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Undervalued


jack.pe

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Yep agree with all you have said there Jack. It's the quality and construction of the Lotus that holds it back not its dynamics, also the wedge shape dates the car to an era whareas the 308 could be produced now and I feel car enthusiasts would say it's such a pretty car whereas the Esprit would have a tough time finding a handfull of customers.

 

Trevor.

I'll get around to it at some point.

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Wow! surpised you said the 308 is the prettier car.. I suppose the curves definitely give it a more delicate shape but for me, in terms of seminal wedge supercar design the Esprit has it pipped.

Also quality wise I thought the 308 was no better? am I wrong there?

In any case, despite it's recent sharp rises in value for me the Esprit is without question the last classic supercar bargain out there.. can anyone else suggest any others?

Just about the only thing I do not like are the SD1 tail lights..they fit in ok but lack the sense of dram that the rest of the car has. Also the marina door handles are bloody awful in the quality stakes.. they are just horrid in the action and the door key is tiny.

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Hey, I'm not advocating that I want cars to cost more...I'd love for all classics to be cheaper, just saying that in comparison to most others the Esprit seems undervalued... brilliant as this has allowed me to buy one! but i'm still slighly disbelieving how cheap they still are! I think you get a lot of car for the money.

Point noted on the kit car heritage and I think that's where a lot of the perception issues are. In any case.. I really do love it and glad I've experienced it!

Is your 308 available for a comparison? I would love to so a short video with you as I did for the porsche 930...?

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Being serviced at the moment at SB Race Engineering and having the engine bay detailed and a few other bits addressed. Then it goes back to Hoffmans for sale so unfortunately not available for a while. Plus it would lose the comparrison test :-) I didn't mean to imply that you were advocating an increase in value of the Esprit but many people are wishing them higher. I don't think they are undervalued personally but more a case of other marques being overvalued. To be clear, i'd rather drive an Esprit and have more love for them than the Ferrari, that said, the 308 is a lovely thing to own and if it doesn't sell I'm happy to have it in my garage as I'd always wanted one and pride of ownership is high.

 

Trevor.

I'll get around to it at some point.

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I have commented several times on here regards the differences between my 328 and Turbo Esprit and agree with most of the above.

The Esprit is the better car and most reviewers back in the day said this, but then advised people to buy the Ferrari. Its the brand. Ferrari have been very careful to manage the brand over the years but Lotus have not. 

The 328 uses no common fittings with any other car, thats part of the brand management, so reviewers would try to find the same parts in Fiats but fail as there were no Fiat parts used. Lotus used the lowest cost parts they could find, regardless of the source so every single review started out with the Marina door handles.

Despite the overall package of the Esprit being better, the Ferrari wins on build quality and the quality of parts used. Lotus was, and is, an engineering company and as such didnt understand the branding issues. Ferrari is both an engineering and a brand marketing company.

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Glad to hear you're enjoying the Esprit! Esprits have been playing catch up lately but are still not up to Integrale, E30 M3 or Ford Cosworth money which doesn't seem right to me. As you can see of the pictures below the Esprit belongs in an entirely different catagory. I'm fortunate to own both of these cars and they have very similar mileages. The Integrale is currently worth more but I think the Esprit has the potential to overtake it one day.

827os3ay4m_zpsf6uy7tbq.jpg

TEnov16.11_zpsawm4eglc.jpg

I agree that many classics are over-valued currently. Some prices are absolutely nuts. Cars like the Integrale have pretty much plateaued over the last 12 months whereas the Esprits have really picked up. They are also selling fast by the look of things. There was an S4s for sale recently with 26k miles, asking £34k and it's gone already. I remember the Azure Blue 9k miles Barry Ely S4s stood around for years at £30k. It's now being advertised for £46,950. My issue with Esprits is that the rough examples are probably too expensive and the best are probably still too cheap. Unlike with Ferraris which are generally more pampered, there really are very few outstanding examples out there. A really well maintained Esprit, regardless of mileage should be worth a lot more than a ropey one which will most likely require a lot of time and money to be put right. The market as a whole still doesn't reward people who spend heavily on their cars, it's still a labour of love for those that do. Financially we're usually better off by mothballing our cars and I agree that's a real shame but that's a problem for all classics, it's by no means exclusive to Lotus. The mileage sensitivity of Ferraris old and new is totally absurd. Everyone's terrified to go over 10,000 miles!

I personally have no issue with the door handles and can assure you that Ferrari did make good use of the Fiat parts bin! The 512 TR uses the same steering wheel and column stalks as my Integrale.

Either way there is very serious talk of the whole car thing that we enjoy so much coming to an end (on public roads at least) within the next 30 years. So unlike before I think prices will continue to rise. The whole activity is now looking finite. Legislation will ultimately restrict the use of fossil fuels so I think many consider this to already be the beginning of the last hurrah. I'm sure there will be one almighty collapse in prices when the end really is in sight but until then I reckon everyone will be determined to make the most of it while they still can.

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  • Gold FFM

I think Esprits needs to find a certain level of value. If they're perceived as being too cheap, then no-one spends any money on them to keep them in good order (which they need). If they're seen as overpriced, and they simply don't sell, then the market stalls. It's a fine balance. I guess the market will dictate the price, and owners of all classics probably think they are worth more than what the market is prepared to pay.

As for Ferraris, they'll always be more desirable simply because they're a Ferrari. And the 308 is, for me at least, one of their best lookers, particularly if Trev is doing his best Magnum P.I. impression.

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Margate Exotics.

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I have a vague recollection that at the time of launch the Essex Turbo Esprit was a tad more expensive than the Ferrari 308, such was the confidence it was a better car. Since then the equivalent Ferrari models have cost a significant percentage more than the Esprit, so it's reasonable they should fetch more money now surely?

For a car that once traded punches fairly and squarely with small Ferraris/Lambos (and beat them) when did they really start to outpace it in price?

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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The essex is another thing entirely though.. I'm not sure what the value for one of those would be but given the exclusivity and amount of interest it must be approaching six figures..

19 hours ago, Andyww said:

I have commented several times on here regards the differences between my 328 and Turbo Esprit and agree with most of the above.

The Esprit is the better car and most reviewers back in the day said this, but then advised people to buy the Ferrari. Its the brand. Ferrari have been very careful to manage the brand over the years but Lotus have not. 

The 328 uses no common fittings with any other car, thats part of the brand management, so reviewers would try to find the same parts in Fiats but fail as there were no Fiat parts used. Lotus used the lowest cost parts they could find, regardless of the source so every single review started out with the Marina door handles.

Despite the overall package of the Esprit being better, the Ferrari wins on build quality and the quality of parts used. Lotus was, and is, an engineering company and as such didnt understand the branding issues. Ferrari is both an engineering and a brand marketing company.

Great insight Andy..thanks! I thought all Ferraris of that era used bits from the fiat parts bin such as switches and so on... interesting to know that's not the case!

Definitely agree on the brand and marketing issues which I think persist to this day. maybe this is a good thing though!

19 hours ago, The Pits said:

Glad to hear you're enjoying the Esprit! Esprits have been playing catch up lately but are still not up to Integrale, E30 M3 or Ford Cosworth money which doesn't seem right to me. As you can see of the pictures below the Esprit belongs in an entirely different catagory. I'm fortunate to own both of these cars and they have very similar mileages. The Integrale is currently worth more but I think the Esprit has the potential to overtake it one day.

827os3ay4m_zpsf6uy7tbq.jpg

TEnov16.11_zpsawm4eglc.jpg

I agree that many classics are over-valued currently. Some prices are absolutely nuts. Cars like the Integrale have pretty much plateaued over the last 12 months whereas the Esprits have really picked up. They are also selling fast by the look of things. There was an S4s for sale recently with 26k miles, asking £34k and it's gone already. I remember the Azure Blue 9k miles Barry Ely S4s stood around for years at £30k. It's now being advertised for £46,950. My issue with Esprits is that the rough examples are probably too expensive and the best are probably still too cheap. Unlike with Ferraris which are generally more pampered, there really are very few outstanding examples out there. A really well maintained Esprit, regardless of mileage should be worth a lot more than a ropey one which will most likely require a lot of time and money to be put right. The market as a whole still doesn't reward people who spend heavily on their cars, it's still a labour of love for those that do. Financially we're usually better off by mothballing our cars and I agree that's a real shame but that's a problem for all classics, it's by no means exclusive to Lotus. The mileage sensitivity of Ferraris old and new is totally absurd. Everyone's terrified to go over 10,000 miles!

I personally have no issue with the door handles and can assure you that Ferrari did make good use of the Fiat parts bin! The 512 TR uses the same steering wheel and column stalks as my Integrale.

Either way there is very serious talk of the whole car thing that we enjoy so much coming to an end (on public roads at least) within the next 30 years. So unlike before I think prices will continue to rise. The whole activity is now looking finite. Legislation will ultimately restrict the use of fossil fuels so I think many consider this to already be the beginning of the last hurrah. I'm sure there will be one almighty collapse in prices when the end really is in sight but until then I reckon everyone will be determined to make the most of it while they still can.

The integrale was supposed to be the car that followed the Esprit for me.. and if my mate still has his it will be. But that's a perfect example, Grales are great cars but much more common and much less special than the Esprit, yet they are worth more. Crazy.

 

I think it also the terrible reputation for reliability that older esprits have that has hit them.. most of my friends seem to think I'm driving a ticking time bomb whereas now it's been properly checked over I have a lot of faith in mine.

 

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So far, the bills have been a lot bigger for the Integrale and I've had it less than a year!

I have spent a lot on the Esprit but I only have myself to blame for that (I put Compomotives on it at great expense)! If I'd kept the BBS wheels it would have cost me less overall than the Exige.

The Integrale is now in outstanding mechanical order and if that's it for big bills then I am still essentially on plan (which was to pay upfront for less trouble down the line). If the bills keep coming then it really is a money pit of some magnitude worse than the Esprit. The Mitsubishi Evo needs servicing every 6 months (last one was £179) but otherwise doesn't ask for a penny from me. It's a much higher mileage car with a no Jap history (it turns out it was clocked and had accident damage). Everything you're supposed to avoid yet it's no trouble at all! Still looking for a classic car bargain? Find yourself the best Evo TME you can. Red ones have shot up but any other colour is yours for peanuts. Fantastic cars to drive too. Image problems come and go with fashion. Capris are cool again now, that is very recent!

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I'd say a majority of the Esprits I've seen have been in utterly crap state (my SE included) - whereas I've not seen many Ferraris that have been left outdoors or driven on salted roads or had accident damage repaired by a blind person with a spray can (no, I'm not joking. I've seen this). So there's an inherent value differential from the get-go. Even the nicer Esprits available are generally not in the same condition as your average Ferrari.

Edit: Re Esprit vs E30 M3 and Cosworth prices: are we really comparing apples and oranges? A dog of an Esprit vs concours Cosworth? Or like for like condition-wise?

@jack.pe : you will shortly discover that Esprits are like Pringles.

Pick up a Turbo SE, S4s and a V8 next. Then your collection will be complete! 

 

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Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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52 minutes ago, jack.pe said:

 

Great insight Andy..thanks! I thought all Ferraris of that era used bits from the fiat parts bin such as switches and so on... interesting to know that's not the case!

 

The steering wheel is a pretty standard Momo. But thats it. There is a downside to this of course. It means very expensive parts! The mirror switches fetch over £300 and some of the other switches are completely unobtainable such as heater controls. Ditto external parts such as front indicator/driving lights which fetch over £3000.

A few weeks ago I bought a new interior door handle for the Esprit which was a genuine Lotus part sealed, cost £8. :)

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2 hours ago, The Pits said:

Nope Ferrari definitely used Fiat indicator stalks, I have them in my Integrale. Quite a few other bits of Fiat switchgear appeared in Ferraris from the 80's onwards. But so what frankly?

 

That may well be the case on later cars, I dont know the cars after the 328 in detail. Although that ran up until 1989.

But that leads onto another point of difference. Interiors. Esprit interiors which have been looked after or restored are quite dramatic compared to the Ferrari interiors which are pretty dull. The 328 interior is nice enough although quite spartan and the 348 and 355 do pretty much look like Fiats inside.

Contrast that with the Esprit with its wrap-around binnacle and unique flat sloping fascia (at least on early non-US cars) and of course the delightfully different original S1 and there is no contest. One of the factors which tempted me to buy my first Esprit was the interior as well as the external shape.  

Having said that,  there are a lot of neglected Esprit interiors around which does impact the marque in general. They do seem to suffer more than other cars if not looked after.

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3 minutes ago, Andyww said:

They do seem to suffer more than other cars if not looked after.

Only the leather ones though :sofa: 

Cull some Teddy bears and re-trim :thumbsup:

I like the rear lights on both my cars and the door handles on the Esprit are so much better than the crappy Toyota ones on my Excel.

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There are not many contemporaries to the Giugiaro Esprit which would make me look at them while driving an Esprit. The only ones which come to mind are the Countach, Pantera and GTO. Definitely no Porsche, BMW (no, not even the M1) or any Testarossa.  Let alone a 308 or 328.

But as much of a fan as I am I must admit. The Ferraris probably should be worth more money. If for nothing else just for the simple fact Ferrari worked hard for it. Lotus, not really. It’s true Ferrari has used Fiat parts many times. From switches to taillights. But that’s very different from just taking the cheapest parts you can find to complete a car.

I have heard many times that Chapman was only interested in building the cars as quickly as he could and sell them as quickly as possible to finance his racing passion. Enzo had a similar goal. But he did it the right way. Ferrari’s reputation is not undeserved. It’s tailored. It’s forged over years and years.  Although it is true that Ferrari’s reputation is as much overrated as Lotus’ is underrated, the fact still stands that, Ferraris are higher level cars and as such they should probably cost more.

I honestly would never exchange a S1 for a 308, unless it was to sell the 308 and buy me another S1 plus a Turbo Esprit and a GT3. But I can’t be so selfish as to try to preach my personal preference as some sort of totalitarian truth. Not when it goes against logic. Ferraris are just a cut above and that’s all there is to it. Not as a car itself. But as a brand. And this is what you pay for in any car, specially classic ones. Then comes the metal, rubber, plastic and glass bits.

As for the Esprits being undervalued, compared to things like Escorts, Lancias and the like, definitely. Even compared to the flattened up VW bugs (their fans call them Porsches).  But not compared to Ferraris.

I myself do hope the Esprit never reaches the level of classic 911s. Not only because I don’t have one yet. But also because I want to drive it. Once a car becomes a collector’s piece then everything becomes harder.

Look what is happening to the Lotus Carlton. Mint ones are already fetching upwards of 50K! And it’s not like with the Esprit where you can buy a project one and restore it. It’s nearly impossible to find bits, specially for the engine and even the body kit alone cost around 1/3 of what a low Esprit costs. It’s not like with the Esprit where you can buy a whole body shell for 500 quid. So basically either you buy a mint Lotus Carlton or you just can’t have one. And very cheap ones with high mileage or damage are never sold anymore anyway. It’s more profitable to break them up for parts. And those who have the cars are not really driving them anymore because the lower the mileage the higher the resale value. And if anything breaks, parts are very expensive. IF you can find them. Yes, it’s the old classic car story. But like the Esprit, you could buy Lotus Carltons for real people’s money not too long ago.

I would really hate for that to happen to the Esprit.  As much as I know it deserves just as much as most of the cars which have shot up in value. I think the beast was born to eat motorways. Not to watch the streets from behind a glass window. It’s just not fair not to give the beast its due. It is just not.

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