Simon Stagg's 1994
Simon Stagg from Sunbury, UK owns a 1994 S4 in Calypso Red, with a Tan interior.
S4 Year: 1994 Colour: Calypso Red Interior: Tan Driving Style: Careful Miles per year: 2,000 - 4,000 Owned Since: March 2003 Purchase from: Alan Kerr Serviced at: Bell & Colvill / SGT - not sure yet Other Cars: Honda Concerto (trusty ol' rust bucket),Honda Accord (trusty ol' wife's car) Previous Lotus': 1:18 scale Red Esprit V8 (had to keep me satisfied for years until I raised the cash for a real one). Why an Esprit: No other car has this much style. It's got the 'Wow' factor stamped all over it. Upgrades:
Would love a sports exhaust.
Problems: Er - here we go. Aircon blows hot air, Check engine light does'nt work, Exhaust rattles at 2000rpm, LCD clock does'nt work, Cam tower oil leak, ABS light illuminates intermittently. Hopefully some / all will be fixed under warranty. What the heck - looks good, goes fast, nothing else matters. Info: See Below
I've taken more women for drives than blokes, which I suppose is a good thing. I decided to buy an Esprit 5 years ago. After 4 years of saving and planning and 12 long months of looking I finally found my new baby, and it even fits into a standard English garage - just. It's one hell of a tight squeeze.
The first couple of attempts were highly stressfull - would be a lot easier if I had another 10 pair of eyes. Back then I was just a Padawan learner, now I am the master. My wife still cringes when she sees me reversing in. I had the front of the house paved at the same time I bought the car, so now on sunny weekends it stays out on show during the day. So many people come by now for a friendly chat.
I have now owned the Esprit for 18 months and have found the running costs to be quite ‘Acceptable’. The ECM and ABS Accumulator were both replaced under warranty. The previous owner must have been a bit of a lard ass as the seat base had a broken weld. This in turn caused the seat to abrade and damage the carpet. As a result of the broken weld the seat would automatically recline to 45 degrees (ultra laid back), which is not my kind of driving style. Anyway sent it off to Lotus in Norwich and they put a new base frame in. Now feels a wee bit firmer.
The centre digital clock was also beyond repair, but instead of buying a new one @ 80 odd pounds decided, in the interim, to replace with a digital temperature gauge which just measures internal ambient temperature of the car. This sits nicely where the clock use to be. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick a new / used VDO clock up on Ebay.
Must take the time to thank the ‘Ebay Gods’. I’m planning to export the car to Australia in 2005 and as such have had to buy all the original Lotus manuals and I’m also stocking up on new spares – as they’re harder to come buy over there. The last couple of months have been quite fruitful.
New Lotus Esprit HT Leads Paid £ 30 New £ 90
New MAT Sensor Paid £ 15 New £ 27
New Oxygen Sensor Paid £ 40 New £ 95
New Wastegate Actuator Capsule Paid £ 25 New £120
New Garret Turbocharger Gasket Paid £ 6 New £ 22
Plus I’ve collected all the original Lotus Manuals in very good condition for next to nothing
(Parts Catalog, Chargecooler Manual, Service Manual, ABS Manual).
I’ve had to replace the rear gearbox mounting as it was cracked. Bell & Colvill did a good job with this.
The rear pads were completely shot when I picked up the car from the dealer (check out the photo). Replaced them with standard Greenstuff. It was my first ever attempt at a brake pad change. First side took 3 hours and the second just 45 minutes.
Check out the handy tool for resetting the Brembo piston. Works a treat and only cost a couple of quid. Some nice chap from the Esprit Yahoo Group gave me the idea.
Drivers wing mirror went wobbly all of a sudden. Easy enough job to remove the inner door panel, wing mirror and then tighten the offending nut. Thanks must go to LEW's amazing technicolour webpages for the disassembly procedure. You’ll need a 10mm ring spanner for this job as sockets are too big for the confined area inside the door cavity. Also don’t forget to strap on your Multi Positional Micro Hand – as it has to squeeze into some tight spots.
Plenty of work to do in the coming months in preparation of shipment overseas. Needs a ‘B’ Service, but will be getting all the belts replaced at the same time (more like a ‘C’ service). The exhaust manifold requires replacing – cracks in the usual place and the gases are escaping from the gasket area. Haven’t decided which place to take her to yet. It’ll be either Lakeside Engineering or Steve Williams Lotus.
I’ll hopefully get my Cam Tower Leak resolved at the same time. My Aircon gas will have to be evacuated as well prior to shipment (Australian requirement).
Purchased the Freescan kit from LEW recently. Works well on my Toshiba Satellite 2180CDT laptop ( I just had to disable the internal modem ). One problem I have discovered is that if I plug the laptop into the passenger side connector and head off for a run, the car’s idle drops to about 600 rpm. Not too comfortable when stopped at lights. No problems when plugged into the rear connector. A bit odd really.
A picture just to show how dam difficult it is to get one of these cars into a standard English garage. My next house is going to have at least a double garage – side by side. No more having to squeeze in and out of the car.
Spent some time one weekend doing another ‘LEW Mod’. Repainting the side and front black grilly bits. Can’t really see it in this picture, but the job was very easy and well worth the time. Took about 3 hours to mask up and paint. The car looks so much better without the number plate.
Reasons why we buy these Supercars
Apart from driving the car around the suburbs and to and from work, it’s often quite difficult to gauge what other people think of the car. I recently drove my daughter to the end of year disco at the school. She was well chuffed at being driven into the school grounds with all the other kids (young and old) looking on. Comments like “Wow is that your Dad’s car – how cool” makes it all worth it. Also, the Son’s birthday party is always an excuse for the lads to have a gawk.
Looking to 2005 and beyond
As mentioned I’ll be shipping the car to Oz mid 2005. Because of the rarity of the car (believe there’s only six S4 Esprits in Australia – one of each colour) I’ll be participating in as many classic car events as possible. Most definitely the annual Grand Prix Rally (Adelaide to Melbourne). This comprises of speed tests on oval test tracks, day / night navigating, fast laps at race circuits and getting to drive around the Grand Prix track on the Saturday, a day before the F1 race. Also, the ‘Bay to Birdwood’ run in the Spring, which is a whole load of cars (+100) driving from the Adelaide beachfront up into the hills which overlook the city. So as you can see plenty to look forward to.
The Current Mod (Wish) List
One of those Honda S2000 Start Buttons
If you have any questions – feel free to drop me a line on my email.