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The Giugiaro Esprit body


Straightbend

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Woah woah ok I used the expression "new Esprit" and didn't mean it literally. A lot of parts would of course be salvage. What I'm suggesting is that building up an Esprit from scratch is, dependant on your point if view, no more work than ground up restoring a rough Esprit from the ground up. It could be done, no question if the project had the support of us all here. 

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2 hours ago, GTK said:

Woah woah ok I used the expression "new Esprit" and didn't mean it literally. A lot of parts would of course be salvage. What I'm suggesting is that building up an Esprit from scratch is, dependant on your point if view, no more work than ground up restoring a rough Esprit from the ground up. It could be done, no question if the project had the support of us all here. 

Wait, yes. This is what I understood too and what I was talking about. New as in starting one from the ground up. Not new as in unused or 0 miles. Trying to build a brand new Esprit would be difficult, yes. Is this what you thought GTK and I meant Andy?

The idea is putting an Esprit together from parts, used or new, instead of trying to find a car.

 

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15 hours ago, Andyww said:

Well, just a few off the top of my head would be rear brake caliper mountings, rear hubs and hub carriers, other suspension parts, gear linkage parts, gear lever, all heater parts, rad undertray, pedal box parts, vent blowers, most of the vacuum-formed body parts, etc etc. Too many to list. Every little bracket, mounting plate etc would be needed and these are parts which are not available because they never wear out.

Other parts are available such as wishbones, rear calipers (exchange only though), metal coolant through-chassis pipes etc but at huge prices.

Then you would need to make all the wiring harnesses.

Also if not using a donor interior you would need all the panels, door cards, seats even if re-trimming.

Its simply a non-starter.   

A few of those parts I have already seen for sale, used. Like the dash, donor interiors and others.

Others like brakes are not so important to be original. Many people upgrade brake systems anyway and like I said my aim is not a 100% original or stock car. Only exterior. But the mechanics will definitely be upgraded.

I think to have an Esprit I need a chassis,  suspension, the body, interior and engine. Even the gearbox I think may be optional. It's the weak link anyway right? Maybe getting a different gearbox in there? Although if not possible I have seen them used for sale anyway.  To be honest even with the engine many do a swap. But I really wan the Lotus power plant in there though.

But it seems it's not much of a problem to find the parts used.

If you thought the idea was to get all brand new parts, then it was a misunderstanding. I would be using used parts for the huge majority of the job besides the obvious, like new tires, new dampers, new bushings and so on.

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15 hours ago, Buddsy said:

Just buy a project S3.and do it up as an S3 Might not be the exact car you want but its pretty close and you wont lose money. Still loads and loads of work.

I actually wanted a countach but hey ho I couldn't afford one so had to find something else...life is a bit like that.

 

Buddsy

I like the idea of a S1 with S3 underpinnings.

And I would buy a project car. But people are already asking over 10K for what are basically rolling chassis. If I could find something for cheap I would. But to buy something for around or over 10K just to have to complete redo it anyway, makes GTK's idea sound appealing.

I remember a Wheeler Dealer episode where they bought a perfectly driveable S3 for 3600 quid. Next to the project cars on Ebay currently their S3 was mint. :D

Anybody has a time machine?

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That episode was a long time ago, 3.6k was about the going rate back then, you'd be looking at adding 15k to that figure now for a similar condition project.

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Hahah LOL Steve.. you are right i have many parts, but then it will be a excesprit. or elitesprit hahaha ;-)

still have 7 engine's in stock, so thats also good to have!

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1 hour ago, Straightbend said:

If I could find and afford a S3 in this level of nick I would definitely be happy to keep it stock. It would be a crime to do anything to it. And look at that engine!

 

Esprits don't fetch as much in the US so what about importing one and converting to RHD?

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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The main change would be moving the pedal box mounting points from left to right.

I'm not so sure about the S3 but with the Turbo, the chassis went through several itterations which means parts are specific to the particular chassis you have. This can make finding parts even more interesting.

I think you may be surprised just how much a bag full of second hand parts will cost for this project. With the huge number of now obsolete new parts, it can take ages to find a 2nd hand replacement and its a sellers market. 

I don't believe you will save much, if anything, by building from scratch.

:) 

It's getting there......

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I guess it really depends where I would start from.

If I could get a car for under 5K then maybe I wouldn't be saving much. But that is looking more and more like a impossible mission. At current prices I think I would save quit a bit in starting from scratch.

You have to remember I would not depend on anybody for any body or mechanical work. That alone would save a lot of money. If I had to pay labor for everything then I would definitely not save anything. But I can work the glassfiber, the fitting, repairs and paint it. I can rebuild the engine myself, install it. Work the suspension and any mechanical bits. It will take time yes, but I won't spend money.

I also have the possibility of fabricating parts I can't find. If I can't find a S1 nose I can sculpt it, mold it and cast it. I would also be able to produce mechanical parts in some cases. Brackets, mountings and other things.

I think besides saving money I could also reduce some work. For example I doubt I will find a car in the color I want. So I would have to strip it down completely just to repaint. Meaning completely take the body shell off the chassis, rip interior off and so on, as I wouldn't have it any other way. It has to be a full spray job. Not only external. If I start from scratch I spare myself from having to take it apart. I will just have to put it together, which I would have just the same if I had stripped it down. But I don't have to spend the time stripping it down.

This can be applied to several parts of the job. Engine rebuild, I don't have to take it out of the car because it would have never been there. I just have to put it in. Dampers, ditto. Springs, same. Bushings, yep ,same. Interior, again, no taking seats, lining and all the parts out. Just putting it on. This could off set the extra work in putting things together that would already be together in a rolling car, such as mounting the suspension arms and the rest of the chassis. But I think I would still be saving time in the end. Besides if you do a true full restoration everything has to come out to be worked on anyway. The difference is I won't have to take anything out or take anything apart. Just put things in and together.

On top of all that there is the fact I'm not looking for a stock car.  Which again means whatever I buy I will have to modify anyway. So why not start from the scratch? This very fact was what prompted GTK to offer the idea.

 

About the idea of bringing a car from the U.S., it seems Stevens cars are way more common there than Giugiaro ones. I guess Pretty Woman and Basic Instinct sold a lot of them down there.:)

But I want a Giugiaro. Although the good thing about getting a later shape car is that my favorite models from the later shape cars so happen to be the cheapest. Like with the Giugiaro cars I also like the very early Stevens over the latest 2002 cars. For the same reasons too. The lines were cleaner before they started adding wings and bigger skirts and noses on them. The 87-91 cars are the cleanest. I love the wingless Stevens with the normal sized front spoilers and discreet skirts. So clean and beautiful. Like the S1 it doesn't need wings on the back. The ducktail is quite enough and keeps it clean.

But for now I want a Giugiaro. Later after I have a Giugiaro I may go for an early Stevens. So I may have the best of both worlds.

Also, speaking about the steering wheel side conversion, is the pedal box really the most difficult? What about steering column, dash and so on?

 

 

 

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so why not go for a body damaged early stevens and replace the body with an G-esprit? you get a better chassic/engine and the better looks? 

don't worry about an LHD to RHD conversion, I have done the same but from RHD to LHD and because there are much more RHD esprit parts around in your country it will be lots easier to do, I did not even had to remove the body to do the (little) welding for the padel brackets.

don't let a LHD one put you off. 

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The biggest pain in the a**e to convert LHD to RHD would be the handbrake, which mounts to a bracket inside the sills.

5 hours ago, Straightbend said:

Also, speaking about the steering wheel side conversion, is the pedal box really the most difficult? What about steering column, dash and so on?

 

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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4 hours ago, lotus-62 said:

so why not go for a body damaged early stevens and replace the body with an G-esprit? you get a better chassic/engine and the better looks? 

don't worry about an LHD to RHD conversion, I have done the same but from RHD to LHD and because there are much more RHD esprit parts around in your country it will be lots easier to do, I did not even had to remove the body to do the (little) welding for the padel brackets.

don't let a LHD one put you off. 

Is a body damaged Stevens that much easier to find than a body damaged Giugiaro or that much cheaper?

Although I'm not sure if that wouldn't be too much of a Frankenstein. Probably would just keep it a Stevens and only take it back to the first Stevens style in case it was a later car with a wing and heavier bumpers and skirts.

As for converting the steering side, if it is easy and cheap, why aren't people doing that to sell Esprits in mainland Europe? They sell for a lot more in the mainland and LHD cars are more expensive.

Edited by Straightbend
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3 hours ago, GTK said:

It's a long shot but you never know, this car might still be available.

Thanks. But it says sold. Also, this is without an engine or transmission. So I think the price is too much.

I know S2s are rare. But given the condition and the fact I would have to ditch the wheels and still rework the body a bit, I'm not sure.

 

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29 minutes ago, Paul Coleman said:

The biggest pain in the a**e to convert LHD to RHD would be the handbrake, which mounts to a bracket inside the sills.

 

When thinking of it there just seems to be a lot of little details that would make it a difficult task.

 

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1 hour ago, Straightbend said:

When thinking of it there just seems to be a lot of little details that would make it a difficult task.

 

Just sell your family into slavery and I'll sell you an S1.

I heard the S1 described recently as looking like a Lamborghini and driving like a Marina - bit harsh!

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Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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2 hours ago, Straightbend said:

When thinking of it there just seems to be a lot of little details that would make it a difficult task.

 

I am converting the handbrake to an electric one to avoid this  BUT nic966 did it correctly, the biggest problems we are having is to find parts from LHD cars because so few were sold in the EU back then. so going to RHD makes it so much easier for finding the parts (rack/pinion, heater cover, and the handbrake) 

I know  more people converting to LHD 

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On 09/10/2016 at 21:24, Straightbend said:

Ok. But if bringing Esprits from the U.S is a viable proposition, because they sell for less there, why not just buy a LHD Esprit from the U.S. instead of buying a RHD from the UK and going through the trouble of a DIY conversion?

This is cheap enough... http://bringatrailer.com/2016/10/10/5k-running-project-1988-lotus-esprit-turbo/

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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Hey, thanks for the link. How do you chaps dig up this stuff? :)

Like I suspected Stevens much more common in the U.S.

You are absolutely right. Price is pretty good. If it was a S1-S3 I would have to just buy it I guess!  But I'm not at the point where I'm ready to give up on a Giugiaro and going with a Stevens just yet. Although given the hardships of finding a Giugiaro project I'm getting more and more used to the thought of a Stevens to start with.

And that is the perfect Stevens for me. An earlier one without the wing and without the more boxy ground effects.

Although I have been doing more reading on Stevens. It seems again like with the Giugiaro cars I would be better off buying a later 4 pot Stevens and retro fitting it to look like an earlier one. But with the Stevens should be way easier than with the S1 at least. Lots of early Stevens for parts out there. Should not be much of a problem to get a rounder early Stevens front bumper, the more streamlined side skirts etc to fit a later SE car. Interior wise I wouldn't really change anything. I'm fine with all the Stevens interiors up till when they changed it to the "1970's VW" style interior with the later Esprits. I like the wrap around dash better.

By the way, is the 1988 Stevens really just a re-skinned 87 Giugiaro? Or is this just cute reporter speak? I would have thought they would have had to at least rework the suspension and brakes to cope with the new shape, aerodynamics, driving dynamics and weight.

Back to buying a car from the U.S. I'm liking more and more this idea. They seem really much cheaper there. But I have no idea of the process and prices involved. Has anybody here bought a car from the U.S.? How much am looking at for shipping alone?

The worst part is that I would guess it would involve jumping on a plane to check the car up close. Or do you recon that for a project car where you know lots will be wrong anyway, if the price is right, just make sure to look at enough pictures and have it shipped sight unseen?

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