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kar120ec

Esprit Turbo - Road Racer - F40 like

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Hi all Esprit fans. I have an early Esprit turbo in many bits and it is simply unfeasible to restore to original. As inspiration the Foose special on the Europa has made me decide I would rather do a Tribute car that is more "Lotus inspired" than just being original. Kind of make the "dream" reality.

As I stripped my car down, I was somewhat disappointed in what my dream car actually was in reality vs. the dream as a teenager. In no way is the body light weight! You sit at an angle, the steering wheel is at an angle, there's plywood everywhere. Not really the hand crafted road racer I was expecting.

With my previous life work experience, I know about aluminium chassis and working with glass fibre in motor racing and road cars. So I am starting to re-engineer my Lotus Esprit Turbo to have an Aluminium Tub, lighter body, same suspension geometry, modern Audi 2.0l Turbo motor and manual transmission. I intend toning down the '80's ground effect inspired skirts and getting the whole car to look more like the normally aspirated S1 as in the bond movie. Still the more attractive car. I have already shortened the tail by 110mm as the Turbo always looked liked like it had a full nappy, not helped by the backend also being a bit short on structural support, so the tail tends to sag on old esprit turbos.

Reason for posting, is as I will be making moulds and new chassis it going to get hectic cost wise, so if anybody has a similar desire as me to have a real light weight Lotus Esprit Turbo that will be more like an F40 (simple and few frills) and you'd like to come aboard. more than welcome to make contact. Joining in from outside South Africa, you are at a huge financial advantage!

I say, "screw it, lets do it". I want the Lotus Esprit, I always dreamt of. But it looks like I'm going to have to build it.

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Is it April the first already ???


Only here once

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As much as I like to idea to improve on older cars, especially with the F40 as an example, the reference to Foose makes me cringe... It was bad enough they did that to a Europa, please keep the Esprit as the early 80s supercar it was designed to be.


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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My post above may have come across a little negative. Trying to be a bit more helpful here there are a couple of things I would ask you to consider.

Firstly I have been hear approx. 10 years and have seen many many times people wanting to do what you have suggested. That or just an engine swap to something more modern etc. In all that time I think there are only 2 people who managed to do a decent job. All of the rest ended up as a pile of dreams on ebay. Im not saying what you are considering inst possible but you should know how most of these end up. I rebuilt my Turbo Esprit from pretty much a pile of parts and it took me 6 years. That's with all the parts readily available and the part list and manuals. To make something from scratch would take much much longer IMHO.

 

21 hours ago, kar120ec said:

As I stripped my car down, I was somewhat disappointed in what my dream car actually was in reality vs. the dream as a teenager. In no way is the body light weight! You sit at an angle, the steering wheel is at an angle, there's plywood everywhere. Not really the hand crafted road racer I was expecting.

I say, "screw it, lets do it". I want the Lotus Esprit, I always dreamt of. But it looks like I'm going to have to build it.

Secondly all the things you mention about the driving position and the build from plywood and GRP are all things that make the Esprit the Esprit. The style, the great engine are all reasons why people love this hand built British Super car. They are over 30 years old

You say you want the Esprit you have always dreamt of but maybe the Esprit is not the car for you?

It might feel daunting to rebuild to original but it is possible and for a resale if nothing else original would be the way to go.

Buddsy

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"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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f I agree with buddsy and other members about the work that you are going to carry out on this car.

 I myself have built and owned a fair few esprits, a silver g audi v8 that does handles like its on rails, and

 is reliable and has far more power than I need for the road. !  other than an alloy wheel change to get the wider

tyres and high performance modern tyres, rear bumper removal and some vents added that was it as any further

would of taken the car past the limit.  it gets admiration off spanner monkeys and car nut everywhere it goes for the

looks and the sound. !

another build codename project apple was my clam shelled esprit, again another old g shaped car but this car was a

basket case but I still did not want to loose the look or feel of the actual esprit. this thing will still look like an esprit

but will have hyper car speed. !

I would not normally tell esprit owners what they can or cant do do with cars, but for what you are talking about doing to your esprit

my advice would be to sell your car on and let someone restore it.  and purchase a used lotus chassis and custom build upwards.

but it will never be an esprit the same as if you even did build an alloy body esprit,  now a carbon fibre one !  that would be something......

 

but I wish you luck with the project what ever way you choose to go.

 

 

 


A

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Hello Buddsy

 

as I have more than a dozen oldtimers to serve for my aim for this Esprit was:

 

Getting as much Information about the History as possible and then change as less as necessary to restore this car.

But I did not get any Information I didn't had already known before.

So I only checked some technical details on the car and protected sensitive parts.

Now I fliped the strategy: I will restore the car and then present it. Maybe then some people remember something about this car.

This year I build up a new  hall. Then I will start on his car with a complete frame of work.

I still open for the feeling of the community of what is a must to keep original and what could be changed or improved.

 

Wolfgang

 

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On 26 February 2016 at 01:00, kar120ec said:

Hi all Esprit fans. I have an early Esprit turbo in many bits and it is simply unfeasible to restore to original. As inspiration the Foose special on the Europa has made me decide I would rather do a Tribute car that is more "Lotus inspired" than just being original. Kind of make the "dream" reality.

As I stripped my car down, I was somewhat disappointed in what my dream car actually was in reality vs. the dream as a teenager. In no way is the body light weight! You sit at an angle, the steering wheel is at an angle, there's plywood everywhere. Not really the hand crafted road racer I was expecting.

With my previous life work experience, I know about aluminium chassis and working with glass fibre in motor racing and road cars. So I am starting to re-engineer my Lotus Esprit Turbo to have an Aluminium Tub, lighter body, same suspension geometry, modern Audi 2.0l Turbo motor and manual transmission. I intend toning down the '80's ground effect inspired skirts and getting the whole car to look more like the normally aspirated S1 as in the bond movie. Still the more attractive car. I have already shortened the tail by 110mm as the Turbo always looked liked like it had a full nappy, not helped by the backend also being a bit short on structural support, so the tail tends to sag on old esprit turbos.

Reason for posting, is as I will be making moulds and new chassis it going to get hectic cost wise, so if anybody has a similar desire as me to have a real light weight Lotus Esprit Turbo that will be more like an F40 (simple and few frills) and you'd like to come aboard. more than welcome to make contact. Joining in from outside South Africa, you are at a huge financial advantage!

I say, "screw it, lets do it". I want the Lotus Esprit, I always dreamt of. But it looks like I'm going to have to build it.

Welcome to TLF Keith. :welcome:

You should duck over to the Introductions section and say hi in there as well.

I would probably have to tho the sentiments of everyone else and say leave it original, but it is your car. If you do start it, at least finish it for yourself. As Buddsy said, a lot end up on eBay as failed projects. You can expect that the owners lose money on these as well.

Anyway, best of luck with what you decide to do.

ps. I like the angled steering position as no-one else has it that I know of. Uniqueness. :) 


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Bull bars and a bonnet scoop ......


Only here once

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Cheers its funny seems such a long time ago and such a lot of work. Looking back sure makes me wonder who would let such cars fall into disrepair?

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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All with good intentions probably Buddsy to put the cars back together, like yours with the engine stripped, owner ran out of time,lack of knowledge etc and it ends up on the back burner. Life just gets in the way on most occasions but the owners more often than not love the cars and hope to finish them one day, a few end up that way also as the owners think they are worth millions and wont let them go for less and would rather watch them just rot also.:cry:

But i think it is a good thing in a way as that is why a lot of us ended up with these cars as they were cheap due to the condtion and if you were prepaired to put in the elbow grease you ended up with a rare car that would of originally been out of your budget. :thumbup: 

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A

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Quite a mixed bag of responses there guys. The idea behind making the post was to find like minded Esprit fans. Believe me, the car (if you can call it that) that I am using as my base is only fit for the scrap heap. It is literally the left overs from a rebuild of another Esprit. Front right corner was rebuilt with plywood, rivets, bodyfiller and was drooping and a cm too wide. Several cracks in the fibreglass, hole in the foot well (where the wheel came through), gel coat cracks everywhere, engine gone, wrong steering rack in place. Chassis was bent in the front and actually torn. Get the picture?

As one of the respondents have stated, Colin Chapman built these to make money. Frankly, you can see that when you see how it was built. And let's be honest with ourselves here, Esprits do not age well. But a bigger Lotus fan in South Africa you will not find!! I absolutely love Lotus's. Used to build 7s for a living and then in my spare time I'd help a guy with his Elan, getting it back to original. If I could, I'd drive a Lotus 23 on the road every day!! So perhaps a better description of my Esprit Project is a Lotus 23 with an Esprit body! But, what is essential is that it has a hot Turbo engine as It must snap and crackle. It is after all the quintessential Turbo car from the '80's. And wherever I can, I will incorporate typically Lotus race car aspects without going ridiculous.

So, fear not aficionados, I am not ruining a classic car. This example is not viable at any stretch for restoration at all. I saved it from being scrapped and it basically serves as a good base from which to make some choice changes and take moulds off to build a couple of examples for anyone interested in a car with the look and several nods to Lotus race cars and thinking without the "joys" of classic car ownership.

The decision is made and the car is completely stripped out and I've set the front body work up on a rigid base to rebuild the right front corner (copying the left side). Then, I will take a mould off this buck and then have a new (lighter) front section.

The tail is already shortened to length of the S1 and I've grafted on the Turbo rear wing, which I reduced in height by about a 3rd. So its a bit more discreet than the original. Again, once happy with the look and that everything is dimensionally right, I will pull a mould off the rear section as well.

 

 

 

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Hi Keith, 

If the car is that bad then i hold my hat out to you for entertaining it in the first place :)  Most of the guys on the forums like the esprits to be kept visibly normal, engine transplants are exceptable etc but messing around with the looks is a no go area for most within reason. I myself have purchased a basket case esprit and am currently trying to bring it back to its former glory within keeping with the factory looks yet adding a slight modern touch. The esprit looks fantastic in factory form and i myself am a big believer you cant change perfection.  But it is your car and as a car enthusiast myself i look forward to seeing what concept you come up with. please post some pictures as i myself would love to see the work.  You may get a few posts of people not liking your concept but that is life and i advise you take on board some o the suggestions which i have done in previous projects as they can improve your project goal sometimes.   

No more posts without pictures, as the English say let the dog see the rabbit :)  Looking forward to seeing this project as like all the members on here we are  lotus crazy and especially love projects  :thumbup:

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