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Stuart Williams' 1996

Stuart Williams from Ashford, Kent, UK owns a 1996 S4s in Azure blue, with a Fawn interior.


Year: 1996
Colour: Azure blue
Interior: Fawn
Driving Style: Quite fast (solo) Quite slow (with wife)
Miles per year: 2,000
Owned Since: Oct 2004
Purchase from: UK Sports Cars
Serviced at: Ivydene - Fuel injection specialists
Other Cars: Mercedes C180 Kompressor (driven everyday), a beautiful 1994 Jaguar XJS (driven by my beautiful wife). An Aprilia RSV Mille (not riden anymore coz of the Lotus)
Previous Lotus': Owned a 1992 Hi-Wing back in 1995. Recently: 1998 Elise (driven by my wife), Similar Hi-wing subsequently traded for the S4s
Why an Esprit: I was hooked ever since I saw an S1 at the age of 8. It was on show in the perfume dept. of Cheesemans in Gravesend as first prize of a competition (I didnt win) Then came 007 and I have loved the car ever since.

Standard car except for a glorious twin exit sports exhaust (I get my own back late at night on the neighbours with screaming kids and lawnmowers!!)

Problems: ABS sensor, central locking solenoid, all four headlight lenses replaced due to deteriorated silver, clutch plate skimmed and all mechanisms adjusted due to poor gear selection (now has very smooth operation considering gearbox reputation). Plus the odd oil leaks here and there.
Info: See below


Lucky enough to buy my first Esprit in 1995 from Nelmes of Romford. I traded in my Audi Cabriolet, which was only 12 months old, for a gorgeous 1992 Aqua Blue Hi-Wing with sand leather. Although not to everyones liking I thought the rear aerofoil looked awesome. (and still do). Apart from the routine servicing costs she gave me no problems what so ever.........until some muppet jumped a red light and piled into the side of me.

My Esprit looked relatively unharmed compared to the front end of his Astra, which now had hardly any front end left. Unfortunately there was over £6000 worth of repair work and 5 months of an empty garage. The end result, however, was fantastic – almost like owning her for the first time again.

Due to work commitments I have only recently returned to the joys of Esprit ownership. I sold my more practical XK8 and found an identical Hi-Wing from UK Sports Cars. Running it for a few months and getting back into the swing of things I realised my heart had ruled my head and even though an exhilarating drive I craved the slightly more modern styling. Paul Clugston of UK Sports Cars was happy for me to return the Esprit to him for the same cost in return for the S4s he had waiting for me and a bit of cash.

After a little more negotiating on my part we finally swapped cars and I have been enjoying the luxury or power steering ever since. During the first two months the clutch plate was skimmed and all mechanisms adjusted due to an increasing gear selection problem and an oil leak cured - All carried out by UK Sports Cars free of charge. Apart from the odd little gremlin and routine maintenance the Esprit S4s has not missed a beat (touch wood).


The car is now looked after and serviced by Ivydene a local Bosch fuel injection specialist (mainly Porsche and BMW) I have used for the last 20 years. They are a very knowledgeable and capable establishment. Any work being carried out by them usually takes a little longer than a Lotus specialist but once they have found the problem they take their time and have the expertise to take care of such a car. I know some Lotus owners may disagree but it is only a car at the end of the day and most of the systems found on the car they have come across a hundrend of times before.


All in all just a fantasitc looking machine. The side profile will always stand the test of time - quite handsome. Although I would like the opportunity to drive the car a little more often there is nothing quite like backing out of the garage on a clear day and feeling the same excitement as the day I first clapped on eyes on this great British sports car. The garage has that fantastic leather/petroly Lotus type aroma to it. Superb.