This JPS Lotus Esprit is smokin’ hot

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Silverstone Auctions

One of 100 special John Player Special Esprits built to commemorate Lotus winning the 1978 Formula 1 World Championship is up for auction in the U.K. in March.

With Mario Andretti and Ronnie Petersen at the wheel of the iconic black and gold Lotus 79, the British company clinched its seventh world title and celebrated in style by releasing a run of its Giugaro-designed mid-engine sports cars. This particular car is number 22 of 100 sold in Britain, while a further 55 cars were exported to the U.S.A. and 30 to Europe.

Painted in gloss black with gold pinstripes and “World Champion” emblazoned on its flanks, the Esprit S2 also wears gold alloy wheels, as well as gold windscreen and rear window surrounds. The corduroy seats are said to be gold-effect, but they look more cream-colored to us. Either way, they bring a bit of light to the otherwise black interior. And if the sound of the engine isn’t enough, then the car also comes with a Hitachi Digi-One radio-cassette player.

The two-liter 16-valve Type 907 engine produced just over 160 horsepower back in the day, and given the car’s lightweight chassis and glass-fiber body, it would reach 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and wind itself up to 124 mph.

Since 2017, the car has had almost $40,000 spent on it to bring it back to as-new condition. The bodywork was taken back to its gel coat, and it had a full mechanical overhaul including an engine rebuild. The car comes with a complete tool kit, which—given the company’s “Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious” reputation—may yet come in handy.

The Esprit will go under the hammer at Silverstone Auctions on March 27.

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