Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Lotus Esprit is claimed to be like the one James Bond piloted as a submersible in the flick The Spy Who Loved Me. While this one's not ready for water sports, does its project status and price mean the seller's all wet?
The cool thing about being James Bond - I mean, aside from all the ladies - is that he gets to live the highlife on someone else's dime. Perhaps if that someone else were picking up our tab, yesterday's 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser would have also been deemed cool. As it was, 59% of you felt its dealer price made it something with which you wouldn't want to bond.
Aston Martin DB4, BMW Z8, American Motors Corporation Matador- James Bond gets the sweetest rides. And one of the most hip was his white Lotus Esprit that would convert to submersible duty at the flick of a Pinewood Studios prop switch. The funny thing is, even with the weight of the Secret Service's top technician Q on the case, Bond's Esprit still managed not to function up to specs as evidenced by the kipper he drops out the window upon rolling out of the sea.
But that's just par for the course when it comes to Lotus' mid-engine Esprit. That's because while an amazing feat of engineering, and a body that's so imbued with sexy sexiness that you would want to have sex just by looking at it, the S1 Esprit's build quality hovers somewhere between competent home craftsman and something Gilligan threw together so that hilarity might ensue.
Fortunately this Bond homage 1978 Esprit S1 has been partially disassembled so you can make right much that was wrong when it left the Hethel factory. As I noted, the Esprit is really an amazing design. The main structure is a pressed steel backbone to which the suspension and engine bolts. Atop that is a Fiberglass body that rides the frame saddlebag style. And then there's that body. Designed by Georgetto Giugiaro, the Esprit could have been just another wedge of ‘70s cheese like Triumph's TR7, but instead it still stands today as one of history's greatest and most enduring designs.
This one has been Bond-branded with the iconic 007 where the 7 is a stylized handgun. That's applied to a refrigerator white exterior paint job that looks serviceable. The interior is black and white rather than the black and grey of the movie car, but still looks surprisingly intact - albeit the parts that haven't been removed. The seats and trim look to be in remarkable shape considering the ephemeral nature of their original construction.
Back under the engine cover The all-alloy Lotus 907 is light its Delorttos or Strombergs, whichever this car originally arrived with. It does sound however like the parts - along with a claim of some new kibbles and bits - come with the car. Regardless, it's currently an Esprit de Corpse. According to the ad, the current owner bought the car with the intention of restoring it. He claims the current sale is being forced by his wife - whom he recklessly refers to as the little woman. Dude, Lorena Bobbit, just saying.'
That all makes this seem sketchier than a bored high schooler's Peachy folder, and certain aspects of the car itself support that feeling. It's an S1, but instead of the glass hatch covering the punky luggage compartment and engine snood, it sports the louvered unit from a later Turbo. There's also the wrap-around front bumper where there should be an inset one, and Prince Charles ear intakes on each sail panel, neither of which came on the S1.
Okay, so it's a little hinkey, it's also $8,500, which is usually a price point for Esprits when they're on fire. Lastly it's an incomplete project that you can finish it yourself and not have to worry about the quality of somebody else's work. Plus, 007'''!
So what do you think, does $8,500 for this Bonded Esprit leave you shaken and stirred? Or, does that make it just too darn octopricey?
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