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Esprit GT3 1998


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It’s with great reluctance I offer what is possibly the best known and most

photographed 1998 GT3 for sale. Finished in eye catching Norfolk Mustard

yellow and complimented with Ford Schwarz black accents, it’s a truly

stunning looking Esprit. I’ve owned and enjoyed this car for over five

years and during that time I’ve had fun driving, maintaining, improving and

enhancing almost every aspect of it, both aesthetically and mechanically.

It runs on exceptionally rare, custom painted OZ Nova wheels that nestle

underneath the pattern wheelarch moudings, which were supplied by SJ

Sportscars. The Genuine Parts 2002 rear light panel houses four of the later

LED light fittings. Up front, all four headlights are fitted with HIDs.

Side, front fog and all four indicators all run LEDs. There’s a twin exit

Larini stainless exhaust and a cat bypass pipe (original cat fitted with O2

sensor included in sale) poking out from either side of the rear valance and

it sounds incredible from the outside, but it’s never too intrusive from

within the cabin. You’ve probably already spotted the rear view camera,

flush mounted into the valance.

Moving inside, it has the very comfortable Sports Seats that hold you in

place when being a bit of a hooligan. These are ideal for those of a longer

leg as they move your left knee away from the bottom of the steering wheel –

they also have the advantage of giving a touch more headroom than the

armchair seats. They are trimmed in a mixture of black leather and electric

blue Alcantara inserts. The door panel inserts, the rear cubby box and

centre console insert are all finished in the same blue Alcantara.

From behind the wheel your view of the dials is through the Genuine Parts

aluminium shroud. Always within your eyeline is the electronic digital boost

gauge which is mounted into a custom built, yet discreet, steering column

surround. Prod the glowing red starter button and the engine catches first

time, settling into a rumbly growl which promises a lot fun miles ahead. At

night every dial, clock, switch and button is illuminated in soothing blue.

Within easy reach of both seats is the Alpine IVA D106R pop out screen.

From this you can either listen to the radio, view what the rear camera is

seeing, play Cds or DVDs, control your Ipod or use the Bluetooth to stream

music or make and receive calls from your phone. Or a combination of those.

The stereo system is extremely complex, yet has very simple user interface

thanks, in part, to the fibre optic connection. Music and movies can be

played in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound courtesy of a hidden Alpine PXA

H510 digital processor, centre channel speaker, two hidden Alpine amplifiers

and a small, glovebox mounted, subwoofer. (Went off on a bit of an

anorak-fest there, sorry. It’s a stereo that does quiet as well as loud.)

But that’s just the pretty bits, details of the oily stuff makes good

reading too.

The suspension components front and rear have been Polybushed and the

springs and dampers have been replaced by adjustable platforms/adjustable

dampers running a ‘Sport Road – Dot 5/6′ configuration supplied by PUK

Esprit Racing. PUK also supplied the 320×32 brake discs, which offer fade

free performance as they get squeezed by the impressive AP Racing brake

calipers that are usually found on the much heavier Sport 350. The later

98my Kelsey Hayes ABS system gives good pedal feel and progressive,

reassuring anti-lock when needed.

Once I figured out how to make it stop, I also went shopping at PUK for some

goodies to make it go. The turbocharger is a Stage 2 hybrid T3/4 design

with a 360 bearing, while fuel, ignition and boost levels are enhanced with

a number Chip #11 V2 that has its mapping specifically designed with the GT3

in mind. The secondary injectors have been replaced by high flow items while

the whole lot breaths through a K&N filter. Unwanted boost is expelled via

a recirculating Blow Off Valve and this helps to maintain compressor speed

while you’re changing gear, thus cutting down turbo lag. The ‘ram air’

modification has been carried out behind the r/h/s ‘ear’. Keeping the

chargecooler down to a reasonable temperature is entrusted to the electric

chargecooler pump conversion. The pump is mounted low down on the gearbox

crossmember out of harm’s way. I’ve never had it on a rolling road so I’ve

no idea how much power it’s producing, however “seat of the pants” and

immoral “side by side” testing suggest it’s a bit nippy.

To make sure there were no embarrassing summer’s day/ traffic jam incidents,

the radiator ‘cassette’ has been removed and attended to. The coolant

radiator was recored and both the chargecooler and air conditioning

condensors were replaced. The twin, bumper mounted engine oil coolers were

replaced by superior items. It will now tick over quite happily in all

weathers with the fans cutting in and out, without any cause to maintain a

watchful vigil on the temperature gauge. As an aside, the clutch hose is a

braided item, so it’s possible to select a gear in summer!

Should any fault codes pop up, the ecu can be interrogated via the

permanently fitted FreeScan plug. (I’ll enclose the floppy containing the

program too) This (Windows) laptop friendly system enables you to have a

good look around the car’s brain and diagnose any issues with ease.

A quick summary then: This is a reliable everday supercar. Almost all of the

usual Esprit foibles have been attended to already. I’ve used it all

weathers and all seasons. It’s been polished and displayed and it’s been

used to do the school run. It’s taken me on Continental jaunts and trips to

Tesco. I’ve stuffed a tent in the boot and driven it up and down the country

to various shows and exhibitions and also jumped in it to buy a pint of

milk. The heater works when it’s chilly and the a/c keeps you cool in

summer. The power steering and rear view camera make it easy to park and

the comodious luggage area make it ideal for long weekends away. The

relaxed power and good mirrors make it an excellent motorway cruiser. The

uprated chassis and slightly tweaked engine make it a fantastic “A Road”

companion. Pop the roof and power the windows down for a breezy cobweb

blasting drive. It’s taxed, it’s MOT’d and it’s ready for your name on the

V5.

All that for just £12495 – y’know, that’s almost cheap! Look at it. Just

look at it. It’s fantastic.

A quick note about the displayed mileage. I’ve put 71k in the box above,

but its showing around 35k on the speedo. The original speedo that displayed

56k was replaced (due to fogging of the dial) back in 2008, but with a used

one that already had 19900 miles showing. The past MOT certificates (I’ve

got them going back to March 2002) highlight this anomaly so I’d suggest

assuming the true mileage is approximately 71000.

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Sad to see you selling it, that is a fantastic car, If only I had the spare money I've always wanted a GT3.

Good luck with the sale

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"

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WOW, sorry to see you sell Graham :( It's a lovely car , OK colour not my choice..shame its not orange ;) , but personally I think nice mod's and a good price too!

Good luck with it all Graham

1982 DeLorean DMC 12 #16327, 1999 Lotus Elise, 1998 Lotus Esprit GT3 #2272, 2011 Lotus Evora S, 2013 Lotus Exige S,2016 Lotus Evora 400

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think this one has any service history at all, the guy selling doesn't answer questions on Ebay.

Anyone know this car/owner well?

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I expect this will be one of the best maintained GT3's around, great looking car with some tasty additions. I am sure someone on here can point you in his direction should you need to contact him or you could try through his advert on pistonheads.com.

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Graham is very well known on here, the car is A1 :)

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

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