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July 2004


Motorway Slip Road Warning!
..... that's the third in the Armco!


Neal McDonnell's 1998 V8-GT took a bashing into an Armco recently. As you can see from the pictures, it looks a little damp on the road, but this is now the third Esprit damaged in this way. LEW has also heard of an experienced S1 driver who lost it on a dry slip road.

It's seems the Esprit is having some problems with motorway slip road is both wet and dry conditions. It's affecting both Giugiaro and Stevens Esprits, with an S1, Turbo and two V8's spinning. 

So a warning to all Esprit drivers when entering any slip roads. Please be careful, none of the owners were going particularly fast and the rear was lost before they could react. We really don't want any more smacked up Esprits!


South West Lotus Centre Ltd invites you to their OPEN DAY & PARTS FAIR on 25th September 2004 from 10am to 4pm

Special Offers on Parts
Large Stock of Wheels & Tyres
Massive Clothing Stock including Lotus Sport
A Selection of Lotus, Used & Commercial Vehicles for Sale
Limited Space for Workshop Services
– please book in advance
Club Lotus – Cornwall & Devon
Friendly Advice & Technical Information

South West Lotus Centre Ltd.
Tinhay Industrial Estate • Lifton • Devon • PL16 0AH
Tel: 01566 784152 • Fax: 01566 784150

for those people who may want to make a weekend of it!
Tinhay Mill Restaurant with Rooms - Paul & Margaret Wilson
Tel/Fax: 01566 784201
Website: www.tinhaymillrestaurant.co.uk
E-mail: tinhay.mill@talk21.com
Browns Hotel, Wine Bar & Brasserie (4-star)
Tel: 01822 618686
Fax: 01822 618646
Website: www.brownsdevon.co.uk
E-mail: enquiries@brownsdevon.co.uk
Arundell Arms Hotel (3-star AA Country Hotel)
Tel: 01566 784666
Fax: 01566 784494
Website: www.arundellarms.com
E-mail: reservations@arundellarms.com

Buntingford Classic Event 2004

What is Buntingford Classic Event?
Buntingford Classic Event is always held on the 1st Saturday of September (4th September) and as with previous years consists of displays of classic cars, sports cars and classic bikes.The superb setting of Buntingford's historic high street in Hertfordshire is a great backdrop for the show and with food, live music, stalls, shops and entertainment there is plenty to keep both adults and children amused for the day.Buntingford Classic Event is run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts and has grown in popularity each year.   It now virtually takes over the town for the day with hundreds of exhibits and over 5000 visitors.  The variety of vehicles on display is hard to match at any other show ranging from £100,000 supercars to prewar tractors.Space at the show is limited, and as with previous years we expect to have to turn away may exhibitors who apply too late - if you wish to exhibit and have not yet applied please see the information below.More details of the show can be found at: www.buntingfordclassic.co.uk

Display of James Bond Cars
This years special feature is a display of cars from James Bond films.  The aim is to have all the significant cars in date order starting with the 1961 Sunbeam Alpine from "Dr No" through to the 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish from "Die Another Day".  The cars displayed will be a mix of actual cars from the film together with models identical to those used.The latest car to confirm is the green Jaguar XKR used in "Die Another Day" complete with missiles and machine guns.We are still short of a few cars for the display so if you, or anyone you know owns a car similar to one used in a James Bond film please get in touch.  In particular we are looking for a Silver Metallic BMW Z8 and two more Aston Martin DB5s in Silver Birch (The DB5 appeared in 4 different films).  Any car used in the display is sure to be featured in several newspapers and magazines.A full list of the cars used in the film can be found at :

How to Apply
As with previous years entry is free both to exhibitors and spectators.  Due to the growing popularity and limited space it is essential that exhibitors apply in advance.  Once you apply you will be given an entry number confirming your place (please allow 7 to 10 days for this).  Without this number you will not be able to exhibit your vehicle. Please do not turn up on the day without an entry number as (however nice your car is) you will be directed to the public car parks.To apply please visit:
www.buntingfordclassic.co.uk/apply.html Alternatively you can apply by phone on 01763 274743

How to Help Us
The more people who are aware of the show, the better it will be.  If you belong to a car or bike club, please let your members know of the event by forwarding them this email or publishing details on your web site/magazine.Thanks for your help!Buntingford Classic Event

See LEW's report from 2003 here.

Lotus Hill Climb Championship

Paul Matty Sportscars, who runs the Lotus Hill Climb Championship at Shelsley Walsh, amongst other venues, has organised a special hill climb on the weekend 14/15th August 2004. A special invitation class of Lotus  exotica is expected, which will include (confirmed) ex Mansell 87B, Lotus 16, Lotus 18F1, 49F1. Promised are Mk 6,9,11 and 19. Hopefully included will be the Lotus 58, ex Jim Clark 32B and Lotus 91.  A marquee will be present in the car park for Lotus enthusiasts, together with a designated area for Lotus cars.

Most Expensive Esprit on the Planet?

S4 owner Garry Hodges thought LEW would like to see these pics of a Turbo SE. So what, looks like any other you think? Well he spotted this baby on the island of Lang Kawi just between the Thailand / Malaysia border. It’s either an 88 or 89 that was shipped there & never sold; it has approx 275 miles on the clock! The engine is dusty, still has little tags tied to a few pipes so it’s never really been on the road as it’s never been registered

To buy the car would be a problem. Because of the tax system which is around 300% of the car purchase price, this applies to all cars except Protons at the moment the price is around £125,000! …. That ill be why it’s never sold. The garage owner is in no rush to sell, “I’m just waiting for someone like you” he said!

Do you know of a more expensive Esprit?

Esprit takes on Vulcan

Lost the info for this picture, but it's a nice line up. Esprit puts everything else in the shade, well almost!

Lotus 50th Anniversary @ Hethel
Sunday 18th July

• See 20 Lotus F1 cars on the track
• Get close to and expereience the thrill of the F1 cars in the pits
• Meet past F1 drivers, mechanics and engineers
• Heritiage Lotus cars on the track
• Display of current Lotus production cars

Parking opens at 10:00
Gates open at 11:00
First event at 11:45
Show ends at 17:45

Events include:
Lotus Formula One and Classic Heritage cars on track and static display.
History of Lotus Film.
Ride simulator.
Go karts.
Second World War Fly-Past.
Paracute display
Bouncy castle and Fun Fair for kids

Adult: £12 (£15 on the gate)
Child: £7 (£10 on the gate)
Family: £30 (£40 on the gate)
Box office Tel: 01603 660444

Alton Towers 2004
Sunday 12th September

LEW/Yahoo! Member Robin is organising another trip to Alton Towers for September. The reasoning remains the same - it's a very central location so easy for owners from all parts of the country to get to (except still, Cornwall and Scotland! - Sorry guys!)

First weekend AFTER school starts back from the Summer holidays so hopefully the kid content will be reduced slightly yet still early
enough to have good weather - Last year's was lovely! AltonTowers2003

e-mail Robin to register your interest. I am certain we will get even more people than last time so we should be assured again of
the early booking, group discount. Robin willl start collecting ticket money once he is confident he has enough takers.....
As a group of 12-27 people it will be £18.50ea instead of £27! (that goes down to £17ea if there are more than 27 people going).


June 2004

Fuel Economy

It's a long way down the article but I nearly died when I saw this quote "The most economical car on the 1979 Cannon-ball was a Lotus Esprit which was reckoned to have done 28 (US) mpg from coast-to-coast."


Respectable mileage by anyones account – but on the Cannonball run!!!!

Alloy Gearshift Surrounds

Alloy gearshift surrounds made my Alan Paterson for the 1988-97 Esprits, will be available again after the first batch sold out last year. They will cost £85 each +£8 delivery in the UK. They'll be ready to ship out from Monday 19th July. If you are interested please email alan.paterson5@ntlworld.com for more details. Remember Alan also produces the stainless steel sill plates as well.

£4m centre to boost engineering

A £4m engineering centre of excellence is to be set up in Norfolk. The centre, the third of its kind in the region, is to be built on three acres of land close to the headquarters of sports car maker Lotus at Hethel. The centre, one of the East of England Development Agency's (EEDA) Enterprise Hubs, will tackle the decline in the manufacturing and engineering sectors. The deal was struck by Norfolk County Council, Group Lotus, EEDA, South Norfolk Council and Business Link.

New Lotus Dealer

Merritts have been made an official Lotus Dealer. Main opening date is July 3rd their offering test drives of the new Exige fitted with the Toyota engine (216hp/t 6 speed) 01494-725911

More Events

Two more events have been added to the Diary page that Esprit Enthusiast may be interested in attending. Open Day at Hethel on Sunday 18th July to celebrate 50 years of Lotus motorsport should be one not to miss. And South West Lotus Centre are holding their annual open day in Devon on 25th September 2004. See more events here

itg Air Filters now available

Lotus Performance now have itg Air Filters for the both 4 cyl. and V8 Esprits. This gives an alternative to the K&N's and Green Cotton Filters. Call Les Twigg on 01629 650800 for more information.

Supercar Sunday Meeting Point

Supercar Sunday is on 20th June 2004 ath the Heritage Motor Centre, with public opening time of 10:00 am. Esprit owners are meeting at the Gaydon Inn at 9:45 am latest (see multimap link) so that we are in by 10:00 am. There is only a pub and petrol station in Gaydon about 2 miles from the museum. Remember you need to have booked to get your car into the Exhibition.


Book your ticket here:


The Heritage Motor Centre
Banbury Road
CV35 0BJ

Esprit Documentary News

Slight delay with the release of the Esprit Documentary DVD. They are waiting for Lotus to clear the use of logo and car shots on the sleeve. It's the only thing holding it up. Watch this space for it's forth coming release.

Esprit on Kids TV

A new Saturday morning kids TV show broadcast live every Saturday from 3rd July, aimed at getting kids up and active that has been described as Top Gear for kids with a bit of Jackass thrown in for good measure is featuring an Esprit.

The feature planned is called "Battle of the Bond Cars", where they pit three of the all time great cars that have appeared in the James Bond films, against each other. This will involve navigating a short race course, in a timed sprint challenge, and also a viewer phone in, where kids (or Esprit Enthusiasts) vote for the coolest car. Hopefully the drivers will be dressed up in Tuxedos too.

The feature has been penciled in Saturday 7th August. They broadcast live from Dunsfold Park in Surrey (an old air base with a race track where Top Gear films). Unfortunately it will be a closed set, so Esprit Enthusiast will have to watch it on the box.

An Aston Martin V8 Vantage and a BMW from the latest film will be battling it out with LEW user Ken Baird's white Esprit S1. So show your support and get up early on the 7th August and tune in to some kids TV. More details will follow here, as LEW has been invited to cover the feature for the site and give Ken some support against the Aston and Beemer (and of course help fight all those kids off).

Esprit Sold in 2 Hours!

Lotus Esprit World's Used Car Centre recorded a sale within 2 hours of the advert being published on the site. Paul Chandler snapped up Steve Walker's white 1989 SE, which is still on the sales page (with a sold sign) within hours of it being published. Steve was amazed at the speed he sold his Esprit, as he'd only just sent in the Advert to LEW. Paul sold his last Esprit S3 on LEW to Terry Lovett and has now brought his second one through LEW's UCC. A LEW success story.

Transmission Lubrication

The introduction of the Renault Transmission on the Esprit to replace the Citroen Transaxle (Type C35) was a major exercise. The project started using the Renault specified Elf TRX lubricant. Following some durability testing it was found that this lubricant was not suitable for the Esprit application. Following discussions between Renault Engineering and Lotus it was decided to revise the lubrication to a specification that Renault were evaluating.

This product was produced by Mobil and was designated as Mobil 630M. The gearbox testing (including things like cold shift quality and operating temperature control) continued using Mobil 630M. The vehicle testing was to a programme that met both Renault & Lotus durability requirements using both test circuits (Nardo & Millbrook) and European Roads (Mainly Germany & Switzerland).Many Vehicles & Gearboxes were subjected to the durability cycle and complete Gearbox strip & inspection was carried out by both Renault & Lotus Engineers.

Only after the Renault identified durability had been completed was the Gearbox approval given provided that the Gearboxes were filled with Mobil 630M. At this time the Gearbox was identified as the Renault UN1-16. The Mobil lubricant was specified for a number of years until we were advised that it was being phased out and would eventually disappear from the market place. Some Mobil 630 lubricants still exist but unless it is identified as 630M it is different to that approved by Lotus.

During the life of the Esprit the vehicle specification was updated several times. This led to changes to the Transmission (to cope with the increased Engine Torque) developed by Renault for the Esprit application (High Torque known as UN1-026). During the development of the High Torque Transmission different lubricants were tested to ensure reliability with the increased vehicle performance. The most successful lubricant for all round performance and durability was found to be Castrol TAF - X. This lubricant was specified for all Lotus Esprit Renault Transmission applications

Many lubricants may offer benefits of some sort (shift quality, cold operation, noise etc.) but the Castrol has been extensively tested by Lotus and found to be our preferred lubricant. All the comments on the net about Lotus making the lubricant choice on things like cost, company connections etc. are incorrect. The lubricant specification was made on Technical Merit only. The Castrol TAF - X met all of our requirements for our increased engine performance (including the V 8).

The Gearbox identification is currently Renault UN1-027 for the Esprit V8 and Renault UN1-028 for the Esprit GT3. Castrol TAF - X is available from Lotus under the Part No. A082F6552S. This statement reinforces the words of Dave Simkin of Lotus Cars USA following an enquiry on lubrication specification.

What's Happening at Hethel
by Brian Angus

Esprit Tyre Evaluation
Tyre Evaluation is still ongoing on our Esprit Turbo. We have evaluated several variations of front and rear tyres from different Suppliers. We have been investigating several different sizes of tyres (in both width& profile) to ensure we cover all eventualities. Since the introduction of the original Esprit Tyres (Good Year Eagle) in the early 1980s there has been a massive change in tyre technology.

Our testing / evaluation programme covers all aspects of ride & handling. We are evaluating everything from ride quality to handling characteristics. We need to ensure we understand all aspects of a tyre performance before we can approve / recommend particular tyres or tyre sizes.

To some customers ride quality is as important as handling so we need to ensure we are able to recommend tyres that suit all equirements. So far the testing has highlighted tyres that have the above qualities (not always on the same tyre !) At this stage we are confident that we can resolve the current tyre approval / recommendation problem.

Esprit Ride Height
We have just officially released a revised Ride Height / Geometry specification for the Final Edition Esprit (cars with the adjustable Bilstein Damper & Eibach Springs) – Ride Height is reduced by 25mm. This Specification was created following requests from USA owners asking for a 'Track' setting.

Chargecooler Statement
I have noticed several comments on the net following the latest chargecooler statement. The reason for publishing this is to remind owners that the Lotus Service Notes identify this item as requiring regular inspection / maintenance. From our testing (both dyno and vehicle) we know that there is a gradual degradation of the impeller over time / mileage. The reason for the 18,000 mile inspection / maintenance is to ensure that the component is 'viewed' before it gets to a point of failure (broken vanes).

From test results the working life of the component is well in excess of 18,000 miles of normal vehicle use. Any prolonged periods of inactivity or increased heat can reduce the working life of the component. As the component efficiency normally drops off very gradually (unlikely to be noticed initially by the driver) we have recommended that this component is inspected / changed if necessary before it degrades to a condition that can have an influence over the operation of the engine management system and then to the attention of the driver.

We know that many owners do not realise that they are driving a car with a chargecooler system that has lost some or all of it's efficiency – the statement in the Service Notes is there to guide owners to get the best out of their car – nothing sinister is intended.

200,000 hits

Lotus Esprit World hit 200,000 hits this week after only on the web since February 2001. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the site and those that use it regularly. Looking forward to reaching a quarter of a million soon.

Supercar Sunday

Supercar Sunday is being held this year on 20th June and is a spectacular display of super cars including Ferraris, Maseratis, Lotus', TVRs, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins. A great day out, not to be missed. Tickets need to be booked if you wish to bring your car into the event. Tickets are £5 per car, passengers pre-booked are £5, £8 on the day. Lotus Esprit World will be there, so should you.

Book your ticket here:


The Heritage Motor Centre
Banbury Road
CV35 0BJ

If you're looking for Esprit Parts, this is a good place to start for second hand parts.

Concorde Photo Shoot

LEW has had a few emails regarding the Concorde Photo Shoot that was due to go ahead on 26th June 2004 at Duxford. I've had no correspondents with the organisers for a while now and have tried to find out if the event is still going ahead, but as yet have had no reply. Any news will be published here as soon as LEW receives it.

Summer Events

June 20th Supercar Sunday is a spectacular display of super cars including Ferraris, Maseratis, Lotus', TVRs, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins. A great day out, not to be missed.

June 25th-27th Goodwood Festival of Speed. Famous yearly event that you'll not want to miss!

August 15th Paul Matty is Hosting a Huge Lotus Bash at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, many ex F1 cars and Drivers are hoping to be there.
August 27th (Friday) Castle Combe Super Car Day with Track-Attack, many stars and drivers will be there including Tiff Needel. stalls stands all action. Good Value for money on track, open pit lane etc.

August 30th Classic & Vintage car show @ Stokes Bay, Gosport 10am

Turbo Esprit Tyre Testing

The Tyre Testing at Lotus is still being carried out on their Turbo Esprit. They are awaiting some more tyres from a couple of manufacturers to complete the planned series of tests. Lotus are confident they have a solution to the problem. As soon as Lotus have sensible information, it will be posted here.

More Chargecooler info

The chargecooler version of the Esprit was developed during 1988 so the technology is now about 15 years old. The pump impeller material has been updated when an improved rubber composition became available. This is an important issue as if owners source the impeller from a non Lotus source (this impeller is used in many non automotive applications) they may not get the updated version as supplied by Lotus Aftersales.

Chargecooler Service

Lotus have been reading LEW's news page and have asked me to list the following as an explanation of the service details for the chargecooler pump. This text is taken from the workshop manual. Don't panic, LEW's not in trouble!

On chargecooler equipped vehicles where maximum performance is a priority, it is recommended that the chargecooler water pump impeller is inspected at 18,000 mile (30,000 km) intervals, and replaced if necessary to ensure optimum efficiency of the charge air cooling system. This inspection is for performance reasons only, as the condition of the impeller has no adverse affect on driveability or emissions. (Part No. B910E6922F)

May 2004

Sport 350 Alloy Pedals

Lotus Esprit World has obtained some Alloy Pedals from the Sport 350 to fit to LEW's Esprit. This upgrade has been on the lists of things to do for a long time. The parts have arrived and are waiting to be fitted. A full installation guide will follow shortly.

Chargecooler impellers

If you've got an SE through to a GT3, then you've got a chargecooler, which means you'll have a chargecooler pump, which pushes the water around the system, which in turn, cools the charge. The impeller, which is basically a propeller, that propels the water around, is made of a brittle plastic that lasts about 18,000 miles. In the picture above you can see what happens to it. The black circular piece on the left is the impellor and the broken black bits in the middle are what's left of the fins.

A kit can be brought from you local Independent Lotus dealer to replace the impellor and seals, which is low in cost, but these don't last very long. In the near future I will be doing a guide on replacing this pump with an electric one, which will end the need for this impellor.

Southrun 11

The Second Haunting, Sept/Oct 2004. A run to the South coast of cornwall and a late night full ghost hunt at one of the most haunted locations in Britain. Date to be arranged based on your preferences, likely to be a Saturday night and is expected to cost £15 per person. The location is another star of Living TV's Most Haunted show. Cheap accomodation is available from a fellow Lotus owner at his B&B, or take an early hours drive home.

Ghost hunt at the castle will take place from 8pm through to 1am. For full details and to book one of the very limited spaces available for this special event, please contact Craig asap, www.southrun.co.uk/about.php#contactme

Come if you dare!

Gosport 'Classic Vehicle Rally'

The date has been confirmed for the Gosport 'Classic Vehicle Rally'. It is on 30th August 2004, the location is Stokes Bay near Gosport, near Portsmouth. There were only two Esprits there last year, it would be nice to see a few more this year. Usually starts about 10am and is 3 entry per car, discounts possible for groups.

GT3 Vacuum Pumps

Lotus have resolved the Vacuum Pump problem of no stock on the GT3 cars with a new Electric Pump. They have completed the checks and replaced the pump on the car of LEW user Richard Davies. So the parts are now available for owners from you local dealer.

Brands Hatch

Some Esprit owners where at Brands Hatch over the weekend enjoying the sun and celebrating 50 years of Lotus. From what I can gather a brilliant day was had by all who attended. Rumors of a Lotus F1 Car (formly driven by Aryton Senna) left the track in some style. Unfortunately LEW could not attend this event, but a couple of pictures have been sent in my a user to give us some idea of how the day went. Remember, it's the Castle Combe Club Lotus Track Day this coming Saturday. This event is open to all, so just turn up. Should be a good day with plenty of Esprits on show.


5% Discount for Club LEW members

On Lotus Esprit World FreeScan Package

Just send send your membership number with your order for 5% off.

FreeScan Packages Released

LEW's Freescan Package is now available for order and includes the following:

FreeScan Software CD (available free online)
ALDL Cable (top quality)
36 pg FreeScan Manual
Free Diagnostic Checks of FreeScan Logs

This package is a must for GM-Injected Esprits (SE, S4, Sport 300, S4s, GT3). If you have a cable, the manual is available on it's own in both hard copy and pdf format.

There is a limited number of packages.

Order now at

Part Shortages

After a few emails enquiring about parts for the Esprit going out of stock and being unable to source, LEW contacted Lotus to check a few items. Currently there are a few parts that Lotus are sourcing for stock, but things like front fog lights, header tanks, oil pumps and water pumps are all available from Lotus or your local dealer. If you have any problem getting Esprit parts, please contact LEW and we will look into it.

600 LOT

An Esprit owner is looking for the original registration number for his Esprit S1, 600 LOT. If you can help please email LEW.

Apple trouble

Lotus Esprit World's new Apple iBook has now arrived and has been updated with new software. Updates should be back to normal from Monday 24th and email responses should also be quicker. I'd like to thank everyone for putting up with the reduced service.

FreeScan Package

LEW FreeScan package should be available on the site from the week beginning 24th May.

Apple trouble

Lotus Esprit World's new Apple iBook should be arriving tomorrow. With a huge backlog of work to get through, you won't see much improvement in service for at least a week. Things should be back to normal after that.

CustomLotus: Dash Mask (MY97 onwards only)

CustomLotus are doing a special on their Dash Masks for MY97 onwards Esprits. Save £20 on list and get one for £60! See more about the product here and order on here

LEW's Carpets

As some of you may know, LEW has been fitting a new carpet kit to the interior of it's Esprit. This has taken a long time due to time available to work on the car and it not being top of the 'to do' list. Well, the kit is almost finished. Two more piece to be glued in and it'll be done. All I can say at the moment is the results are wonderful. A guide will be on LEW soon and hopefully it will inspire others to replace their carpets.

There's plenty of new stuff on it's way, so keep an eye on the updates page in a few weeks time, as we'll be back to daily updates!

5% Discount for Club LEW members

On Lotus Esprit World Clothing

Just send send your membership number with your order for 5% off.

FreeScan Package

LEW FreeScan package has been delayed due to the computer problems we've been having (mention below). LEW has cables in stock and the manual is just having a few minor amendments done to it. So hopefully they should be available soon. There will also be a discount for CLUBLEW members. LEW is also looking into the OBII version for the V8's.

Apple trouble

Lotus Esprit World's new Apple iBook has yet to arrive! Apple have only just informed LEW that they need the old one back before the new one is sent. Although it was ordered nearly 3 weeks ago, LEW has only just been given the address to return the faulty unit. Due to another Mac failure, LEW has been unable to update the site as regularly as we wish. Hopefully things will be back to normal in a week or so, so keep emailing the site and we'll get around to sorting everything out, eventaully!

LEW/Yahoo! Oxford Meeting

Lotus Esprit World's just got back from the Oxford Meeting. 28 Esprits (but not LEW's!) turned up. Including Lotus's own Engineering Esprit driven by Esprit Platform Manager Brian Angus. The weather held out and everybody enjoyed the run and meal. Another great day! A full report will follow on LEW soon.

News from April 2004

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