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Mark Blanchard

Esprit fire

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Here is an S1 that caught fire last Monday (on the right).  The Owner decided to get ride of it and it's just been bought for £400 ($650).  The new Owner (who already owns the JPS) says he's going to convert it to a Saint Tropez. Seems a shame to me.  Wonder if the GRP can be restored?

 

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There has been St. tropez converted S2 from memory (yellow one) but all others are S3. Can't really picture a S1 - probably won't be that recognisable if not in wolfrace rims anyway.

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I agree.  The guy doesn't know what he's got.  He says he wants to do it up and sell it for £6-7 grand.  And he's doing a budget restoration on it.  

 

What did the S2 look like?

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You could prob get a s1 body or repair if not too bad and sell for £20k+ if in good order

Buddsy

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That's what I was thinking.  The guy's in Florida, bought it for nothing and sounds like he wants a quick return.

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He is a member on here -- Bill G. -- he's a long time JPS S2 owner and a long time member of the S1S2S3Owners Yahoo group.  He has about a dozen posts on TLF, several of them recent about the S2 instrument panel he designed as 3D printable. 

 

A good guy for sure, a true Lotus enthusiast, and I'm glad the car is not being broken for spares, but cutting it up as a St. Tropez is IMHO not the way to go.  That may have made sense 15 years ago when these cars were still underappreciated, but not any more.

 

The U.S. is 10-15 years behind Europe and the rest of the world in appreciation for old European sports cars.  Some people in the U.S. still view a running, very good condition Esprit S1 (or S2) as a $12K USD car (which was par for the course in 1998).   Typically they are baby boomers, including some long time owners of old Europas, Elans, and early Esprits, as they are still thinking in terms of 10-15 years ago when that was the norm.  It has made for some great buying opportunities for Europeans in the past 10 years.  I've seen so many clean, original S1s and S2s sell on eBay in the U.S. for $8k-$14k USD and turn up on mobile.de or another European site cleaned up and refreshed for 25,000+ Euro or even 25,000 GPB.  

 

A lot of good S1s + S2s have left North America -- there are fewer to choose from now -- and there is finally some real appreciation and interest in the U.S., and Americans are finally starting to pay more for S1s.  Recent U.S. purchases I'm aware of have included nice S1s between $20k-$30k, runners with issues $15k-$20k, and project cars $5k-$10k -- while still behind the entire rest of the world, this is a long way up from what they were less than 10 years ago.  Unsurprisingly, the Americans to whom S1s are more desirable and valuable are almost all under 50.  The "cheap S1" party in the U.S. is just about over, only a few guests left -- this black car, burned as it is, was definitely one such straggler. 

 

As a side note, the same can be said of Maserati Meraks and Lamborghini Uraccos -- Asking prices in North America have tripled and quadrupled;  not sure what they are actually selling for, but a few years ago you could buy any Merak for under $20k and a nice Uracco was a $25k car if you could beg someone to take it away (as long as it was a P300). 

 

Long story short, there is still a contingency of Americans who view these S1s and S2s like they were viewed 15-20 years ago:  As an old car that needs to be improved and/or modified, not as a car that is worth restoring to original.   I think this black car went from one such seller to one such buyer.

  There is a guy in the Fort Lauderdale area who does excellent fiberglass work and has done numerous Lotus (and owns two S1 Europas himself, if not more):  Brian Jenkins.    When I saw that Bill bought that car, my first thought/hope was that he might send it to Brian for the body work.  I hope that Bill eventually changes his mind about "St. Tropezing" it . . . .

Edited by Tony K

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For posterity, this burned black S1 is 77050290H.   :)

Edited by Tony K

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