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Mark Blanchard

G car for big money

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Guys - as mentioned the White Essex - Paul and I saw that at Donnigton circa 1994 - we actually bumped into the owner too. Remember we took a note of the chassis number and it definately tied up as being not far off the final Essex badged number 100 (Thatchers car) chassis. So yes it was a very early Turbo and certainly was trimmed at the factory using what Essex parts were left. Remember the Essex colour scheme was not too popular at the time so it makes sense that the car came from the factory White to its new owner but with the Essex parts........................Whether that makes it a full-on Essex is up for debate - obviously it was not numbered but probably means its even rarer as an example? (Anyone else noticed that EVERY magazine that mentions the Essex cars says they were 'Garish' colour schemes?!?)

This brings me back to a post I placed ages ago about Essex and David Thieme - That guy had real taste - perhaps not ideal business sense seeing as it all went pear-shaped but there should have been a film made about his lifestyle!

I know most of the Essex spec came at Thiemes own personal request including the Cockpit Stereo - I'm told it was

Edited by nello

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Chaps the owner of the white essex belongs to my local branch of club lotus. I can try to find out some details from him if you like.

Regards

Fred

Guys - as mentioned the White Essex - Paul and I saw that at Donnigton circa 1994 - we actually bumped into the owner too. Remember we took a note of the chassis number and it definately tied up as being not far off the final Essex badged number 100 (Thatchers car) chassis. So yes it was a very early Turbo and certainly was trimmed at the factory using what Essex parts were left. Remember the Essex colour scheme was not too popular at the time so it makes sense that the car came from the factory White to its new owner but with the Essex parts........................Whether that makes it a full-on Essex is up for debate - obviously it was not numbered but probably means its even rarer as an example? (Anyone else noticed that EVERY magazine that mentions the Essex cars says they were 'Garish' colour schemes?!?)

This brings me back to a post I placed ages ago about Essex and David Thieme - That guy had real taste - perhaps not ideal business sense seeing as it all went pear-shaped but there should have been a film made about his lifestyle!

I know most of the Essex spec came at Thiemes own personal request including the Cockpit Stereo - I'm told it was

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From Grandprix.com:

"SPONSORS: ESSEX PETROLEUM

Name: Essex Petroleum

David Thieme's father was the designer of glider aircraft for the US Army during World War II and after moving to New York Thieme attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, studying industrial design. In the late 1960s he went into the business of industrial design and made a fortune, investing some of his profits in oil. In 1973 he closed down the business and moved into oil instead, establishing the Essex Overseas Petroleum Corporation, buying oil when demand was low and then selling it at higher prices when there was a demand, usually caused by political instability. This enabled him to make large profits, particularly in the unstable Middle East. In 1977 he began working with funds from Credit Suisse which enabled him to make bigger trades. In 1979 Thieme was able to indulge his passion for motor racing, sponsoring the sidepods of World Champions Lotus with drivers Mario Andretti and Carlos Reutemann. That same year Thieme supported two Porsche 936s at Le Mans with drivers Bob Wollek, Hurley Haywood, Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman.

In 1980 Lotus built a series of 100 Turbo Esprit cars in Essex colours and Thieme announced that he was becoming the title sponsor of the team with Elio de Angelis and Mario Andretti and a third car on occasion for Nigel Mansell. Essex continued as the team's principal sponsor in 1981 but by then the oil markets had taken a serious downturn following the revolution in Iran and the start and the Iran-Iraq war and a disagreement with backer Credit Suisse resulted in Thieme being arrested in Zurich on charges brought by the banking giant. He was released after a fortnight (with his bail being paid by Akram Ojjeh) but by the middle of the year Essex had disappeared from the cars."

.......No there was NOT 100 cars!!!!

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My understanding is that change from dry sump to wet sump occurred because owners were finding it difficult to measure oil level correctly and were breaking engines whilst in warranty costing Lotus a fortune. Nothing to do with cost of manufacture.

Pete at PNM reckons the roof stereo is out of a Ford Granada. I've also heard that they were unique to Lotus, very expensive and very rare! Who knows who is right but I must say Pete knows his onions and isn't usually wrong. I also have a vague recollection that Fishy has one of these stashed away! Comments?


Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

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Pete at PNM reckons the roof stereo is out of a Ford Granada.

Really mat? Just the head unit or did the Granada have the whole cockpit unit fitted to them to as an option?

I've never seen them on another car?

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IIRC Pete said whole unit mounted in the roof as on Esprits. He did say it was a "top spec" option that rarely appeared. As I said before I've never seen any evidence of this, it's always suprised me that noone has been able to get more info out of Panasonic. It strikes me as unusual that a stereo manufacturer would tool up for such a small production run, which would imply there must have been other uses.


Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

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Don't ya just love the web!!!

This Guys got one in his Chevrolet Hot Rod!:

7x1000.jpg

According to the Panasonic website:

1978 Introduced the cockpit-mount radio cassette car audio. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Radio Business Division

Linky: Panasonic Home History

Great Thread this!

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I'd love one of them for the 'S' car - pity about the glass roof.


Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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Yep - It's just some panasonic unit - I used to know the model # !

Someone I know has just managed to acquire a new-old-stock one that is fresh in the box!

It needs cutting (at the back iirc) in order to fit in the Esprit.

They pop up *OCCASIONALLY* on ebay.


"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

------------------------------

ribbon200.gifG-Car Owner and Proud! ribbon200.gif

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For those still interested in Essex activities this photo illustrates the oppulence that was David Thieme - Taken from the Lotus Essex F1 Launch party in late '79 outside the Royal Albert Hall in London:

8SP1.jpg

Yes that is a Helicopter on top of the Team Bus?!!!!!! I've heard the Bus was trimmed out in a similar style to the Esprits!

Would have been interesting to have seen that driving past Hyde Park!!!

Shirley Bassey was the Mid-Dinner entertainment!

Personally I still think the Essex Colour Scheme looks fantastic and always has.

Seems theres at least one Essex in Japan :

Japanese Essex Restorer

Anyone who speaks the lingo may be able to decifer which number it is?!!!

Interesting to see the photo of a genuine LOTUS ESSEX Cam-covered engine and a removed but diffferent looking cockpit stereo?!!!

Edited by nello

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Right random Japanese website clicking reveals why he has an extracted Cockpit stereo - not an entirely original unit but close..................

Why would someone get rid of their original Essex Stereo for this?!?!!??::D:o:o

p1010001.jpg

Defies belief?!!?.......................

Edited by nello

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More ramblings into the glorious past (look I'm on nightshift and this is better than work!)..............

Heres another great shot from the Essex F1 era:

2.jpg

Its from Jabby Crombacs site (RIP) which details the sale of his car collection after his passing.........Jabbys Site

(Anyone know how much they all went for including his Ex Clark Elan?!!)

Anyway I recognise (going right from the Champagne celebrator) Jabby, ACBC, Mark Thatcher....and David Thieme!

Love the story to Jabbys Eclat seen in the photo:

"Hearing that Crombac had been sacked by FIA President Balestre from the FISA

Edited by nello

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More...............the infamous T88's firstly at the British GP where they tried to get past scrutineering:

T88_7-lg.jpg

The Great Elio de Angelis showing the 88's fantastic shape:

Lotus_88_a.jpg

.....and a technical insight into the car from the words of Peter Wright:

Type 88 Technical

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Yep - It's just some panasonic unit - I used to know the model # !

Someone I know has just managed to acquire a new-old-stock one that is fresh in the box!

It needs cutting (at the back iirc) in order to fit in the Esprit.

They pop up *OCCASIONALLY* on ebay.

Any chance you can get some more details Fishy from your friend? I have had a look on the web and can find nothing out about them.

Anyone else got one that they can take some photos of?

Cheers

A


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Have done... but he hasn't been online for a while! :o

It's a shame he doesn't post here more often (HINT HINT!) as he's extremely '1st hand' knowledgable! :D


"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

------------------------------

ribbon200.gifG-Car Owner and Proud! ribbon200.gif

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Have done... but he hasn't been online for a while! :(

It's a shame he doesn't post here more often (HINT HINT!) as he's extremely '1st hand' knowledgable! :)

Cheers. I have just got an email back from Mel at the factory and he says

"All I can tell you was that it was a Panasonic 973"

Hope you friend has some more info :)


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That sounds about right but I *think* it might be something like a 973 R (for roof!)

What sort of info are you after? (I've sent him a link to this thread :) )


"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

------------------------------

ribbon200.gifG-Car Owner and Proud! ribbon200.gif

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IIRC Pete said whole unit mounted in the roof as on Esprits. He did say it was a "top spec" option that rarely appeared. As I said before I've never seen any evidence of this, it's always suprised me that noone has been able to get more info out of Panasonic. It strikes me as unusual that a stereo manufacturer would tool up for such a small production run, which would imply there must have been other uses.

Would a top spec Granada not have had an electric sunroof (as was the norm in those days) thus making roof mount impossible. Must mean the head unit surely.


In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Hi all i rember reading in an old club lotus mag that the roof consule was used in some taxis abroad ,just can not remember where sorry guys ,it was a few years ago ,

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Hi Fishy...Hi All.....I am back

The Pansonic Roof Mount stereo wasn't a 973, its was an RM610 and was fitted to all Essex Turbo's and one or two of the later plain coloured examples. Fishy is quite right in that the rear two or three inches need cutting off in order for it to fit.

I have seen them pop up on ebay only 3 or 4 times in the past 3 or so years so they are very rare. Apart from the one I bought, all of the others were from German sellers who would not accept Paypal!!!!

I need to take some decent photos and post them up.

Sorry I have been away chaps....but new houses and babies at the same time are a bit of a distraction.

Cheers

Richard

PS. Anyone want a nice Silk Red S4? It has to go....and soon, but the 82 Turbo is going nowhere. :-)

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I remember taking my Plus 2 to the Lotus factory open day in 1978 or 79. They had Ronnie Petersons F1 car there alongside Mario Andretti's.. If I remember correctly the Andretti car was in Essex livery. Maybe someone can throw some light on this. Oh, I met Colin Chapman as he was walking around looking at the cars. Mine was British Racing Green he said "Nice colour".

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Hi Fishy...Hi All.....I am back

The Pansonic Roof Mount stereo wasn't a 973, its was an RM610 and was fitted to all Essex Turbo's and one or two of the later plain coloured examples. Fishy is quite right in that the rear two or three inches need cutting off in order for it to fit.

I have seen them pop up on ebay only 3 or 4 times in the past 3 or so years so they are very rare. Apart from the one I bought, all of the others were from German sellers who would not accept Paypal!!!!

I need to take some decent photos and post them up.

Sorry I have been away chaps....but new houses and babies at the same time are a bit of a distraction.

Cheers

Richard

PS. Anyone want a nice Silk Red S4? It has to go....and soon, but the 82 Turbo is going nowhere. :-)

Richard (and Fishy)

Thanks for the information I can now start searching for one. I will let you know if I can find anything else out about them.

Angus


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OK Guys - Spoke to Paul last night who's got No.17. I'll get a load of photos of his car and post here in a week or so's time with all the Essex bits! Pauls got a confirmed list from Maurice Storey (the ex-Lotus archivist at the factory - now retired) with all the Essex chassis numbers and details etc. and again i'll post here.........

No.17 has the LOTUS embossed rear bumper and ESSEX cam-covers although Paul had to get them re-made as the car had to have a new Engine not long after being delivered new. He has the details from one of the original owners who he is still in contact with who queried why the newly supplied engine didn;t have them back on, and the factory at the time confirmed they were original spec but had run out of them as the decision had been made to make the cars available in 'normal' non-Essex' spec.

As per earlier in the thread and the white car - there would have been plenty of Essex trim and extras available as the original plan was to bulid 100 but as the colour scheme at the time was not totally popular they started to make them in other colours. As such they used up the parts on other-colour cars.....

The decision to number the last Essex Blue car (Thatchers and now Kens car) number 100 just rounded off the move to other colours..................without building 100 Essex blue cars - As said I'll post the full chassis list shortly but from memory I think there were only 27 totall Essex Spec cars built.

Edited by nello

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