Everyone keeps remarking about how Porsche 911s have looked the same for the past 50 years, but no one ever remarks how the Lotus Esprit has been guilty of a similar fate (sans the new one). Well okay, the Esprit wasn't nearly as resilient or successful of a sports car as the 911 is, but that's not going to stop me from admiring the beauty of an original Esprit restored to perfection.
Before I go on, I'd like to say I spotted this particular car at Houston's August cars and coffee meet (or coffee and cars technically for our town's iteration). After attending numerous CnCs, I've come to the realization there's only so many 458s and Gallardos you can look at before they all start looking the same (what?!). And at the ripe(ish) age of 24, I've decided I must be getting old or going through some strange form of a quarter life crisis because holy shit are classic cars becoming that much more appealing.
As a result, I've decided to spend more time at these events looking at fewer cars. The appreciation I have for a single car increases tenfold this way. I knew this Esprit would be the center of attention for me this past time around when a group of kids standing behind it gave it zero glances and instead pointed to a new Ferrari off to the side.
I wasn't able to chat with the owner for long, but in the short time he enthused me about his car, he mentioned that it was a 1977 model and a barn find from several years back. Yesss barn find. And 1977 also means it's a first year American model (if I'm wrong, do correct me). Oh and that color is a Lamborghini tangerine orange which in a way is a bit of a bummer for the purists, but given how photogenic and perfect it was, I wasn't going to ask for a cake and eat it too.
Unfortunately, he had to dash before I was able to sneak some glances at what I was hoping would be a restored original 2 liter underneath, but I was still glad to be able to capture this thing before it left the lot. I don't like all of Giugiaro's designs, but damn did he get the original Esprit right.
(old Jalop article on beautiful wedges: http://jalopnik.com/5103158/top-te… )
In a way I guess this article doubles as a showcase for this beauty of an original Esprit and my epiphany in how to truly take in and make the most of a cars and coffee event. Houston is home to one of the best and biggest cars and coffee meets in the nation, and it attracts all kinds of cars from old Alfas and Citroens to thousand horsepower Vipers. It easily becomes overwhelming, and when you're a kid it seems dumb to pass up all the new exotics you see from Need for Speed to look at something 40 years old and likely makes less than 200 hp. But once a taste for something a bit older and bit finer is acquired, it makes my love for cars that much more satisfying.
Houston's next event at Vintage Park is this Saturday the 7th as early as you can get there.