Lot 272

Arizona 2020

1978 Lotus Esprit Series 1


$36,400 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
Engine No.
AC7 7801 14511
  • Iconic sports car design by Giorgio Giugiaro
  • Rare Series 1 example; only 459 examples distributed to the U.S.
  • Less than 900 miles since comprehensive restoration
  • A lightweight track-inspired sports car suitable for the road
  • Retains its original drivetrain

First shown as a prototype on a modified Europa chassis at the 1972 Turin show, the Esprit was launched at the 1975 Paris Motor Show. The iconic “folded paper” design by Giorgio Giugiaro gave it more than just admiring stares. The 2.0-liter twin-cam, four-cylinder, mid-mounted Lotus 907 engine also turned it into the premier British sports car from when the Esprit first appeared in 1976 until the end of production in 2004. The engine was mated to a Citroën C35 five-speed manual gearbox and produced 160 hp or 140 hp in U.S. trim. The series 1 Esprit gained even more fame through its appearance in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

This original California-delivery Esprit S1 was recently treated to a restoration that included a complete rebuild of its original engine, which was subsequently fitted with twin Weber carburetors (the original carburetors accompany the car), a total rebuild of the suspension system, new performance exhaust system, new tires, new brakes, and proper detailing of the frame. Additionally, the Lotus was professionally balanced to maximize its already superior handling capabilities. Cosmetically, the body was stripped and professionally repainted in the original factory yellow with all-new weather stripping installed. Inside, the original blue-and-black interior remains in excellent original condition, with a new shift knob and e-brake handle installed, along with an upgraded Alpine stereo system. Restoration receipts as well as the owner’s handbooks and workshop manual accompany the car.

An iconic, lightweight, track-inspired Lotus that is properly restored and sorted, this modern classic is as much a thrill to look at as it is to drive.