Last Lotus Esprit for sale
Final Esprit off the Hethel production line is up for sale by its private owner
Almost a decade ago, the final Lotus Esprit was built, 26 years after production started. Lotus being Lotus, the Saffron Yellow car wasn’t destined for a museum, but was instead headed for a customer: this was still a car costing upwards of £50,000 after all. Cash is cash.
So the last one of the limited-to-75 Final Edition cars was sold, to a customer in Orlando, Florida (originally it was headed to the MD of Lotus America, until he, er, moved on…). But not before the Lotus employees held a little party for it back at Hethel.
The car was completed on 20 February 2004. Throughout its build, the monocoque of this 10,675th Esprit had been signed by the entire production team, whose signatures remain below the trim and carpeting. On the day of its completion, the firm held a send-off party for the car, adding in a set of specially made celebratory floor mats before it was loaded onto the trailer.
Wonderfully touching stuff. But remember, this is Lotus, where lots of people work for life. Some of those guys had been working on the Esprit for its entire 26-year production run. Losing this slice of permanence in the factory – and the last link to Lotus founder Colin Chapman – genuinely was a sad moment.
Luckily, they can today rest easy: the car has had a good home. Indeed, the US owner sounds fastidious to a level even we find remarkable: they have, for example, documented every single drive of the car. Yes, every single turn of the wheel is logged, with date, start and end mileages and other notes. That’s staggering.
Mind you, they haven’t had to work too hard. It has only covered 1800 miles. And is, say the vendors, in utterly flawless condition. A timewarp Esprit like you won’t believe.
Price? On application – understandably so, given both the provenance of the car, the remarkably strict life it’s led to date, and the fact so many Lotus employees shared emotions with this car as it was built. A special machine in so many ways.
Take a look over at The Lotus Forums at what it quite justifiably calls the ultimate collector’s Lotus Esprit. And if you’re interested, be prepared to be questioned about your motives. This one really is only going to a good home…
See more from our site on the Last Esprit here.