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"The Great Unwashed"


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As my mum used to say. I am pretty sure that this topic has been done to death before (can't be stuffed to find the thread(s)) but I thought that I would have another go seeing as we have quite a few new forum members.

The reaction to my Esprit by all of the passing pedestrians, drivers, aircraft (lol) since I have had it has always been positive. Thumbs up, nods, smiles. Grown men with their little children in hand at pedestrian crossings actually stop in the middle of the road and point and say "that's a Lotus son". Petrol stations are a rubber necker-fest. Women throw their panties at me (so ok I made that up unfortunately).

The point I would like to make is that I have always felt that if you see a Ferrari, a Maserati, a Lambo - let's not mention Porsche as they are as common as an Eastenders actress - then you think to yourself "flash b***tard" and sort of despise the driver. However in the good old UK that doesn't seem to apply to a Lotus. There is some sort of national pride, esteem, recognition that goes with our marque.

I bring this up as I had a conversation with @Mark Blanchard at Castle Combe, who bemoaned the fact that in 11 years of Lotus ownership he has never had much positive reaction. In his Mustang, yes (and it is Yank?). In his Esprit? Not really. I pointed out that his was red and could be mistaken for one of the prancing horse variety...

Anyway, whatever model of Lotus you have, what reactions do you get? The public appear to love my car, love Lotus.

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I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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I think with Mark it may be a personal thing? :lol:

 

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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im gonna dismiss the idea about the red cars being confused all the time. 

Get lots of comments and looks wherever I park the car. Nearly everyone knows it's an iconic British sports car. I would think tvr gets a similar level of admiration. I know I always like seeing them when out and about.

mrs k - hates the car!! But likes it slightly more than the last one as its a nicer Colour!!

I get positive comments at every petrol fill up. 

Only here once

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8 hours ago, Bibs said:

I think with Mark it may be a personal thing? :lol:

 

How very dare you!

In 14 years of ownership I could count the number of waves or thumbs up I've had in it on one hand, who wants to wave at a Ferrari after all.

In the Mustang it's every 5 minutes.  Last weekend 2 cars stopped at green lights to talk about my car, with a queue of traffic behind them. Bonkers.

My Esprit might not be for everyone, but I still love it.

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Both my cars get thumbs up from people and positive comments in petrol stations etc.

Just wish the Elise/Exige/Evora drivers would recognise an Excel when I drive past then :stuart:

 

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57 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

im gonna dismiss the idea about the red cars being confused all the time. 

Get lots of comments and looks wherever I park the car. Nearly everyone knows it's an iconic British sports car. I would think tvr gets a similar level of admiration. I know I always like seeing them when out and about.

mrs k - hates the car!! But likes it slightly more than the last one as its a nicer Colour!!

I get positive comments at every petrol fill up. 

 

Presumably from the petrol station owner?

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Margate Exotics.

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I recon it's because of the loud color of my car that it gets so much positive attention, but I cant go out in it without having someone say something. The usual is nice car mate. Followed by, is it British. Mrs W can sometimes get a bit miffed when we are in a hurry at a filling station for example. On one drive heading south on the M6 we had a guy follow for miles, running alongside us, behind us, to the left of us, then in front of us. We noticed he was of Asian appearance and all he was doing was filming the car.

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Rounding the Péripherique in Paris last Sunday, I got the most enthusiastic "thumbs up" from a white van driver....!!

I've also had a gang of dodgy looking yoofs grabbing their phones and snapping photos as I nearly ran them over....and I remember a primary school child, one of the studious sort, reading by a tree in the playground as I drove by...his chin dropped so much in awe that I thought his face would fall apart.

First time over to France, on the way back, I was parked in Calais...just getting out and a French chappie came running over and said "Ahh...monsieur...this is my most favourite car of all time!!!" I let him sit in it and made his day.

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Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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  • 1 month later...

Took mine out last week-end as I had to take it for its MOT - Passed, no problem.

Then went to a Skoda dealership, as I wanted to look at the new Superb as a potential company car when mine is due for change later this year.

The salesman nearly wet himself and was all over the Esprit. He said that after years selling modern cars (same garage used to be an Audi dealer until a few years ago), he had lost the passion for them.

Then he said that seeing and hearing cars like the Esprit reignited that passion and reminded him why he loved cars in the first place. I thought that was really telling...

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I think as the cars gets older, other road users are more friendly towards them.

I noticed a sharp drop off in politeness when I moved from a yellow dolomite sprint - where everybody was your mate and let you in, to a yellow sharp ended Lotus. People just didn't let me in and some others were almost agressive. This was back in 2001 when I got my first eclat.

Fast forward 15 years and its like being in the dolomite again. Everyone lets you in, friendly waves and everyone has a second look.

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There's a whole thread in the Evora section but I have constant looks, stares and comments whenever I take my car out. Granted it's loud and noisy, but 99% of what people say is positive. The small-boy-appreciation-factor is through the roof.

And I have to say, that childish smile is a large part of the appeal for me. I know in reality my M3 is probably a better car, and nearly as quick, but it's very hum-drum in comparison to the Lotus, which feels like proper exotica regardless of whether it is or not.

I do have to remind myself how lucky I am though, I've owned several cars I know I don't think were very special but others consider "a dream car"

James Martin (JayEmm)
Director of Photography & Car Enthusiast

Follow my Lotus adventure online! www.jayemm.com

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A few observations from having  my modest fleet of Lotus out in the public:

- Positive comments are not universal but vastly greatly outnumber the negative ones

- The older the Lotus, the more comments it gets i.e., the Europa gets more attention than the Esprit which gets more than the Elise

- Conversely, the newer the Lotus the more often some knucklehead wants to race.

An occasional, somewhat juvenile, pleasure is to park a Lotus in an area with a lot of foot traffic then loiter nearby to eavesdrop on the comments it generates. Some of the dumbest comments come from young guys trying to impress their girlfriends with their vast expertise even though they know nothing about the cars. For example, that's how I heard that the secret to the Europa's speed and handling is the special lightweight mahogany used for the dashboard and shift knob.

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Mike

'97 V8

'73 Europa TC

'10 Elise SC

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I've owned my Esprit for 6 months now, and I'm amazed at how many people actually know what it is. I was polishing in the drive the other day when a little girl who can't have been any older than 9 or10 cycled past, and shouted out "nice Lotus mate".

We've been to a few smaller car shows, and been thanked by the organisers for bringing her along. And the younger visitors love it, especially the pop up headlights. Got to admit, it certainly gets noticed whenparked between a Morris Traveler and an old Maxi.

The ultimate appraisal though, must be, being acknowledged by Jenson Button,  I just took the Lotus out for its weekly warm up and a quick spin around the block, when coming towards me, I noticed a beautiful Mclaren, the Mclaren driver had also noticed the stunning blue Esprit, and we exchanged a quick wave and continued past each other. I then realised, bloody hell, that was Jenson Button! 

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23 minutes ago, Iconic Ride said:

And all this time I thought it was the uber thin light bulb filaments.

Who's to say you're wrong? I was simply repeating what some fine young fellow said to his charming companion, not vouching for his veracity.

Mike

'97 V8

'73 Europa TC

'10 Elise SC

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10 hours ago, Dunc said:

I think as the cars gets older, other road users are more friendly towards them.

I noticed a sharp drop off in politeness when I moved from a yellow dolomite sprint - where everybody was your mate and let you in, to a yellow sharp ended Lotus. People just didn't let me in and some others were almost agressive. This was back in 2001 when I got my first eclat.

Fast forward 15 years and its like being in the dolomite again. Everyone lets you in, friendly waves and everyone has a second look.

That's because you don't need to be let in. As soon as you see a gap big enough to fit in, close your eyes, put your foot down and you'll be in. You might be pointing in the wrong direction, but you will be in!

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24 minutes ago, Steve V8 said:

The ultimate appraisal though, must be, being acknowledged by Jenson Button,  I just took the Lotus out for its weekly warm up and a quick spin around the block, when coming towards me, I noticed a beautiful Mclaren, the Mclaren driver had also noticed the stunning blue Esprit, and we exchanged a quick wave and continued past each other. I then realised, bloody hell, that was Jenson Button! 

About 10 years ago one of our members in his GT3 had a tear up with Jenson and I'd like to think that experience stuck with him :D

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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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10 minutes ago, Steve V8 said:

I've owned my Esprit for 6 months now, and I'm amazed at how many people actually know what it is. I was polishing in the drive the other day when a little girl who can't have been any older than 9 or10 cycled past, and shouted out "nice Lotus mate".

We've been to a few smaller car shows, and been thanked by the organisers for bringing her along. And the younger visitors love it, especially the pop up headlights. Got to admit, it certainly gets noticed whenparked between a Morris Traveler and an old Maxi.

The ultimate appraisal though, must be, being acknowledged by Jenson Button,  I just took the Lotus out for its weekly warm up and a quick spin around the block, when coming towards me, I noticed a beautiful Mclaren, the Mclaren driver had also noticed the stunning blue Esprit, and we exchanged a quick wave and continued past each other. I then realised, bloody hell, that was Jenson Button! 

Forgot to mention, myself and Mrs V8 took the Lotus down to Cheddar Gorge for fish and chips, on the way down, a large supermoto who'd been following for a few miles pulled alongside, gave the thumbs up, then continued by, once in front, he opened his throttle and showered my freshly polished paintwork with all manner of road debris. When we got into Cheddar, who was parked outside the chippy, yes Mr sticky tyres. He came over to the car and started showering me again, but this time with compliments and questions about the car, he asked if he could take photos, to which I agreed, and I just didn't have the heart by this point to bollock him for his stupid driving. And NO , Mrs V8 was not allowed to eat her chips in the Car!

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