This car is not only the Only Active Suspension Esprit built it is also the 001 pre-production Essex Car.
With only 34 production Essex Esprits commanding £100k plus, this car is great value with the provenance of being the first pre production car and the only active suspension car.
The history of this car is as follows:
The car started off as a pre production Essex Esprit and was loaned to the Delorean Motor company. When the car returned to Lotus it was developed by Lotus engineering to become the Active suspension car .This car was the start of active suspension development for formula one. Lotus were at the forefront of Active suspension for along time. Only one previous owner in the log book which is Team Lotus International Ltd.
I have numerous different articles with the car including magazine articles of the car being driven and developed by Nigel Mansell. Please also search the internet for active suspension lotus esprit and you will see a 1983 Top Gear Video of the car presented by John Miles.
Video of the car on Top Gear - details above
So what happened after the car was stopped being used and developed? Like a lot of things at Lotus the history was not deemed important (at the time). The car was left behind a hangar at Lotus and destined for the crusher. Fortunately, a former employee couldn’t bring himself to crush the car so kept hiding it which resulted in him getting his knuckles wrapped for doing so. Eventually Lotus senior management changed ( I’m lead to believe when Proton got involved) and they tidied the car up and put it on display. Miraculously with just the fuel lines changed, new battery and fresh fuel the car spluttered into life. The car then spent the rest of its day on display at Lotus. As we all know bad times hit Lotus again and the firm had to raise money. I bought the car with the view to add it to a collection of Lotus cars I had bought. I had good intentions of displaying the car at events along with other cars I own and perhaps in the future even displaying the car in ‘museum’ type scenario.
Life, as it often does, got in the way of this and my direction of collecting and using cars has changed. For this reason, the car is up for sale. I sincerely hope that the car goes to a keen enthusiast who is going to show and display this wonderful piece of automotive history.
A certificate of provenance, covering letter, market spec sheet and log book are all with the car.
I have photos of the car when it was rescued from behind the hangar at Lotus with the milometer only reading 7567 miles. Where are you going to find another esprit with this mileage. How much would it command ? Sadly, the instruments cluster was stolen while the car was at Lotus but I have acquired another set. The interior could do with recolonising and new carpets. The car needs to be recommissioned. The paint is good as Lotus displayed the car, with a few areas of titivation needed. The graphics are original and painted on not stickers.
If you have any question about the car, then please call Stuart on the details below. I love talking about car and I am very fond of Lotus and its heritage.
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