For $37,500, be special, John Player SpecialS

Corinthians 13:11 famously espouses shunning childish ways upon reaching maturity. I had a go kart as a kid, and if that admonition means giving up like-handling cars such as today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Lotus Exige S, well then hells no. This particular one's price however, might have you asking its seller, what are you, kidding?

Kids love playing at war, and in fact some of the most popular video games are ones based on donning combat gear and getting in the shit. Of course in the world of real conflict, the blood stings your eyes, and upon dying you don't get to re-spawn. The seller of yesterday's military-intended 1964 M-677 FC Jeep was looking for someone to re-spawn what is currently a diesel doorstop. Sadly fro him 74% of you were willing to let it rust in peace, thinking that Forward Control's price was far outta' control.

Speaking of control, I recently had the opportunity to drive the Lotus Evora S on-track, and wanted to share my experience: neutral, neutral, neutral, OVERSTEER! OVERSTEER! OVERSTEER! embarrassment, embarrassment, embarrassment. Okay, it wasn't quite that bad, but the current not-so-little Lotus did seem to be hiding a big bite in the overly tighty whitie corners.

No such foible has ever been lain at the tires of Lotus' littler and scrappier Exige however, as it is considered to have limpet-like handling qualities. Today's 2007 Exige S should possess those internal organ rearranging capabilities, and will definitely look good doing it as it rocks JPS livery. Now, no one should smoke, it's a dirty habit and no, it does not make you look erudite, but damn, tobacco company sponsorships in motor racing sure had some cool paint schemes. And one that was so icy cool that you'd be leery to put your tongue on it was the John Player Special.

For $37,500, be special, John Player Special

Featuring ebony black paint with luxuriant gold trim, any car carrying the British cigarette maker's attire was immediately elevated above the ordinary. Like a Wicked Weasel on a supermodel, it just looks right. This Lotus has been JPS'd, probably post-factory, and looks even more awesome than with just the standard Exige S fare of periscope scoop and industrial grade body adornment.

The Exige S is the car Jeremy Clarkson called a ballistic cockroach, and with its Quasimodo-hunch engine lid it has the hindsight of the American electorate. Unlike the lesser and more effeminate Elise upon which it is based, the Exige grows not just a supercharged pair (more on that later), but also a rearview mirror negating fastback and look-at-me wing. Both of those are necessary, say Lotus, to increase air management at higher speeds, something the Exige will command with ease.

For $37,500, be special, John Player Special

Under that fiberglass and chicken wire engine cover lurks a supercharged edition of the Toyota 1,796-cc DOHC four. The blower and its companion intercooler add about 40-lbs to the car's weight, but they also boost horsepower to 220, and torque to 165 across a very usable band. The six speed gearbox comes with the under-hood hellion, and with judicious use you can get the car's 2,060 pounds to sixty from a standstill in under four and a half seconds.

And you'll look like a playboy while doing it.

For $37,500, be special, John Player Special

On the downside, the cabin in these cars is famously tight, so much so that the added confines of the fastback may engender claustrophobia. Also, the 150-lb bonded aluminum chassis requires high sills, hence ingress and egress is more of a pouring or falling affair, but once inside this thing should be more fun than a barrel of proverbial monkeys and as such, who'd ever want to get out?

You might tell the seller to get out for asking $37,500 for this under 20K JPS Exige. As it's likely it went for near double that when new - just four years ago - that price begs the question as to whether the car should be snapped up or its seller smacked down. What do you think, is $37,500 for a John Player Special Exige S a deal? Or, would spending that much be a mistake of biblical proportions?

You decide!

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