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Chris Barrand's 1979

Chris Barrand from York, UK owns a 1979 JPS in Black with Gold Trim, with a Gold/Black interior.


Year: 1979
Colour: Black
Interior: Gold/Black
Driving Style: Normal
Miles per year: 0 - 1,000
Owned Since: 2012
Purchase from: Private
Serviced at: SJ Sportscars
Other Cars:
Previous Lotus': Elan +2s 130/4 , Elan +2s 130/5, Esprit S3
Why an Esprit: Childhood memories, looks
Upgrades: On board automatic fire extinguishing system
Problems: None Yet
Info: See below


Let me set the scene , the year is 1979, I was 14 years old, Blondie the Boomtown Rats and Gary Numan all topped the charts, Margret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister and the Sony Walkman was released on sale. The Lotus Black and Gold Grand Prix cars were on the top of their game, Lotus had just won the Constructors and Drivers title with the help of Mario Andretti.

As a 14 year old, the sight of a JPS Livery Lotus Esprit was something that would stay with me right into me adult hood. To celebrate the achievement of Team Lotus, 147 of these magnificent cars were produced, 100 for the home market and 47 for export, all individually numbered, Mario Andretti presented with No. 1 in recognition of winning the World Title.

Even today, some thirty or so years on, the rare sight of an Esprit on the road conjures up great memories from that era, a twinge of nostalgia for many people from that historic time, unfortunately only around 50 of the commemorative edition `JPS` cars are thought still to exist today.

Fast forward to the present day. A rainy day at work, browsing the Classic Cars for sale adverts and up pops a JPS Lotus Esprit, after wiping the drool from my key board I realise the cars location, only 20 minutes from my house, and I pass it on my way home from work, what harm would there be in taking a look, after all I had never seen one `in the flesh`.

Fatal mistake, standing at just under 44” high and 6ft 1” wide they are a sight to behold, perhaps not a car to drive if you’re shy and retiring, the striking gold 'World Champion' graphics and unique JPS striping, gold badges, gold wheels and window trim surrounds, not to mention the outrageous black and gold interior, I was smitten. I was transported back to 1979, when of course, then I didn’t have a wife and kids to convince that the purchase of this piece of nostalgia would be a good investment.

Luckily I have a very understanding wife. I hastily contacted the vendor to arrange a test drive the following day, an obvious conclusion, sold to the man with a broad grin on his face going through a mid life crisis.

I am now the proud owner of No.25, she`s not perfect and there is work to do, but she is roadworthy and a usable classic, a `running restoration`. Manufactured on the 19th January 1979, 32nd commemorative car out of 100, the special edition numbers were allocated at point of sale not manufacture. Sold to the Lotus dealership P.E.A.R Ltd, St Ives on the 24th January 1979, who in turn sold the car to a Mr. Briggs from Cambridge on the 24th January. The car then found its way to York when a Mr. Crandell bought her in February 1980. Now still residing in York she has had a long lay up of around 10 years before re-commission and sale to yours truly.

A true Classic Car



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