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Happy Birthday my Esprit!


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Hi all,

I would like to wish my Esprit a happy birthday as it is exactly 20 years today that it rolled off the production line and was signed off.

I have to say, for all the negative comments that Lotus got about build quality there are not many 20 year old cars that are still as good looking as the day they were made or have been as reliable as my Esprit. I've owned it for 12 years and in all that time the only time it let me down was caused by a corroded wire in the block leading to the fuel pump. Something fixed in 10 minutes.

Let's face it, how many 20 year old cars would you jump into and do a 500 mile journey without a second thought?

So here's to the next 20 years...



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Yeh, like I'd let those girls near my car without checking out their washing abilities first!

I will bravely volunteer to let them clean my bodywork first...

Sad as this seems I did treat the car to a wash and polish yesterday although I have to say that me wrapped in a big thick coat hosing it down wasn't quite the same.


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Hi Mark,

I had it sprayed a few years ago but it was red all over before that. I bought it when it was 8 years old and it certainly looked like the original paint. It had faded slightly from the sun as red cars like to do and there was no sign of overspray or anything of that nature on it. I also had all the invoices from the PO and there was nothing about paint amongst them.

I have to admit I have always liked the look of the grey valance since I saw it in the original publicity photos although I never thought to change it when I had the respray done.

Perhaps it was an option to have it or not have it at the time.


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Hi Richard,

Is your car a 2 Owner car? I can guarantee your car had a grey valance when it was new. Lotus informed me that all Turbo's had the grey valance till March / April 1988 when it was fazed out, due to cost (it was an expensive procedure). Quite a lot of the early cars had the valance colour coded later to look newer, by Owners.

The pictures below were taken in late November / early December 1987 showing the Turbo's on the assembly line. One of these might be our!



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Wow, great pictures Mark,

It is strange to think that one of those could be my car. I will have to have a close look at the valance (when it stops raining!) and see if I can find any evidence of it ever being grey. I assume it was paint and not coloured fibreglass?

Next time I have to have it painted (please God not for a long time!) I will have to consider 'restoring' it back to it's original state.

One thought - have you got a copy of the build sheet for your car? I got one at the LEF factory visit and it doesn't mention "two tone" or "two colour" on that - just "red". It might be that they just assumed the other colour if they were all like that.



One other thing - would you be good enough to email the original pictures to me if they are higher res than those in the post?

Edited by RichardN
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Mine just says Calypso Red. Yes, it was painted, not coloured fibreglass and yes, you might see Vulcan grey underneath, that's if they sprayed over. If they sprayed it properly, they would have preped it / cut it back so it might not be there now.

I'm afraid those are the highest res pictures.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Gold FFM

Happy 10th Birthday for my V8! :santa:

..and that with a coarse truck mechanic as second owner :)


to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..


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