free hit
S1 Barn-find restoration - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums - Official Lotus Community Partner Jump to content


S1 Barn-find restoration

Recommended Posts

"Will it never end" Were my first thoughts this morning when I opened my eyes and saw all the Esprit bits stored in our bedroom.

The endless search for rare parts, the waiting for suppliers, the very long to do list and my shocking credit card bills has been getting me down a bit, So I thought I would post up my progress to help me see how far I have come since last august (2007).

I have alway loved the S1 Esprit and found this one going cheap. It had been it the barn since 1990 Poor thing, I felt I had to have it


The farmer dragged it out of the barn with his tractor, we loaded it up on my trailer and I took it home, I only have a single garage with a car port on the back but it was a better home than the barn



The car came with a 2.2 Excel engine and some time in it's life it had a V8 fitted which meant that the chassis had be modified, Kindly Paul Coleman off this forum lent me his chassis jig, this allowed me to fabricate the chassis back to it's original splender.


Luckily the rest off the chassis was in good order. It had a 2mm layer of waxoil saving it nicely


My time was next spent on the body shell, I removed every nut and bolt, labeling it all was a nightmare


Then off to the painters went the body shell and all the other panels


I just could not decide what colour to paint the car I couldn't see me driving a green Esprit it's original colour So, I did a vote on the forum for some fun and to see what colour is popular (thanks Tony K for your kind offer) I decided to have it painted Lotus Monaco White




While the body was at the painters, The chassis and all suspension parts had come back from the powder coaters so I built up the chassis with reconditioned calipers, new bearings, bushes, pipes, suspension and fixings




I had to have one of the rear bearing carriers welded and re-machined as the inner lip where the bearing rests was in poor condition


Last night I trial fitted in an old 907 block and the gear box to help me test the gear linkage and the sjs engine mounts also to get a better idea of how the back end fits together as the car came to me with the engine out so a trial fit seemed a good idea to help me get my head round how it all goes back together, also it can be a rolling chassis while I rebuild the engine


It's been a bit of an uphill struggle so far, but I do love working on it


Edited by Matt-watts
  • Like 1

Please let me know If you have a S1 esprit for sale 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Now that is truly awesome Matt, long may your success continue. Can I ask what engine you are putting back into it and what are the holes in the back window for. Its nice to see something brought back from the depths so to speak to what you have achieved so far.................

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brilliant work, great to see a barn find well on it's way to becoming a real beaut. Looks like you've deleted that dodgy sunroof too, well done!

Keep it up :thumbup:

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is just massive Matt. You are down the road from me. Maybe we can hook up sometime :thumbup:

Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotus Espirt Turbo S3    

Lotus Esprit S4 

Lotus Elise S2 Sport 130


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work matey. I think white is just superb and everyone will immediately call it the James Bond Car. Would love to see it at an event when it's finished.

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.


Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow Matt, you've made amazing progress and it looks like you're doing a superb job! It's great to see a poor cut-up Esprit being restored to it's original glory.

The white looks great, and yes, be prepared for the James Bond comments.

Best of luck continuing on and keep the updates coming!

Edited by Clark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amazing work! The light at the end of the tunnel will surely shine soon. I wish I could have done a resto like that. Painting the car when it is stripped is so much easier than doing it when most things are still hanging off the car. Carry on my boy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work, Matt! Barn find restorations where you save a car from sure doom are the best kind! I promise I won't tease you about the color -- car is looking great! :thumbup:



Tony K. :)


Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


The car looks fantastic, Keep the pictures coming and keep up the great work your

doing, I love looking at pictures of a proper full ground up rebuild,

Stunning, truly stunning :lol:

Regards danny


Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks great.

The S1 is such a cool model, really pure lines.

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

And that's how it should be done! Congratulations, love your work.


Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Thought I would do a quick update on on my progress, so here goes

I have fitted the new rear lamps, got my repaired loom in and have started pluging it all back in, so the back end is getting there.


I have re-glassed all the cracks in the boot floor and repaired the battery box, also rebuilt and fitted the boot lock assembly


The chassis is finished and ready for the real engine and gearbox to go in, I should have the engine and chassis ready for the body by the end of July with a bit of luck


I've recondtioned the heater with new seals and recondtioned it's duel fan units, I had to have my heater matrix re-cored I'm starting to put alot of parts back on, and it's a great feeling


I'm really enjoying working on the car, I haven't throught about the interior yet but maybe black leather?

A couple of people have asked if they could pop round and see the car, that's fine just message me to let me know when


Edited by Matt-watts

Please let me know If you have a S1 esprit for sale 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...