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Closed Auction- Unsold

1988 Lotus Esprit

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  • Mileage~114,000
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine2.2L
  • LocationBristol


1988 Lotus Esprit

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Jacob Boodrie
Professional Consigner

A Peter Stevens penned masterpiece with timeless presence and an aero-inspired look that has only gained appeal since launch.

Known internally as the X180, in '87 Lotus launched a new Esprit shape, designed in Britain by Peter Stevens - the man responsible for the McLaren F1. The rounded exterior gave more space for occupants, the body panels were produced by a new patented Lotus manufacturing method - VARI (Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection), Kevlar reinforcement was added to the roof and sides for roll-over protection and contributed to a 22% increase in torsional rigidity.

This Calpyso Red X180 example has been under the ownership of Ray for the previous 7 years, both Ray and his wife have thoroughly enjoyed using the car on trips around the UK, although as they've only covered ~2,000 miles over this time, they have decided it's time for a new toy.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Jacob after meeting Ray the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

I've always dreamed of owning an Esprit, from my teenage years - when the opportunity arose I knew this was the example for me.

Ray purchased this Lotus Esprit privately 7 years ago. Since then he mentions it's a real treat to get the car out from storage on a sunny weekend and take it for a long drive with his wife. He tells us he always dreamed of owning an Esprit, since a teenager and when the opportunity arose to purchase this lovely Calypso Red example, well he couldn't resist.

Along with his wife, they have only covered ~2,000 miles over that time, and recently having the timing belt and air-conditioning unit attended to. Having recently purchased a trike to enjoy on hot weekends and now in the market for a larger van to take his grandchildren on holiday, Ray has decided to part with his beloved Esprit. He'll be happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments below.

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Finished in Calpyso Red with cream leather this Esprit is a genuine head-turner.

Wheels and Tyres

The car is fitted with 15" 7 spoke rims, presenting in overall good condition. Looking closely, we did notice some signs of curbing around the edges that your local alloy wheel specialist can inexpensively remedy.

Ray reports the car is fitted with 4x Pirelli P600s - all appear in very good condition, we did notice one of the Lotus centre caps is missing on the nearside rear.

Please view the image gallery and video review to see the detail.


The bodywork of this X180 presents in good condition, with all the panel gaps around the car look to align very well, just as you would expect from a Lotus sports car.

The car stands very straight and true. During our visit, we noticed some very small stone chips across the bodywork and some light scuffs on each corner of the car.

We've highlighted in more detail our observations through our hi-resolution images and videos, so please take time to look through all the media files for a detailed view at what’s on offer, and for you to assess the condition of the car for yourselves.


Finished in a desirable and vibrant "Calpyso Red", the paint appeared in good condition on our visit, finished to a high standard, with even coverage and colour across each panel.

With the age and mileage of the car, there are a few age-related small marks, and some small stone chips around the front and rear, we noticed a few small scuffs, these have been attended to with touch-up paint.

Again, we have taken hi-resolution images and videos of the car for you to assess the condition of the bodywork for yourselves.

Glass and Trim

The glass on this example looks good and in line with the mileage and ownership, we didn't notice any major chips, cracks, or discolouration on our visit. The window seals look good too, although the rear windows are showing a little wear around the black trim.

The black trim around both front side windows is beginning to chip, although you'll have to get really close to notice this. Please view the image gallery to see the detail.


The redesigned body and interior allowed for a much more comfortable experience in the Esprit.

Seats and Carpets

Equipped with cream leather sports seats, they look in good condition with slight signs of wear beginning to show more obliviously on the driver's seat.

The soft leather continues to the door cards - the driver's door card shows signs of use and the car has deep pile carpets with Richbrook over mats.

Please take a look at the extensive media for a detailed view of the cabin.


The dashboard in this car has no signs of any major damage or scuffs. With no warning lights displayed, the odometer showed a reading of ~113,398 miles on our visit.

Some of the buttons showed light signs of use, take a closer look at the details in the media pack below.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The original two-spoke Lotus steering wheel is fitted, allowing easy manoeuvring of this sports car.

The original steering wheel presents in line with the mileage of this car with some slight wear to the outer wheel, the 5 speed manual gearstick looks good too, wrapped in matching leather - wear looks in line with the age and mileage of this X180 Esprit.


A very lightweight shell powered by a 912 Lotus inline-four - the perfect combination of potent power and precise handling.

Engine and Gearbox

Powered by a Lotus 900 series inline-four, the 900 series was the first complete engine developed by Lotus and used in their supercars between '72-'99.

This was the '912' variant, the engine shared its bore, stroke and 2.2L displacement with the previous type 911 but had many internal enhancements including redesigned camshafts, camshaft carriers, cam covers, a new sump, cylinder head and main bearing girdle, rated at ~180BHP at 6,500rpm.

Ray reports recently having a new timing belt fitted, and recently the valve adjustments carried out too as per the invoices. The car had a bit of a rough idle when it was stone cold/struggled to stay on, as it might need a bit of carb adjustment, but when it was up to temperature it ran and started smoothly. Take a look at the mechanical video to see the second start-up, driving around, and for a closer look underneath the Esprit, and a tour of its engine bay.

Suspension and Brakes

Ray mentions that the suspension feels good, no unusual knocks or noises present, and we didn't observe anything on our short trip in the car along the local roads.

Please view the mechanical photos and video to see underneath the car.

The Drive

Lotus has a massive reputation within the racing community for its winning records on rally racing circuits and road tracks. The Esprit takes what Lotus learned on the track to the road over many years. The car rides very low to the ground and is powerful enough to keep up with its competition. Along with its styling, no other brand got close to this unmatched legend.

Electrics and Other

The car is equipped with air-conditioning, which was recently attended to, this blew cold air on our visit. The car is fitted with an aftermarket stereo.

The original toolkit, Lotus spare wheel is also provided in the front trunk of the car.

History and Paperwork

One very attractive 80s Lotus, with a decent history and significant spend on maintenance by previous owners over the years.

This car is coming out of ~7 years of ownership with Ray. Take a look at the media to see all the history included within the sale of the car, including a number of service history receipts by Lakeside Engineering Lotus Specialists and MOT reports.

Ray will be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the car in the comments below.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
04.04.2022 MOT 113,366
22.07.2020 MOT 113,221
07.06.2018 MOT 112,742
17.06.2016 MOT 112,439
30.10.2014 MOT 111,910
27.09.2013 MOT 111,577
01.11.2012 MOT 110,644
17.11.2011 MOT 109,862
24.11.2010 MOT 109,300
26.11.2009 MOT 107,839
06.11.2008 MOT 106,384
29.10.2007 MOT 104,258
03.11.2006 MOT 102,563
01.11.2005 MOT 99,689
21.10.2004 MOT 97,032
05.06.2003 MOT 94,734
16.07.2003 MOT 92,271
13.06.2001 MOT 86,521
22.06.2000 MOT 84,004
03.07.1998 MOT 80,638
14.08.1997 MOT 79,322
03.05.1996 MOT 74,909
23.05.1995 MOT 69,266
22.04.1994 MOT 66,702
29.01.1993 MOT 64,958
16.05.1992 MOT 56,277
Key Details
  • ModelEsprit
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date05.05.1988
  • CC2,174
  • Mileage~114,000
  • HistoryGreat
  • ColourCalpyso Red (A23)
  • Interior ColourTan
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #SCC085912JHD13186
  • Engine #CP912880424853
  • MOTYes. Exp - 03.04.2023
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers8
  • Tyre TreadGood
  • Tyre BrandPirelli
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • Owned~7 years
  • Key FeatureDocumentation
  • Auction ID461480

Auction Closed

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This car didn't meet its reserve price and may soon be available as a private sale - please contact us for more information.

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