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Always wondered what happened to this car until today....

 

http://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/lotus/esprit/lotus-esprit-development-car-and-james-bond-colour-swatch/1802434

 

This has got to be a great buy although I would want to check the history to make sure it was not just a plate change although seems genuine. Real shame it has lost some of the original features through development like the compromotive rims.

 

Now if only I could find a spare £20k or finish the S1 quick..... ;) !

Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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I tried to buy it back twice. I only sold it to buy and modernise my first house so no regrets selling it but was frustrating not being able to buy it back.  Its current price I think is sti

The guy who has it up for sale for £70,000 or was it 70,000 Euros (pretty matter less now which currency) seems to be based in Monaco and Switzerland. Cannot tell whether it still has the wrong side s

Those pics bring back memories Mike, that was when i first met you when you had it for sale (1992?) and scaring me witless on a test drive. I recall the Maestro behind it in the garage block thinking

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Found it, looks like it never sold though.

 

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.silverstoneauctions.com%2F1980-lotus-esprit-a&ei=_pprUonBEOjt4gSXmIGQBQ&usg=AFQjCNElUXaaiXH8mngWIPh82eIlGecSvg

 

Still seems like a good car although clearly re-painted as the strips are not correct and the decals are the later smaller type. I am considering the journey up to view. Does anyone know any more about the car?

Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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I used to own MPW71V. I was the first owner after Lotus. I in fact bought it minus its V8 development engine. I converted it back to HC turbo specification. The car was sold in a deal done a few days after the auction I was informed.

 

Cheers Mike

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  • 2 years later...

Looks like this one has been overhauled and back on the market..... rumoured asking price is £50k...

https://www.classicdriver.com/de/car/lotus/esprit/1980/359687

Original Olins are cool!

 

 

Edited by nello
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Saw that on facebook, the description makes very interesting reading:

This car represents a unique opportunity to acquire a genuine pre production model of the famed Lotus Esprit Essex Turbo, one of 3 cars used by Lotus Chairman Colin Chapham as original press and development cars. This car originally produced in the Essex Blue livery was changed by the factory specifically to test the Copper Fire Metallic colour for pinewood studios against the snow of the Italian Dolomites for the upcoming James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.

Due to the shortage of cars at this time this car was returned to other press duties and the White car used in the early scenes of the movie and famously blown up (actually a polystyrene model) had to be repainted also for the actual scenes in the mountains.

This car is documented by Lotus as being present at the launch in 1980 at the Royal Albert Hall in London and photographed with Dame Shirley Bassey as well as the use by Pinewood Studios in the production of For Your Eyes Only. Also in the same year this car was present at the Lotus launch and display at the 1980 Le Mans.

After this period the car was also used by Lotus as the test bed car for the V8 Turbo engine and as such has a modified and upgraded chassis offering this car exceptional stability and handling versus it early production 2.2 Turbo predecessors.
The car was then sold to a Lotus aficionado who had the car returned by the factory to its 2.2 Turbo engine in consultation with Patrick Peal who at the time was the original Design consultant on this car at Lotus Cars, Patrick explained that these 3 pre production cars where also made lighter to allow the press a real taste of the car to come and during their ownership by Lotus cars where very much treated as " his babies " and maintained almost on a daily basis by the factory support team.

Due to its Bond connection and rarity the car was acquired by us on behalf of an important private collection and underwent a no expense spared restoration by marque specialists back to the original specification of the car used in the Movie. This includes original 3 Piece alloys, a set of original 1980 production Good Year tyres as well as the famous ski rack which is fitted with an original set of ski's from 1980 used also in the movie.

The lotus Esprit for many years has been considered an underdog in the collectible super car world, in reality when Georgetto Guigario penned the design for the original Series 1 Esprit used in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me and was launched at the Paris motor show in 1975 as a concept car - the design instantly established the Lotus as a true super car and design icon, and when spotted by Cubby Broccoli strategically parked outside his studios became one of the most famous cars in Movie history. Whilst early performance was exceptional but not in the super car league with the advent of the Turbo version in 1980 and the various engine and suspension upgrades over the next 23 years until the model finally went out of production made the Lotus Esprit a thoroughly English super car whose exceptional handling and performance is legendary to this day and technological innovations led many others in the industry - at one point Lotus cars and its engineers where recognised as leaders in suspension and handling technology .

2016 marks the Esprits 40th Anniversary as a production car, we believe the early Esprit S1 and special production cars like the Turbo here are now coming of age as important and collectible classics; additional they are increasingly rare. We believe this car is one of the best and well documented examples of the Turbo available today and resides in Monte Carlo where on its regular road tests attracts the same if not more attention than any other super car on the road today.

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They got part of the info wrong. The factory DID NOT convert it back to turbo spec I did.

I bought via a Lotus employee direct from the factory with the V8 engine removed. I enquired but Lotus would not sell a development V8 to go back into the car so I had to convert it back. 

The V8 engine installation had required the chassis modifications away from Turbo spec of having the engine mounts lowered and one moved slightly forward and the front section of the rear space frame engine compartment area is braced around the perimeter by welded L shaped plates instead of the normal triangulated tubes. Also the rear brakes had been moved outboard and vented front brakes installed. It also oddly had 5 stud front BBS wheels fitted and a pair of split rim one off 4 stud BBS on the rear. I converted it back to inboard discs and had to install 5 stud hubs and BBS 5 stud rear wheels.

I would say 95% of the information about MPW71V in that blurb was the result of my research back in the time when I owned the car which I supplied to the chap I sold the car to. He owned the car from the mid-90s until approx. 18 months ago. There was a Walter Mitty character who appears on the LEW video claiming to own the car and having done the conversion when really he merely worked for the rather wealth chap I sold the car to.

 All 3 pre prod turbos were not Patrick Peals "babies" as far as I am aware following my conversations with Patrick back in the early 90s only MPW71V was. I had to have adapter plates made which bolted onto the V8 chassis mounting points made to the exact thickness to raise the mounting height with one having an offset mounting hole to move the engine mounting back to the correct turbo position. The car also featured a modified engine cover and louvered tail gate to take conceal the height of the V8 installation I will try and attach some photos of back in the time when I owned it. It was immaculate at the time I owned it. It’s a shame the next owner did not look after it properly and then botched a restoration on it after I tried to buy it back. 

I had fitted a brand new ex Lotus engineering Turbo HC carb engine with later type exhaust manifold and later spec water cooled turbo. I then used some more ex development parts in the form of an almost straight through exhaust back box for which I had to get an intermediate pipe manufactured.  I still have the V8 mem cal chips I found in the car in a plastic case.  

Hope this is of interest to you guys.

 

Cheers Mike

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What a brilliant story to read about - if you've any more pics Mike keep them coming. You've bought and sold some amazing Esprits in your time!

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Agreed, it's stuff like this that makes TLF a veritable gold mine of information.

:clap:

While I wouldn't swap my Turbo for any other (car on planet earth), I'm a real sucker for Copper Fire and have been ever since that famous scene in Cortina. It made the car seem so impossibly exotic.

The Ferrari 308 didn't even come close when I was 12 (no offence Mr Magnum). 

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Its a bit more than a set of Ski racks. 1st ever Lotus own V8 powered car, 1st Copper Fire Lotus, 1st Esprit to have Lotus embossed in the rear bumper. Ex Essex prototype etc etc.

 

It does make you think though it sold 18 mths ago for approx 15>18,000 and it still needs a full respray, interior recolour and the carpets look a bit faded not to mention what other mechanical things might need attention.

 

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3 hours ago, G_Reaper said:

Its a bit more than a set of Ski racks. 1st ever Lotus own V8 powered car, 1st Copper Fire Lotus, 1st Esprit to have Lotus embossed in the rear bumper. Ex Essex prototype etc etc.

 

It does make you think though it sold 18 mths ago for approx 15>18,000 and it still needs a full respray, interior recolour and the carpets look a bit faded not to mention what other mechanical things might need attention.

 

Nothing wrong guys with trying to push the boat out on a historically significant Lotus Esprits . I think the only thing that is absolutely correct imo in the sellers description is that the Lotus Esprit turbo is coming of age as important and collectible classics and so prices should rightfully reflect that. I do hope this guy gets his 70k. If it was a Ferrari or Porsche  the price would have been multiples of 70k and  I think there would have been absolutely no argument. Why not a Lotus then?

Edited by stradman
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More photos showing the raised engine cover for the V8 induction system. They developed the injection system on their own Lotus V8 for the Corvette LT1 engine (ithing tat was its name). Lotus did a lot of development work for that engine. That is why in specification terms it is very very similar to Lotus own V8. 

There is a photo of a standard 1984 Esprit Chassis to highlight the differences.

The HC engine just installed.

MPW71V at Champion spark plugs in Belgium in the lower photo are staff from champion accompanied by Tony Rudd and Patrick Peal from Lotus. Note the angle of photo hides the V8 installation.

I happened to meet an ex Lotus development engineer last year who was actually given the job of trailering MPW71V back from Champion spark plugs as they had blown the head gaskets (its a small world). Last photo is a text copy of one of the letters I had from Patrick Peal after standing talking to him for a long time at the 1992 Motor Show Birmingham.

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Absolutely fascinating - thanks Mike. You should consider posting this on the Lotus Esprit Group as Mike Kimberley is on there on an almost daily basis filling in blanks with unknown Lotus history queries. I bet he'd be interested to see this too. Thanks for sharing with us. You must be thinking maybe you should have kept the car now.

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