World Championship Edition: 1979 Lotus Esprit S2

Anything wearing John Player Special colors will never not be sexy. There, I said it, it cannot be taken back. The black and gold just oozes sophistication while reminding you of the legendary F1 cars like the Honda 812 and Lotus 98T. While not officially “their” colors, the black/gold color scheme always makes me think of vintage Lotus cars, and Lotus seemingly exercised some ownership over it with special edition models like this 1979 Lotus Esprit S2 World Championship Edition. This is a limited production car that is coveted by Lotus enthusiasts, and this example is offered for sale here on the Duck Soup Auctions website as part of the estate sale for one Glen Campbell of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Chuck F. for the find. Estate sales are always curious affairs to me: were there no heirs, so the bank or some other local authority is bequeathed the rights to put the car and other assets up for auction? Or did the family indeed partake in the owner’s affairs, electing to hold an estate sale rather than attempt to sell the items on their own? That part of the story is never divulged. In the case of this Lotus, it looks like it resided in a pretty sweet garage set up / workshop space, with plenty of room to move around and lots of storage options. Plus, the concrete floor appears to be in excellent condition – I wonder if you can simply make a bid for the entire garage!

The World Championship edition models came with numerous cosmetic upgrades, including gold-painted alloy wheels, special badging, golden touches throughout including the seat upholstery, and a wicked three spoke steering wheel. From what we can see in the so-so photos, all of these parts are still present and accounted for, and look to be in surprisingly nice condition. The seats especially are prone to getting torn up pretty easily if left untouched, and I suspect this Lotus was cherished before falling silent, presumably as its owner grew older. Neglect is easy to spot as these are fragile machines if left unattended, and while the paint shows signs of regular use, the seats are simply too nice to have been occupied by someone who manhandled it.

These World Championship edition cars aren’t necessarily significant form an equipment standpoint; no, Lotus didn’t load them up with performance goodies or anything like that. But given how few Esprits left the factory as a special edition of any kind, particularly one celebrating the company’s motorsports triumphs, the cosmetic enhancements on these limited production models is enough to put this Esprit in the company of some of the most desirable Lotus cars ever built. Bidding is currently just over $13,000 with no reserve, so figure out a plan for getting to Pennsylvania soon if you want lay hands on this rare Lotus Esprit.


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    If someone would clean up said “world championship” car it might give buyers a better idea what’s being sold. These aren’t the greatest years for these cars so paying a whole bunch of extra money for a stick on stripe wouldn’t be too smart.

    Like 7
  2. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Is the brake booster and master really in the trunk on these?

  3. Matthew Middleton

    It was built to commemorate a really legendary race car. The Lotus 72 which notched up World Driver championships for Jochen Rindt during a very long career.

    Ok, I’m being a bit picky but it does look like a good example of a rare car.

    Hope someone buys and drives it like it was designed for.

    Like 1
  4. Matthew Middleton

    Oops. 1978 was year Mario Andretti won the world F1 title in the Lotus 78 and this car followed that. Anyway, it commemorates some very significant racing history.

    Like 2
  5. NoFear

    Looks like Glen was may have been quite the mechanic/handyman based on all the other items that are part of the auction. Or he was just a collector of many things. There’s a case of toilet paper that may be worth bidding on given the current concern of shortages.
    The ‘Mein Kampf’ book though gives me pause.

    Like 3
    • Malcontented Misanthrope

      Perhaps it’s autographed

      Like 3
  6. Porkchop

    It’s weird that #47 sold on BaT very recently:

    Like 2
    • Frank

      But it won’t see $40K. Still its a sharp looking vehicle.

  7. Howie Mueler

    Not too bad, but some of the photos are a bit dark.

    Like 1

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