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1978 Lotus Esprit For sale by Heritage Gruppe

1978 Lotus Esprit S1  |  Manual  |  2.0L  |  30k Miles

The Lotus Esprit is a British sports car that was built by Lotus Cars at their Hethel factory in England between 1976 and 2004. It was among the first of designer Giorgetto Giugiaro's polygonal "folded paper" designs. While the S1 Esprit was lauded for its handling and was said to have the best steering of any Esprit, it was generally regarded as being under-powered, the Series 1 embodied Lotus' performance through light weight mantra, weighing less than 1,000 kg (2,205 lb).


Production: January 12, 1978

VIN: 78010596H

Designer: Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign Giugiaro



Engine: 2.0 L (1,973 cc) type 907 I4

Transmission: 5-speed Citroën C35 manual

Transaxle Number: 0784



Wheelbase: 2,438 mm (96.0 in)

Length: 4,260 mm (167.7 in)

Width: 1,861 mm (73.3 in)

Height: 1,111 mm (43.7 in)

Kerb weight: 1,984 lb (900 kg)

1978 Lotus Esprit For sale by Heritage Gruppe

This 1978 Lotus Esprit S1 is finished in Gunmetal, including lower front spoiler, color-keyed bumpers, and engine louver’s. Power is from a 1,907cc inline-four paired with a five-speed manual transaxle, and additional equipment includes air conditioning, engine cover louvers, and basketweave wheels. The car was acquired by the current seller from England, in a restored condition. Since then Joe has maintained the car at "Lotus Prepared By Claudius" where they recently overhauled the entire engine. 

The fiberglass body is finished in a two tone Gunmetal, and has been repainted and restored by the previous owner. This car is exceptionally well kept, and always garaged. Great car to showcase during Cars & Coffee or to use in Rally Races. Retractable headlamps are shown raised and lowered in gallery photographs below. This vehicle being European Spec does not have the side corner markers.


Two-piece 15″ wheels wear black basketweave faces, Lotus center caps, and Michelin Pilot tires. The Esprit featured four-wheel disc brakes, with the rears mounted inboard in order to reduce sprung weight, as well as independent suspension at all four corners. Front suspension consisted of upper A-arms and lower lateral links triangulated by the anti-roll bar. Rear suspension consisted of tapering box-section trailing arms and lower lateral links. The half-shafts had no provision for plunge and handled some of the lateral forces. There were coil-over shock absorbers and disc brakes at all four corners. Steering is by an unassisted rack and pinion.

1978 Lotus Esprit For sale by Heritage Gruppe

Black cloth upholstery covers bucket seats with fixed backrests, as well as the the dash and carpets. Chrome accent pieces run along the dash and center console. Door Card innards are wrapped in Light Gray. A Moto-Lita 2 spoke steering wheel sits head of a pod containing switchgear, in addition to green Veglia gauges including a tachometer, a 260-km/h speedometer, and a five-digit odometer showing 30,555 miles from new. 

1978 Lotus Esprit For sale by Heritage Gruppe

The 1,907cc inline-four is mounted longitudinally behind the driver’s compartment and features dual overhead camshafts actuating four valves per cylinder. Induction is via dual twin-choke Dell’Orto DHLA carburetors. A Citroën-sourced five-speed manual transaxle transmits power to the rear wheels. This engine had its crankshaft replaced and the engine rebuilt by LOTUS PREPARED BY CLAUDIUS. Additional maintenance that was performed includes timing belt replacement. Extreme care is put into maintaining the vehicle. This car is garaged and only stored with the amount of gas needed for the next trip, to preserve the fuel lines. Regular maintenance of oil changes, fluid top offs, verifying the U joints are lubricated and replacing the main belt every 5-7 years will ensure thousands of miles of enjoyable driving to come!

1978 Lotus Esprit For sale by Heritage Gruppe