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Re How many Esprit S1s are left now - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Paul Coleman

Re How many Esprit S1s are left now

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I found out today via a company that has access to the DVLA database that there are currently only 32 series 1 Esprits taxed and in use across the UK. This may be slightly low becasue it only covers 1976 and 1977 as there was no distinction between series numbers until the series 3 came out i.e. series 1 and 2 are just listed as 'Esprit'. Of course this doesn't cover those which are SORN or pre-date the SORN requirements and are being restored (like mine) or are hibernating under 3" of dust in some barn somewhere. But either way they are now becoming quite rare.

Paul.

Edited by Paul Coleman

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We can add at least another 6 to that figure as there are 6 UK S1 Esprits listed on here for 1978.

Paul.

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Well its a shame, we have 45 of us on the Forum registry of which 20 or abouts are UK based. I wonder how many of the 6-700 produced went stateside?

Its great people are trying to find them and bring them back to the road!

I have literally just got back from Morland Jones where the mechanicals on mine are being sorted. I've just had the engine rebuilt after the crankshaft split on my Trip round Europe last year. Took time to get everything else on it sorted, and will be picking up next week. It then goes off to Nick Fulcher's to get the interior re-done........I cant wait to get it back. It looks amazing, ad I'll be sure to post some photos up soon.

Whether people do the Resto themselves or like me (who aren't mechanically minded) its important we keep them going!

I cant wait to drive again I have serious withdrawal symptoms!

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Very nice Leon!!

Are you also doing some kind of Grand design House build as well in the pictures!!?

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Fortunately that's my Brother's white Elephant in Tuscany! My White Elephant just happened to be visiting when I was enlisted to do some work on it down there!

The Esprit isn't too bad off road! I spotted this while I was there, see if you can spot the connection!..........

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Regarding S1 numbers, I'd like to offer the following:

We commonly see a number of 718 cars quoted (I believe LEW has this number). But if you add commonly quoted Esprit numbers for 1976 and 77 together, you get . . . 718. And we know that more S1s (and a few "S1.5s") were made in early 1978. Prior to the internet, what seemed to be the most reliable number of S1 production was a bit higher -- it was somewhere around 744. It is in a couple of those older books. That figure would neatly account for a couple dozen S1s built in 1978.

My understanding is that 374 S1s were Federal (U.S.) spec, but that included a handful to Japan (4 cars? -- don't remember where I heard or read this).

www.sportscarworld.com has a nice listing of all early Esprits made. It has few errors, but they are ordered by chassis number and arbitrarily broken off by date; there are Federal S1s in the S2 list, and so on. Ordering by production date and counting the cars would give a better indicator. Frank from SCW was a good man, but it always kind of irked me that he had the nerve to try to claim "copyright" for that list, and went so far as to convert it to an image so it could not be cut and pasted. The last I checked, merely reproducing some information provided to you by a company doesn't give you any specific rights of ownership!

As for how many S1s are left in the States, I USED TO keep a registry, and had close to 60 specific cars accounted for, and have witnessed (either through ebay, ads, in person, acquaintances, etc.) another 30+ since then. Most have been in disrepair. The good thing is that nobody throws these cars away! -- they hold on to them, even if it just sits there dusty and not running. (I lost my registry to a virus/hard drive crash in 2003.)

- Tony :)

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It was nice to know that a 'guesstimate' I made the other day of 100 S1 cars remaining in the UK was probably not too far out. There are 32 still registered as roadworthy from 1976/77 and another 6 on here from 1978. So a figure of 40 roadworthy cars is going to be pretty accurate and if there are as many being restored or just lying undiscovered in barns then a total of 80 cars still surviving isn't going to be too far out in my humble opinion.

Paul.

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If S1 are rare you should see how rare they are here in France.

IIRC S1 were never imported in France, don't know why but they only started importing Type 79 with the Esprit S2.

(I have a vintage sport auto magazine that confirms that).

There are only two other S1 that I know of : one in Paris the other in Reims and both are federal / imported / LHD units.

As far as I know I might be the only RHD S1 owner.

There might be more, but I've never seen any, not even in car museum (and I try to visit as many as I can).

ATB.

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Given the rarity of them, it makes you wonder why they're not worth more? Although prices do seem to be on the up. Is it becasue they're fibreglass and therefore not viewed as a 'proper' car by some people but more of a kit car?

Paul.

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Given the rarity of them, it makes you wonder why they're not worth more? Although prices do seem to be on the up. Is it becasue they're fibreglass and therefore not viewed as a 'proper' car by some people but more of a kit car?

Paul.

Funny how Ferrari builds 700+ 308s out of fiberglass and they're the most valuable ones (and they call them the rarest, even though GTBi really is). But the Ferrari fanboys don't like any other car made out of fiberglass!

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I take it you are working out the S1 cars by year rather than title info.

:(

This DVLA info can be misleading. Not all Esprits are registered as the model they

actually are, there are Stevens SE cars and S1 cars registered as 'Lotus Esprit'.

LEW got this info from DVLA some time ago showing just one S3 on the road.

Lotus Esprit 397

Lotus Esprit Turbo 386

Lotus Esprit Series 3 1

Lotus Esprit Turbo SE 103

Lotus Esprit Turbo 21

Lotus Esprit S Turbo 4

Lotus Esprit Turbo S4 94

Lotus Esprit Sport 300 7

Lotus Esprit S4s 56

Lotus Esprit V8 Turbo 172

Lotus Esprit GT3 107

Lotus Esprit V8-GT 89

Lotus Esprit Sport 350 25

Dealers like UK sportscars must have 20 or so Esprits in long term

stock, out of tax and not showing on the system too.

I would love to know 100% accurately how many Esprits are out there

still, and how many owners are on here.

:)

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I take it you are working out the S1 cars by year rather than title info.

Yes I just got the data for Lotus Esprit first registered in 1976/77 which can only be series 1.

You can add an extra one to the total as I have just taken mine out of its winter SORN.

And I can also add Jeff Ipolitti's recently restored yellow S1 which is now in Florida and the orange one on Pistonheads which went to France, both of which were RHD UK cars.

Then of course there's the second Bond-mobile which recently sold at Bonhams and went to a private collector in the US I believe?

But I still reckon under 100 is going to be pretty close to the true figure.

Paul.

Edited by Paul Coleman

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Given the rarity of them, it makes you wonder why they're not worth more? Although prices do seem to be on the up. Is it becasue they're fibreglass and therefore not viewed as a 'proper' car by some people but more of a kit car?

Paul.

Interesting discussion.

My father has owned several Alpine A110 in the 70's, he recently told me how my gelcoat S1 reminded him of his Alpines with the 'in the mold paint' fiberglass/gelcoat finish.

Alpine A110 are now worth between 50 K euros and 100 K euros for some of the nicest units. (I don't how well known those car are abroad?)

Not sure about the S1, maybe most people just don't know about them? (but there is the Bond generation so...).

I'm pretty sure my friends and relatives that don't now anything about classic sport cars think I have just bought a 60K car.

Personnaly when I bought it it felt like an absolute bargain, and given the smile it brings on my face, if someone offered me 60K for it I wouldn't sale it. :)

ATB.

Edited by Hemlock

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Paul,

There is also a RHD UK model S1 in New York that still exists and is in sorry shape. White on tartan, early serial number (I think 151G, maybe, or 141 or 155, I forget). One man owned it for a while and could not afford to restore it. He then had some work or service performed (maybe on his house, I forget) and couldn't pay the contractor. So he offered the car as payment. But then when the contractor came to collect the car, he withheld the engine/transaxle and the chassis number plate from the front compartment. I've been offered this car, and the seller really wants to let go of it, but it appears to be a legal mess.

So there's one more RHD S1 for you.

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So how do I read an S1 vin number like #770 40 251h. Is the last 3 the number you have all been using?

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So how do I read an S1 vin number like #770 40 251h. Is the last 3 the number you have all been using?

Yes, the last three numbers plus the chassis number are what we go by. The previous numbers are the year and month of build.

77040251H

77 = year built

04 = month built

0251 = sequential starting with #100

H = Federal (U.S. market) car

G = Domestic (UK)

H = Federal (USA)

J = Rest of World (RoW)

Sequential numbers are really only roughly in sequence -- going by date completed, plenty of cars are out of sequence.

Sequential numbers duplicate, too. For example, Scott Walker owns 134G, and Jeff Ippoliti owns 134H.

The first Esprit is acknowledged to be 100G.

The lowest Federal chassis number is 102H.

:sofa:

Edited by Tony K

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I'd go by the PetrolHeads logic...........Anylike like me keeps their eyes out for anything special on the road, in the Ads, on the web etc - and the last time I saw an Esprit on the Road was Donny last year! They must all be getting darn rare!!........fine by me!

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I live in South Africa and also own a S1 Chassis number 76 10 0201 G with engine number CC 776 1013 140. There are another 3 x S1 cars in our country. One was sold today to a person that is very keen to restore it to it's original condition. To my knowledge their chassis numbers are: 76 11 0218 G (sold today), 76 10 0238 G, 76 10 0232 G.

I hope that this may help with your records.

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146 is asleep at the moment but still alive.

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We commonly see a number of 718 cars quoted (I believe LEW has this number). But if you add commonly quoted Esprit numbers for 1976 and 77 together, you get . . . 718.

Tony,

I'm out of the country for awhile and can't look it up, but what does it say in the Walton book I got you? I seem to recall he stressed that a lot of research went in to the total he got and that Lotus regarded it as the official number. And I don't think it was 718.

Anyway, I just want to know where this S1 is: http://www.coteriepress.com/site/COTE/Templates/ProductImage.aspx?pageid=2742&cc=GB

Matt

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Graham Robson Lotus Since the 70s = 138 in 1976 + 580 in 1977 = 714 --> does not include 1978 production. Incidentally, he says 474 Federal cars in 1977.

Graham Arnold The Lotus Esprit Buyers Guide (early 1980s) = 994 S1s built 1976 - 78 --> claims this is the official factory number

Jeremy Walton, in his older book (The Complete Story) uses the 714 quote . . . but in his more recent masterpiece, on page 100, ackhowledges that the often-quoted 718 would mean only 4 S1s in 1978, and goes on to say that, after "further research" in 2005, he believes the old factory claim of 994 to be correct.

So I think it's safe to say that Esprit S1 production falls somewhere between 718 and 994! :stuart:

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