Market Watch: it’s Esprit time, again

Price bulletin, 20 October 2021.

Classic Cars magazine

by Phil Bell |

After escaping long-term status as a classic underdog, the Lotus Esprit has had a fresh boost. Prices of three generations of the Turbo are up between 9.1% and 17%.

The smallest gain is for the Turbo and SE variants built from 1987 to 1992, making rough project cars £6.6k, tidy, usable cars £11k and the best examples typically £20-30k, depending on just how good they are.

The S4 Turbo has moved more, with typical prices now £8.5k to £32k depending on condition. Top performer is the original 1980-1987 Turbo, up 17% to give an £8k to £35k spread.

Series 1 cars have long-since spiralled in value despite their more gentle performance, a clear sign that the Esprit is increasingly bought for its classic collectable status rather than purely as a thrilling driving machine. The rise of the early Turbos is consistent with that trend along with the increasing appreciation of sharp-looking Seventies styling. To enthusiasts who grew up in the Seventies or Eighties, the curves and chrome of previous eras are less compelling.

There’s no doubt that the latest Bond film will have rekindled the glow that already bathes cars with a onetime 007 association, and despite the fact that the current production company seems blind to all of the great, and some not-so-great, cars that followed the Goldfinger/Thunderball DB5, Esprits will have benefitted too.

Of the 54 classics showing an increase in the latest issue’s Price Guide Movers On The Up roundup, the average growth is 13%. The list of cars that have performed similarly well is heavily loaded with models from the Seventies to the Nineties and when you look at the top ten, only 30% of the players are from earlier decades.

Price Guide Movers On The Up is part of 16 regular pages of market tips, analysis and buying advice in the latest issue of Classic Cars.

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