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Trailering an Esprit - any points to be aware of?


Guest allgoodpeter

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Guest allgoodpeter

I am (I hope) at long last near buying my car. It's a fair way from home (150 miles) and I can't really get there one way plus I dont really want my first real Esprit driving experince to be 150 miles back up a Motorway. So I was thinking of getting it trailered home - so is there anything special about the type of trailer or company I should use - I am thinking things like ground clearance mainly - and for that matter, where do you attach the winch rope?

The car is in the very approx Milton Keynes region - I can't be more specific publicly as I have already been gazumped twice on other cars.

Any recommended companies in that area?

And any idea on typical pricing - I heard a pound a mile being mentioned somewhere.

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Hi

I trailered my Esprit about 6 months ago and used the online clearing house called Shipley. It's a bit like eBay for moving things! You tell them the car that needs trailering and companies quote accordingly. It cost me about 80p per mile for a 80 mile trip and the person who did the job was first class. He had a trailer that tipped up at a bit to reduce the angle as I drove the car up onto it.

Good luck and Looking forward to seeing the car on here!

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Hi Peter,

Does the car need a winch or can it go up on its own speed?

I have used a car transporter several times, both being able to drive on and with the winch. I used a 'fountain C200', 14 ft long and 6 ft wide. Looks identical to the one Rob has posted. Trailering myself at £45 a days hire.

The trailer didnt need tilting but it naturally does that as the car weight is applied. You need to make sure you have at least 2 wheels straps, preferably 4. When winched, there were 2 options - from the front suspension at one side or in reverse from the rear tube. (that presents the potential issue of the bonnet flipping open though, as others have spoken of on here.

I have also used a professional company to transport my car when it had no engine no doors, bonnett etc. This was in a covered race type trailer. IIRC, it cost about £200 for a 200 mile round trip.

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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My S2.2 goes on a 14' (I think) beavertail. The front valance / radiator will foul the ramps unless you lift the front right up on the jockey wheel (a couple of scaffold boards would do the same job)

Chap in this part of the world moved a tractor on the cheap for me, has a sliding flatbed - billy 07831883883

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Hi Peter,

Drive it home :smoke:

When I bought my S4s I got a flight from Newcasle to Exeter to go & view it, did the deal, sorted insurance & drove over 300 miles home !

I loved every minute of the journey even though it was mostly motorways & due to it been a Friday the traffic was horrendous & what should have taken 5 hours took me about 7 hours.

I didn't even have a contingency plan if I hadn't bought the car ! I'd have just had to try & get a flight home or hired a car from the airport.

All part of the adventure, why waste money on transport when you can be driving your new Esprit with a big grin on your face ?

Phil.

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Guest allgoodpeter

My S2.2 goes on a 14' (I think) beavertail. The front valance / radiator will foul the ramps unless you lift the front right up on the jockey wheel (a couple of scaffold boards would do the same job)

Chap in this part of the world moved a tractor on the cheap for me, has a sliding flatbed - billy 07831883883

Cant PM you but that lead is very useful! BTW - not THE Simon Bates are you .....?

Hi Peter,

Drive it home :smoke:

All part of the adventure, why waste money on transport when you can be driving your new Esprit with a big grin on your face ?

Phil.

Tempting but I think not until I have some general handling experience!

Hi Peter,

Does the car need a winch or can it go up on its own speed?

I have used a car transporter several times, both being able to drive on and with the winch. I used a 'fountain C200', 14 ft long and 6 ft wide. Looks identical to the one Rob has posted. Trailering myself at £45 a days hire.

The trailer didnt need tilting but it naturally does that as the car weight is applied. You need to make sure you have at least 2 wheels straps, preferably 4. When winched, there were 2 options - from the front suspension at one side or in reverse from the rear tube. (that presents the potential issue of the bonnet flipping open though, as others have spoken of on here.

No towing ball on my Alfa!

So no front towing eye then? Dont like pulling it by the suspension and definitely not pulling it up backwards but it should be OK to get the owner to drive it up.

/quote

Hi

I trailered my Esprit about 6 months ago and used the online clearing house called Shipley. It's a bit like eBay for moving things! You tell them the car that needs trailering and companies quote accordingly. It cost me about 80p per mile for a 80 mile trip and the person who did the job was first class. He had a trailer that tipped up at a bit to reduce the angle as I drove the car up onto it.

Good luck and Looking forward to seeing the car on here!

Thats a great lead many thanks.

Edited by allgoodpeter
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Guest WausauLotus
The car is in the very approx Milton Keynes region - I can't be more specific publicly as I have already been gazumped twice on other cars.

Peter- To us poor colonists.......what does this mean?

Dave

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Drive it, it's only a car!!

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

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+1 for driving it back.

I've driven very few cars in my time but I drove my S2 back up the M25 from Essex to Reading when I bought it.

Can safely say, a mechanically sound Esprit is relatively easy to drive (and a lot of fun). The only scary bit is just how big even the most average car looks when you are that low down!

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Guest allgoodpeter
  • Its when you have agreed a deal with a vendor and somebody else comes along with a better offer and 'steals' the deal from you.... The term is more often used in house sales/purchases.

Very well put! Happened twice now.

Though actually it wasnt even a better offer I since found, just someone who had the money in notes. Sad to say but my experiences with several Esprit owners during my quest has not been good - rude, arrogant and very precious. Though thankfully not all.

+1 for driving it back.

I've driven very few cars in my time but I drove my S2 back up the M25 from Essex to Reading when I bought it.

Can safely say, a mechanically sound Esprit is relatively easy to drive (and a lot of fun). The only scary bit is just how big even the most average car looks when you are that low down!

My driving experience in an Esprit is less than ten minutes!

I used to fly light aircraft some years ago and remember there were people who'd jump into any plane ("its just a plane!") and there were the cautious ones who took it steady. Sorry but I fit the latter type!

Plus I'm self employed and I will lose a lot more than the £118 I have just been quoted (Shipleys is brilliant!) if I take a day off.

And anyway the title of my question wasn't "Persuade me to drive the car home" was it?!

Edited by allgoodpeter
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Drive it, it's only a car!!

Absolutely. I got the train from Torquay to Chesterfield to pick mine up. I had an RAC inspection done to make sure it was sound and then took a chance!! What better way is there to learn how it drives. As Bibs says, it is only a car.

Twitter @radioRedwards

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Some more advice for you to ignore - Make sure you put the car on the trailer backwards. It's mid-engined and if you don't you'll not be able to get enough weight over the front of the trailer, it will be tail heavy and less stable.

You know if a plane breaks down there's a decent chance you'll die. It a car breaks down there's a decent chance you'll pull over, they're a bit of different proposition.

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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Guest allgoodpeter

Some more advice for you to ignore - Make sure you put the car on the trailer backwards. It's mid-engined and if you don't you'll not be able to get enough weight over the front of the trailer, it will be tail heavy and less stable.

You know if a plane breaks down there's a decent chance you'll die. It a car breaks down there's a decent chance you'll pull over, they're a bit of different proposition.

***sigh***

Good job its not a 911 then, I'd stand no chance. Yes I do know the Esprit is mid engined (so that's why I couldn't find the motor under the bonnet!) and likewise I am sure you know the weight bias is near neutral at about 58% to the rear wheels so - and I am not going to do the maths tonight - as long as it is positioned slightly ahead of the trailer's pitch axis it'll be balanced, indeed your back to front idea could actually lead to a downforce to the towing point and thus reduce steering control in the tow car. And wouldn't an Esprit doing 70mph backwards be less aerodynamically stable than one facing forward? But I digress - PLEASE read my posts - I AM NOT going to be doing the trailering myself - I used the term perhaps too loosely for you, maybe I should have said "transported". I shall no doubt be using the services of a recovery truck and I am sure they will be fine with the weight distribution. And if they get it wrong, they are insured.

Now planes breaking down? Uh? I never said anything about being worried about the car breaking down on my way home did I? It was purely me who didn't want to drive it that far as a first drive. My plane analogy was to do with reckless people who charge off ill prepared and get themselves into trouble because they didn't take the time to get to know the differences. The planes are fine, its the ego's that cause the problems. Anyway, barring major structural failure (rare indeed) or a collision a "broken" plane is usually capable of being landed safely - we practiced it constantly, give me an engine failure in a plane any day over one in a car on a fast A road with an artic behind, no verge and oncoming traffic.

But that wasn't my reasoning. I wasn't talking about the flipping car breaking down (though I presume being a Lotus it might), all I was saying was that I DO NOT want to drive it all the way home. Do I have to have a reason? But seeing as I apparently have to - I can't afford the day off to do it and I am quite happy for a specialist to bring it to me. ALL I wanted was to find out peoples' experiences (that is those that have actually done a transport job as opposed to those experts who haven't but know how to) of doing just that - and thankfully some good and helpful advice (which I won't ignore) has been made. Hey one guy even has pictures of his car on a trailer pointing forwards! Shock, horror, dicing with death eh? But he could have left his bonnet unlocked if he wanted.

All I asked for was advice, I did not ask for a view on whether I should or shouldn't do it. I now have the information I wanted (thanks guys, you know who you are) and I shall act upon it. When I get the car home I shall enjoy getting to know it at my pace, thanks.

Cheers!

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Hi Peter,

Sorry if my reply was not the advice you asked for, I just read that you were 'thinking' of trailering it home & just wanted to offer an alternative although as you have now pointed out, being self employed it will probably be cheaper than taking a day off. ( I'm self employed & in the same position but considered it money well spent, or lost ! )

My experience of driving an Esprit prior to purchasing my S4s was little more than a couple of short test drives but I fall into the ' it's just a car ' catagory & would be quite happy to get in anything & drive it anywhere.

I do understand where you are coming from if you would rather get to know your new car in familiar surroundings & in your own time. though.

Good luck with the purchase & hopefully those that have offered experience & contacts for companies that provide transport will get your Esprit home safely for you to enjoy.

Looking forward toi some pics.

Regards, Phil.

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Guest allgoodpeter

Its OK - yes I did say I was "thinking" - but I meant in the sense of self drive would only be a last resort if I couldn't get it transported.

I would have to pay three other people's wages for a day and lose production entirely in a manufacturing plant if I go - and that amounts to a lot more than £118 for a transporter!

Anyway, just heard final inspection booked for Tuesday so I'll know if I'm joining the club pretty soon now.

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I had my s4 transported from scotland down to me when I bought it. From experience there are several things to look out for when choosing a company as theyre are many different trailers and transporters

Firstly, go for an independant who wont be running several vehicles on a multi car transporter. Reason being one your car might not be given the right treatment as its not your.average hatchback..they might strap it down on suspension arms etc...leave them for the mainstream cars...

Secondly very important as mentioned already is ground clearance at the front end. When getting quotes I made it painstakingly clear to everyone I phone the ground clearance issues...some dismissed it as not important but those that listened and advised were the independants again. They guy I ended up using actually made an addiional ramp to his trailer for.me.to.ensure the car would.drive up onto it on a very gradual slope ensuring no.clearance issues...

Another important note is you or whoever wikk need to get in and out of the car on the trailer. Some trailers have arches over the wheels, so be carefull when you open the door it doesnt foul on the arches...we dont want any damage...it might measure.up ok on paper to just clear over them, but with 80kilo of.man in the driving seat the car will.we slightly lower on one side, causing the door to catch maybe?... But as mentioned there are lots of different types of trailers so makecsure the width is clear enough to avoid this..

And also as mentioned, make sure its someone who will look after the car, securing it in the right places etc...dont go based on price...i looked at everyones web site, they all have pics of theyre transporters or trailers...choose one that looks.right for the car.and proffessional.

Oh, and very very.very important...make sure theyrw insurance will cover your car in the event of the worse.....not all independant transport company's are used to carrying high value specialist cars..some just deal in trn gran mondeos or salvage industry...make sure its covered fully just in case...

This is how I was thinking when I was arraning the movement of my car, and I hope it helps you out really...good look...darren

Ps, and an indicatiin I paid 270 to have mine took from scotland to the midlands...it was a good price though...

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Hi Peter,

Hope the inspection goes well!

To add my bit, I didn't fancy driving my car back from Blackburn to Southampton, although I did consider it and glad I didn't in the end. I just didn't want to trust an old car that much for a four hour plus run.

Regarding trailering, I didn't know about putting the car on backwards, ignorance being bliss this is how we did it and she got home safe and sound:

post-5743-0-15002800-1333285209.jpg

I would also add the car was trailered two weeks ago on a recover truck to the garage - all we needed to do was put some wood blocks in front of the ramp to help with clearance of the front valance. Any decent operator should know what they ae doing, but its always worth mentioning!

Edited by Nelly9000
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Guest allgoodpeter

Thanks both - some more sensible advice I won't ignore.

All day I have been mulling the "reverse trailer" method in my mind and the more I think of it the more ludicrous it sounds. Every opening door or hatch on an Esprit is hinged such that if it opened while being towed in reverse is going to catch the air and be pulled wide open. When you think of the "fantastic" quality of the locks and catches, a few good jolts and I could feasibly receive a car minus hatch, bonnet and doors! And cause a multiple pileup at the same time.

BTW Neil - your S2 is beautiful, maybe I should consider a respray! Although as discussed elsewhere, I intend to revert the car (assuming I even get it!) to as near to S2 looks as possible. Something else that upsets some people.

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2 months ago this Esprit (mine) went from the middle of Kent to Glasgow, backwards. How ludicrous is that! Crazy! They're still picking up doors from the M1, 8 people were beheaded by the bonnet and a baby cried in Sheffield.

post-1-0-91092400-1333297122.jpg

Here's another pic of it arriving when I bought it... backwards again! Mental...

post-1-0-84851100-1333297349.jpg

The weight MUST push down on the tow hook, not pull up.

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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BTW Neil - your S2 is beautiful, maybe I should consider a respray! Although as discussed elsewhere, I intend to revert the car (assuming I even get it!) to as near to S2 looks as possible. Something else that upsets some people.

Thanks Peter, although if you saw her close up you would have said otherwise! She was very flaky in places and a respray was a must - and she looks great now (in white!)

Are you looking at an S2? I must be honest I kept away from the most of the S2 trademarks, such as the black sills and ears (all bodycolour now), and didn't put the pinstrip back on. Thats the way I prefer it but its easy enough to put back to how it "should be" if needed.

The weight MUST push down on the tow hook, not pull up.

By luck, we must have had the car just far enough forward not to have caused a problem, thankfully.

Edited by Nelly9000
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Guest allgoodpeter

2 months ago this Esprit (mine) went from the middle of Kent to Glasgow, backwards. How ludicrous is that! Crazy! They're still picking up doors from the M1, 8 people were beheaded by the bonnet and a baby cried in Sheffield.

post-1-0-91092400-1333297122.jpg

Here's another pic of it arriving when I bought it... backwards again! Mental...

post-1-0-84851100-1333297349.jpg

The weight MUST push down on the tow hook, not pull up.

I can see now how little I know. I stupidly thought that it might be a risk - in a car whose condition is largely unknown to me - to rely on an assortment of Marina door locks and bent coat hangers to reliably hold surfaces closed that would love to open fully given the chance. I take my hat off to you, if only I could have your confidence and knowledge. I guessed you were making a little joke about scaring babies and decapitating people! I hope so anyway as that woudn't be very good if it was true!!

But - if I may crave your forgiveness for a moment, should we not disregard the one contained within an aerodynamic shroud as even an open parachute would tow along just fine inside a BOX.

PS - Thanks to all the rest of you in the "I've transported my Esprit forwards and made it home alive!" club. Your advice and comments very helpful - if totally misguided..

By luck, we must have had the car just far enough forward not to have caused a problem, thankfully.

Crikey you were lucky!

I like the lines of the S2 more than the S3 but I wanted the S3s better development, galvanised chassis and general refinement. Though a white S2 on replacement chassis would have won me over.

On the S3 I hate the railway sleeper bumpers, the rest I can live with but prefer the sunken S1 Carello rearlights (of which I have bought a pair to retrofit). The ears are OK but the BBS wheels are not as nice (to me) as polished Speedlines or of course Wofrace slots (but latter out due to different hubs).

So plan is - firstly revert bumpers which gets me most of what I want, look out for a set of Speedlines, lose the lower spoiler with matt black paint, maybe/maybe not paint out the sills and ears in black and longer term swap the rear lights. Oh and add the pinstripe!

I've alredy encountered the howls of anguish from certain quarters but all mods wil be reversible and since its my car, I'll darn well do what I want to it!

Now I actually think Yellow is nice!

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Confidence and knowledge are added to with experience mate. I've owned Esprit's for a third of my life.

Lord only knows why you ask for advice then ignore it and add insult by lambasting it. Good luck with your Esprit ownership, you'll need it.

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

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Guest allgoodpeter

Confidence and knowledge are added to with experience mate. I've owned Esprit's for a third of my life.

Lord only knows why you ask for advice then ignore it and add insult by lambasting it. Good luck with your Esprit ownership, you'll need it.

Calm down dear, after all "It's just a car!".

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