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Paul Wendling's 1985

Paul Wendling from Los Angeles, CA, USA owns a 1985 Turbo Esprit in Black with violet colour shift treatment with a black with red trim interior.


Turbo Esprit
Year: 1985
Colour: Black with violet colour shift treatment
Interior: Grey 1/2 Leather
Driving Style: Very Fast
Miles per year: 10,000+
Owned Since: Jan 1999
Purchase from: Private Sale
Serviced at: self, including full engine modifications/ rebuilds
Other Cars: Highly modified 94 s4 (s4s upgrades, 2003 v8 looks), 99 boxter (stock), 97 Chevy Suburban (custom, road trip vehicle)
Previous Lotus': 78 esprit
Why an Esprit: I love the squared/ straight lines (think countach, eb110, stratos concept, etc...)
Upgrades: See Below
Problems: overheating problems (next upgrade is 4 core radiator), lots of squeaks and rattles in sunroof glass opening

The car was an original euro spec imported from Italy so it has hollow fiberglass bumpers as well as no smog stuff.

The Car right now (85 esprit) is black with a subtle violet colour shift in the sun. The rear spoiler is gone as it was used for a test to see what it would do to the overall performance. (knocked down the top speed to 150mph or so and not much else.) Plus, with all of the rice boys around here, it got a bad reputation by association to all of the neon's and honda's that stuck similar wings on for "better performance" :) Also, the front cross drilled rotors seem to do more to look cool than actual performance.

What I have done now is cut a second set of naca ducts into the body which are the same shape as the original ones under the door sills. The new ducts start at the door handles and go back to just under the ear vents. These are used to bring in cold air to the chargecooler radiators.

I've also removed the rear decklid louvres and smoothed in the resulting ugly joggle on the decklid. I also made a top louvre piece to go over the section where the glass used to be. (Keeps rain out of the opening as well as being good looking.)


It has had adjustable coil-over shocks installed and ride height is lowered by over 1.5 inches.

Wheels are 17 inch with front: 215/45 r17, rear: 275/40 r17


The engine is modified to a high lift cam on intake, ultra lightweight JE pistons (forged aluminium alloy,35 grams), Dellorto 45's (but thinking I will switch back to 40's for better response low end) and the charge cooler box on top. Twin radiators for chargecooler are soon to be installed in the fiberglass trim pieces (flush with top surface, angled 15 degrees inward)on either side of engine bay just inside of rear 1/4 panel windows. The hatch window is gone and hot air from chargecooler radiators will be vented out from there using electric fans mounted under radiators. Spark is enhanced with the sequential pulse ignition module (about 20 sparks in rapid sucession per stroke).

The exhaust is now dual with no cat or muffler at all. Amazingly, as the turbo muffles sound, the overall volume did not change that much, and the exhaust splits off into a bypass to feed the dual exhaust tips. This created a staggered exhaust pulse that definitely changes the impression when heard that this is not a four cylinder engine. The closest comparison is of the rally Lancia, or some of the "Killer B" class raly cars. The exhaust manifold and turbo have been silver ceramic coated and the bottom valence pieces which were readily visible in the red version of the car are still on it.

Interior there is Momo racing seats that I had leather covered and a momo steering wheel. I built a raised glove box to go over the center console which is 2 inches tall (supports the arm at perfect height for shifting as well as actually having a glove box there) I got tired of people pulling up on the original leather piece saying "oops, sorry, I thought that was a glove box"

The stereo system is a Kenwood head unit with 10 disc changer in the front boot. Amplifiers are also located there with separate kenwood amps for front and rear sets of speakers. The speakers are Boston Acoustic Pro's (4.5 inch in the front with separate tweeters, 5.5 inch behind the seats with separate tweeters, and 6 inch JL subwoofers lower behind the seats.

I am making a second '85 esprit (US specs) look like this one for a movie that they will be the main "hero" car in a movie called "The Targets".

Pictures Before being painted Black and with rear spoiler


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