Lotus has launched a ‘Certificate of Provenance’ programme which could appeal to self-indulgent fans who need some reassurance that their sports or racing car isn’t some clever pseudo in disguise.
On a serious note, the British automotive company also revealed the first recipient of Number 1 Certificate of Provenance would be none other than the celebrated Turbo Esprit that was the final ‘company car’ of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.
The stunning Silver Diamond 1981 Turbo Esprit was also piloted by the Iron Lady and former UK Prime Minister herself, Margaret Thatcher during a visit to Norfolk, and has recently been acquired by Lotus. The car will join the company’s heritage collection following a sympathetic restoration.
The new Certificate of Provenance is said to be ‘designed to appeal to owners of Lotus cars from any era’ and is delivered in a distinctive ‘For The Drivers’ Lotus presentation box, which contains:
- The Certificate of Provenance – printed on premium paper, this provides a summary of the car’s details including the VIN, paint colour and specification. The certificate also notes the date on which the car completed its production at the Hethel factory and was passed to the Lotus sales team.
- Build Specification Letter – drafted using detailed vehicle information from the Lotus archive*, this document provides more in-depth information about the car, including its engine, transmission, standard features and optional extras.
- Personalised letter to the customer signed by Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars, thanking them for their purchase and updating them on the transformation which is taking place at Lotus.
The package includes the documents above presented in a simple but very tasteful black envelope inside the presentation box. Other automotive delights included are an aluminium plaque engraved with the owner’s name and information from the Certificate of Provenance; a leather Lotus keyring; a carbon fibre bookmark featuring the brand’s nine most significant motorsport laurels; a presentation tin of four badges; and a Lotus ink pen.
Costing the owner or buyer of the package £170 plus postage, the Certificate of Provenance is available worldwide through Lotus retailers.
Lotus Esprit – UVF 464X
The 1981 Lotus Turbo Esprit has the UK registration plate UVF 464X and was first registered to Lotus on 1 August of that year. Its own Lotus Certificate of Provenance reveals it was allocated to company founder Colin Chapman for his exclusive use. Following Chapman’s death in December 1982, it was sold by Lotus in July 1983 and has been in private hands ever since, covering just 11,000 miles and regularly maintained.
Finished with the usual ‘Turbo Esprit’ decals, the specification is completely unique and boasts several features added at the request of Chapman to improve his own driving comfort and enjoyment. These include power steering – it was the first Esprit ever to have this technology – plus modified and lowered suspension, modified brakes and BBS Mahle lattice alloy wheels.
You may also like:
India And It’s Rapidly Growing Classic Car Movement
On 5 August 1981, the car was used by Chapman to promote the latest Lotus range to the then UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher when she toured Norfolk. After landing at Norwich Airport and talking to Chapman, she sat behind the wheel and drove it around the site’s private roads. Local media reported that she had said: “I was tempted to drive away in it.”
Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars, commented:
“What better way to launch our Certificate of Provenance than by showing how it has validated the celebrated history of an iconic and unique Turbo Esprit. The Lotus archive is a fully catalogued database of information and can provide a wealth of insightful facts on any Lotus car from any era. It’s the perfect gift for a Lotus owner anywhere in the world.”
“This is an iconic and unique car from the Lotus back catalogue, personalised by our founder Colin Chapman and with a truly fascinating provenance. It deserves its place in our collection and we’re looking forward to showing it off.”