The Esprit broke again. Is the electronics. The sense of dread I get turning the key at this point is not unlike that one might have felt heading into Number 93 rue Lauristan, Paris, in the 1940’s…

My friend Beck, when made aware, offered to come to the aid of the beast, but I demurred. The Esprit has crossed a “red line” and unlike certain other folks, when that happens, I react.

Clearly, with driving weather slipping between my fingers, and my confidence in the car at an absolute low, I’ve got to do something. Its time, to feed it to the “big dog”.

Stan Chaffin is an extremely unassuming guy. He’s tall, quiet, and completely unaware that he is one of the nations foremost “Esprit whisperers”. He is my trump card, and the car will be in his care Monday morning.


Stan used to be the Lamborghini and Lotus tech at the now defunct Fox Valley Motorcars. He is the man responsible for transforming my 98 from a disaster into something worth driving, and I am sure he will do it again with this one. In the Chicagoland area he should be the very first choice for V-8 service.

Stan owns his own shop now, SCC Automotive in Bristol Illinois (http://www.sccautomotive.com/index.asp). It’s kind of rural and when you walk in you will see a collection of “bread and butter” jobs as well as several “project” cars (muscle cars, exotics) from people that know just how good Stan is. I am proud of him for having the balls to start a shop in the middle of the recession, and happy that he is doing well.

The difference between a good Lotus tech, and a bad one was demonstrated to me when the engine on my 98 popped. It went to Bellman Midrivers Lotus in Saint Louis. They had the car almost a calendar year and the circus clown that effected the rebuild installed the rings incorrectly, failed to adjust the timing belt, and sent the car to me without oil in it. It lasted another 320 miles in that specification. It then went to Stan with the instructions to burn it to ashes unless it could be completely sorted out, which he duly achieved.


I got the call from him that it was running while I was staggering around the Indianapolis motor Speedway for the Grand Prix.he was right. When it was done, acceleration in third gear affected the rotation of the earth.

I like that.

We will have some work to do rehabilitating this car. Wile I am disappointed at its state of repair, I don’t blame it. It didn’t pick the previous owner, did it?