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Box4VIR Reader
6/12/21 8:15 a.m.

Back in August we had our first kid and while the baby would fit in the back of the 911 it wasn't great, so I started for the search for a car without a small back seat...and ended up with a Lotus Esprit..which technically doesn't have a small back seat.  In true Grassroots fasion I'm starting this thread before I've picked up the car, but I have paid for it.  Its a 1990 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE and a LOOONG time bucket list car for me.  Of course I've already started picking up parts which has been a bit of a struggle.  I'll send updates on Monday once I have a car, in the meantime here's some teasers


and the car with the poorly sized back seat it replaced...  I love that Porsche sells these :baby not bored" signs right from the dealer.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/12/21 8:34 a.m.

The Esprit looks great. Looking fwd. to the pics. 

mr2s2000elise UltraDork
6/12/21 8:38 a.m.

Congrats!!! Love the Espirit! I really want a v8 TT 

mfennell Reader
6/12/21 8:40 a.m.

Very nice.  Early V8 wheels. If the control arms haven't been updated, you might consider it.   They were basically the same for umpteen years and went from harnessing skinny 15" tires to 235s.  The bushings get all torn up.  Lotus updated to a conical bushing in the front which handles the force a little better.  I took some notes when I updated my S4s 19 (!) years ago: http://www.exit109.com/~mfennell/lotus/control_arms/,  http://www.exit109.com/~mfennell/lotus/bush/


Box4VIR Reader
6/12/21 8:52 a.m.

In reply to mfennell :

Nice thanks!  Bushings was going to be my first job so I'll these updates to the list.  

84FSP UltraDork
6/12/21 10:03 a.m.

Loved these since I saw it emerge from the sea in the bond film...

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/12/21 5:36 p.m.

I see these and think Doc Bundy. Nice looking car!

Rigante New Reader
6/14/21 4:03 a.m.
Box4VIR Reader
6/14/21 9:40 a.m.
Rigante said:

Audi V8 lotus conversion

ha!  I'm currently swapping this motor plus two turbos into my Boxster

Grassroots Boxster V8 twin turbo build thread


Matt B (fs)
Matt B (fs) UltraDork
6/14/21 9:47 a.m.

Following intently. I've wanted to roll the dice on one of these for a long time.

Box4VIR Reader
6/14/21 11:12 a.m.

driving up to get it now.  Turns out you get a ticket for driving a trailer in the HOV lane and nail in your trailer tire for driving on the shoulder (we pulled over to make sure the trucks low tire pressure warning was a false alarm)   

Rigante New Reader
6/14/21 1:34 p.m.

In reply to Box4VIR :

whoa, i hope you have some carbon fibre pants to go with it, that will be wild

Box4VIR Reader
6/15/21 12:40 p.m.

Here's some pictures from the pickup location, the owner had some incredible cars.  Here's some initial thoughts on the car besides the fact that I absolutely love it.  

1) These are much bigger and more exotic looking in person, I've always thought of them as small but if you compare them to the Lamborgini Countach which was sold at the same time they're the exact same width and the Lotus is 7"s longer.  (also the Lotus is 4.5"s wider than my 996 that it replaced, it barely fit on the trailer.).  Inside they are tight but not anywhere near as tight as an Exige or Elise.  I'm 6'2"s and had another 2"s of head room.  The peddles and stearing wheel are actually in a great spot for a tall guy, the previous seller was a shorter guy at 5'5" and his main reason for getting rid of the car was that he had to move the feet so far foward to reach the peddles that the wheel was in his chest.  Odd...Esprits are better for tall people?  Could it be?

2) The second surprise was that it was shockingly quick, it felt far quicker than my 996.  To give another Coutach analogy a 1989 Coutach is almost a half a second slower to 0-60 than an Esprit.  Even to modern standards these feel quick.  

3) Turbo sounds and lag for days.  All you hear is the turbo in this car, you here it onboost, inbetween shifts, off throttle it seems to always be doing something.  Its also very laggy which causes the speed to build and build, for car that you're just buying for fun its a hoot.  All in all a fanctastic sounding car, the idle is meh though.  


clutchsmoke UltraDork
6/15/21 1:08 p.m.

That looks fantastic! What's your opinion of the gearbox? I hear less than stellar things about them.

Box4VIR Reader
6/15/21 1:12 p.m.

In reply to clutchsmoke :

The gearbox isn't great, its a bit clunky.  We'll see how I get used to it, around town and back road hustles it seems fine.  I wouldn't want to take it to the track, down shifts are very tough.   

preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/15/21 3:36 p.m.

Someone likes red cars and there is some really cool stuff in there.

rico750sxi_2 Reader
6/15/21 7:12 p.m.

I LOVE THAT CAR!! That's all I got. 

Good luck with it. 

Box4VIR Reader
6/19/21 12:05 p.m.

I finally got the car from the local Lotus shop and have had a chance to take it out a few times, including taking it to cars and coffee with my dad this morning(pictures below).  I picked him up at a hotel and had a great drive to the event  I did blow a boost hose on the way though.  In fact the car has had something go wrong everytime I've driven it.  Headlight pod failed, boost gauge has failed, speedo is now just bouncing, etc.  Despite the problems I absolutely love this thing, it's a thrill to drive at any speed.   


also passed the important baby approval  

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/21 12:15 p.m.

In reply to Box4VIR :

That's how you know it's a genuine Lotus! ;-)

gumby GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/19/21 4:22 p.m.

This is awesome. Now, to go catch up on your 986 thread of which I was previously unaware

infernosg Reader
6/22/21 9:14 a.m.

I thought this car looked familiar! Fellow Richmond, VA area GRM-er here. I brought the yellow first gen RX-7 this past week but also frequently bring a stupid loud second gen RX-7 as well. The car looks great. I've always been a fan of the Esprits.

Box4VIR Reader
6/22/21 7:08 p.m.
infernosg said:

I thought this car looked familiar! Fellow Richmond, VA area GRM-er here. I brought the yellow first gen RX-7 this past week but also frequently bring a stupid loud second gen RX-7 as well. The car looks great. I've always been a fan of the Esprits.

Nice! Is this the car?  This is not my Flickr account someone sent me a link, I don't know the photographer but he seems great (James Lewis).  I hope this is your car because what an awesome picture!  Also I hope this guy doesn't ming me sharing his photos...


Box4VIR Reader
6/22/21 7:10 p.m.

he took a great shot the Lotus too


OjaiM5 HalfDork
6/22/21 8:42 p.m.

Wait a minute — that's a Lotus Esprit!

No, that's rent. You should go for him. You look hot tonight. Don't take less than a hundred. Call me when you're through… 


Nice Score. Always wanted a Lotus!

infernosg Reader
6/23/21 8:59 a.m.

In reply to Box4VIR :

Yep, that's mine (the car and kid, LOL) and that's me standing in the far right of the picture. We do have some good photographers around. He definitely post-processed the photo a little because my car is more of a pastel yellow in reality. I won't complain about others making my cars look better though.

Didn't realize you were local though. Hopefully one day I'll get to see the 986 at VIR. Do you ever go up to Dominion?

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