Bodacious Brit: 1984 Lotus Espirit Turbo

Though the Lotus Espirit is an appealing mid-engine sports car, it never gained traction amongst collectors and enthusiasts in the same way as other vehicles from the era – such as the unattractive and slow DMC DeLorean that it shares a platform with. Despite needing some work to be roadworthy again, this 1984 Lotus Espirit Turbo that is here on eBay has plenty of potential.

This Espirit Turbo is available in Nazareth, Pennsylvania with a clean and clear title. The details surrounding the car are scarce, but it currently does not drive due to a transmission issue, and the seller notes that the vehicle is available only for local pick up. Additionally, this Lotus has been off the road for quite some time – the vehicle’s inspection stickers expired in March 2009.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find a very, very red interior. Of course, this theme isn’t going to suit everyone’s tastes, but everything seems to be in fine shape, despite some minor areas of wear.

The turbocharged 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine supposedly starts and runs without issue, pairing to a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels. The combination has traveled 87,428 miles during the sports car’s lifetime.

At the time of this article being written, bidding for this example is at $7,900, which seems like a fair price for someone with the patience and skill to sort its problems out. Could you see this Espirit being a viable entry to an ‘80s exotic vehicle, or would you rather forgo the potential headaches?


  1. Bradshaw from Primer

    shares a platform with?????? a rear engine delorean with a PRV V-6 shares a mid engine using a Lotus Europa derived chassis with a slant 4 Lotus DOHC engine????????

    I dint know that! are you sure?

    Like 5
    • Ralph

      From what I recall, Lotus did the engineering for the DMC and they modified, extensively I imagine, an Esprit backbone chassis to make the DMC-12.

      Like 1
  2. ghalperin Glenn Halperin

    The transmission input shaft is known to pop out of the tranny and eat the crankshaft. I’ve repaired several.

    Like 4
  3. Shawn

    I really do want one of these Giugiaro designed Esprits. It’s too far from me to research the transmission in person, alas.

    Like 2
  4. Blueprint

    Esprit, not “Espirit” !

    Like 5
    • Robertv

      Hmm seems this copy was not written by a Lotus guy, the Delorean glitch is a clue, but hey, you gotta at least spell the name right!

      Like 1
  5. Bakyrdhero

    35 years, 87k miles and the red Lotus interior hasn’t disintegrated into dust…she’s a keeper!

    Like 2
  6. Ralph

    The flesh is willing………..but the Esprit is weak……

    Get into Lotus position….i.e….BEND OVER.

    Cool looking cars that give lots of headache, though this has to be some sort of mileage record, 87k on a Lotus is a lot.

    If you want to pretend you’re Roger Moore, it might be easier to just get a red AMC Hornet with Cragar SS’s………

    Like 6
    • Bruce

      I have close to 200K on my Europa. Lotus do have problems but if you pay attention to how you use them and how you maintain them they can be quiet reliable. I also have an 89 Turbo Esprit and over 16 years of ownership only failed me one and that did no damage to the engine.
      As for the comment about the damage to the transmission that is the first I have heard of that. I would suggest anybody that would be a serious purchaser of this car or other Lotus should review the experience of fellow owners and specific Lotus shop providers.
      The biggest problem is if you are too tall. If you are over 6′-0″ these cars get more and more problematic and uncomfortable for you. There is not enough foot well room, head room and depending upon your girth enough width. Getting in and out takes experience (NEVER LEAN ON THE DOORS WHEN YOU GET IN) but if you fit and once in it is so very comfortable.
      The price seems reasonable.

      Like 2
    • John Walsh

      87 k is nothing on an Esprit that has been properly maintained. You hear so much tosh about these cars, mainly from people who know nothing about them and slag them off as they have heard previous stories. I run a restoration business on a small scale in Scotland that only deals in Lotus. They are a fantastic drive. A great looking iconic shape that will always look good. My current Esprit project has 104000 miles on its original engine and tranny. As for the shaft popping and damaging the crank shaft, 99% of the time you will find that during the last clutch change the Nylatron bush hadn’t been replaced. 15 buks and it gets skimped. At that price it’s worth me buying it and bringing it back to the UK.

      Like 4
  7. grant

    WTF is an “Espirit”? It’s an Esprit.

    Like 1
    • Shawn

      The Esprit is the true Espirit of Lotus

      Like 3
      • grant


        Like 2
    • Dave

      Whachoo mean, Willis? You can send an email to Esurance after you buy this Espirit (maybe the car is haunted by the ghost of a pre-Windows era computer programmer?).

  8. HeadDents

    The early chassis is shared with the Europa: note the BIG center tunnel. That’s the entire chassis until the very front and where it “Y’s” at the rear to hold the motor. Other mods were made to this style chassis by the time this model was produced, but the basic form stayed.

    Like 1
  9. Bwickfl

    Have a white one outback behind our warehouse down here in Tampa. Has a burnt valve, bad interior, and was parked about 2 years ago now. Belongs to the owner of the company, Ardex Labs. Last time I talked to him he said he would just about give it away to be done with it. Too much project for me.

    Like 1
    • John Walsh

      Give it to me then I will gladly ship it back and repair it. Or I can supply the parts to have it repaired.

  10. Tort Member

    Don’t know about performance, handling and reliability but they sure are hard to look at.

  11. Run DMC

    ” … unattractive and slow DMC DeLorean ” ? You bite your tongue! :-)

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