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Esprit S1 w/ Speedlines - Bona Fide? - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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Esprit S1 w/ Speedlines - Bona Fide?

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I was never sure if this photo was some sort of accident/one-off in a rush to prep the car for a publicity photo, or if there really were some late-model S1s that left the factory with Speedlines.

S1%20Speedlines.jpg

Can anyone please clarify whether or not some S1s actually left the factory with Speedlines?

On a related note, I'm absolutely positive that in the miles of books and articles I've read on G-Esprits I read somewhere that Chapman specifically said he preferred the Speedlines over the slot-mag Wolfraces, and that he couldn't wait to get rid of the latter because they harkened to Lotus's kit car days, which he wanted to shake off. Anyone know the source for that reference?

Thanks.

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Some very late S1's did have Speedline wheels fitted from new.

Totally different topic, but this wheel subject also always gets me thinking of the much-talked about "S1.5" Esprits - late S1's that have an S2 front spoiler. I suspect that this was a case of an S1 upper half being mated to an S2 lower half right at the S1/S2 changeover, and I'm willing to bet that any late S1 (or "S1.5") that has an S2 front spoiler, ALSO has the battery in the rear trunk area a la S2.

Didn't mean to hijack the thread from post #1 !!,sorry, but in answer to your question, some late and pure S1's DID have Speedlines fitted from new. Whether or not the yellow S1 above is one of them or not, I don't know, but it did happen nonetheless (I suspect that the yellow one in your pic IS one of them, as does a certain very knowledgeable retailer in Dorking...). :-)

Art

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Thanks brother. Coming from a Lotus concours judge I know officially feel better about putting my Wolfraces up for sale.

By the way, the S1 upper/S2 lower hypothesis will be a great question for my interview with Morris Dowton next week. If anyone will know, he will.

Can you clarify, specifically, what you mean about the battery location? Mine's in the usual S1 location, directly behind the passenger (on a LHD car), up against the body, so where are you talking about when you say "battery in the trunk area"?

Indeed, Scott would know, but he seems to be off the grid and catching rays in Espanol. Was hoping to meet up with him on the 5th, but no reply yet.

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Not an expert, but that does not look like a late S1. I thought things like spoiler and wing mirrors overlapped more

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Certainly looks like an S1 to me, and I had heard of later releases with the Speedlines.

With no ears, that front spoiler, different wing mirrors to the S2, sills colour-coded and a R number plate I would definitely put it in the S1 camp.

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RCL377R was a factory promo vehicle in 1977 (and was the Autocar test S1) and is pictured in period on Wolfraces.

How the Spedline wheels above ended up on it is speculation - perhaps applied for a test shot by the factory in the run up to model change, or by it's eventual private owner who returned for a souvenir factory picture

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RCL377R was a factory promo vehicle in 1977 (and was the Autocar test S1) and is pictured in period on Wolfraces.

How the Spedline wheels above ended up on it is speculation - perhaps applied for a test shot by the factory in the run up to model change, or by it's eventual private owner who returned for a souvenir factory picture

Cool info on this particular car. thanks.

Art

Thanks brother. Coming from a Lotus concours judge I know officially feel better about putting my Wolfraces up for sale.

By the way, the S1 upper/S2 lower hypothesis will be a great question for my interview with Morris Dowton next week. If anyone will know, he will.

Can you clarify, specifically, what you mean about the battery location? Mine's in the usual S1 location, directly behind the passenger (on a LHD car), up against the body, so where are you talking about when you say "battery in the trunk area"?

Indeed, Scott would know, but he seems to be off the grid and catching rays in Espanol. Was hoping to meet up with him on the 5th, but no reply yet.

S2's had the battery all the way in the back under the trunk floor, whereas S1's had it next to the engine under the "quarter window" further forward right, or starboard :-) side.

Art

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On a related note, I'm absolutely positive that in the miles of books and articles I've read on G-Esprits I read somewhere that Chapman specifically said he preferred the Speedlines over the slot-mag Wolfraces, and that he couldn't wait to get rid of the latter because they harkened to Lotus's kit car days, which he wanted to shake off. Anyone know the source for that reference?

PS I've read that many times too, and back when the S2 was launched he said something along the lines if the S2 was the Esprit the way he wanted it to be. AFAIK the Speedlines were designed in-house. Never liked Wolfies much myself either, perhaps Giugiaro insisted on them for the S1, after all they were on his original prototype

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The source of that info may have been Graham Arnold's buyer's guide, but I'm just taking a stab at it, really. What I'm saying is that that's the first book I would look in.

I've seen a handful of late Federal S1s (12/77 build dates, chassis nubmers high 500s-H, IIRC) with S2-style bonnet/dual headlamp motors and battery in the back . . . but still S1 front nose.

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The source of that info may have been Graham Arnold's buyer's guide, but I'm just taking a stab at it, really. What I'm saying is that that's the first book I would look in.

I've seen a handful of late Federal S1s (12/77 build dates, chassis nubmers high 500s-H, IIRC) with S2-style bonnet/dual headlamp motors and battery in the back . . . but still S1 front nose.

 

Hmm, your second statement there could maybe torpedo my S1 upper body half/S2 lower body half theory. Please don't ever refute me with real factual data.  :-)

 

Art

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