The future’s bright for my Lotus, or is it?

Nik Berg

It was down to the wire but my Lotus made it to Radwood UK. And, dare I say it, we made quite the entrance.

The brilliant Lotus Yellow paintwork has transformed the Esprit completely. The months of painstaking stripping back, body repairs, and preparation by The Beaconsfield Workshop (and the bill which came close to the original purchase price) have been worth it.

There were two other Esprits lined up for the “Show and Shine” in front of the old hangars at Bicester Heritage and BJZ 4007 really did shine.

What’s more on the 150-mile round trip the Esprit performed perfectly, with no sign of a sticky throttle and a carb tune giving the engine an eagerness I’d not experienced before. The Falken tires added a new predictability to cornering and I began to plan grand adventures.

However, perhaps just as predictably, trouble was not far away. I’d noticed a vibration in the steering at around 55 mph so went to a local Kwik Fit tire fitter for what should have been a simple wheel balance.

Up the car went on the lift, then down. The mechanics called me over to ask how to jack it. I pointed out the jacking points and left them to it. After about 15 minutes of activity at the front of the Lotus I was told they couldn’t safely get the wheels off, so I went home. As I parked, coolant gushed from beneath the Esprit.

Lotus Esprit leak
Nik Berg

I poured as much water back in as I could and lividly limped back to the garage. A split in a heater pipe was the culprit, and while I can’t be sure that it was caused by anything done by Kwik Fit, it is quite the coincidence. On a positive note mechanic Matt rolled up his sleeves and put together a temporary repair to get me on my way again.

What that means is that, as I write this, the Esprit is once again in a workshop. This time it’s Hoffman’s, a Lotus specialist in posh Henley-upon-Thames. Along with fixing the cracked pipe they spotted a few other concerns, so I’ll be getting a pair of new rear shocks and rear discs, a replacement for the balancer pipe that runs between the twin fuel tanks and possibly new front brake hoses, plus a few tweaks here and there such as redirecting the fuel lines on the carbs which were catching on the throttle linkage (and probably causing the stickiness that troubled me before).

Then, finally, perhaps I’ll be able to make good on those road trip plans I’ve been dreaming of.

Wish me luck.

Lotus Esprit at Hoffmans
Nik Berg
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