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Potential Esprit Owner

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I think today has to be one of my most disappointing ever. I took a trip to SJ Sportscars to have a chat in person and I got my first sit in an Esprit. One word, Fail. Headroom, leg room even tum room (I'm not the smallest guy) but I couldn't get finger between the steering wheel and my thighs. Steering the car would be problematic at best, dangerous at worse.


And there is no column adjuster.


So that's it. :no


You might be thinking 'why wouldn't you check that first?' - I never thought it would be too much of a problem. I've driven Caterham, owned an MR2, drive a Defender. All of which are either snug, or uncomfortable (or both) but not undriveable. Didn't occur to me that I just wouldn't fit in. :cry:

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Straight off the bat, get ready for a long search if you want a good car unless you are referred to a particular example by someone knowledgeable about the Esprit. Some people have waited for years fo

It would seem that Mr Project blue needs to try a car not owned by a short arse! 

Hi Dave.Welcome if you fancy a look over my se turbo .No problem .You are welcome to pop over for a coffee. I am in half moon village.Mike.if the weather is ok I will take you for a spin....Mike

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One green S4S I looked at, the owner had solved the steering wheel issue by manufacturing a new bracket so the column sat higher, and he'd tilted the binnacle back somehow, so that you could actually see the instruments.


Made quite a difference.

Margate Exotics.

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One I forgot to mention,I am only 5'6" ,the drivers seat has been raised 2" otherwise embarrassingly I cannot see over the steering wheel.I was going to show you the car if I had time when I was going to pick it up. 

I am doing a rolling restoration on it ,ironically this is what happens when you buy an Esprit they look good externally but internally they are a money pit .Well mine is the other way ,everything you cannot see has had £1000's spent on it ,but at the moment you would overlook it  for an Esprit with a lovely body that is rotten underneath,and boy do I know.

Anyway I am going to run it for a while and I might put a sport300 kit on it,as you can see I have taken off the dreadful S4 spoiler and I am running it without one.

If you need any advice just ask,cheers Paul. 

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Some of the seats ( v8 comfort  do)  have a vinyl covered foam block you can pull out front or back to gain a little more head room. Put your hand under the seat and you will find it if its there or just an empty cage if not.  Also look for a thread on here for momo offset spacer  to raise the wheel slightly.  Where there is a will there is a way ( unless you are a very odd shape). There are even details on spacing the pedal box a bit better.   Having said all that be thankful its not a elise for access.  

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jeez Paul, I thought that was the end lol. So deflated. At least its not the end!

Dunno if they sorted this on the later cars, but on my Turbo SE some thick washers have been removed at the base of the driver's seat which increases the amount of room between thighs and wheel.


Also as some have pointed out, bucket seats. Those are really thin.


Definitely not the end.


How tall are you? I'm 6 ft and my younger brother like 6,2 or so and both of us fit - although his head is usually plastered to the roof.

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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In 1993 when I purchased my Turbo SE my length was 6,4 ft; now I am 71 years old and "shrinked"  to 6.33 ft.

Both in 1993 and now my length was no problem for entrance, knees and headroom with my standard Turbo SE, however since I am a less "flexible" now       suitdance.gif        it takes a couple of seconds extra to get in or out............


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You need a 1987 to 1992 Esprit Turbo / SE then, there's loads of space in them.  I'm 6ft 5 and it's the only Esprit I can fit in.  The seat bottoms are lower and thinner.


I think Mike Kimberley had something to do with the increase in space in those cars, he's very tall and made sure he could fit in the cars he made.

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Guest Mutley00

When I bought my S4S it had the most disgusting plastic and vinyl steering wheel - see below. I couldn't bear to look at it but couldn't find an original to replace it, so I got a Nardi with a flat bottom. I've got big thighs from Fell Running and found it to be a perfect solution, coupled with the minimalist Sport Seats rather than heavily padded Luxury ones.


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That steering wheel Andrew, is about the most ugly I've ever seen including some heavily tuned and rebuilt jap scrap tins.

Good grief! Thank God you changed it.

That alone would lift the car some 300%.

And why anyone would be so silly to produce such an apparatus, is beyond me.


Nardi, now that is a whole other ballgame ;)


On my 1990 SE, I have the fiberroof, and if one changes that to a glass roof, one gains a bit more Space.

Also, like the others said, the old style SE seats are thinner than the later Recaro Comfort seats.


I changed my standard seats to the Sport 300 bucket seats, and while still comfortable to sit in, they are surely thinner and lower.

The spacers can be eliminated too, and all in all it gives a rather big difference for those of us who are 188cm and above. I can now comfortably fit my car not mixing hair and roof. Seats are all the way backwards and reclined fully to give more headroom, and way better legsupport.




Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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