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Lot 143: Lotus Espirit

Carfest North Pride & Joy Auction, Silverstone Auctions (4 August 2013)

The Lotus Esprit was launched at the 1975 Paris Auto Show and would see many evolutions by three auto designers, Guigiaro, Peter Stevens and Julian Thomson. It followed with the Lotus tradition of every model name starting with the letter 'E' and gaining performance due to relative lightness, the first Esprits weighing only 1000kgs. It was well received and noted for its fine handling and lively power that came from its Lotus 907 2.0litre 4 cylinder engine. The chassis was more than capable of handling various increases in power and by 1980 Lotus had introduced the 2.2 litre turbocharged Limited Edition in the colours of their Formula One sponsor, Essex Petroleum. In 1978 they commemorated the success of the Lotus 79 and the World Championship for Mario Andretti with the black and gold John Player Specials. The Lotus Esprit is the most recognisable of the Bond cars second to the DB5 and featured in 'The Spy That Loved Me', notably in submarine form and in the 1981 production of 'For Your Eyes Only', it was finished in Copper Metallic to contrast the snow covered alpine shots. Offered here is a very interesting Esprit used by Colin Chapman's Lotus Company as a test/development car for the turbo version. It was used by Pinewood Studios as a 'colour swatch' for the coming production of ' For Your Eyes Only'. MPW 71W was chosen to be painted Copper Metallic. It was decided that it was most suitable and a Copper Lotus Esprit registration OPW 678W appeared in the film. The history file shows period photographs of the Esprit in both Essex Petroleum livery being tested and in its 'Bond' attire outside the Hethel factory. It is further understood that, in its responsibilities as a development/test car, it appeared at the launch of Colin Chapman's new 'Lotus Esprit Essex Turbo' in the Albert Hall, in attendance were Dame Shirley Bassey among others. Finally, it is believed that this car was used in the development of a planned Type 909 V8 engine, though if this is the case, it does not accompany the car now and regrettably Lotus could not confirm this claim, albeit 'past employees have some memory of it' being so. This is an affordable Esprit which looks great and can only appreciate especially with its links with two global brands . . . .be quick!

Lot Details
Auction Carfest North Pride & Joy Auction
Silverstone Auctions, Oulton Park, Cheshire
TypeCar
Lot Number143
Estimate£15000-£19000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1980
Condition rating2
Registration numberMPW 71V
Mileage-
Chassis numberSCCFC20A6AHD10860
Engine numberCD910800318200
Engine capacity (cc)2174
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors