A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £35,440
The Lotus Esprit was launched at the 1975 Paris Auto Show and would evolve on a regular basis with its shape being influenced over the years by the pencils of three very well-regarded designers, Giugiaro, Peter Stevens, and Julian Thomson. Initially it was going to be called 'Kiwi' but eventually it followed with Lotus tradition of every model name starting with the letter 'E' and 'Esprit' was the result. It also followed in Lotus' tradition with its sparkling performance owing much to the car's "lightness", or more correctly, lack of weight with the early cars weighing only 1000kgs. It was well received and noted for its fine handling and lively power output from its Lotus '907' 2.0-litre 4 cylinder engine. The chassis was more than capable of handling various increases in power and by 1980, Lotus had introduced the 2.2-litre turbocharged Limited Edition in the colours of their Formula One sponsor, Essex Petroleum. However, a couple of years earlier in 1978, they had commemorated the success of the Lotus 79 and the World Championship for Mario Andretti by finishing some S2 Esprits in the distinctive Black and Gold of John Player Specials. Extensive research and correspondence with Lotus have established that this was one of two 'Show' cars used by Lotus at the October 1978 Motor Show and subsequently in their promotions. The Lotus 'Certificate of Vehicle Provenance' tells us that it was manufactured in early October 1978 as an S2 Commemorative Edition finished in Black (L15) and was later supplied to Station Garage in Taplow. At this point the car was known as '002' and carried out its glamorous duties and magazine tests as '002', however in those days the build numbers were generally allocated by the sales team and it's believed that a mix up occurred and that number may well have been allocated to another customer or that the car had been forgotten as it was being finished and detailed by the 'Show Team', and so technically this car is Number 34. Anyway, Lotus are absolutely clear that it was the second car off the line and one of the two Show Cars.From the V5s we can see that this Esprit has been enjoyed by a number of owners and the history file bulges with dozens of invoices containing information about the ups and downs in the life of this iconic Lotus. There is way too much to detail here but suffice it to say that for the last 15 years the car appears to have been looked after by Christopher Neil and latterly by Paul Matty, both men of immense reputation within the world of Loti.Our vendor acquired this JPS Lotus in December 2012 to use and enjoy. He is the proprietor of a well-respected company that specialises in the restoration and preservation of Classic Porsches and is particularly fastidious about having his personal cars absolutely 'right'. Naturally, he has a number of interesting cars to 'play with' and recently the Lotus has been scarcely used, so the time has come for someone else to enjoy it.The substantial file accompanying the car contains a number of V5s, MOT certificates (25), a collage of invoices, an original Esprit brochure in mint condition, an immaculate copy of the John Player 1978 British Grand Prix Program, the Lotus CoVP, and a letter from Andy Graham at Lotus Cars confirming the significance of this particular car.If you have always fancied a Black and Gold Esprit, it would be really cool to own a famous one.