1978 Lotus Esprit

Selling NOW! Exclusively at auction, through Bring-a-Trailer:

1978 Lotus Esprit Series 1

Chassis No. 78010621H
Engine No. AC7 7801 14511

Rare Series 1 Model and One of Only 459 Examples Distributed to the U.S.
Lightweight, Track-Inspired English Motor Icon
Retains Original Driveline, Numbers-Matching Engine and Head
Less than 1,000 Miles Since Major Comprehensive Mechanical Work
2021 Inspection, Tune-Up and Detailing
History File Includes Service Invoices, Photos & Owner's Handbook
The Ideal Driver's Example of the Iconic Esprit

When the production Esprit arrived at 1975's Paris Motor Show, it stood in marked contrast to the Europa. Finally, here was a Lotus that led the way not only in how the rear mid-engine coupe drove but in how it grabbed the spotlight. Underneath its fiberglass body panels sat a steel backbone chassis. At around 2,000 lbs. unladen, the Esprit was light with 2.0-liter powerplant. Unlike later Esprits, the Series I have a simple, unadorned look and with unassisted power steering and sharp handling, it is considered the purest of a breed that lasted nearly 30 years.

This original California-delivery Esprit S1 was completed in January 1978 and wears Lotus Yellow over Blue-and-Black cloth and leatherette upholstery. While its earliest history is unknown, records on file date to 1995, all while residing in California until its recent acquisition. In 2006 the Esprit was treated to a host of comprehensive mechanical restoration work, including a complete rebuild of its original engine, which was subsequently fitted with twin Weber carburetors (the original Dellorto carburetors accompany), rebuild of the suspension system, alignment, new performance exhaust system, tires, brakes, and detailing of the frame. Documents on file note parts used, as well as photographs of the engine's reassembly.

The body was said to have also been repainted in the original yellow hue with new weather stripping installed. At some point, the Lotus received body modifications as it currently displays, including later Esprit Turbo bumpers, side skirts and rear louvered hatch. A correct and new (UK sourced) reproduction Series I chin spoiler and US spec rear valance with grill, accompany the sale. Original side mirrors are also included. Series I Esprits were produced June 1976 to May 1978, and this car was completed on January 25, 1978. Series II production commenced June 1978 to January 1980. While this car sports Turbo-style lower body aero, S1 bodies can be identified by the lack of air ducts behind rear side windows and the interior layout.

The cabin retains well-kept and soft upholstery, along with a RetroSound radio and uprated speakers for modern audio and period styling. The factory fiberglass engine cover was removed from the car in year's past and replaced with a nicely trimmed aluminum cover and matching upholstered surrounds.

The Lotus displays 68,885 recorded miles - believed to be original, with less than 1,000 of which have been driven since the aforementioned mechanical work was performed. A 2021 inspection and tune-up offers continued usability, this work included new spark plugs and wires, clutch master and slave cylinders, cooling fan switch, seal, and new battery.

In addition to records and photos, the Esprit is accompanied by an original Owner's handbook, Workshop Manual and technical publications. An iconic, lightweight, track-inspired Lotus, this Esprit Series 1 offers a unique opportunity for the sportscar enthusiast – now available for worldwide purchase and delivery from our Houston, Texas showroom.
The above vehicle information is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. It is provided 'as-is', without warranties as to its accuracy, whether expressed or implied, and is intended for informational purposes only. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated.

All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and shipping expenses. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. DriverSource is not liable for any errors, omissions, or mistakes.

Read More