The web is a funny place for Lotus. Since its such a small manufacturer, the number of people that spent time developing a presence for them is negligible. Since the Esprit has been out of production for some time, the majority of fan sites devoted to it are antiquated.

Take Karl-Franz Marquez site: http://www.espritfactfile.com
It hasn’t been updated since 2009, however, it does a generally good job of describing the buying and owning process in the early part of the decade. It also has a cute “code of ethics” for exotic car owners which is fine if you are into that kind of thing. He spent some time on it back in the day, but it’s more of a time capsule at this point.

Another one that makes me chuckle is: http://www.metalasylum.com/evilyn/main.html

That one has a story about a 112 day stretch in the pokey for speeding, a car with a name, and a heavy metal soundtrack. Not really updated in 7 years, though.

There are also a number of sites documenting people taking a number of ruined cars and combining them into one running one. It would be mildly disturbing to realize that is where your car came from, but it’s really none of my business, and I sure as hell can’t cast stones at “problem child” Esprits, can I?

The car clubs, SELOC, Lotus Limited, Lotus Corps, etc all have sites too, and they do a functionally good job of managing club affairs online.

Www.lotusespritworld.com is really the monster site for Esprits. It aggregates owners sites, archives press coverage, has a useful classifieds section, technical section, buying and operating section, and generally tries to stay updated. I particularly appreciate the dialog they have with the factory about cross referencing out of production parts. (And their support of this blog…)

The two main online forums I tend to visit (mostly as a stalker these days) are the yahoo group “turbo esprit” which has been around forever, and lotustalk.com which was founded by a pretty cool guy named Randy Chase (massively quick autocrosser too). Culturally the difference between the two couldn’t be more stark. For instance, a cursory scan of posts on the yahoo list reveals these topics:

“New speedo cable, how do you remove the old one”
“Poor running 89se, code 65 help”
“Speed bleeder size for v8 Esprit, AP brakes”
Or, “does anyone know this car” (good one, that)

On lotustalk, you find stuff like:

“What mods would u get it u win powerball.”
“Anyone wear earplugs while driving?”
“Elise versus Evora, which turns heads more?”
Or my favorite, “OMG friend wretched my week old Lotus”

I think that kind of speaks to the type of guy that buys an Esprit or an Elise at this point. However, as a matter of course, there are a list of things that identify you as a tugger there too.

If your car has a huge stereo, you are a tugger. If it has a name that is a made up word, you are a tugger. If your car has neon, or graphics, you are a tugger. Lamborghini style doors too. Huge rims, Supplemental body work, racing seats and harnesses, (unless you actually track the car), unnecessary gauge clusters, and snarky vanity plates all qualify too.

Sadly the kind of person that believes they can actually improve on the work Lotus Cars does is also the kind who makes web sites about it. The people that work on them and drive them are just not that interested. So it’s kind of skewed.

And then there’s me. I’ll leave it to you to decide where I fit.

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