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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder January 27-31, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 16th Annual Scottsdale, Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and his Ital Design firm as a styling exercise and first shown at Turin in 1972, the Esprit was developed by F1 racing powerhouse Lotus and unveiled in near-production form during 1974 with first deliveries in 1976. While its stunning shape stole headlines, the Esprit was in fact a technological masterpiece. Initially powered by the Lotus-designed Type 907 16-valve, DOHC four-cylinder engine, the Esprit also benefited from Lotus’ famous “added lightness” in keeping with its championship-winning Formula 1 design principles. A steel backbone chassis, rack-and-pinion steering, and four-wheel disc brakes delivered razor-sharp dynamics. Relentlessly improved, refined, and upgraded, the Esprit was produced until February 20, 2004 with 10,675 examples built along several distinct series.
With its exotic styling and limited-production cachet, the Esprit was the perfect mount for Roger Moore as Agent 007 in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, followed by For Your Eyes Only in 1981. Performance climbed with an engine-displacement increase and turbocharging, aerodynamic aids, bigger wheels and tires, and chassis refinements, but the Esprit’s purposeful character and sheer substance kept it atop the exotic-car world throughout its run. In 1991, the Esprit returned to the silver screen, this time as Jason Alexander’s vehicle in the smash hit Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. The debut of the Lotus-designed DOHC, 32-valve 3.5-liter V-8 for 1997, in naturally-aspirated and twin-turbo form, brought a power boost and sharpened the Esprit’s performance edge considerably. With a 175-mph top speed, 0-to-60 acceleration in just 4.8 seconds, and startling average fuel consumption of 21 mpg, the Esprit V8 Twin-Turbo represents the ultimate variant of this iconic design.
A fantastic offering at No Reserve, this Lotus Esprit V8 Twin-Turbo is one of only 1,237 V8s built in all, including just 123 for 1999. It is rarer still as one of the 113 Esprit V8s exported to North America that year. Finished in gorgeous Chrome Yellow tri-coat, high-metallic paint – a desirable, extra-cost factory option – that still shines like new notwithstanding some chips on the front bumper cover and a few other locations, the Esprit’s clean Auto Check report shows no prior accidents. An added carbon-fiber front air splitter looks great! The interior is above-average with only slight wear noted on the driver’s seat and the smart yellow seat piping is all good, as are the dash and carpeting.
The 3.5-liter DOHC twin-turbo engine was rebuilt by Pat Ritz of Sports and Collector Car Center. In addition to replacement of the connecting-rod bearings, the one-time-use cylinder-head bolts were replaced with a $600 head-stud kit permitting re-use if necessary. While apart, both heads were sent to a machine shop, tested, and confirmed flat within factory specifications. Similarly, the cylinder liners were checked to confirm proper alignment and the liners show virtually no wear. The clutch was replaced using a correct OEM twin-disc equivalent and the pressure plate and flywheel are virtually perfect. The timing belt and other belts were replaced, new oil-pressure sensor and coolant-level switches were installed, and the starter was overhauled to match.
A set of original Lotus V8 ‘Saturn’ wheels was recently and professionally refurbished in the correct powder-coat color and the red crinkle-finish engine covers were properly refinished. Forged aluminum turbo waste-gate actuators were installed, a worthwhile upgrade, along with a Hi-Torque ECU. The suspension is excellent with all bushings good and tight, and the transmission is good, with new correct-type fluid. A high-end audio system with flip-up screen is fitted, and the prior owner had a professionally-installed passenger-side airbag cutoff switch installed, which works properly in both the “On” and “Off” positions. In addition to an Owner’s Manual, a Carfax report is available for this truly exceptional Lotus Esprit V8 Twin-Turbo. Smart and selective collectors are now turning their attention to the brilliant Esprit – get this one now before prices rise!
CARFAX REPORT AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST – INQUIRE WITH A CONSIGNMENT SPECIALIST