"First shown as a prototype on a modified Europa chassis at the 1972 Turin show, the Esprit was launched at the 1975 Paris Motor Show. It went into production in June 1976, replacing the Europa in the model line-up. Lotus focused on the engineering, but the styling was given to Giorgio Giugiaro and his then new Italdesign studio. Giugiaro suggested the name Esprit, which remained on the production car. Power was supplied by an all new 160 horsepower all alloy Lotus, 2.0 litre, twin-cam, four-cylinder, mid-mounted engine. The S1 is easily distinguished from the second series car by its shovel style front air dam, lack of rear quarter ducting, and Wolfrace alloy wheels. Inside, the unique green faced Veglia gauges also set it apart from its young brother. The Series I Esprit gained fame through its appearance in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.
Originally registered on 1st August 1978, this Lotus is presented in Monaco White with contrasting part black leather and alcantara trim, an iconic combination for the S1. This example is one of less than 270 cars produced globally and one of just 50 registered in the UK. A righthand drive matching numbers Esprit sitting on original Wolfrace wheels, this very rare car is offered with a good history file and in fabulous condition throughout. Purchased by our vendor as part of a significant private collection in 2016 this example has benefitted from continual maintenance and when not in use stored inside in a professional ventilated Carcoon and has benefitted from a recent cam belt service with Bell Classics and new MoT. With Esprit's slowly climbing in value, you would be hard pushed to find an iconic white matching numbers Series I for sale under £70,000 - this is the perfect car for any James Bond enthusiast, with bags of character and a fabulous investment opportunity.
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