A Brief Bit of History
Conceived and created by famed Italian automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Lotus Esprit was introduced in October 1975 at the Paris Auto Show. It officially went into production in June of 1976, shifting the Lotus stable of models—as it would replace the Europa. Lotus dubbed the first batch that rolled off the line, “S1” (also known as “Series 1”). The car featured a steel backbone chassis and fiberglass body. Lurking under the hood was a Lotus 907 4-cylinder engine.
BY THE NUMBERS
Engine: 2.0 L Type 907 Straight-4
Wheelbase: 96 in (2,438.4 mm)
Length: 165 in (4,191.0 mm)
Width: 73 in (1,854.2 mm)
Height: 44 in (1,117.6 mm)
It sported a 5-speed manual transmission and inboard rear brakes. The Series 1 was praised for its handling prowess, weighing in at just under 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms). It’s known as having the best steering out of all the Esprit series. Lotus’ claims regarding performance would prove to be somewhat inflated when impartial road testing resulted in 0-60 mph in 8 seconds (as opposed to 6.8 from the Lotus camp), and 133 mph/214 km/h top speed (while Lotus claimed 138 mph/222 km/h).
The car became a worldwide cinematic star when it was featured in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, where it famously converted into a submarine to enable Bond to escape yet another in a long line of deadly pursuers.
And Now…On to the For Sale Section
This particular S1 on the market has had only one owner since 2001, and has been very well maintained. We rarely see these early Esprits—especially clean examples such as this. The paint and body is in great shape; it was completely repainted in 2012. The upholstery is also super nice, having been fully restored in 2001, including seats, carpets, dash, headliner, and door panels. The engine compartment was also re-carpeted, and looks fantastic.
Sporting a freshly rebuilt motor, this is an excellent-running-and-driving car. The engine was professionally rebuilt in 2010 at 44,065 miles, and is still in its break-in period. The carburetors, cooling system, and numerous other components were completely gone through to ensure quality during the engine rebuild. This is easily one of the nicest Series 1 Esprits we’ve ever seen. It’s not perfect, but impressively nice. So, if you just happen to find yourself in the market for one of these sleek little beauties, you’d be hard pressed to find a nicer, more well-maintained example.
DISCLAIMER: We’re fairly certain this particular Esprit does not convert into a submarine, so please don’t go driving it off the end of any piers.
Engine: 2.0 L Type 907 Straight 4
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Black
Questions and comments are welcome. If interested, feel free to contact us for more details, and make sure to check out the complete photo gallery of this legendary Lotus.
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