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Terry Lovett's 1983

Terry Lovett from St Neots, Cambridgshire, UK owns a 1983 S3 in Calypso Red, with a Magnolia/Red interior.


Calypso Red
Driving Style:
Competitive yet considerate
Miles per year: Probably less than 3k pa
Owned Since:
10th January 2004
Purchase from:
Privately thru’ LEW
Serviced at:
Probably Pat Thomas at Kelveden Lotus, Spalding
Other Cars:
Alfa Romeo Sportwagon and Smart Pulse.
Previous Lotus':
Elan SE (see below)
Why an Esprit:
Owned an Elan SE in the early seventies before mortgage and babies severed our relationship. Babies now have cars of their own so time for Dad to revisit his youth with a future classic.

None as yet - just bought car, but plan to upgrade hydraulic clutch fluid hose to braided version ASAP.

Difficulty in selecting reverse gear when engine hot. (see upgrade above).
Info: I have always admired the Guigario styling, considering the original Esprit to be a modern classic. I was attracted to this particular car because it has the ‘kick-ar*se’ looks of the Turbo, with BBS wheels, rear window louvre’s and air intake built into the turbo sill, yet being normally aspirated I thought it more sensible as my first Esprit with less to go wrong. (No doubt these words will come back and bite me!).
I purchase the car through an advert in LEW. The owner had owned the car for nearly 4 years. The owner before him had the car for 11 years.

It is fitted with turbo sills and engine louvre, and has a non Lotus sunroof. Otherwise is a standard S3 normally aspirated car, calypso red paint with half leather magnolia interior.


I followed the recommendation on the Autoglym website using Autoglym Resin Polish first then finishing with Autoglym Extra Glass Finish. It lays on easy and there is no hard rubbing involved - the photo of my 21 year old car attached proves the point, but in the flesh the results are truly outstanding.


Gold BBS Alloys with polished rims, (note non original turbo side sill). The wheelstuds on my BBS alloys were rusty and unsightly but no accessory shops could help me with plastic wheelstud covers. I found the answer at my local Vauxhall dealer who sold me Astra covers at 80p each which I trimmed down and sprayed with gold laquer. Rear turbo engine louvre. Does not duct to engine bay as in turbo, but does keep rear of car and engine bay cooler.


Note the carpet removed as bay is open now due to louvre vents, car never sees rain and water drains away from vents, but if any does get in then it drains out via the drainage ports in L/H and R/H sides of bay, as intended. New Boot cover. Original 20 year old space saver tyre, would you.....

The Engine

The previous owner had the engine rebuild after only six months of ownership after one of the pistons cracked. Steve Williams did the engine work, with 4 new pistons and new bearings. Total engine build was around £5,000.

Shot of the interior from the engine bay.

All leather dash and doors in very good 'original' condition and finish. The seats have now been retrimmed, might re-carpet at some point soon.



That Sunroof

(Everyone comments on this)!

In 1983 there was no factory sunroof option, this did not arrive until 1984, so the first owner had this one fitted, possibly at the factory. Could it be the only Esprit with a sliding sunroof?


Bit dark (sorry) but shows opening size nicely.


With a continuing problem selecting reverse gear, and wanting to find a reliable Lotus specialist for future servicing, I visited Pat Thomas at Kelvedon Lotus, Spalding who had been recommended. Pat (an ex-Lotus racer who now specialises in race preparation) and his small team were very friendly and immediately had the car up on the ramp for a good look underneath. The reverse gear linkage appeared very sloppy and worn hence the problem. Pat turned his attention to the front suspension and steering asking how the car handled - to which I replied I was a little disappointed after having driven an Elan in the seventies. Pat said he was not surprised as the steering rack, shocks and associated bushes were badly worn and the offside lower wishbone was seriously corroded. (How the car passed its MOT test last November I'll never know!). Pat wasn't surprised by the wear and interestingly asked me when did I last see an 'A' registered car on the road -most production cars having been scrapped by now.

Pat confidently said he could restore the car's handling to how Lotus intended by replacing the worn parts and giving my Esprit a complete wheel alignment makeover. I agreed and left the car with him to work his magic as he kindly dropped me off at Spalding station four miles away.

Ten days later I collected the car (after authorising new front discs, pads and calliper servicing) and have to say that I am absolutely delighted as the car now drives like new. The 'before and after' wheel alignment print-out showed all four wheels pointing in different directions with varying amounts of camber to boot! This whole exercise wasn't particularly cheap but why own a Lotus if it doesn't go round corners?


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