Charlie Morgan's 1999
Charlie Morgan from Ashford, Kent, UK owns a 2002 V8-SE in Nautilus Blue, with a Black leather interior.
V8-SE Year: 1999 Colour: Nautilus Blue Interior: Black Leather Driving Style: Careful Miles per year: 0 – 1,000 Owned Since: March 2004 Purchase from: Private Sale Serviced at: will be either motorway sports or maidstone sportscars Other Cars: Landrover Freelander td4, Rover 400 SDI Turbo Previous Lotus': None Why an Esprit: See Below Upgrades: OZ nova wheels and michelin pilot tyres, i think wheels can make a car and these wheels form the last esprit off the prodution line i think are the best out there. I've also added stainless door seals and some halfords blue brake caliper paint to match the front ap callipers. k&n air filters,ceramic cats replaced with metal subtrate high flow cats straight to 3.5 inch diameter exhaust pipe exits removing rear silencer altogether.sport 350 suspension upgrade.lotus ap racing calipers and brakes. Problems:
Without seeming repetitive, i too saw the james bond film and that was it, I followed its progress over the years and just kept the pipe dream alive. I finally got to the point where I could start thinking about getting one and along with LEW and Stuart McKintosh (the worlds only Lotus Esprit owner/Patick Thistle fan), I came to the decision of buying a V8.
I started looking and it took about five months before I found the car I was looking for. In that time, I looked at about 5 esprit, the first was quite near to where I live, it was a V8, azure blue but first impressions were poor, broken front fog lamp, paintwork tatty, s4s split rims in probably the worst condition I've seen, this car potentially could have looked a million dollars but in didn't, I didn't even bother with a test drive because I knew this was not the one,1996, £23,000 pounds and 55,000 miles, I don't think so.
I then looked at a V8-GT with a 350 spoiler, metalic green but it wouldn't start and the spoiler wasn't actually attached at the time for some reason.
Third car I looked at was another V8-GT, mauve colour with extra big rear tyres, very nice car but it was dirty from previous salt spray off the roads. Once again it could have looked a million dollars but no, test drive was fantastic so I seriously thought about this one, but it just didn't have the spark.
I looked at another but can't remember much at all about that and then came the one, a very simple advert with no tinsle, the one thing I learned very quickly is that the good ones sell quickly so I contacted him and arranged a viewing.The advert said Metallic Green, the car is Nautilus Blue which I didn't even know existed and what a colour, as soon as I sore it I had decided. The car was very clean and the history spot on, one thing I was concerned about with V8s was the leaking piston liners but these were done at 19,000 miles so i could tick that off the list. I filled out my LEW checklist but my mind was made. I left a £200 deposit after the test drive and picked it up about two weeks later for the asking price. I had my lotus.
the rear sport 350 suspension i did myself with the aid of some standard spring compressors,their is plenty of room to work and a bottle jack can also help with alignment later on.the front springs and shocks i left to maidstone sports cars as the alignment had to be checked after this anyway so they had the pleasure of that job.the k&n air filters replacement can be quite tricky if you dont have the correct size socket and you have to wait for the engine to cool or you will be pre tanning the back of your hands and be careful not to over tighten the housing bolts as the thread inserts are not that great.the ap racing calipers were obtained from holland and fitted at the factory by lotus pre delivery.
Ceramic cats replaced with metal subtrate high flow cats straight to 3.5 inch diameter exhaust pipe exits removing rear silencer altogether. After removing the rear silencer and cats and replacing with high flow cats and straight pipes,driving home i immediately noticed huge turbo lag which i eventually put down to the lack of back pressure and turbo delivery so it was back to a sports rear silencer which i did not really want,then one night while following me home my wife noticed that one tailpipe was a healty orange colour and the other side dark.this was traced to a faulty lambda probe that was pushing 30% more fuel into the left bank and creating the turbo lag. the net result now is quicker spooling turbos,lower engine temperatures and a lotus sounding how it should,people will always look at an esprit in ore once it has passed but now people turn their heads initially for the noise and then gaze at the car,however the down side is that this wont be aloud on a standard track day.
Finally, issues have been raised about ride height and handling after removing the rear silencer but these i found were negligible but if required, the bottom spacer can be easily be removed from the shock absorber.
I found that the heat resistant foil on the under side of the engine cover and the rear boot panel was quite worn in places so i decided to replace the foil.The engine cover obviously just lifted out and time was spent removing the worn foil and replacing with heat resistant foil in 100mm wide roll form,which was found ideal for some of the curved profiles.The rear boot panel was removed,exposing the rear of the engine and required a little more cleaning.I used silicon sealant to weatherproof the boot panel upon reinstating and contact adhesive to stick back down parts of the boot upholstery that overlapped the boot panel.Not a difficult job but most time spent in preperation.
I had the original Lotus exhaust replaced with new cats and straight through pipes. It was very loud and almost a tad agricultural in sound, but I had issues with cracking on the cats. I have now gone for larini sports cats and a rear sports box. The quality is superb with a more refined exhaust note to straight pipes, and certainly better in quality and sound than any Lotus product.
A few months ago I attempted to gain access to my rear boot but only one side of the tailgate was releasing. I looked at LEW and gazed at the variety of problems owners have had with this issue. I jacked the car in various scenarios and used good old WD40 but soon realized that my tailgate was not going to release, no matter how much jacking and pulling on the spoiler. I decided the only way to release the tailgate was to drill through the rear panel, and decided to do this with a single hole cutter of 86mm diameter from B&Q, This is smaller than the width of the number plate. Firstly I removed he rear number plate, and drilled the hole in the center of the panel. This allows the average guy's forearm access to both release pins. Once through you can release the pin by pulling on the release plate. My cable had simply become detached from the mechanism. To fil the hole, I covered the waste plug from the hole I cut out, in an aluminium gauze I bought from Sainsburys cooking department. I stuck the gauze covered plug to the rear side of the number plate, and then reattached the plate - the plug fits nice and snuggly. If the release mechanism on either side fails again, I can remove the plate and plug, and I'm laughing - well almost!!!!!
Some nice picture of the V8.