Battered Brit: 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo

Eventually you come to the realization that your grilling career at Burgerland isn’t going to catapult you into elite circles, but you’re desperate and ask “Glenn, what is the absolute rock-bottom way to enter into the world of exotic car ownership?”  Well, let’s simplify it a bit.  First, find a car that has been battered, bruised, abused, and neglected.  Bonus if it’s a salvage or rebuilt title, the more mishmash-ed parts the better!  Lastly…to gently remind you of that time you passed a kidney stone…make sure it’s British.  Find this 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo advertised for sale in Philadelphia, PA for $7,500 via craigslist.

Yep, it would be kinda cool to tell people you had a Lotus Esprit in your garage.  I guess you could leave out the parts about it not looking anything like a 1988 model or that it technically isn’t road worthy.  Heck, most people would understand the mechanical ailments as soon as you said it was a Lotus.  Go ahead, tell them it’s a James Bond special edition with tons of top secret undisclosed modifications.

The seller lists 96K as the mileage, and the engine compartment certainly backs that up.  When new, the 2.2L I4 turbocharged engine belted out 215 BHP.  This example looks like it would struggle to wheeze anywhere near that.  At least the seller is honest when he states “Mechanic’s Special” in the ad.  If you ever want to drive the thing, you better be just as good with the wrenches as you are with the spatulas.

The interior actually doesn’t look half-bad for a 18 year old Lotus.  Sure some work is required, but when its your turn to host penny poker night and your buddies want to sit in a genuine exotic at least you won’t be embarrassed to open the door.  Forgetting where you left the ignition key though would be a smart plan.

When one wing on your super car just isn’t enough, you can roll this one out into the driveway and admire the double shadow effect. It even resembles the stacked service counter from work!  Honestly, what does $7500 buy you these days?  I guess you could re-furnish the front room and keep the better-half happy…

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When not receiving complaints of “distracted by cars…again” from his wife, Glenn can be found in the kitchen whipping up exotic cuisine and nourishing nosh.