The Last Esprit
Follow it's life from the Factory to it's owner
There have been many "last Esprit's" in the history of the model. We have a last S1 , S2 , S3 and many more. Of course there is also a last European Esprit. A very nice black one. But there can only be one very last Esprit. The one car which ends the adventure of this amazing car. This car is VIN 10621, a Saffron Yellow Esprit, part of the "final edition" line of which a total of some 75 cars where made.
Lotus initially planned to finish production of the Esprit by the end of 2003 but due to problems getting the necessary parts from suppliers the production extended to the beginning of 2004. Officially the very last Esprit left the line on February 20 of 2004. After the celebration the car left for Atlanta, USA. (A funny coincidence : the birth day of the owner of this car is also February 20!)
It is believed that this final car was made for the CEO of LOTUS USA but when he very unexpectedly was let go it became available. A factory employee in management confirmed back in 2003 that a "non identified customer" had specifically ordered the last Esprit in Saffron Yellow and the special interior finish in two tone Black/Yellow.
After it became available on the market Lotus USA decided that their n° 1 dealer could sell it and so it went to Fox Valley Motors in Chicago. In the spring/summer of 2004 the current owner became aware that the car became available and this after contacting Lotus USA to inquire if a new yellow Esprit was still available. After some hesitation Lotus USA informed that the car was destined to go to Chicago and if he wanted to have this specific car he should contact Fox Valley. The car was bought over the phone and it was agreed that it would be delivered in Orlando Florida in November 2004.
Also it received a special 3M film for protection so no stonechips would damage the paintwork. The car did not move before the protection shield was installed. The company www.invincaman.com is one of the top installers in the country and they do all the Elise's directly at the port when they come from the ship (when the customer ordered a protection shield at the dealer). It is as good as invisible but the protection it gives to the paint is really great.
This very special Esprit has been driven from time to time in the Orlando area on sunny and dry days and is kept in a dehumidified-climate controlled garage. Beside being the last Esprit ever made it is also the VERY LAST LOTUS model which was conceived and developed under and by Colin Chapman. It truly is a very unique car !
The Last Esprit being assembled
These exclusive pictures from the production line at Hethel show the very last Esprit being assembled. Above you can see the chassis taking the being made up and the engine actually being dropped. On the right you can see the body being readied to meet the chassis, you can also see the last few Esprits on the production line.
These pictures show the signatures of the guys on the production line who actually put the last Esprit together. The floor plan on both sides has been signed and a nice smilely face has been drawn on the bulkhead. You can also see the Last Car note on the body.
The Last Esprit (on the right) at a Lotus photoshoot at Hethel on 20th February 2004 before it was handed over to sales to make the long trip to the US. Lotus held a small celebration for those who had been involved in the Esprit over it's 26 year history.
Arriving at the Dealers in Chicago
In the Showroom at the Dealers
This is THE LAST ESPRIT to be built on the Line in Hethel. It is the last Esprit for the entire world. This car was done in the same fashion as the other Final Edition cars, except this car also has custom mats that have the engraved date of 2/20/04. This was the day that this car officially finished on the line and the last day ever that the Esprit line has run.
There were only a total of 36 or so cars that were made for 04, but without a doubt this is the most special car they have built. And of course how could you ask for any better colour combo, as the Yellow with yellow and black two tone leather. There is a great deal of pride and emotion in delivering this last Esprit.
From Chicago to Florida
Here are pictures from the arrival of the last esprit in its home in Florida. The car left the Chicago dealer on November 12, 2004, and was delivered in Florida on November 18.
Last Esprit out & about
Last Esprit out & about
Winter Park , FL in 2005
The last Esprit on display at a concours d'elegance in Winter Park , FL in 2005. Right before the show the car was equipped with Oxigin Lexor wheels (www.oxiginwheels.com) in the follwing size 8.5X18 front and 10X19 rear.
Last Esprit Goes on Sale
The last Esprit is now for sale. Read more here.