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Why did you buy your Lotus?


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Put me in the boyhood dream bunch as well.

It started with TSWLM but in a roundabout sort of way. I was age 9 in 1977, and I was in Cleveland visiting aunts & uncles. For reasons I forget we visited the shopping mall one night and as we passed by the movie theatre, I saw this AMAZING silver wedge of a car parked right there in the mall, beckoning people to come see a movie. I looked over toward the theatre and remember seeing big splashy posters with pictures of a similar car in white, as well as submarines and helicopters, guys with guns, etc... At that age I had yet to learn of James Bond and the car was the main thing I took away from the encounter. I loved it, had no idea what it was, but *WOW...!*

By 1980 I had discovered 007, and was glued to the TV set every time ABC showed Bond for the Saturday Night Movie. It didn't take long for me to realise that TSWLM was the movie from that moment in Cleveland. It also didn't take long for me to learn what that car was, as by then I was getting to be an insufferable gearhead/petrolhead, unable to shut up from constantly gabbering about cars...well, unless I was reading about them...maybe my dear mother encouraged my car-mag subscriptions to keep me quiet?

In 1981 I saw the Essex Esprit in Road & Track, and it was LUST at first sight! Not long after that I saw For Your Eyes Only, which today is my favourite Bond film of all time (but not because of the Lotus moments...in fact as a Lotuphile I feel a bit ripped-off by the car's lack of screen action in the film). To me, the Turbo seemed like the most perfectly logical evolution of the Esprit and while I still love the S1, I was at that 'formative age' during the Turbo era.

I did develop other interests and pursued many other hobbies, most significantly motorbikes starting in 2001...but around 2008 I felt a renewed sense of Lotus-lust and started doing homework. I never guessed that Esprits would ever be so affordable, and learning this only fanned the flames. Now that ownership looked like a real possibility, I read everything I could on the subject (and found this forum too).

In the summer of 2010 I crashed my beloved BMW R1200GS motorbike. By then I was friends with two Turbo Esprit owners in my local area who very much encouraged me at every turn, and next thing I knew, instead of getting another bike I was looking at ads for Esprits- and in November, I found mine. I figured that they'll always make motorbikes, but these cars aren't getting any younger. The classic/collector car market is rather depressed right now, so it all added up to the idea that if I want an Esprit, now was the time to do it- so I did.

So far I've been hugely happy with the decision, even when it stranded me on the roadside after less than ten miles of ownership. Every day I have to walk past the Esprit to get to my other car, but even then I stare longingly at the Esprit and think to myself, 'wow, I really own that ! I can't believe I've finally got one!'

Was it worth thirty years of waiting? Damn right it was!

Edited by The Veg

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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I sort of became aware of Lotus when Emma Peel was driving her Elan and I remember the original Europa coming out. There was a Lotus dealer not far from home and I would often go for a gawp through the showroom windows but my interest was really fired up in 1970 when Jochen Rindt put in that amazing drive in Monaco, the lotus 72 came out and I bought a copy of Motor magazine with a road test of the Elan S4. I loved the innovation in the race cars and the philosophy of lightweight and soft, well-tuned suspension to do so much with so little. However, it was a fantastic car. So quick and always seemed to be on your side. Suffered some reliability issues and the chassis was on its way out when I sold it. I didn't know about it until the buyer pointed it out.

So, by 1975 I had my Elan, a 1969 S4 but I couldn't afford to keep it. The insurance was too expensive. Had to wait until 1980 to get my next Lotus, a +2S. Another great car. Comfortable, fast, quiet. Had to sell it to raise a deposit for a cottage in the country. Still not sure it was worth it. Then bringing up a family got in the way for ages so it was 2004 when I bought my Esprit. Why an Esprit? I suppose because it was the first Lotus that came up at the right sort of price and condition. Economic conditions not related to the car meant I had to sell it. I made the same mistake with the Esprit as I dd with the +2 in that I bought cheap cars that needed work and, while I did the mechanical work with no problem but both cars need cosmetic work which I could not do and didn't want to pay someone else to do.

In each case I bought the cars because of the Lotus feel, how the cars drive and handled and because of their basic simplicity making them so easy to maintain and keep running. I guess that's why I keep looking for a classic Lotus now. I just love that delicacy, that driving with the fingertips where it almost become a mental exercise rather than a physical challenge. That is what makes it a Lotus for me and why I love 'em.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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Hey Bibs

Looks like you got it wrong and you should add boyhood dream to your poll.......

Sorry, in the light of current events I should say personhood dream... wouldn’t want to sound politically incorrect. :whistle:

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Neil,

Apologies to whoever's red S2 the attached started out as, and for the not terribly good Photoshop work, but a previous owner of my S1 had grafted on the entire front end of an S2--from the wheel well forward--but I really like the bottom curve of the front end of the S1. On the other hand, I really like the S2 spoiler and Speedlines, so that's how my car will be configured when finished, in Colorado Orange and tartan interior. I've been debating whether to paint the entire car one color or mask off just the spoiler in black to simulate the bottom front lines of an S1, which is what I'm going to do. I'm not good enough in Photoshop to mask out the ear ducts, but this image sufficed to help me decide.

Is this what you're doing as well or are you masking it off completely horizontal as per S2 spec?

Regards,

Matt

Thats mine! Looks good with the front spliter black.

I was at school when the M100 came out and I always said I'd get one of those one day. When i was a bit older I used to drive over to the Lotus Dealer in Gallows Corner (near Romford) and look at the cars there, my favourite was an azure blue Esprit S4S.

:thumbsup:

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Ahhhhh Nelmes!!

We must have been dribbling down the window at the same time.

When they launched the S4 and Sport 300 theyhad an open day one Saturday and took people out for a thrash down the A127. I went in the Sport 300 and was absolutely stunned. I had never been in anything like it, and I think I started putting pennies in jars within seconds of getting home after that outing!

I too have always had the Azure S4s in my dreams....and now I am very fortunate its a reality. The best bit is that the reality is just as good as the dream!

Twitter @radioRedwards

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No mid life crisis option??

Speaking for myself, I always assumed that was a prerequisite. I know I had to check off that box when I filled out the DMV registration form.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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No mid life crisis option??

Mid-life crises lead to the purchase of a Ferrari, a motorbike or an Austin Healey 3000, or a Corvette. A Lotus is the thinking buyer's choice. :yes:

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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The Esprit had always been a 'Dream car' for me.

Up there with the Lamborghini's and Ferraris of the day. I think the first two cars i could properly recognise by model are the Esprit and the Jag XJS, due to the bond films and 'the saint' on TV - and the corgi toys that accompanied them.

I always assumed something about the Esprit: That it would be mega expensive and i'd never own one. In fact it was honestly not until the mid 1990's that i actually noticed how cheap they were (admittedly the Ferrari and lambo of the same year still retained high values and remained un accessable to me!), I strated buying mags like Top Marques and realised there were some cars that once danced around with exotics that now did not hold the exotic price tag.

There was i driving round in a Toyota supra with only a couple of grand needed extra to get behind the wheel of an '83 Esprit, so it was p-ex time and...

Ten years of Lotus Esprit, No regrets at all about owning the car. It did stop me moving house and put holidays on hold, and at times it seemed that 'getting everything sorted' was an endless uphill battle that i'd never (and never did) win. In fact it's the cash commitment to keep the car good that led me to call it a day, not the Esprit itself (i've run an Elise for two years and had it's engine rebuilt for less that the cost of my last Esprit service).

But it was a real privellige to have owned an Esprit and to be able to say that i have. It came from a time when there was not a generic supercar shape like today, Lotus will never again make a car thats as striking compared to everything else on the road, no car maker can. In the seventies peoples driveways were not filled with turbocharged and supercharged family saloons, blistering performance was not common in cars people just drove to work,

The Esprit will always be one of those 70's - 80's poster cars to me. Maybe not a 'dream car' anymore, as ten years of rusty, knackered and busted bits takes the sheen off, god knows if i owned any of those poster cars for that amount of time, and had to run them and pay for it then that studio photo shine would fade too i'm sure!

I enjoyed the Lotus experience enough to trade up to an Elise. It's simply the best car i have ever owned, and it has less moving parts than a tin opener. I want to stay with the marque but am in a bit of a rut as to what to get next. The Exige s2 is the last car Lotus have wheeled out that i'd like to own so would be the logical 'next step', i've thought about it a lot and it's not out of reach - it's not a money thing - i just find myself looking at the early ones with wind up windows, no driver aid goodies, simpler engine, and then i think 'hang on, i'm trying to find an Exige that as close to my S1 as possible'. So it's just possible i might just stay with S1 Elises for a bit, IMO they are the last classic Lotus have made since the giugiaro Esprit.

And to think, all the time i had an Esprit i dismissed the Elise as being a bit girly.

:D

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