Lotus appear to be planning a new Lotus Esprit, but you could have Colin Chapman’s 1981 Lotus Esprit Series 3 – his last car – now.
The Lotus Esprit firts showed its face to the world in 1975, effectively replacing the Lotus Europa in the Lotus line-up and delivering a Lotus Supercar to the world.
The Esprit was, just as current Lotus models are, a long-liver, muddling on right up to 2004, although not much more than 10,000 were ever built in its 29-year life.
But that 29-year life for the Esprit established in the Lotus history books (and it totted-up an icon role in James Bond’s Live and Let Die and a cameo in For Your eyes Only), so it’s no surprise Lotus are planning a new Esprit for 2021.
But if you don’t want to wait until next year, you can now get your hands on a 1981 Lotus Esprit Series 3, which isn’t just any old Esprit, but Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s last ever Lotus.
UK specialist dealer Mark Donaldson has up for grabs Chapman’s last car, a 1982 Series 3 Turbo, complete with modifications including power steering and pollen filter, lowered suspension and modified bodywork, complete with a very 1980s wedge shape and loud graphics. Inside is a feast of red leather.
The Esprit has done just under 11,000 miles from new, almost half of which were driven by Chapman before his death in late 1982, and the asking price is £100k. If it helps your decision, the Esprit was also driven by Margarate Thatcher (really) and (probably) by Lotus F1 driver Elio de Angelis.
It’s a chunky premium for its Chapman connection, but still rather appealing.