Featured Articles

1984 Lotus Esprit Turbo Handyman’s Special

Posted in Car Deals, Classic, Collector Cars, Exotic Cars, General, Lotus, Rust or Lust, Used Cars by Kurt Ernst | July 24th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

If there’s one thing I’ve learned with absolute certainty in my life it’s this: when something sounds too good to be true, it is. That waterfront mansion selling for pennies on the dollar is built on a toxic waste dump, that diamond you got at an unbelievable price isn’t real and that laptop you just scored on eBay will show up as a bunch of old magazines stuffed in a new MacBook Pro box. Genuine bargains are rare, and usually come at someone else’s expense.

That’s why I’m not replying to this ad on Craigslist, brought to my attention by Bring A Trailer. I’ve always had a thing for the early ‘80s Lotus Esprit Turbos, and I’m reasonably sure I could do the work needed myself. I’ve even got enough money in the bank to close the deal, and can borrow a car trailer to haul this beast home on. It’s the whole “only needs $2,500 worth of parts” thing that I’m not buying into. If that were really the case, the current owner could easily recover the price of a good rebuild when the car was sold.

Something isn’t adding up, but that doesn’t make this Lotus any less desirable. As Bring A Trailer readers suggested, the roller may be just right for an engine swap, and suggestions range from a first gen Taurus SHO to an Audi V8. I’m thinking “LS 7” myself, since these are relatively cheap, plentiful and lightweight. Of course that would destroy a classic sports car, and make it impossible to sell somewhere down the line. Still, I’m guessing you could buy the Lotus and shoehorn in the LS 7 for under $15,000, which would make for one hell of a track day animal at a very reasonable price. I say it sounds like a good deal, but not for me. Someone out there still believes in once-in-a-lifetime deals, and has just enough room in their garage for a 1984 Lotus Esprit Turbo project car.

Our Best Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 Responses

  1. Nephilim says:

    I’m a total slut for anything Jeep Wrangler or CJ and every meager penny I earn goes towards my 2000 TJ. Having said that, if I had the dime, the time and the space I’d be all over this Esprit. I was born in ’72 and the sight of this Esprit brings me back to those wonderful years when they were new, I was young and nothing else tickled my sports car fancy more than than these early 80’s Esprits. What a beautiful car! It’d be a crime in my mind to do anything other than restore it to factory specifications. I see way too many old Jeep CJ’s and glorious FJ-40’s ruined (in my mind) when folks feel the need to go Frankenstein and cram a Chevy 350 in them. Enjoy them for what the engineers made them to be I say.

  2. Kurt says:

    I agree. There’s not many early Esprit Turbos left, and bastardizing a classic car seems like it should be one of the deadly sins.

  3. james says:

    helpfull links for lotus esprit
    (largest selection of parts)
    (largest esprit database)