better than the 4-cylinder, which really has to be driven hard to get the best out of the performance.

Good luck in finding the best car for you.

There is a lovely looking v8 coming up for sale at auction that is perfect spec but I just don’t know if the worry of engine problems would be a constant thought at the back of my mind and detract from the enjoyment of ownership. https://www.pistonheads.com/buy/listing/12417403

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I think I read a long time ago that the orange one was very high mileage, probably why it isn't mentioned on the advert, worth checking though.

I'll also add that I, like you, wanted the newer interior look, until I saw them in the 'flesh'. Whilst the older interior does look dated, in my opinion now, it feels far more special, premium, unique-even, than the more modern looking arrangement. Once I'd reconciled that with myself, it opened up far more cars.

It's all subjective when it comes to looks of course.

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Ok trying to broaden my options and what esprit I would consider. With v8’s what is the estimated rebuild cost for an engine? Also can preventative work be done on any car that hasn’t been rebuilt e.g strip engine and strengthen internals etc and if so what sort of budget should I allow?

I did so something similar with my e-type in having a specialist go through my car and us do an overhaul on engine, fuel system etc and it was a worthwhile investment for peace of mind and having the car running as it should.

Trev

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It depends if you're doing it yourself, and how far you go.

If it's off the shelf, SWLC have a bargain basement offer on a rebuilt V8 at the moment. £10,500 down from the usual £15.900. Plus labour to remove and fit, one would assume.

Margate Exotics.

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On 26/10/2021 at 09:29, RobinB5 said:

I was put off by the cost and too many stories about V8 reliability

(I wonder who told you such horror stories about the V8!? :D)

On 26/10/2021 at 09:30, TrevS said:

I think that’s means gt3 with some exterior cosmetic changes (arches, wing)

Well yes, but I wouldn't do that.

I could understand someone who modifies a car to make it look like something he likes that doesn't exist, but to mod a rare car to make it look like something which does exist sounds bad to me.

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