You can buy Colin Chapman’s personal Lotus Esprit

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Colin Chapmans Lotus front side Colin Chapmans Lotus front side
Colin Chapmans Lotus side Colin Chapmans Lotus side
Colin Chapmans Lotus rear side Colin Chapmans Lotus rear side
Colin Chapmans Lotus side rear detail Colin Chapmans Lotus side rear detail
Colin Chapmans Lotus Interior Colin Chapmans Lotus Interior
Colin Chapmans Lotus interior stereo Colin Chapmans Lotus interior stereo
Colin Chapmans Lotus engine Colin Chapmans Lotus engine
Colin Chapmans Lotus Thatcher Colin Chapmans Lotus Thatcher

One-off Lotus Esprit was built for the boss, and it could be yours

One of the latest finds we’ve come across on the web is this 1981 Lotus Esprit Series 3 Turbo; a cool car in its own right – but this one made even more special as the former personal car of Lotus founder Colin Chapman.

It is currently for sale in the UK, coming to market from the hands of Surrey-based classic and specialist car dealer Mark Donaldson. No price is publically listed, so it’s safe to assume it won’t be cheap.

READ NEXT: LOTUS 1963-2008 - MARKET REVIEW 2019

The late-model Esprit is a one-off car however, built for the boss. Finished in metallic silver over red leather interior, this was the first Esprit to be fitted with BBS alloy wheels.

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It was also specially fitted with power steering, unique to this car; as well as a roof-mounted Panasonice RM 610 stereo system, with air-conditioning and in-cabin pollen filters to aid with Chapman’s hayfever.

The car sat on lowered suspension with bespoke bodywork modifications to reduce wind noise.

READ NEXT: HAVE YOU SEEN LOTUS’ MISSING RACE CAR?

The car was first registered on August 1 1981, and was driven by the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher while on a factory tour. The car is also said to have been driven by Lotus’ F1 driver at the time, Elio de Angelis.

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Sadly, Chapman’s time with his special Esprit was short-lived, as he passed away less than 18 months later on December 16 1982.

According to fastidious documentation, the car had travelled less than 4,500 miles by February 16 1983; and until today remains carefully maintained by Lotus’ factory service department.

Fast forward almost 40 years, Chapman’s Esprit has been through the hands of several owners, yet now bears just 11,000 miles on the odometer.

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For a one-off factory-made and modified sports car belonging to the boss man himself; it would be an incredible collectible for the dedicated Lotus enthusiast.

Of course you can save yourself some serious dollars if you look at Esprits without such special historical provenance: there’s a handful for sale on our classifieds right now – you can view them here!

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