This is possibly the best example of a Lotus Esprit Series 1 you’ll ever have the pleasure of looking at and it’s up for sale…
Riding on a modified Europa chassis, the Esprit prototype was first unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in 1972 and grabbed the spotlight from the off with its ‘wedge’ like appearance designed by Giorgio Giugiaro.
When the production Esprit finally arrived at the 1975 Paris Motor Show, its simplistic approach did lack side air ducts behind the passenger compartment and even had taillights sourced from the Fiat X1/9, surrounded by black bumpers at the front and back of the car, yet managed to look like it was doing 100mph standing still.
This particular 1976 Lotus Esprit Series 1 has an interesting backstory, finding its way onto the popular series, Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars via its enthusiastic owner and mechanic Matthew Oxley – as a ‘box of bits’. Skilled technician, Oxley began the restoration himself completing the suspension and engine rebuild then sold the whole thing to the boys at Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars.
The next stage of the restoration began under the watchful eyes of show presenters, Paul Cowland and Drew Pritchard, with a forensic examination of that ‘box of bits’ we mentioned earlier and any work that needed urgent attention. The fibreglass body panels sitting on the steel backbone chassis were luckily in excellent condition and free of the typical stress cracks and moisture that can affect any fibreglass panels.
The car was then entrusted to fibreglass specialists, SMS Autospray who worked their magic with an outstanding original colour repaint including all original-specification Esprit decals along with the Lotus badges and plaques. It even created reproductions of the number plates in the original style at the time of construction.
As you can see below, a perfect 70s tartan interior was reignited by Steve Fulcher of Fulcher Coach trimmers who painstakingly created the required and desirable look the car deserves. Trimmed in a stunning orange with green and red tartan, the interior of this Lotus Esprit Series 1 looks impeccable and fitting of a late-Seventies car.
Matthew was asked to continue where he left off, restoring the five-speed manual gearbox to factory-correct specification. Having done less than the 500 miles of ‘run in’ on the engine and transmission, Matthew said that he would also be on hand to assist the new owner with the all-important ‘running in’ process and any adjustments or changes required.
Standing proud in its rare original factory colour combination of Colorado Orange (the fifth of only 21 in this colour) with a striking Seventies tartan interior, the Lotus Esprit S1 throwback is now being offered on the Car & Classic online-only platform with the successful bidder able to collect the car on the TV show in person.
Considered the purest of a breed that continues to grow in desirability, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a Lotus Esprit dressed in the most iconic period colour combination – a better Series I Esprit is hard to imagine or find.
Chris Pollitt, head of editorial at Car & Classic:
“We rarely see such beautifully restored vehicles to their original specification. This is perhaps one of – if not, the finest examples of the Lotus Esprit Series 1 available to purchase. The time, effort, and money that has gone into this vehicle restoration are truly incredible, so much so that that it could be part of a museum exhibition! We are very excited for its new owner, whoever they may be, and hope to see them collect the car on the Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars TV show.”
The online-only auction for the Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars Lotus Esprit Series 1 begins on 3rd September at 17:00hrs and ends on 10th September at 17:00hrs (BST).
#### UPDATE ####
Sold for £67,000
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