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Andy Kyte's 1989

Andy Kyte from Chichester, UK owns a 1989 Turbo in Calypso Red, with a Cream/Red Piping interior.


Calypso Red
Cream/Red Piping
Driving Style:
Sensible and Legal !.....well I am an ex-copper !
Miles per year:
5,000 (classic line insurance with lew membership discount)
Owned Since:
Jan 2007
Purchase from:
Serviced at:
Other Cars:
over the years,BMW M5,VOLVO T5,PORSCHE 944,…..
Previous Lotus':
Why an Esprit:
Nothing to do with James Bond ! - Just love the supercar look that so many have copied. A car that tests you the driver………..the mechanic.
A car that really puts the joy back in very dull modern motoring! Gives you a buzz every time you drive it - what other modern car does that ?
Upgrades: S4/GT3 Wheels….so far !
None apart from the price of Autoglym polish, which I seem to be getting through in Ernest !

Having finally realised my dream at the ripe old age of 38, Putting up with all the aqusations of having a mid-life crisis and being less endowed than most - hence the "substitution"….. I am really enjoying ownership. The car sounds great, thanks to a custom made twin exhaust system, listening to this make the cd player redundant, as not even jk or dire straits make music that sounds as good to my ears as an Esprit in full flow !


I have changed the wheels to give a more modern look ,the v8 spoiler was already on the car when I purchased her.
Future plans include the rear light conversion to the twin 2002 type, and a different front spoiler, maybe an SE or 300 sport ?
Also like the idea of the later rear hatch……but will have to wait and see ! - Trying hard not to upset the fabulous design and beautiful lines but at the same time keen to put my own mark on the car and make it my own !

The cars suspension was totally rebuilt by the previous owner and sits very low, not sure exactly what has been done but have found competition springs and uprated shocks fitted, it handles great, soaking up the road undulations and potholes that are so common down here in the South !

Looked at a couple before I chose this particular Esprit,a very clean and tidy NA model and a complete dog of an SE…..it certainly pays to look at a couple before you commit to but as the differences in the cars was massive, and it would have been very easy to fall for the exotic looks without realising all the hidden problems - Spending a great deal of time on the LEW website was a huge help as it gave me a good insight into things to look out for and be aware of.

Following a drive home of over 100 miles in monsoon type rain with no problems apart from a very dangerous blind spot that saw a few near misses when attempting to pull out and overtake on the motorway - this was my first task to rectify and was achieved by converting a mechanical suction arm as used on sat-nav systems etc,and a convex overtaking mirror, the mirror was mounted using the suction cup onto the front quaterlight glass panel .The mirror sits vertically in line with the front windscreen support and now gives maximum visibility along the drivers side, eliminating the blind spot that exists around the rear buttress area.

After reading the article on LEW regarding the removal of the spare wheel, I followed suit and promptly set about doing the same, the results were definatly noticeable ,steering seems a lot lighter and now I have doubled my load carrying capacity !
No adverse handling issues to report following the new and improved lightened front end - A can of tyre weld/inflator now rests along side the jack which I chose to keep on board as most recovery services such as the AA/RAC only carry big trolley jacks…..and you never know when you may just need to raise the car a little !

Since purchasing the car I have also added some flashing blue led lights to the car as part of a security upgrade, these are located on the top of the steering column shroud, in the headlining adjacent to the interior light, and a third on the engine cover/hatch just behind the glass bulkhead, they are more of a deterrent as the car already has an alarm and immobiliser fitted - but they do look good in the dark when flashing away like something from close encounters !


I have spent a lot of time tidying up the engine bay, mainly polishing and painting .I also followed another styling tip I came across on the web-site and recently painted the rear grill .This was done in about 10 mins and after first masking up the surrounding bodywork, I proceeded to use a 1'' brush and a small tin of hammerite smooth silver paint - the result was stunning and took years of the rear end look, replacing the tired and play worn look of the dull grill with nice shinny mesh !

Day to day running….
Well im 6'2'' and 15 st ,getting squeezed in and out, especially when the car is in the garage keeps me supple, when driving with size 11 feet I find slender profile training shoes a godsend, seating position is fine and I have approx 2'' headroom, not enough to comfortable wear a crash helmet, but as im not interested in track day events it shouldn't be a problem.

And who cant honestly say they don’t enjoy the trip to the garage to fill up, parked alongside Astra's and Ford Focus, it makes paying for petrol almost pleasurable - even if you do have to be really careful not to put your back out or fall flat on your face as you attempt to get in and out with style and grace !


Driving is a pleasure, the overrun giving a lovely burble and crackle .Acceleration is amazing, with great care being given to ensure the car is pointing straight ahead when coming of roundabouts and junctions as the back is always only to happy to try to overtake the front !Mine is a non-injection model and as such I can really hear the tunes played by the waste gate's chatter and the whoosh from the air induction unit…….throttle response is excellent and the turbo seems to be well balanced and cut in at just the right time.
Annoying part………..Constantly having to explain to people that although its red…..its not a bloody Ferrari…..and then having to listen to the old "you know what Lotus stands for ?"quip yet again !

The looks it gets from other drivers and pedestrians never cease to amaze me and gives a huge amount of pride and satisfaction, despite constant denial of being a poser……I must confess ……I AM and LUVIN IT !

I'm interested in making contact with any other members from around this part of the South Coast - maybe to meet up occasionally and visit a few shows etc…

My other big hobby is collecting and restoring ww2 Military vehicles -so must have petrol running through my veins !



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