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Paul Gray's 1977

PPaul Gray from North London and Hertfordshire, UK owns a 1977 S1 race car in JPS Black livery with a Black interior.


JPS Livery
Driving Style:
Noisily but to the legal speed limit of course!
Miles per year: 0 – 5,000
Owned Since:
April 2013
Purchase from:
Private owner John Dickson
Serviced at:
Thunder Road Cars, Waltham Abbey
Other Cars:
1972 GT Beetle (MOT'd but minus an engine!) & RX8 (daily driver)
Previous cars in reverse order: 2001 Audi S8, 1975 Ferrari 308 GT4
previous lotus': I haven't owned a Lotus before.
Previous Lotus':
1978 White Esprit S2, 1979 Blue Esprit S2
Why an Esprit:
See below
Upgrades: See below
There are no major problems that are a fault of the car.
Man made problems include excessive heat from the engine getting into the cabin, leaking perspex windows and door seals, cramped conditions and deafening noise... all of which make the driving very......special!

Always happy to meet up for a road trip.

I wanted a classic and iconic British sports car that was relatively rare on the road. Because of my love of classic motor racing I was also looking for a car that had been, or could be a period race car, or that had racing pedigree. My budget was a very limiting factor in my search.

My love of classic motor racing took me to Spa in 2011, and on seeing an S1 Esprit race in the under 2 litre category, and numerous follow up watches of the youtube video of it, I decided then that this was an exciting and valid option. I looked for some time, but there just weren't any about. I almost bought an S2 JPS, unfortunately I wasn't quick enough off the mark, which worked out to my advantage.

In early 2012 I found the Spa race car for sale and set about buying it. It's a proper period race car which very much appeals to my immature personality; its got all the great characteristics of a well engineered classic racer, it handles wonderfully, it makes a great noise, smells like it has been driven heroically and feels like it delivers just the right amount of danger and uncertainty!

This S1 Esprit has been a race car for many years, originally campaigned by Andy Reeves in HSCC Roadsports with several podiums and wins. Bought by John Dickson in 2009 it was recommissioned and raced in 2011 with Heritage, SRGT (Class Win), HSCC, Spa Summer Classic and Spa Barry Sidery Smith Race at 6 hours (class win with 3.09).

The JPS livery, 17" wheels and brutal stripping of the S1 interior won't be to everyone's liking but it's a successful race car, its road legal, and I doubt there is another one! Exactly what I wanted, and this just makes this Esprit more appealing and exciting to me.

2 Litre 907 Lotus Twin Cam
Lightened rods and cranks
Forged Pistons
Custom cams
Lumination ignition System
Ported with steel followers
Custom Dry sump
Lightweight flywheel
Tilton twin plate clutch plate and cover
30 litre custom alloy foam filled Fuel cell
Dual Holley racing fuel pumps
Competition fuel filters and taps
Braided SS Fuel lines
Cold air feed
Willwood brakes with vented discs
SS Braided brake lines
Tilton adjustable brake bias.
Lotus bits stainless big bore race exhaust
Custom rose joint rear links
Custom rose joint upper wish bones front
Adjustable AVO racing dampers.
Full racing alignment (Cheng Lim Thunder Road Cars)
Cooling systems:
Large Engine oil cooler front mounted
All braided oil lines
Full Roll cage from front to rear
Image BRM Style 17" Wheels with Khumo tyres (racing dry) & Goodyear Eagle F1 (Road)
15" wheels with racing wet tyres.
Pair of Corbeau seats.
TRS racing belts
In date fire system
Competition gauges



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