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mcpie

first time buyer

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Hi Folks,

I've logged on to ask your advice. I'm looking to buy a Lotus after many years of yearning after one! I'm quite a young driver and have only had one car (my Alfa 156 2.5 V6) and want a rear wheel drive sports car. After narrowing it down from many different makes I've settled on my old favorite - the Lotus. I'm a designer and have always loved the work of Giugiaro, in fact one of my relations worked with him on the Alfa Bat concept cars - a chap by the name of Scaglione. I've always hankered after the S1 but understand the S2 would be a more sensible choice. I have

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Guest teigan

i've been searching many years for an S1. they are quite rare where i live though. from what i've read, they are reliable enough once you do the standard modifications. if you like the looks of the S1, go ahead and get it. they need to find good homes.

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Only took me about 9 months to find an S1 in the states. I felt the same way as I had a 74 Elite with the same 907 engine running pretty reliably.

I had to look the other way for the external cosmetics but focused on the engine and suspension. I found a one owner car (yep, he bought it new) and had many items upgraded during the car's 28 year history. He was an engineer as well and I have substantial notes and diagrams for most of the mods he made.

The cars love to be driven and run much better if they are used rather than garaged.

Things to know among others.... Cooling sucks. The S1 Radiator is undersized for all but cool climates. My experices this summer in the states points to a need to add cores to the radiator and replace the 3 original fans wih something current.

GRP cars tend to have electrical excentricities such as poor grounds. The PO of my car replaced virtually every wire and relay with industrial grade stuff. My 74 Elite was a constant challange addressing wiring issues.

The S2 cars generally addressed some of the issues of the S1. Its a more relaible car but expect to pay more as a result. By the S3 many issues were resolved and it is generally more reliable.

Having said that, a well looked after S1 might be a better car than a neglected S3.

Spend some time looking through the archives of the Yahoo S1S2S3Owners group and you will get a sense of the issues for each model.

DomG

77 S1 Esprit

New York, USA


Dom Giangrasso

1977 S1 Esprit - Lagoon Blue

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Hi Ron

Welcome to the land of the fool hardy and bankruptcy. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll govel at your bank managers feet...

Seriously though - welcome to the clan. I'm a designer, like yourself and was in the same situation you are in now. Looked at a lot of rubbish and finally settled on my wet dream car.

As far as advce goes - read EVERYTHING on this forum, check out

www.espritfactfile.com

and my personal favourite (sorry if I upset anyone...)

www.lotusespritworld.com

From these sources, you'll find everything you ever wanted to know about the various models, road tests, comparisons etc. Best way to define what you're really looking for. How do you think after 4 years I settled on a Turbo Esprit?

Good Luck with your search and don't be tempted to buy the first thing you see. Buy the best you can afford. And the most complete - some bits you'll pay a small fortune for to replace if they are replacable. A restoration project should only be considered if you really know what you're doing...What ever you decide, I can guarantee you there will never be a dull moment.

Cheers - Mark

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Guest Troy Halliday

In my opinion go for the Esprit Turbo. They are a much better looking car, and I have a S3 :blink:

There is one thing to bare in mind there is not such thing as a cheap Esprit. If you buy them cheap they will cost you a fortune. Do not rush into this one you need to have a real good look around and see if there is anyone on the forums from your neck of the woods. I do remember seeing a Scottish Esprit group I'll have a look around later and see if I can find you a link.

You want a car with some history. One that drives, if you gat a fixer uper you could be into some serious money believe me I know min has cost be a fortune. For what I have spent I could have bought a nice S4S.

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Guest teigan

i think the S1s are more beautiful. the S3 restyling was a compromise, catering to popular tastes of the time. mind you, i also preferred pamela anderson before the breast enlargements.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

I have been an Alfa owner for the last year so the expenditure on servicing and having problems fixed must be similarly chronic, my cam belt service came to

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Im in Edinburgh, with a S2 Esprit.

Spent a few years trying to find an S1 but never found it. Bought my S2 in Woking England.

Love it to bits and it now runs like a dream, so it should after spending 3 times its value.Dont let that put you off though as i went out to buy one to rebuild.

Not many specialists in Scotland,i get all my parts from down south,SJ Sportscars & Paul Matty.

Scottish Esprits can be found here http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/scottishEsprits/

I joined the group a while back but havent been on any runs yet as i work overseas.Looks like they are going for a blast this weekend (oct 9th) passing Glasgow. Look them up and try to meet them somewhere.

Any info you need just ask the guys here as everyone has been there done that:)

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Hi Ron,

Just looking at the LEW Calendar with this month's S1. Very nice, but even then it looks like the wiper linkage has quite some play in it. Whatever you buy you will get to know it intimately or you have unlimited resources. Buy tools, many tools and books.

The S1 is lighter and cleaner looking and I am sure a talking point in any Car park, but I really like the look of the S2, Those wheels and still a clean shape.

Good luck, take someone that has an idea of what they are looking at and let us know how you do.

Richard

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Are there any dealers you would recommend buying from, who have a respected name for fair cars and decent prices?

If I see a private sale, I'll have a look into it, I've just found out my Local Alfa specialist used to have an Eclat so he may be able to do some of the work. He's a wiz at Alfa V6 cambelts so the Lotus should be right up his street. He

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Hi Ron

I also own a Alfa 156 2.5l.

I know all about Alfa Romeo ownership (This is my 8th Alfa) and believe me it has not prepared you for this ride.

I bought a '83 Turbo Esprit about 18 months ago. The car was fairly clean with lots of maintenance done on the car by the previous owner. I have enjoyed the car more than any Alfa I have ever owned, but I have had more problems than all the Alfa's put together. I am currently rebuilding the engine and hope to have some trouble free kilometers soon.

You are in for the roller coaster ride of your life!

Don't be scared, my ex-wife gave me more trouble and much less enjoyment than my beloved Esprit.

Good luck in finding a good one.

Duncan

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A good point was made above that a WELL maintained S1 ought to give you less trouble than a neglected Esprit of any model.

S1's and S2's are still generally thought of as for the die hard enthusiast with good mechanical skills.

The sort of money you are looking at... TRY to find an S3 that needs (say) the paint or interior doing on it but is mechanically tip top... That way you could get one for your sort of budget yet wont throw up loads of problems (famous last words!)

Read LEW and EFF 'cover to cover' and then ask questions


"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

------------------------------

ribbon200.gifG-Car Owner and Proud! ribbon200.gif

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Thanks Robin,

One wee question though, before reading all of whats on this great site!?

What happened to the front of the Esprit in the picture!?

Ron

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Guest Troy Halliday

His foot was to heavy for his own good, he span, he bounced, he cryed. :D

I am sure he will give you the proper version soon enough ;)

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In 11 years of Esprit ownership I can honestly say you could count the number of G cars on your hands that I would ever have considered buying. Trouble is there is (was?!) alot of cars on the market but only a few which have been cared for and maintained the way they need. I guess I was just bloody lucky when I bought my car as I had not researched a massive amount about them. Having said that it was only 6 years old then but there really are tons of dogs out there. In my experience of buying 'classics' the general rule is that if it looks bloody good at first sight both in and out it usually is. Esprits seem to wear badly with neglect which is highly visible. BTW I've also got a 156 as my daily runner (do I see a thread here?!?!) Top motors too...............Italian cars are my other passion.....In fact the G was only bought 'cause I couldn't afford a Countach at the time?!

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Italian cars are my other passion.....In fact the G was only bought 'cause I couldn't afford a Countach at the time?!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Me too... The ONLY worthy trade I'd do on my Esprit...

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Guest Troy Halliday

I love Lambo's can't resist the aniversary models though Countach 25th and Diablo 30th. Not to fond of the new ones they seem to lack passion.

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Hi Folks,

I've logged on to ask your advice. I'm looking to buy a Lotus after many years of yearning after one! I'm quite a young driver ...<snip> based in Glasgow but I'm not aware of any known Lotus specialists in town.

Any help would be gratefully received, thanks.

Ron

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi Ron.

I'm in Glasgow too and we have a wee run planned for tomorrow. Don't know who's coming along yet - could be just two Esprits and one Elise but I have a spare seat if you'd like to come. Details of meet are on the Scottish Esprits Yahoo group. I'm at work just now tapping away on my pocket pc so I'll check this forum also later tonight to see if you've picked up this message.

Cheers

Ed

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Hi Ed,

Sorry I didn't check my email until this morning - too late. BUGGER!

Thanks for thinking about me, I've been looking around and there

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Hi Ron

I for one would love to hear more about your associations with Scaglione, I think Mark Blanchard on this forum would too, he's a bit of a design buff. I read he was a bit reclusive in his later years to say the least, to the extent nobody knew if he was alive or dead. There was a bloke researching for a book about him in the early 90s but I don't know what became of that.

I don't know if Giugiaro worked with him, but if he did I doubt it was on the BAT cars as G.G. would only have been 15 or 16 when the last one was made in 1955. Whatever, my favourite design of his was the Alfa 33 Stradale, whats yours??

PS Shame, there was a nice silver S3 for sale for not a lot in the Scottish borders just a few months ago, didn't meet its reserve on Ebay - might pop up again.

Edited by britten_mark

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Hi,

I think the 1967 Alfa Spider 33 was OK but not my favorite. The cars he designed when he was Chief Designer at Bertone all stand out, none more so than Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone. During the eight years he was with Bertone he designed cars for Aston Martin, Porsche, Lamborghini, Alfa, MG and even Bristol. Bristol

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Ron

If you are seriously after an S2 take a look at this one on LEW;

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/Sale/UsedCarCentre.html

If it's Pete Gentilli's mate as I suspect its a damn fine car, worth the trip, and even better being an s2.2.

Cheers

Mark


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I had a look at an S2 at the weekend with a view to buy. I made the following notes and would appreciate any comments on them.

Oil consumption fairly high and a slight lack of basic grunt. Engine re-build? It

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I owned an S2 in the early eighties. It was gun metal grey with red leather. She was a beautiful car and I still dream about her now! I believe it was one of the first S2's built and I remember it had the letters ACBC at the bottom of the number plates (YVG 788S or YVG 789S). Could it have been first owned by Mr Chapman himself? How I wish I'd kept her!

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Can anyone tell me if there is any differences to the exterior lines of the S1, 2 & 3s? I know the bumpers are different but is the actual

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