There had to be a ton of optimism at Lotus even if 1977 wasn't a great year for the automotive industry. After all, its F1 team was in the midst of a comeback, thanks to Mario Andretti, and it had a brand-new sports car, the Esprit. This car promised a better future with its clean Giugiaro wedge styling, sci-fi interior, and its appearance in The Spy Who Loved Me. Things had to look good for Lotus when this car was built.
With hindsight, we know that the future didn't hold great things for the English sports-car builder. Lotus won the Driver's and Constructor's Championship in 1978, but those championships were the team's last. And on the road car side, production decreased sharply and Lotus was soon to begin a partnership with DeLorean, and well, you know how that story ends.
But maybe don't think about that when looking at this car. Respect the S1 Esprit for being a daring vision of the future—a new way forward for Lotus. This was the car that Lotus founder Colin Chapman hoped would take his company upmarket, making it a true Ferrari rival.
The Esprit was a beacon of hope in a dark era—where performance cars were bleeding horsepower, Lotus, as ever, turned to lightweight construction to find speed. And today, its design is wonderfully clean.
This particular Esprit, , is totally unrestored and original, even down to its Lagoon Blue paint. It spent all its life on the West Coast, and the seller promises that everything on the car works. Even the interior electronics.
Plus, it's got one of the greatest badges ever put on a car.
The seller is looking to get $42,000 for the car, which compared to a Ferrari, or even a Porsche, of the same era, doesn't seem too bad. It's a wonderful piece of history that still looks great today.