For $49,500, This 1977 Lotus Esprit Is Some Drastic Plastic

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

You probably won't be buying James Bond's submersible Lotus anytime soon, but you might consider today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Esprit instead. It has a wing so maybe it'll fly, that is if its price doesn't ground it.

Well, bad or not, for twelve hundred bucks yesterday's 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix proved a worthy place to plant your ass, as evidenced by its respectable 70% Nice Price win. Today's candidate comes from the same year, but instead of seeking out dishonorable derrières, its seller is looking for someone who can appreciate the fine nuances of '70s British cottage construction.


This 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 represents the earliest rendition of Lotus Cars' longest-running model. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, and rocking Lotus' all-aluminium DOHC 16-valve 907 four, this '70s throwback is just as good looking today as it was back when The Clash was a thing.

This one however, is described as being vastly different under that angular skin. The early Esprits gained a reputation for British tradition - the tradition being horrific electrical problems. I know that's well-founded as I've worked on a few of these cars and can attest to the gremlins that bedevil them. The ad claims that this one has had all of that exorcised with the flaky British stuff replaced by U.S. A./marine-quality hardware.


Apparently also updated are the window winder motors and their travel, now dropping the glass fully into the door so as to prevent that uncomfortable elbow crease when resting an arm on the sill.


The interior is said to have been made capacious enough for a six-footer, although no detail is given as to how that magic was accomplished, but perhaps it's a Tardis. Finally, the engine cover has not only been given peek-a-boo panels, but there is also a dash-activated light back there so the driver can watch the twin-cam in action, even at night!

The exterior has not been forgotten either, with narrow cross section headlamps replacing the standard quartet of round sealed beams. This serves to give the car a thoughtful countenance.


I'm not sure how much thought went into the adoption of the roof-mounted wing however. I'm pretty sure that's off of an '80s F-body, but I don't know that it's necessarily the best application of such an accessory.


What's not to like here - I mean other than perhaps that wing? Well, the seller says that, owing to the proximity of brake and clutch pedals, the car must be driven barefoot.

Other than that, it seems to be a solid Esprit, and VERY '70s with its factory wheels and luscious brown on brown interior. In fact, the most '70s aspect of that cabin is something that I first took to be a necker's knob, but which is in fact a dash-mounted globe compass. That's something no '70s automotive accessory aisle would be caught dead without.


The price for all this throwback is $49,500 and yes, you can get a far more modern - and turbo-equipped - Esprit for a lot less. This one however is a more rare car, noted in the ad to be one of only 718 S1s produced, and it does have all that messing with that supposedly makes it a far superior edition to that which left the factory.

What's your take on this Esprit and its $49,500 price? Is that a deal that could have you feeling some Esprit de corps with other Lotus owners? Or, is that too much cash for too little dash?


You decide!


San Diego Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Dan for the hookup!

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