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Grahaml

which Esprit?

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I'm sorry guys - probably a real pain to you experts but I would appreciate opinions on choosing an Esprit. I might not go for any and still be asking in 6 months time... (but I doubt it).

 

I have a Porsche 996 C4 which I want to sell (or px) and get an Esprit.

 

I'm pretty handy (and brave) with the spanners which is (probably?) a good thing with a Lotus I understand - and I quite enjoy upgrading/tinkering.

 

My 996 is just going on ebay (scheduled to start 12/1/15 at around 7:45pm) if you're interested?

 

Anyway.  I have taken on board what folk have advised and read loads and loads.

 

I was advised S4 (or even better S4S) coming from my Porsche. I also like the SE - which will cost much less probably and also give me an upgrade path to modify it.

 

Would I be disappointed with the SE after a bit - always wishing I'd just waited for an S4S?

 

Looking at the available cars at the moment I can't find an "ideal" car

 

1. - Very nice S4S for sale by Stock Coachworks but at £25K, 31K miles - feels well over what I thought I would need to pay.  Tempting though if I could get the price down?

 

2. - a couple of S4 for sale at around £17K, with 64-70K miles but yellow (I prefer red)

 

3. - a blue S4S with 125K miles (engine rebuilt at 95K) for £13K. scruffy paint and leather needs reconolised.  Sounds promising as I could get it painted red - maybe another £2K? - and it gives me a bit of a project to upgrade?

 

4. - A red SE '92 high wing locally with 85K and FSH.  Guy is interested ina a deal but the car has not been in much use and when setting a meet recently he couldn't get it to start so we had to postpone.  He's asking £12.5K but I reckon a fair bit less?

 

5. - a red SE '89 that I see parked locally hasn't been used for about 4 years (I checked online).  I wondered if that might be worth a knock on the door to see if I could take it off his hands?

 

Or should I just be patient and wait for a perfect fit (whatever that is)

 

I can spend anything up to (subject to SWMBO) around £20K - maybe more if I get a good price for my Porsche - but I want to get value and not end up paying too much for a car if it's not worth it.

 

What do you reckon?

 

Thanks

Graham

 

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Want power steering, Brembos, best factory tuned suspension, yank based vs Leyland based controls and systems? Then you'll be wanting the S4s and late S4's (for the Brembos).

 

Want things a bit simpler and perhaps easier to upgrade eg avoiding the plague ridden ABS, then it's the SE which still has the yank based ECU for the turbo, so that's good. It's a bit more of a chore to drive slowly without the easy steer though.

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The S4s is arguably the best of the Esprit' so it's not difficult to appreciate why they're starting to demand good money. £25K is good money but about right for a good example and I'd not hesitate to pay that (within haggling range) for the right car.

 

Mid teens for an S4 is also about right. There are usually a few available to choose from so you can afford to be careful and do the right checks.

 

A good SE will be knocking on the door of S4 money, if you're thinking of buying an SE because it's cheap, save yourself the future hastle and weigh in with more cash and buy a good one to start with. No matter how handy you are with the spanners, they cost money to maintain, and bad ones cost lots to sort.

 

Esprit buying mantra..... buy the best you can afford.

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I'd definitely look at a V8 for £25k.

 

An S4s is a great and very desirable car but I couldn't pay more for one than a well-maintained V8. An earlier V8 on OZ futuras looks identical to the S4s apart from the front bumper and even that is very similar, plus you get 70 more bhp, 4 more cylinders and an extra turbo.

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And significantly more expensive running costs... twice the maintenance prices..... I would love a V8 but i would be too scared to take the plunge

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And significantly more expensive running costs... twice the maintenance prices..... I would love a V8 but i would be too scared to take the plunge

This isn't PistonHeads, y'know. This sort of internet myth shouldn't be repeated on here. 

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running costs aren't a major concern - Porsches are not that cheap to run either, 3.4l flat 6 which I service every 6K miles.  Oil costs £120 alone (Millers Nanotech)

 

Anyone think the scruffy paintwork S4S is worth a go?

 

There's also a nice looking blue V8 on Autorader at £20K?  I am told by some that the 4 cyl car is the better one though.

 

The '92 high wing has some of the S4 improvements - more cabin space, wider opening doors - possibly others.

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By the looks of your Porsche engine build topic there are no jobs you couldn't tackle on an Esprit.

 

Buy as late a car as you possibly can. I would say V8 is tops; as well as the above mentioned benefits (PAS/ABS) it will feel torquey like your Porsche. Not sure I'd want to go back to a frantic 4 pot after one of those.

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I have both SE and V8!

 

If you're coming from a Porsche I daresay the V8 is your only option - it feels like the most modern of the lot. Fantastic power steering, a soft and comfortable ride (but firm enough to have fun in) and you get a great torque curve. The overall impression is that build quality is better than the Turbo SE....however....

 

If you're looking for an old school supercar then look no further than the SE. It's my personal favorite; from the lines of the bodywork, the wonderful turbo-lag, the overall sound and response from the 4-cylinder engine to the lack of power steering and the interior which is leather all the way to the roof. 

 

If I was going to do things over I'd still have bought the SE first and then graduated to a Sport 300 or S4s. If you have the opportunity to get a hold of an S4s then that's maybe the best of both worlds.

 

Buy a car in great condition to begin with - once you've fallen in love with your Esprit you'll sink a fortune into restoring it to "as new" condition. Unless you WANT to restore one.

 

Regarding the mechanicals, I feel a LOT less worried about the 4-cylinder engine than the V8 seeing as parts are readily available and the gearbox is a better match for the 4-cylinder than the V8 whose power output can vary significantly depending on ambient temperature. 

 

Overall though it's always about having the guts to go through with it - whatever happens will happen and you'll deal with it when it does. I haven't been let down by my SE in the last 3 years I've owned it - and I've taken it to some strange places....even off-road (not advisable)...

 

Buy whichever one steals your heart, but keep some of the above in mind :) Good luck!

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Esprit buying mantra..... buy the best you can afford.

 

This. Be prepared to travel too and look at a few. The last few years service history is more important than prior years to make sure it's up to speed when you collect.

 

Without knowing the S4s to which you refer, it'll more than likely need that spending again to bring it up to standard. A respray is closer to £4-5k too. 

 

Oh, and get a Sport300, best Esprit eva :D

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During my search, I drove an S4, a GT3, a V8, and three S4s cars. After weighing up the pros and cons of ownership, performance, cost of potential engine rebuilds, and possible resale value, I bought an S4s.

 

That said, I am now removing the engine and box for maintenance and fuel tank replacement, but hey-ho, such is life.

And yes, I would have thought a decent respray would cost more like £4K.

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Dont discount a GT3, arguably one of the best models made if you take the word of the motoring journalists!

Having said that, i would love a V8

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^^^^ What he said, although with only a handful produced, getting a GT3 when you want is easier said than done :)

 

I think that Barry Ely S4s was something like £36,000 if not £38,000 (I asked for a quote last year). If you can afford an S4s maybe go with that as it's appreciating like crazy. 

 

If money no object, Sport 300. Hands down. 

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Personally, I'm not entirely sure that paying a huge premium for a very low mileage car is a good thing. For me, it would depend on the car's history, unless I was looking for something that had investment potential. I've never bought a car on that basis, which is just as well as I've never made a profit on any single one of them. They've all cost me my shirt, or so it seems!

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The Barry Ely S4s price was/is slightly absurd. I didn't really mean go for that one, but it's an undeniable fact that S4s seem to be on the way up. When I bought my Turbo SE they could be had for under 20,000 pounds. I couldn't quite stretch to one at the time though. Maybe I should have!

 

Regarding investing in cars, there was a chap on here who had supposedly never made a loss on any of his - he actually made a lot of money on a Porsche he had after having owned it for a while, and driven it to the ends of the earth. Wish I had that kind of foresight!

 

I guess if you get a really great Esprit that wants for nothing, take really good care of it and just do regular service on it you could get away quite cheap in the long run and even turn a profit IF you didn't pay too much initially and discount the costs of regular fluid changes and petrol.

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If I were you, I'd get a GT3.  Lots of fun, won't cost the earth to maintain and in my opinion the most reliable.  And get one from an enthusiast who's pampered it.

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The best one is mine, but you can't have it as it's mine !!!

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The Azure Blue one at Barry Ely's is £45,000. He has a Nofolk Mustard one at £30,000.

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I'd like 2 for that price!

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These seem really high prices - will folk pay that?

 

S4S Prices seem all over the place...

 

£25k Stocks red one with 31K miles

£13K  another not advertised Blue (yet) with scruffy paint and needing reconolised with 125k miles but rebuild at 95k

£45K Barry Ely (blue) only 9.9k miles

£30K Barry Ely (Norfolk Mustard) 40K miles

£20k (circa) private owner - not advertised - he emailed me (

 

there are a few S4 from about £15K private and a couple in dealers at £17-19K

 

And there's a pretty nice looking blue V8 for £20K with only 38K miles

 

mmm....  I am even more confused now!!!

 

good news is that there's lots of interest in my Porsche so hopefully gone in a week or so and I can get serious..

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The Azure Blue one at Barry Ely's is £45,000. He has a Nofolk Mustard one at £30,000.

WTF!

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