Lot 183 - 1978 Lotus Esprit Series I
|Odometer reading||110,000 miles|
|Estimate||£45,000 - £50,000|
- Original matching numbers example
- One of just 50 UK registered examples
- Previously owned by collector Chris Evans
- Recent cambelt service and carburettor tune
First shown as a prototype on a modified Europa chassis at the 1972 Turin show, the Esprit was launched at the 1975 Paris Motor Show. It went into production in June 1976, replacing the Europa in the model line up. Lotus focused on the engineering, but the styling was given to Giorgio Giugiaro and his then new Italdesign studio. Giugiaro suggested the name Esprit, which remained on the production car. Power was supplied by an all new 160 horsepower all alloy Lotus, 2.0 litre, twin-cam, four-cylinder, mid-mounted engine.
The S1 is easily distinguished from the second series car by its shovel style front air dam, lack of rear quarter ducting, and Wolfrace alloy wheels. Inside, the unique green faced Veglia gauges also set it apart from its young brother. The Series I Esprit gained fame through its appearance in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
Presented in white with contrasting black leather, an iconic combination for the S1, this is one of less than 270 cars produced globally and one of just 50 registered in the UK. A right hand drive matching numbers Esprit that was originally used by Station Garage Taplow as a demonstrator model. Its second owner, Mr Caesari, purchased it with only 2,500 miles on the odometer, due to the deterioration of the factory cellulose finish, it was returned to Lotus for a full repaint under warranty. Mr Caesari used the car extensively and regularly serviced the car. The body, chassis, gearbox, steering, and suspension remain all original, and the car has no known accident damage. The car was sold to Mr Simon House in 2004, passing through three more owners including a Lotus specialist, until it was most recently purchased by media mogul and car collector Chris Evans. MoT certificates dating back 30 years, original bill of sale, along with the original owner’s manuals remain with the car. The history file is very impressive, with bills for service work and maintenance dating back to 1981. Recently the car has been treated to a full ‘C’ cambelt service including carburettor tune, consumables and road test by the renowned Esprit Engineering (Lotus Heritage service and repair centre). This is coupled to an MoT test certificate until March 2019 with no advisories
This car is excellent and has been cherished inside and out. With Esprit's slowly climbing in value, just try and find an iconic white matching numbers Series I for sale under £70,000! This is the perfect car for any James Bond enthusiast, with bags of character and a fabulous investment opportunity.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.