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Lotus Esprit: The Official Story Hardcover – April 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Told against the backdrop of a volatile but genius boss (d. 1982), financial woes ranging from a global fuel crisis to hard-to-find financing and a costly racing program, and ever more complex global motorcar regulations we follow the Esprit's foray away from Lotus' 1960s kit-car image and upmarket into Porsche and Ferrari territory. From conception, production and track history, all derivatives are covered in good and really engagingly presented detail. Roughly the first 2/3 of the book present design philosophy, personnel, and specific construction features of the car and the remainder covers in chronological order the car's entire life cycle.
Appended are performance stats, technical specs, thumbnail reproductions of various brochures (not identified by date or market) and book and magazine covers (again without any particulars). There is an Index, quite brief, and mostly of people and publications.Read more ›
One omission I wish the author had included given his access to the factory and it's employees is some statistics regarding perrenial problems like the Esprit transmission. There are no references anywhere in the book to numbers of recalls per year or number of service visits per customer per car owned.
As an example, we calculate MTBF and MMBF on our fleet of roughly 60 semi tractors. Over the last 25 years, depending on Make and model we have drastically different reliability experiences but in general reliability has gotten better each year and we can now put over 100,000 miles on a semi with nothing more than oil and steer tire changes. I have 147,000 miles on my 2013 Volvo VNL 730 with no problems. Yet I see 2000 thru 2004 Esprits for sale with less than 10,000 miles on them and sellers remarking that 'high running costs' are the primary reason for selling their unique artifact of automotive history. I would have liked to see an entire chapter pulling Esprit service records abstracts from every year to give a more complete picture of Esprit reliability or lack there of.
Additionally, I would have liked to see more financial information on the company itself even if only limited to annual net profit and loss and the Esprit's contribution or toll. As I was reading I couldn't help but think how tremendous a learning tool the case study of Lotus finances would have been.Read more ›
The author has been following the Esprit throughout it’s history and was able to tap into unique insider knowledge from within Lotus, thanks to the company’s cooperation.
However, I feel the book could have used more proofreading and editing. There are plenty of typos, the writing style is at times grammatically hard to follow, and the author has a tendency to repeat the same facts multiple times within and between chapters...
Overall, I am very happy to call this my own, and I always look forward to spending time reading the book!