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People's reaction to the Esprit - what's yours?

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A few potential purchasers of Esprits come on the forums asking about people's reaction, like they are worried about an instant keying, or never being let out of junctions. I've noticed pretty much everyone quotes a positive experience, but today whilst out on the drive doing a couple of jobs for an hour, the reaction of passers by left me astonished, again.

 

1. Several families out for a sunny afternoon stroll smiled as their kids went berserk (I think the car being in a Teletubby colour helps)

2. Dog walkers stopped and overflowed with compliments

3. The local mutant teenager gangs pass by without any derogatory comments (that counts as a positive)

4. Feet sticking out from under the car, I constantly hear cars slowing down for a look and speeding up

5. The local "yoof" car nuts pull up for a look

6. At the other end of the scale a sweet old lady who must have been 75, but knows exactly what the car is, does a u-turn in her car and comes over for a closer look and a chat about her late husbands Elans and E types in the 60s

 

Considering this is not a Lambo, not worth big dollars, and been out of production for 10 years this is an amazing reaction. I've also owned the thing for 10 years, so it's not exactly a new sight outside the house.

 

Anyone else get the same?

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In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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4. Feet sticking out from under the car, I constantly hear cars slowing down for a look and speeding up

 

You were working on it while you were out? :huh:


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I don't think I have ever head a bad word about my car. In fact the other day - I was looking through my CCTV footage and at 3 o'clock in the morning there was a row of 6 people looking at the Esprit over the hedge! Not a key, knife or screwdriver in site!

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Don't think I've ever had a bad thing said about my car. It seems to make people happy:

 

Recently at a car show I had a lot of people coming over and looking at it. I try to engage a lot of the extra curious in conversation as I know how it is - sometimes you're sticking around staring in awe at a car but are afraid to ask the owner about it in case he's a totally asocial tosspot. So anyhow, I offered one guy a tour and he positively died of joy when I told him to jump in the driver's seat. He said it was a childhood dream come true. Got a handshake and all.

 

Kids are also extra susceptible to its charms - I park my car in a secure garage outside a high-school and opposite a football field used by several schools where parents are always dropping off and picking up their kids. When I pass by I usually hear stuff like "DAAAMN CHECK OUT THE CAR!!!!!".

 

As mentioned before, the Esprit seems to make people happy. And for that alone its worth owning.


Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '91 Elan SE | '97 XK8

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* looks pretty cool for a kit car

* what kind of Ferrari is that?

* your not going to get much shopping in the back of that are you

* where's the engine???

* that's one of those plastic cars

* Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious ... That one is usually associated with an vacant smile like they have just made it up

* WOW!

* One day........

* Awesome care mate!

* how fast does that go

*does that turn into a submarine

I could go on........

I have been to lots of shows over the years where the car has been on display. It's quite interesting just hanging back a bit where people just think you are a member of the public and listen intro what people are saying.

Some seem to be very scathing about it, perhaps a bit jealous?

Some will try to explain to their friends all about what car it is. Some very knowledgable, some the exact opposite.

Because the GT3 has a private plate it really confuses people.... They know the Esprit is very iconic and it's been around for a while but they can't figure out how old it is and that is really interesting to hear suggestions..... Anything from " that thing looks amazing for a car that's about 40 years old ("GFM 100G" = 1968 UK registration) to suggestions that its brand new..... Which is nice for a 16 year old car!

You also get the know it all's who explain to you that it's got a Ford engine in it and its actually built using a Ford Capri as a donor car.

All in all though, the reaction is normally very positive.

I also own a 1968 Triumph Vitesse and that is classed as a pretty special sports saloon car of its age by the general public.

What I have noticed is that everyone will stop and let you out at junctions and openly admire the car where as quite a few would never let you out in the esprit and tend to avoid looking at it.

Every day a different reaction but without doubt, it will cause a reaction of some sort!

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I have never actually been able to drive my car in the 7 years I've owned it. It's usually out on the drive with me working on it in some way shape or form and whenever anybody passes they usually stop and talk about it. So most of the time I actually spend more time talking to the general public than working on it which may explain why it still isn't finished. Oh yeah, that and the fact that it's a money pit!

 

Paul.

Edited by Paul Coleman
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Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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On my first jaunt across to France in the beast, I was early for the return ferry so I went into Calais for a spot of lunch. As I parked, a French chap ran over, almost dribbling, and told me the Esprit Turbo was the car he'd always dreamed of....so we had a chat and I let him sit in it, and I think that made his day...and possibly his year, too! I have been stopped by the local teenage oiks in Kew and beset by their mobile phones taking photos whilst they told me what a great car it was... The finest memory was when I drove past the local primary school; most of the inmates were cavorting about with balls and suchlike, but there was one studious lad who had sat himself down leaning on a tree and reading a book. Memories of my school days came back at the sight. Then he looked up, saw the Esprit, and his jaw dropped....wide eyed and mouth agape at the sight as I passed by!! His obvious pleasure made MY day.

Edited by molemot

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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It always cracks me up when they ask "WOW! What car is it?"

Lotus..., I say.

"Who makes it?"

Edited by MrDangerUS

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I normally get people stopping on the pavements and staring at it, or craning their necks around while driving. Sometimes I forget I'm in it and wonder why everyone is looking at me.

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I was telling this mancunian chap all about my car at a classic car thing and I said "and it was made about 7 miles from here". Chap looks dead blank so I say "The Lotus factory is just up the road from here" the chap looked at me and said "WHAT! You got a Lotus too!!!" "Er this is a Lotus" "Is it? I thought it was a Ferrari?"

 

Bless

 

Buddsy  :D


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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I've found with Lotus being in F1 for the past few years more people, especially younger ones, recognize the brand better than was the case earlier.


DanR

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"It sounds great".

 

Lots of pedestrians giving it a thumb up.

 

"Wow an esprit, it must be very quick?"

 

"My son would love to see it , he's a car nut ...."

 

 

A few jealous looks , but  99%  of the time, reactions are extremely positive.


Hey whats wrong with this wreck? We`re getting gas back here.

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I have only been on the road with it a handful of times, but everytime I get smiles and compliments. 

 

Last weekend, the second time I ever drove it, a Porsche Carrera convertible with the top down pulls up beside me while I'm stopped at a red. The driver looks over and says "Nice car," I smiled and said "You too." Made my day = )

 

Otherwise lots of questions, many complements, one man did want to know if it was a real Esprit or a kit car. I kinda felt like saying, both = ) hehe.

 

Brian

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I once had a guy in a white van signalling to me that I had a very small penis - using the medium of mime. I mouthed back "how can you tell?" and "who told you?" But I think it was lost on him.

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The reactions over this car over here in Barcelona are fantastic.

I will simply say that its a similar experience for some people to the one of seeing a UFO, except that instead of running away, people want to get closer.

(Being more serious) : In general i think people really apreciate the fact that these things are still rolling and that they are not easy to maintian in good conditions, also people are happy to see something different and to be reminded that 30 years ago some things were designed in fantastic style and would be impossible today.

Raj

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Totally agree Raj, the reactions in Europe are even more extreme. Driving holidays there just aren't the same without it.

 

Interesting to hear Gordon Massons comments what with him owning a "classic" S1 and a more modern GT3.....when buying mine 10 years ago I had a straight choice between an S1 and a GT3 (the costs for owning both I added up the same despite the S1 being worth a 3rd of the GT3 at the time)

 

My family, including my wife, were quite surprised and disappointed when I didn't buy an older car. They alluded that owning an older classic makes you look like a cultured person of good taste and judgement, and that a new sportscar just makes you look like a flash poser. I did wonder about this, and on the trip back from collecting it a recovery truck driver deliberately swerved into my path for no other reason than to be an arse. Uh oh, taste of things to come I thought, however that would be one of the handful of really negative experiences.

 

Gordons idea of blending into the crowd and listening is a good one. At an LEF event a father and son team looking at the vehicle spec sheet in the window practically spat their ice creams out in disgust that mine only had 240 bhp ^_^

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In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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My recent trip to France was amazing, and I think Raj was correct in describing it like seeing a UFO. People really did stand with open mouth to watch as you drive by.

I have not yet had any bad experience (except being parked too close to in a car park, so I couldn't get in the car) and I hope that continues.


I have CDO, it's like OCD but all the letters are in alphabetical order, AS THEY SHOULD BE !

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Over here in Africa the natives go wild when they see it. When it is parked it is photographed by all. Europeans are a little more circumspect and unlike the natives who do a double take, they are more reserved and will not look directly, at it as in turning the head, but you know that they are looking, none the less.

 

I have never had a negative comment in my 7 years of custodianship and at least 3 car shows a year.

 

I have always loved owning cars that are different, having owned a Citroen SM and of course a Citroen DS 21 but on my most wanted list is a BMW Isetta and Panhard 24 CT Tigre.

 

My wife thinks I am certifiable.

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During the time i had mine on the road here in Maryland, aside from the common, smile bringing responses listed above by many, my biggest quandary was being pulled over by the Police while running and stationary in parking lots always to find out what it is and other questions. Every time it happened i was certain I was being pulled for doing twice the limit! i actually believe I may have escaped several bills due to the car itself. Perhaps I am a bit off but the best result is how it made me feel when behind the wheel - it transformed my day.

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The best reaction I ever had was when I was with a former business partner who owned a DB9 and an elderly man came over and leaned in through the window and just said "this is absolutely beautiful, its a piece of automotive history"

My colleague said don't you prefer this (pointing at the Aston) and the response was " oh no, they are as common as muck this still looks amazing!"

It still makes me grin now!

 

That's fantastic. I think that's another reason why people like them, it's nothing to do with money.


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Best reaction was from a couple of guys in a beat up pickup truck with no exhaust, who saw 3 of us in Esprits passing by on a bridge.

 

Each time a Lotus passed you could easily hear one of the guys yelling at the top of his lungs "HOLY F#@KING S#^T!! IT'S A LOTUS".  He actually yelled that with exactly the same enthusiasm each time.

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Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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I get a huge amount of attention in mine - double takes etc. But people also smile at it a lot - especially when I flash my lights to let them out etc. People of all ages (from ladies in their 70s etc.) have often come up to say how beautiful it is. Many comment that 'you don't see many of these about these days' - I have several ex-owners of Esprits share stories on when they had one in the 70s or 80s... but mainly I have always found it to be a very benign reaction. People also nearly always let me out at junctions - which is handy... 

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