The Esprit was built in October 1976 and supplied via Lotus dealer Cathedral Garage in Bristol, to Universal Engineering of Weymouth, on the 28th February 1977 – just prior to release of the Bond film ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, which made the Esprit famous!
A number of enthusiasts enjoyed the Esprit over the subsequent years as documented in the extensive history file. Indeed, in the 1980’s it was owned by Tony Burton, at the time, one of British industry's top product planners. A full article on the man and his Esprit appeared in Motor Magazine, edition week ending 6th September 1986, a copy of which is on file.
The Esprit was purchased in June 2008 by the current owner following an exhaustive search for a very good original early Esprit. Steve Roberts of SJ Sportscars inspected the car and verified its originality and deemed it an excellent basis for a concours restoration.
Work commenced as soon as the car arrived in the workshop, initial focus was the removal of the body from the chassis, then strip down of the chassis and removal of engine, gearbox, brakes and suspension. The chassis was then placed on a jig and any corroded sections of tubing were repaired or replaced. It was then sand blasted, primed and painted.
The engine and gearbox were completely rebuilt using all new parts or reconditioned items. All Alloy casings were plasma blasted and the chassis then built up with new suspension and brakes.
The body was repaired and stripped ready for priming and painting and the instruments reconditioned and new wiring looms fitted. The original Wolfrace slot wheels were reconditioned and the body refinished in Lotus Monaco White. A complete interior retrim commenced with Steve at SJ managing to source some original Stewart Tartan and green trim for the seats and headlining. However, no orange carpet was available and so a carpet mill was persuaded to undertake a small run of the orange carpet to the original pattern against a sample of the material. Fortunately, this arrived just in time for the retrim to immediately follow the rejoining of the body to chassis.
The restoration was finally completed on the 1st July after a total expenditure of £60,930.65 and many thousands of hours of work. Following the restoration, the car has seen Manila use in dry summer weather only, it has been stored in perfect conditions and returned to SJ as required for any snagging or service work.
Undoubtedly one of the finest Esprits, indeed Steve Roberts at SJ Sportscars, a recognised and very knowledgable Esprit expert, describes it as probably the best anywhere, retaining as it does, all of the unique detail that only the earliest Series One cars have.
Chassis 095 comes with all keys, tools, fitted car cover, original sales brochure and a comprehensive history file detailing the cars life and the restoration completed together with subsequent maintenance.
- Size2,000 cc
- Top speed-
- Driven Wheels-
- Body typeCoupe
- Vehicle height-
- Vehicle width-
Previous Owners -
PistonHeads members who have owned this car or the same model
What can I say. Had to have it. It is car #3 of 50. Read the full summaryView members blog entries about this car
Amazing car, real purist motor vehicle , you actually have to drive the car not just sit back and let it do all the work... and by god is it fast!!!
Great bang for buck. Read the full summary
Car running well since ECU replacement. List of things I want to get done though. Worst thing is first and second gear issues which threaten driving fun sometimes Read the full summaryView members blog entries about this car
|Based on 25,000 miles||Total||Per Year|
|Fuel (22.00 mpg @ 80.00 p/litre)||£2,364||£1,576|
|Servicing / Repairs||£4,012||£2,675|
|Total Running Costs||£4,472||£2,981|
Road Tests & Reviews
Time to sell your car?
Wanting to sell your car? PistonHeads can help you get the best price and that quick sale. Try one of our selling tools today.
- Used Lotus in Bridgwater (1)
- Used Lotus in Bristol (6)
- Used Lotus in Calne (2)
- Used Lotus in Cheltenham (3)
- Used Lotus in Exeter (1)
- Used Lotus in Poole (8)
- Used Lotus in Redruth (1)
- Used Lotus in Salisbury (2)
- Used Lotus in Shaftesbury (1)
- Used Lotus in Taunton (1)
- Used Lotus in Weston-super-Mare (11)
- Used cars in Bristol (2331)
- Used cars in Cardiff (1766)
- Used cars in Derby (1632)
- Used cars in Edinburgh (2107)
- Used cars in Glasgow (5165)
- Used cars in Leeds (2401)
- Used cars in Newcastle upon Tyne (1842)
- Used cars in Nottingham (1535)
- Used cars in Paisley (1561)
- Used cars in Peterborough (1759)
- Used cars in Sheffield (1898)
- Used cars in East Midlands (12548)
- Used cars in East of England (16296)
- Used cars in London (5216)
- Used cars in North East (7444)
- Used cars in North West (17867)
- Used cars in Scotland (20642)
- Used cars in South East (21750)
- Used cars in South West (10397)
- Used cars in Wales (6004)
- Used cars in West Midlands (10978)
- Used cars in Yorkshire and The Humber (17013)
No recent searches