Lotus has fired their CEO and has cancelled the proposed 2014 Esprit. That needn't affect your own esprit de corps because for today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe we have a Union Jack-wearing '88. Its price however may jack you up.
As cute as yesterday's Canuck Civic was there was nothing attractive about its ten grand price, at least accoring to its 84% Crack Pipe loss. Perhaps some of the animus for the less than stellar ninth generation Civic rubbed off on this car. Antipathy is not something that you might consider when it comes to today's candidate, and in fact the only similarity between it and yesterday's Honda is that the Japanese coupe was yellow and black, and this Lotus is yellow and Union Jack.
The history of the Lotus Esprit is well known here - from Giugiaro's original 1972 Turin Motor Show concept car to the very last 3.5-litre, 350-bhp V8 engined production cars - it has proven to be one of the more enduring exotics around.
And this un-mellow yellow turbo 1988 could bring exotica to your driveway for a mere thirteen eight. The '87 -'92 Esprit sported many changes from its S3 predecessor, most prominent of which was the Peter Stevens-penned bodywork which smoothed all the corners while not monkeying with the car's iconic lines. Stevens also designed the McLaren F1, so he pretty much knows how to make fast cars look good. Plus, you can hardly tell those are Corolla tail lights.
Other changes to the new Esprit included a vacuum-formed fiberglass body, redesigned interior, and a switch from a Citroën 5-speed to one from the House of Régie. The change in gear changer require the migration of the rear discs from inboard to out, and the ad claims all of this car's clampers are new, along with the rubber wrapped around them.
Of course the heart of any car is its engine and in this Esprit's case what's beating in its midsection is the 215-bhp edition of the venerable 2.2-litre DOHC four which can trace its lineage back to the early seventies and the jensen Healey. Here, the 910 Turbo rocks Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection, and sends its intake straight from the turbo to the combustion chambers. Later models would dump the Bosch spritzers for Delco bits, and an even later update added a water-to-air intercooler for a boost to 280 horses.
This Esprit's 215 ponies are corralled in a screaming yellow zonker body with a jarring Union Jack plastered on the full-width removable roof panel. Behind that is a massive mezzanine-level wing from one of the later Julian Thompson cars, right at the level that makes it impossible to spot cop car light bars in the rear view. Way to go! If all that isn't a sufficiently incongruous juxtaposition then perhaps the black and yellow interior will push things over the edge for you. It'd be like riding inside a bee's anus.
The seller claims that everything works with the exception of the odometer, and this being a Lotus, you can rest assured that singular mechanical failure will soon have company. One of the Esprit's more common problems has traditionally been electrical failures. That ubiquity could only have resulted though Colin Chapman having once offended an old gypsy woman who then laid down the evil eye on him with the malediction of a lifetime cursed with electrical gremlins and pencil-thin mustaches.
Suffice to say when buying an Esprit - or any Lotus of this era - one should always try and procure the best condition car possible as in the long run the purchase price will likely be the cheapest expense of ownership.
To own this beauty, you'd need to come up with $13,800, or about what an entry level new car costs these days. Of course, spending that little on a new set of wheels means the dealer gets to spit on you as you leave the lot so maybe used is the way to go. In this case, it seems like a low, low price for so exotic a ride. As I note, it seems that way. It's now up to you to vote on whether or not you think that's actually the case. What do you think, is this fly-yellow Esprit worth $13,800? Or, does that price make its driver's seat a place you wouldn't assume the Lotus position?
H/T to NotThatAl for the hookup!
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