1990 Lotus Esprit

Trade Classics > Auctions > Lotus > 1990 Lotus Esprit


*** Negotiation Opportunity ***

This great Lotus Esprit is available pre-auction on a negotiated sale. Get in touch with us to submit an early offer.

Please read the How it Works page for more information and our Terms and Conditions of sale.


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The original Lotus Esprit was launched in 1976, this is a later model produced in 1990 and designed by British designer Paul Stevens.

This design was less angular, with more rounded bumpers etc, but the iconic wedge shape and Giugario designed original traits still visible.

Most of the mechanical elements were inherited from the previous versions, but some updates were made electronically and this example for sale has the naturally aspirated 2.2L engine powering it along with a 5 speed manual gearbox.



James is a car guy, mainly water-cooled Porsche, but having owned a Lotus Eclat in the past he turned his attention to owning an Esprit.

He knew the owner of this car for some time before purchasing, and originally went to look at a S3 Turbo. It wasn’t in the condition mechanically that James was happy with, and then he saw this “Steven’s bodied” example and thought it looked great and purchased it.

He has used the car regularly, and taken it on road trips across the UK and over in to Italy with his wife.

Having enjoyed the car, and looking ahead to the future starting a family with his wife, they’ve decided to sell the car so it goes on to a new home. Just like the previous owners documented in the history, James has tended to the car as needed to make sure it is an enjoyable and reliable drive.


With a fibre-glass body finished in white, the car certainly has a lot of stand out 80’s presence. Coming with a spoiler as standard (that will be supplied with the sale), James has opted to remove this, really accentuating the wedge profile of the Esprit.

Wheels & Tyres
Sitting on Lotus wheels, with Pirellis on the front, and Kumhos on the rear. The wheels are in good condition, the nearside front wheel having some slight curbing visible.

With the car finished in fibre-glass, no rust issues to worry about with this classic in the bodywork. The panel fit across the car was good, and can be seen by taking a look at the media. As mentioned, the car does have its original spoiler that will be supplied with the sale.

The car is finished in white, and it really suits this particular model and era of car we think. We didn’t observe any scratches or other imperfections in the paintwork. However, the cars clear coat on the paintwork is suffering on multiple points, such as the top of the off side door frame, and below the rear window on the off side. Take a look at the video to review the condition.

Glass and Trim
The glass and trim across the car look good. Particularly the trim, solid black, and the rubber seals look good and not perished over the age of the car.



The car is finished in blue throughout the interior, with natural leather hide across the seats and trim, and blue carpets throughout.

Seats and Carpets
The seats and carpets on the car are finished in a deep blue colour. As you would expect from seats finished in natural leather, they are showing signs of age in the tell tale spots on the drivers seat. Take a look at the media to review the condition.

Also finished in blue, with some leather covering too. Generally the condition of the dash is good, there is some marking on the dials, as observed in the images.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
This Esprit was owned by a former Lotus employee in its time, and so it’s fitted with various factory options, one of which is the Momo steering wheel. It presents itself in good condition, and the gearstick gaiter too. Take a look at the detail in the video and images.



We took the car on our normal short trips to put it through its paces, take a look at our write-up and video.

Engine and Gearbox
Fitted with carbs, the car started from cold without issue. This particular model is fitted with quite extensive cooling and so the engine takes some time to reach temperature and idle smoothly once warm. Fitted with a 5 speed gear box, the car went through the gears as observed in our video with no issues. James tuned the car when he first bought it and says no need to service the carbs.

Suspension and Brakes
New suspensions and shocks on this car that James fit. Being a Lotus, he knew that suspension was crucial and so wanted to ensure that it drove as it should do. Currently set to a softer setting as James and his wife took the car on a road trip to Italy. No untoward knocking/rattling observed and braking without fault too.

The Drive
Just as you would expect in a low profile, wedge shaped, fibre-glass Lotus. You feel like you are in a sports car zipping around the local roads.

Electrics and Other
Everything is working as it should from an electrics perspective, the only exception being the door mirrors that are adjustable, this is a Ford part James says and easily available. The 2nd digit of the mileage counter has stuck, and so the car has actually covered 73,980 miles, James has this booked in to be fixed.



James has owned this car for 2 years, and it comes with a lot of history in terms of owners documenting the cars service life, and lots of notes on how to maintain the car etc.

The car is showing just over 73,980 as of 10.12.2018.

HPi Check Results
– HPI check in progress.

Mileage Records
– 18.10.1990 – 6,135 miles
– 02.04.1991 – 12,847 miles
– 14.03.1998 – 52,998 miles
– 12.09.1999 – 54,013 miles
– 28.07.2006 – 69,744 miles
– 01.08.2007 – 70,735 miles
– 13.08.2008 – 71,507 miles
– 12.08.2009 – 71,658 miles
– 11.08.2010 – 71,764 miles
– 01.08.2011 – 71,852 miles
– 20.08.2012 – 71,852 miles
– 06.09.2013 – 71,189 miles
– 07.02.2015 – 71,857 miles
– 01.07.2016 – 71,857 miles
– 10.12.2018 – 73,980 miles



We’ve been lucky enough to consign and sell a number of Lotus built cars over the past year, and this one is one of the newest of them all. However, the ethos of how Lotus build their sports cars is true throughout.

Very light, rear wheel driven, iconic wedge shape, and a powerful engine ready to propel you on an enjoyable, connected drive.

This is a real drivers car, and James has realistic expectations on what he would like to return on the car, get in touch to find out more.


This listing was written by Kulraj Singh Salh from information gained from James the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. James will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.

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