My intention today was to write about a frolic I had yesterday and how you get to know your sports car by actually washing it yourself. I will still do this, but as always, the Esprit takes you in a different direction than I thought…

It’s been in a battery tender since charging system gate. The tell light glowing pleasantly green when I peeked. I wanted to do a trip that would last somewhere in the neighborhood of half an hour and not involve shutting off the engine (I don’t trust this car one bit at the moment…) and delivering a small package from a friend to another fit the bill. The weather was perfect, and while the route was uninspired, I wanted to spend time watching the temp gage, and the electronics, so off we went.

In short, it performed magically. It spent the trip reminding me how sublime Esprits can be on their day (owners feel free to agree here) and everything cooperated. I got some thumbs up gestures, and had my photo taken. That Cote ‘De Azure part makes me chuckle (full disclosure, I think the guys that have their pictures taken in tuxedos my their cars like Bond are really silly)… I was again astonished by the grip AND ride compliance and found myself in the moment.

Upon return, I started washing it. Washing a car by hand is a great way to enjoy its lines. If you do a good job, you run your hands over every inch of the machine. As I did this, it occurred to me that there isn’t an inch of the car I would change from an aesthetic standpoint.

As I worked my way down to the sides of the car, disaster struck. The V-8’s have these wheel arch extensions, and the one on the drivers side literally fell off in my hand. Being comfortable in the knowledge that if one failed, the other will, I went to the other side, and sure enough, it was quite loose and after a jiggle it too came off. Wash aborted.


It seems these little guys are held on by plugs that are sort of stuck on the back of the arches, and the adhesive (I’ll be an expert in that stuff soon…) dry rotted… …like the cooling hoses, suspension bushings, etc…


Thank god I like putzing around with Esprits. I see a lot of that in my immediate future.

I want to take a moment and talk about owners. In the Esprit community, there are three kinds. The owner, the previous owner, and the dreaded previous owner. I am beginning to realize that I bought my car from the latter. The dreaded previous owner is the kind of guy that either did nothing to the Esprit to keep it up (including drive the thing-as in this case) or cobbled repairs either to save money, or out of ignorance. I should suppose that of the kinds of dread previous owners I got the better of the lot (but not by much).

My error was trusting the principal of the Maserati dealership at his word that no expense was spared in maintaining the car. A four minute examination of the thing would have disputed that. Is a shame really, because I really wanted to like this guy, but either he sold me a car he never looked at or was just plain lying. Or even worse, both.

More disturbing was the fact that I spent an hour on the phone with the actual previous owner who really sound like a car guy. It’s an Intresting thought. Maybe he is a car guy, but he sure as hell isn’t an Esprit guy.

When I bemoaned the state of things to my brother, he chuckled and told me that at least all of the problems I am having with this Esprit are new ones. That’s true.

My friend Sanj : from the local Lotus car club : after expressing astonishment at the latest hiccup reassured me I would make the car come good. I suppose he is right about that.