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I was googling registration numbers and this thread came up.

My father, Martin Cliffe, was heavily involved in the engineering of the original turbo Esprit, and he bought two cars from the factory that were no longer required.   One was MPW 80V (memory may be incorrect), the other was VPW 941X.   Both were used as prototypes.    One was used for development of the original Turbo Esprit, and one was for development of a V8 Esprit that wasn't taken further.   I believe that was MPW 80V.      This was engineless when he got it.

This would have been early 1980's. 

 

 

Edited by omicron
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Delighted to say my dry sump PTO 188X mentioned earlier in this thread, has now completed its 15 month mechanical restoration and passed its mot today first time! Now back on the road after a six year

Lotus79B sent a message about VPW and this is what my father replied.    I thought it may interest folk here.

One more day of detailing and its all done

Posted Images

Hi Andrew, great to have you on here, did you download the database PDF from the previous page. The first car on the list is in fact MPW 80V s/n 10790 which is where it all began and was indeed one of the V8 development cars . According to an old Essex list, this car was destroyed.. it would be great to confirm otherwise. have you got any other information you can share?

I can't see VPW 941X anywhere on the list, there a 9 other pre-production/ development Essex cars, perhaps you can tell us which one it was.

MPW 71V was the other V8 development car which has now been restored. (with wet sump engine)

Of course, no bit of information is ever too small. I'm sure some others will chime in including @Veilside

Hope to hear more,

Cheers,

Lex.

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4 minutes ago, Fridge said:

@G_Reaper has documented some of this information in some detail in this thread https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/85933-james-bond-esprit-turbo/#comments and in his book.

Who can forget this thread! 
Unfortunately very little on 10790 to date though.

David, what’s his book?

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@omicron What extraordinary photos. I have never seen this car - even more interesting is that it's an export LHD car with side markers on UK registration.

Interior looks to be black, there is one or two serial numbers on the list that is could be.

@LOTUSMAN33 have you seen this!

 

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No not seen these Lex but looks like a federal LHD car, it could be a turbo look S3 but unlikely with the age of image. 
Thanks for sharing Andrew, as Lex says it needs investigating 👍🏻
Dave :) 

Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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4 minutes ago, LOTUSMAN33 said:

No not seen these Lex but looks like a federal LHD car, it could be a turbo look S3 but unlikely with the age of image. 
Thanks for sharing Andrew, as Lex says it needs investigating 👍🏻
Dave :) 

According to DVLA, first registered August '81 and not registered since '91.

 

What does this mean? Is this a record of the car existing?

Date of last V5C (logbook) issued
29 September 2017
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If a replacement logbook was issued in 29.09.2017 it means it has a new keeper or existing keeper changed address, or possibly a duplicated V5 to replace a lost one.

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10 minutes ago, LOTUSMAN33 said:

No not seen these Lex but looks like a federal LHD car, it could be a turbo look S3 but unlikely with the age of image. 
Thanks for sharing Andrew, as Lex says it needs investigating 👍🏻
Dave :) 

engine is listed as 1973cc on the DVLA site..not 2174cc

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There was an S2 which was used as the body prototype for the Turbo, is that it?

It had no seam where the rear section joins the main body.

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15 hours ago, omicron said:

When I'm next at my parents house I'll see if he has any files left on the car which may shed some light on it.      It may be that the files went with the cars when they were sold on.

Here is a photo of VPW941X and I suspect the other car is shown in the background of the second shot, along with an Elan and a Citroen CX Safari.

56F84A54-4AB4-436B-AE1A-588D47DE245B.jpeg

38439936-4387-42C4-A15A-E2267F19042C.jpeg

Andrew we think it might be an S2 with a Turbo body on it - there was an S2 that was used for the Turbo Body prototype. It's unusual for the car to not have its stripes so early on in its life so this might explain it. Maybe you can ask your father if this rings a bell? 

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3 minutes ago, LOTUSMAN33 said:

Not sure if Matt still owns it? Thought I recognised it someplace 👍🏻

I have messaged him to ask 😉
Dave :) 

I guess this should really be on the register ? In front of 10790.

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4 minutes ago, LOTUSMAN33 said:

I agree, Matt sold it a couple years back Lex 👍🏻

Thanks Dave, It would be a lovely thing if restored correctly and it should be quite valuable you would think. Hopefully it turns up again.

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Matt says it’s being restored now Lex so we should see it in the future. Matt still owns the sister car in RHD and a 2 litre dry sump engine (Type 79A) which sounds awesome.

The LHD car is 79B

Dave :) 

Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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2 minutes ago, LOTUSMAN33 said:

Matt says it’s being restored now Lex so we should see it in the future. Matt still owns the sister car in RHD and a 2 litre dry sump engine which sounds awesome.

Dave :) 

Great info. When you say sister car you mean the one in the books 79A? 

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DCF020C1-E242-4168-83DF-01A09E3BDC7D.thumb.jpeg.387f75d2cb3e579f4ddd400e69796038.jpegI think Matt will be over soon Lex and give the accurate info 👍🏻

This is 79B under resto, looks really nice now 😎

79A is 738H but RHD from build

Dave :) 

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Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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This thread has turned from what appeared to be a trainspotters number gathering exercise into something really interesting. The power of the t'interweb! Congratulations!

These development cars are compelling for anyone interested in the original engineering behind our cars. Both in chassis, power train as well as the interior/exterior styling. From my brief ownership of a Lotus it's one thing that sticks out about them. How much effort went into the basic components that makes a good vehicle.

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It has come a long way @Fridge the numbers exercise has pretty much finished now with a few turning up from time to time. What is really interesting is joining the dots between these early cars and you are right there is something intriguing about these development cars - I think the fact they were being developed by Colin Chapman and others alongside Championship winning F1 cars is part of the reason. On the PDF on the previous page there are some pretty in depth notes next to most of these very early cars and the next stage is getting deeper into these.

Lex 

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