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jeff_hooper

Esprit V8 or PPL?

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I've have fun and a lot of pleasure with a V8 for three years now. Huge fun and a very special excellent driving experience... but cost wise, on balance, I wonder if I couldn't have done better.

Now first off, I must say I think I've have been a bit unlucky but bear with me. Adding in the cost of my first service, replacing the fuel tanks, upgraded brakes all round and a clutch/gear box rebuild (with only the first service involving any labour costs). I have now driven some 3,000 miles in 3 years. So if I sold my Esprit tomorrow my basic costs I'd guess (excluding MOT, Tax and insurance) has been about

Edited by jeff_hooper

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

In the 70's Lotus sold a package which consisted of an Elan +2 with a folding bike in the boot to go with your Cessna light aircraft. The idea was that you drove from home, flew to an airfield near your destination where you removed the bike from the luggage hold and cycled to your final destination.

I understand that flying a light plane in Britain can be as frustrating as driving a high-speed car as you are so often grounded by bad weather, especially poor visibility so you can't fly VOR and need an instrument rating which is another couple of thousand in training fees.

Buy an S1 or S2 so you can enjoy yourself at sensible speeds and spend the difference on flying lessons.


S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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I learned to fly at the taxpayers expense, and I've also had many years of light aeroplane ownership. I keep hankering to do more aviation, but the hassles are now just too great...airspace restrictions, licensing, compulsory mode C transponders, all sorts of stuff. I was part of a group operating a Victa Airtourer Super 150, a splendid aeroplane which would cruise at 120mph+, had a maximum allowed speed of 220mph (203 knots, iirc) and was aerobatic to +6 and -3G. In 1984 I paid


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I've had a PPL since 1985 (I learned to fly at Manchester Barton aerodrome) and it's a wondrous thing. I'd concur with John (molemot) about costs and pitfalls though...the basic licence is for fair weather flying only. I did an IMC rating which gives me a bit more flexibility, but the next step up would be an Instrument Rating at truly vast cost (it's virtually a professional pilot licence standard).

But you know, I'd give up flying every time, in preference to giving up Lottie. The medical is getting tougher for me every year (I'm an ancient 53, fat, smoking, lazybones) and I'll be sad but not bereft if I have to pack it in. It's expensive here too - an hour in an old Cessna 172, with landing fees, is around

Edited by islandbloke

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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There is also a large community of owners who would have to agree with Jeff. I had problems with my first V8 due to the liners and my current V8 was rebuilt at 16K miles and now with 27K I have recently had to replace the turbos, pipework to them, several exhaust studs, alternator, radiator, intermediate shaft bearings, CATs etc. I am still an Esprit fan but at this rate of expense I can definitely understand why Jeff has taken stock of the situation. I am sure the moment of doubt will pass and he will continue to enjoy his Esprit with a little encouragement from the rest of us. :blush::D:D

I think many people on here will testify that an engine is good for at least twice this, and

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Keeping my motoring interest alive, from what I have been told, I could then hire a 4 seater Cesna. Take three mates from Manchester direct to the Le-Man 24 hour, camp over night, and be home in time for them to get a good nights sleep and go to work on the Monday morning. All of this cheaper than it would be for four people to spend 4 days going by car.

Jeff, I find this topic rather intriguing. I will only comment on the above quoted section of your post by saying that, as a professional pilot, I caution anyone with a private licence to have one for the purpose of actually trying to get anywhere.

Actually, I don't usually intend to get anywhere in my Esprit either. The fact that I just hit a deer yesterday with my Esprit trying to get somewhere seems to prove my point... if only to myself :blush: . I have always used my sports cars for fun, sunny day driving, much as I used to use a motorcycle. For the private pilot, that same intent of use is probably prudent.

Both flying and driving make great hobbies. If flying were not my job, I would definitely be torn as to where to spend my limited resources.


"At home, I have a King Sized bed. Now, I don't know any Kings, but I would imagine if one were to come over, he would be comfortable." -Mitch Hedberg

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As a pilot I have to say that I'd choose the Esprit given one or the other... in fact I did. I can go out to the garage anytime day or night and get time with the Esprit. I live where I can drive it all year round as well. Given the BS right after 9-11 regarding aircraft stuff, I passed on a J3 Cub... almost traded for a Rutan Long EZ. But at the end of the day I made the right choice. My daughter is 5 now... and I do plan to have another airplane one day, but for now... I just rent and pal along with friends when I need to get in the sky.

I feel the need to get into the Esprit pretty much daily!

Cameron


"If you feel that you are in total control of the car, well, your just not driving fast enough". Jimmy Clark

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Cameron - that would be my DREAM personal aircraft. I had the pleasure of meeting Dick Rutan in (IIRC) 2003 when he came to our local airshow - the man is a legend. I believe we have a Vari- or a Long- in the hangars here somewhere, although I've not seen it.

Good advice on the flying vs. driving thing too - Lottie is available to me 24/7 and I can drive her quite legally in fog...


Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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I caution anyone with a private licence to have one for the purpose of actually trying to get anywhere.

That is probably the wisest comment on this thread. With a basic PPL you will be a fair weather sport flyer. Sure you may be able to fly to Le Mans but the times when the weather and conditions will allow it are not going to be that often.

If you want to fly to get somewhere then have a look at IR tuition, something like a PA-34 (300eur/hr + 100l/hr) and the economics are radically different.

As for me, the local gliding club is looking very interesting.

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