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Straightbend

The Giugiaro Esprit body

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I have always loved the Giugiaro styled cars. Such a simplistic and slick design. The S1 is my favorite but I have space in my heart for the later ones too.

I always wondered if there were any changes to the body from 1976 to 1987, apart from the obvious addition of ground effects to the turbos and the clear change in taillights and front bumper and spliter?

I have never had the chance to look at the cars side by side in the flesh. But sometimes it looks like the S1 is more round and that the S3 is more boxy.  So where there changes to the body?

And since we are talking about the body, I know the taillights are from the Fiat X1/9 and Rover DS1and the door handles from the Marina. But where did the headlights and mirrors came from? Stevens cars have Citroen mirrors but never head about the Giugiaro cars or the headlights.

And are all the glass panels proprietary? The windscreen looks like just a flat piece of glass and the rear hatch window looks very familiar somehow.

All together it's hard to deny it's one of the most beautiful designs ever.

 

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i am no expert on the evolution of the G bodyshell,  But the few things i know are the esprit S1 AND S2 are completely different when you look at the inside of the engine bay as the early cars are boxed in fiberglass and the later esprit turbo and s3 are more open.  Fuel filler caps had no lock and had a smooth surface and unlike the turbo esprit and s3 had a lock and raised area/grip for turning the petrol cap.  Also body wise if you look at where the tailgate meets the body the s1 and s2 cars are clean lines from body to tailgate, i.e you cant put your fingers under to lift the tailgate.  The s3 cars have an recess on the body so yuo can put your fingers under.  Plenty of people will chip in on this as there will no doubt be more stuff but thats all i can think of off the top of my head. :)  

The S3 looks more boxy as the early cars have small bumpers and the s3 and turbo got boxy bumpers, If you look on ebay now there is a gold S2 for sale, it has the wrong front bumper i.e the s3 one.  Also the air vent ears the S1 did not have so looks cleaner, the S2 got these but still fairly narrow and low profile but the s3 had raised ears and as such a bit more prominent.


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1 hour ago, Straightbend said:

 

I have never had the chance to look at the cars side by side in the flesh.

 

If you search on the forum for a thread entitled "Esprit 'Timeline' Display at Brands Hatch 2013" there will be lots of photos and videos of the line up featuring one each of every variant for you to look over. I know it's not quite as good as actually standing next to them all  but it's probably  the next best thing.

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Normally Aspirated - and lovin' it!

EPSON003-1.jpg

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Choppa, I have compared them closely side by side in photos already. Still didn't really help. I guess only in the flesh would be more helpful.

Thanks Silverfrost. Interesting details.

Concerning the S3 being more boxy, it's not only the bumpers. I have the impression the quarters of the S3 are more flat. The lines on the S1 starting from the doors seem to come up slightly over the rear wheels and to the ducktail. On the S3 it looks like the same line is just straight and the ducktail doesn't look as pronounced. Also the rear profile in the S1 looks to slop in while with the S3 the rear just falls flat.

 

Edited by Straightbend

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I am not sure on the actual bodyshell,  that would be a question to ask lotus, maybe one of the folks on here can ask the factory if the same mould was used for the bodyshells ? I was always under the conclusion that the bodyshell apart from a few very minor features was the same between the s1,s2,s3 but i am no expert and have never got the measuring sticks out to check profile etc.  Some folks on here own all three series so they would be better commenting, but the factory would be best to ask,  maybe bibs can add that to his million and one things to do list. :)  Or pick up the phone and ring Mike at lotusbits as he knows the models inside out as its his bread and butter. :thumbup:

Straightbend,   I see from your other thread regarding why the esprit handles so well,  are you looking at building a custom esprit ? or looking at purchasing one.  Just you ask some intresting questions that most people considering purchasing do not ask, but someone who is building or designing one would. :yes:

I hope look forward to see how this thread goes regarding if the shells are the same as i am quite intrested myself now.  :thumbup:

 


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On 23 September 2016 at 11:30, silverfrost said:

The s3 cars have an recess on the body so yuo can put your fingers under.

Mine doesn't. But I sometimes wish it blimmin did.?   It was built a year after the first s3 n/a sales.

not sure whether the addition of the ears made the lines appear different, but wouldn't be surprised...

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Dave i think the ears will have a lot to do with the look and may affect the lines, the s3 ears are massive if you compare them with the S2 ears which i think are the same profile as the turbo esprit.   Dave yours must of been altered by a previous owner or maybe had a S2 repair section glassed in or it was a left over body shell at the factory after the finish of the s2 production run, the Thing i would find srange with that is that the S2 is completely different inside the tailgate area around the engine unless that part can be cut away easily .?

I love the little tell tale differences about these cars that makes finding out the cars past mysteries finally become uncovered. :)

I actually think your very lucky Dave i hate that finger recess on my S3 its just another place for water to sit if the rear body drain holes get blocked and also looks totally out of place to the clean lines imo.

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No record of change, Dan, and definitely no repair or replacement...we stripped it back to gel before recent respray.

As the 6th? Owner, I have all her history, stating life as a company car from Len Street motors before completing FLSH with B&C up to 50 k miles, then a Portsmouth based service shop before ending up with Paul Matty at 67k in 1991.

Be interested to see if anyone else has an early S3 (na or turbo) without that water trap....

I also wonder whether the placement of th pin stripes makes significant visual change?

Im seriously considering using the S2 routing for mine, as I just think it's Waaay cooler, and is easily changed at any point in the future. Would make it individual, at least ?

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S2 design looks stunning Dave and with the Turbo esprit are the best looking G cars imo. Will be intresting to see if other owners have the finger recess missing also.!  Maybe someone at the factory on the bodyshell moulding did not like the new change either and on his shift changed a few to leave their mark. :P

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The headlamps are generic 5"3/4, as used by many cars at the time (Ford Capri Mk3, Triumph Stag and even some BMWs IIRC). Land Rover used the 7" version from their first prototype in 1948 until the last Defender earlier this year!

I believe the Giugiaro mirrors were also from a Citroën, but obviously an older model.


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

 

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On 24/09/2016 at 13:49, silverfrost said:

I am not sure on the actual bodyshell,  that would be a question to ask lotus, maybe one of the folks on here can ask the factory if the same mould was used for the bodyshells ? I was always under the conclusion that the bodyshell apart from a few very minor features was the same between the s1,s2,s3 but i am no expert and have never got the measuring sticks out to check profile etc.  Some folks on here own all three series so they would be better commenting, but the factory would be best to ask,  maybe bibs can add that to his million and one things to do list. :)  Or pick up the phone and ring Mike at lotusbits as he knows the models inside out as its his bread and butter. :thumbup:

Straightbend,   I see from your other thread regarding why the esprit handles so well,  are you looking at building a custom esprit ? or looking at purchasing one.  Just you ask some intresting questions that most people considering purchasing do not ask, but someone who is building or designing one would. :yes:

I hope look forward to see how this thread goes regarding if the shells are the same as i am quite intrested myself now.  :thumbup:

 

I'm looking at purchasing one. ;)

But I don't think I can swing for one in top nick. Not now that these fantastic cars are finally starting to command the prices they so deserve. About time! But to me it means I would have to get a project car of sorts. So I figured if I'm going to get something that needs work, I might as well try to improve it. I won't touch the design. I want the body to be fully original looking as well as the interior. But I'm thinking about trying to address some of the technical shortcomings. Naturally the suspension is not one of them. But I still want to learn as much as I can about it and also learn which version of the car has the best version of it and so on.  But I wouldn't be doing a custom. I want it to be as close to original as possible. Only improved where I can, without calling attention to it or changing the car's character. 

This is also why I'm interested in learning about the body. A project car may come with body damage, missing window panels and the like. So I want to know the variations in body design and where the parts come from.

So yes I also look forward to see how this thread evolves. It's always great to learn about the Esprit. It never stops amazing me.

 

 

Edited by Straightbend

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On 24/09/2016 at 14:36, DaveyT said:

Mine doesn't. But I sometimes wish it blimmin did.?   It was built a year after the first s3 n/a sales.

not sure whether the addition of the ears made the lines appear different, but wouldn't be surprised...

I have been looking at quite a many pictures of S1, S2 and S3 cars online. I have seen many S3 cars which have the recess and a few which do not. So maybe it came out of the factory with and without it.

On 24/09/2016 at 20:18, Escape said:

The headlamps are generic 5"3/4, as used by many cars at the time (Ford Capri Mk3, Triumph Stag and even some BMWs IIRC). Land Rover used the 7" version from their first prototype in 1948 until the last Defender earlier this year!

I believe the Giugiaro mirrors were also from a Citroën, but obviously an older model.

Thanks! Great to know.

What about the windscreen and windows? Do they come from some other car or are they Lotus?

Edited by Straightbend

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In  nutshell you would be best looking at the 85 onwards suspension as the chassis is a better design as is the front suspension.  So an series 3 g car is right up your alley and luckily probably the cheapest way of picking up a project.   Body design depends on you. If you choose a turbo G car the bodyshell is different at the back. But all other body shells are pretty much the same imo.  

Damaged to the body shell is not a drama, plenty of parts people such as lotus parts can supply you with aused G bodyshell for 500 sterling plus vat and various other used off cuts from 200 sterling upwards.  As long as your fiberglass skills are up to scratch you will have no worries here. you can even purchase new fiberglass body sections if you wish from sj sportcars and such like. 

Windows are still avaible from lotusbits secondhand at good prices. 40 quid door glass irc 25 quarter glass front screens new are 270, the only real expensive glass is the rear tailgate glass as it was rare and not made before, now sj sportcars do a re manufactured on at 375 plus the vat. 

:)

 


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think the windscreen is from a JCB


hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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All lotus esprit glass is bespoke to lotus, rumours used to float around about the front windscreen coming from a JCB but that was the last i heard. 270 pounds for a new front screen is good value in my eyes.  Its just the fitting that becomes expensive if you do not feel up to doing the job yourself. 

The prices that make my eyes water with exprits are not the main components, its the things like the metal screen surround trim, badges, plastic trim etc that can get expensive but these little details make the difference between good restorations and great restorations. 

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The guys who fitted one of my screens confirmed it's JCB or perhaps we should say a digger as many refer to all diggers as JCB (or Backhoes if it's USA), they commented as it caused them to get a call asking as to why they ordered a screen for construction machinery.

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Just looking through some images, and noticed the esprit S1 body shell is totally different !  I never noticed it before but the front valance is tiny, a bit more of an air scoop and the actual front of the body shell incorperates into it, what later became par of the larger seperate front valance  on the s2 and onwards cars.  I must be blind to of never spotted that before. :blush:

 


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13 hours ago, pete said:

think the windscreen is from a JCB

 

Do you mean this?

postadsuk.com-1-1968-jcb-3c-mark-2-origi

It kind of looks like the Esprit windshield indeed. This is a 1968 digger and they were made till the late 70's. So it matches the Esprit launch date too.

Is it a straight fit or does it need to be cut or something? The JCB has round corners. But it could be from a different JCB model. But since the Esprit windscreen is just a plain flat glass it makes sense it would be from such a vehicle.

Edited by Straightbend
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13 hours ago, silverfrost said:

In  nutshell you would be best looking at the 85 onwards suspension as the chassis is a better design as is the front suspension.  So an series 3 g car is right up your alley and luckily probably the cheapest way of picking up a project.   Body design depends on you. If you choose a turbo G car the bodyshell is different at the back. But all other body shells are pretty much the same imo.  

Damaged to the body shell is not a drama, plenty of parts people such as lotus parts can supply you with aused G bodyshell for 500 sterling plus vat and various other used off cuts from 200 sterling upwards.  As long as your fiberglass skills are up to scratch you will have no worries here. you can even purchase new fiberglass body sections if you wish from sj sportcars and such like. 

Windows are still avaible from lotusbits secondhand at good prices. 40 quid door glass irc 25 quarter glass front screens new are 270, the only real expensive glass is the rear tailgate glass as it was rare and not made before, now sj sportcars do a re manufactured on at 375 plus the vat. 

:)

 

Yes, even though my favorite is the S1, I had already made up my mind to get a S3 because of the much superior underpinnings. Good to know it should be 85 and newer though. Although it makes it more difficult as there are only 2 more years of G cars after that.

Those prices for body parts are not bad. I wonder for how much longer they will stay at that, now that the cars are appreciating.

A body shell for 500 is ok. What is exactly included in it? Depending on how much damage you are repairing, it might be just worth it buying a whole shell. At least you will have spares for later, just in case.

 

 

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11 hours ago, silverfrost said:

Just looking through some images, and noticed the esprit S1 body shell is totally different !  I never noticed it before but the front valance is tiny, a bit more of an air scoop and the actual front of the body shell incorperates into it, what later became par of the larger seperate front valance  on the s2 and onwards cars.  I must be blind to of never spotted that before. :blush:

 

It's hard to know if the valance is really different or if it's just covering the original front of the S1.

From the side the body shells look very similar. But I still get the impression the S1 is more fat at back or something.

 

S1vsS3.png

Regardless, the S1 looks just so clean. It looks lighter and more agile just standing there. :)

Edited by Straightbend

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The rest of the body shell is exactly the same by the look of it.  The rear wrap around bumper, bigger wheels , and ears on the s3 tone down the back end.  I think the s1 shell is only different by the valance area on the front.    Regarding 500 for the body shell,  you get the bare shell and i mean bare. :)

However still extremely cheap in my eyes  :thumbup:  regarding the future supply of spares i sadly think they will increase with the esprits rise in value and will follow shortly. :cry:  However body shells and the chassis will still remain fairly cheap imo as the demand is much lower as most people would rather repair a running car with a body section on a decent condtion running car that had been in a bump as changing the shell is not a five minute job in terms of not only man hours but expense in parts also as you will always end up finding other things to do on the new shell or chassis/drivetrain while its off. :)

The engine,gearbox,wheels,glass,bonnet,interior are where the money in parts is on these cars and the shell and chassis are left over spoils sadly. :blush:


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Another question is how much different is the Turbo from the S3 body if you remove the bolted-on sections.

Not sure but here is an interesting picture of mine with the back bit missing.

DSCN8714.jpg

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The pictures of the S1 and S3 show the big difference in the change of the little triangle at the base of the A-pillar from black to body colour made.

It looks much better blended into the window frame on the S1.

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22 minutes ago, Andyww said:

Another question is how much different is the Turbo from the S3 body if you remove the bolted-on sections.

Not sure but here is an interesting picture of mine with the back bit missing.

DSCN8714.jpg

Andy you are a very lucky person. Not only you have a G Esprit but you were also able to strip it down and completely repaint it.

Even striped the car looks absolutely stunning. Georgie is a true artist! He definitely created a master piece and using only simple lines.

Silverfrost is the above shell what I get for the 500 quid? Meaning no doors, bonnet, tailgate, pop up headlights and I guess no bumpers or valencias?

I'm just thinking of buying one, repaint it and put it my place as decoration. It's beautiful.

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