Finding a clean Lotus Esprit S1 on the used market isn’t easy, finding one that looks this good is one in a million.
The Lotus Esprit will forever live on in the history books of iconic British sports cars — and not just for its appearance on the silver screen. Introduced in 1975 at the Paris Motor Show, the original Esprit S1 lauded a huge improvement in styling over the outgoing Europa, and tacked on even more performance with a new engine and new gearbox.
Lotus produced just 718 S1s between 1976 and 1978, making them quite rare to find on the used market, especially in good condition. This fully-restored example, then, should have Lotus enthusiasts reaching for their checkbooks — it's for sale on eBay in California.
Produced in May of 1978, it was one of the last S1 models to come from the Lotus factory before production of the S2 began later that month. With that late production time frame, this S1 was lucky enough to gain a few S2 features like dual motors for the pop-up headlights, and some additional body to chassis attachment points.
The exterior wears a high-quality silver finish, and things like Koni shocks, stainless steel exhaust, Epsilon three-piece wheels, and a Griffin aluminum radiator have all been added after the fact. Even the chassis and suspension components have all been powder coated.
The interior gets completely done up in an Alcantara-like material, and features the original steering wheel, shift knob, switches, dials, and curved dash. Driving gloves not included.
The original 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was given a full rebuild, and has only driven 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) since then, with 33,030 total miles (53,156 kilometers) reading on the odometer. The buyer, though, doesn’t specify if this is the 160-horsepower (119-kilowatt) European version, or the 140-horsepower (104-kilowatt) American version (likely the latter). Nevertheless, he does say that the car “runs and drives as good as it looks."
With a price tag of $59,900, this lovely Lotus would make for an enjoyable weekend toy.