1988 Lotus EXCEL SE
About the car
I always wanted an Esprit, or at least a Lotus! In the late summer of 1997 I travelled with a friend to Stuttgart in order to check out two examples that I have found in the classifieds section of the German "auto motor sport" magazine. (Yeah, no internetting those days)
The first was a white Esprit S3 in -more or less- average condition with red (yuck!) interior, no A/C and a leaky exhaust. I went for a quick test drive with the seller - a filthy looking photographer who was going to New York, hence the Esprit had to go (at least that's what he told us)
I was not very happy with the overall condition of the car - compared to the asking price of 12.000 Euros and found the R/H steering awkward especially in downtown Stuttgart during the rush hour!
The other one was a 1988 Excel SE finished in monaco white in remarkably good condition - when we reached the sellers address the Excel was gleaming brightly in the late afternoon sun - The car had good full black leather interior, an effectively working A/C and an overall sound condition. The test drive was very impressive! The steering was light, but very precise (even compared to my 6 series csi), the engine was revving happily and the exhaust sound was superb. The handling was excellent and as my mate remarked: "The Excel has two additional seats and a large boot" - so decision was made to go for the Excel as my first Lotus . . .
Parts Cross Reference
Some Excel brochures from my collection
Video of a huge corso of LOTUS cars on the Nordschleife
Video of a huge corso of LOTUS cars on the Nordschleife Part 2