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Guest mkelite

How much to pay for a late S3 Esprit Turbo?

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Guest mkelite

hi guys. despite lookin at Lotus values for over thirty years - i have seen a couple of late S3 Esprit Turbos that need recomm. for the road having been laid up for several years. NOT HC models i hasten to add tho. so assuming as advertised in very good original condition good body, chassis, trim etc whats a fair cash private buy price? im fully aware it could cost me more than the asking price to put it back on the road, (and i was hoping to budget for a V8 later this year), but ive always loved the S3 Turbo!. any thoughts please? regards. DC.

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Well if you've been monitoring values for the last 30 years I can't think of many (if any) who are going to be able to tell you anything you don't already know.

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I think £8k-£12k is the price range for good running non 'mint' cars?

If it's laid up and needing work to get done then is £4k -£8k (either way depending on the amount of work that needs doing)about right?

:)

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Hi David,

You've been looking at late S3 turbos. I always thought a late S3 turbo was a HC turbo?

If you are looking at LC turbos that have been laid up then you really need to do your homework and have the engine checked out. If the wastegate has been stuck then it's not as forgiving as an HC turbo. not sure if there's an ignition cut out on these cars but if engine overboosts too much then it usually snaps a piston.

I would say to pick one up that's needs doing up all depends on what work needs doing? If the engine is OK relatively speaking i.e it doesn't need a rebuild but it needs ancillaries overhauling then I'd say upto £6K. If the engine is unknown or you knwo there's a problem then £3-4K. You'll need to add £4K for engine rebuild and then the other stuff.

If you plan on doing then rebuild yourself then you could pay more but that's your call and how much you are prepared to pay.

I've just recently bought a HC turbo last month. It was approx 90% complete. It was even taxed and MOT'd for 6 months, so you could say it was even a runner. It had usual things like stuck wastegate, fuel send not working, interior needing finishing, A service, tracking, engine bay cleaning up, bodywork buffing, carbs needed balancing, timing out etc. I've spent over £2000 upto now. I had only budgeted £1K but every job has brought up something else like a broken stud, wastegate valve snapping, header tank tube snapping, rubber pipes splitting etc.

These hobbies can soon engulf you sometimes and buying with the heart instead of the head can usually lead to a bad relationship with your pride and joy.

Regards,

David Walters

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Guest mkelite

thanks guys. when i said id been watching values for years - i wasnt meaning to be pompus just saying i was aware but needed confirmation of prices paid currently, really. i mean 84/85 ish models as the HC was from March 86 to its demise in autumn 87, i inderstand. the values you have given seem as i expected assuming these sellers are prepared to haggle a bit then? any other suggestions or advice appreciated. many thanks again. DC.

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I've also been looking recently, and let me tell you a few things I've found out ...

1) These are old cars. Obvious? I suppose so, but look at the engineering that went into them, and you'll realise that your 20 year old 1990 car is based on mechanical engineering dating back to the 1960's and 1970's. Do not expect to use a car like this in the same way you'd use a car based on 21st century engineering standards, because it will break, and it will hurt your pocket badly.

2) There are a lot of horror stories out there. These are not easy cars to keep running on a budget, and even apparently well maintained cars with large recent bills, can be hiding even larger problems just waiting to surface. Even jobs that you would think would be simple turn out to be epic in terms of the repair durations needed.

3) Even when they are "sheds", they look stunning. Don't buy with your heart, buy with your head. Get it inspected by a specialist before you part with your money. Yes, it is a pain in the backside to actually get it inspected, but it is the only way to avoid the second point in my list from hurting you badly ...

4) There is a lot of choice out there, cars remain unsold for a long time, and prices are low. There is not much demand for old, expensive, unreliable (by modern standards), two seater sports cars, despite them still looking stunning. At this point in time, it is a buyers market. Bargain hard, and be prepared to walk away - there are more cars out there than buyers.

5) £8,000 should buy a really good example that passes inspection by a specialist, has a nice interior, a full MOT, and a file full of service history and maintenance bills, and no immediate work that needs doing. Settle for nothing less.

Sorry to be a damp squib on this, but having nearly got burned myself on a deal, I wanted to provide a dose of reality !

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I always wanted a (s1), turbo esprit S3, pre 86, and post eighties, in glacier white, although it will be nice(chellenge) to have a essex, and so when time came, started to learn, and observe the prices and the cars available in US and Europe. As a busy working individual, with less time and limited money, decided on buying a car which i can see in person, drive, and perhaps drive home in it, the rest is my luck.

A pristine car, which i would hesitate to park anywhere, but my climate controlled garage, should cost me $14k to 17K US dollers. fully sorted

A driver, with 65K milles, sevice history, most bits professionally changed, tastefull mods, and is for sale for a good reason 10 to 12K, and your luck

A driver, with no history, 7.7/10 paint, needs manifold, timingbelt, and most bits have less than 50% life left 4.5 to 8, depends how lucky you are.

i went for the last option, reason being, because i am cheap, do not have a climate controlled garage, and ready to, if possible, personally work on the car with time and money,, i think is well spent and gives the car its rightfull place(Mr Bond)

i went for a 83 Tubo s3, not in white as i wanted, but in blue, without the decals and stripes, but a 8/10 essex blue paint, purred like a kitten, and was driven home, cost me 7900$. after exploring the car in the barn, i saw an excellent preserved example, which i can add to restore. manifold is good, will need a timing belt change 600$, but i will change the manifold also, which is hard to find, in total, by autum, it should cost me 3000$ to do most things, but this way i will be involved for years to correct the uncorrectable, it had new fuel, tanks, waterpump, and timingbelt done, 60% on the rear NCT tires, 47000 miles. although, it was hard to say goodbye to me old rs 1968 911 porsche,

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