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Green Giugiaro Esprits


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Hi George,

No photo to share but I well recall spotting a later GG Turbo cruising by resplendent in a deep green metallic, tint tending to the cold, bluish side. Snappy.


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8 hours ago, GTK said:

 In fact the only one I've ever seen a picture of was on here and found by someone in a farm yard. That car was restored white, and I can't find the thread now. Have distinct memory of it having no rear running gear and being hoisted and towed by a tractor.

Hello George. You may have looked for the following thread  :


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Screen Shot 2022-04-28 at 18.53.54.png

@Paul Coleman Oh! I think I have that mag, not sure. Thanks for the steer. I've a feeling that particular green isn't a factory colour. What do you think? If it is I'd love to know the name.

@frb that's the one, thanks! 

Screen Shot 2022-04-28 at 18.48.21.jpg

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So the three possible greens of the early cars could be Martini [can't find a code ref], Mint L29 and Viper A05. The two colour codes come from the Esprit Registry thread here. I'm dubious about Martini even being a Lotus colour, and maybe there were only two possible greens between 1976 and 1980.

Viper seems to be Matt Watt's car colour [the farmyard car], which I would have expected to be Altair Green, but Matt's car does seem to be a slightly paler colour.

Martini Green is claimed to be the colour of KAH 530V below. The thing is, the registry above doesn't list Martini Green at all, unless I'm missing it.

Which leaves Mint Green as the possible colour of the magazine car, VYW 229S, if that is a factory paint job. The article that the photo is from was the February 1996 issue of Practical Classics, but the car hasn't been taxed since then and it's last V5 was issued in March that year. I wonder does it still exist? It was first reg'd in May 1978 so it's a late number S1. This Europa page has a colour code list that shows the Elan below in L29 Mint Green. It doesn't look at all similar in colour.

366G is listed here [but not pictured] as Mint Green and 'released' 240478. That could tally with the UK Gov data on VYW229S having been first registered in May 78. The page also lists one domestic S2, chassis 403G, and three export S2 cars 615H, 616H and 700H as being Mint Green.  

Interestingly 329G is listed simply as being metallic Green, that's Matt Watt's car. No other S1 or S2 cars are listed as having been painted any colour green at all.

It's possible we already have photos here of the only two green S1 cars that were produced, but I'm not sure because the magazine car is so different to everything else. I think it follows that the 'Martini' green KAH 530V below is actually Mint green. As there was [reportedly] only one domestic green S2, KAH 530V is likely 403G, possibly now in Australia.

The project car pictured below came up for sale a few years back. It looks close in colour to KAH 530V [given the KAH photos have long shadows and so unrealistic golden hour warm hue] and to the Elan. It's also LHD and wears a Federal style rear number plate plinth. Could it be one of the three Mint Green export cars?

Any thoughts?



Martini Green 2s.jpg

Martini Greens.jpg

Elan Mint Green L29s.jpg

Potential H Mint Green 1.jpg

Potential H Mint Green 2.jpg

Potential H Mint Green 3.jpg

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Good question regarding KAH530V.

Lotus with a number plate KAH 5XXV were usually registered by Group Lotus themselves around 1980 (there are several Elite & Eclats and also some Esprits with this series of numberplates). 403G was a super early S2 from May 1978 and would rather have been registered with a "T" or even "S" plate ?

The database is unfortunately not fully complete.  It used Lotus own factory "sales registry" book as main source and development and engineering cars (+ some regular cars ) were often not fully recorded in there. Especially on the very late S2 section many entries seem to be missing.

So KAH530V may be a late S2 ( has later style of door mirrors without chrome base and laminated rear 1/4 windows ) that simply wasn´t listed. Team Lotus briefly ran with Martini as sponsors around that time so "Martini green", at least to me, seems plausible.

It was also featured in a comparison test with a Porsche 924 in 1980 (I think "What car?" magazine).

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  • Gold FFM

Don’t know if it helps but here are the available colours in 1986




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Long time Lotus admirer, recent owner

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The attached link is minimally helpful but offered nonetheless.

Pistachio Green is rather well known, seen on several cars sold via Bring A Trailer in recent months. There was a very bold green seen on later Europa TC's which I believe may have been Bitter Green.

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Speechless Matt


edit - 

Studying your photos @Matt-watts I noticed your car and mine had almost identical damage on the front bumper! Funny coincidence. Sorry I don't have a better pic...



Esprit Bumper Dent.jpg

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BTW, I spotted what seems to be a complete list of paints available for early cars as I browsed my Service Parts Manual for S1 and S2 yesterday. Could take pics of the pages and post if useful.


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44 minutes ago, yeller77 said:

This thread may be getting too much :sick:


I found a couple more images of one of those factory green S2's. If anyone has an membership it'd be great to see the other 5 images of the car below.

17 hours ago, snowrx said:

How green do you want to be? 

Green S3 b.jpg


I love green, but '70's bathroom green' wouldn't be my first choice of interior colours :D

Martini Green Esprit1.png

Martini Green Esprit2.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very interesting website - thanks for the link

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  • 3 weeks later...

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