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Lotus Esprit: The Official Story Hardcover – April 1, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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About the Author

Jeremy Walton, a well-respected freelance motoring writer, wrote the classic Gerry Marshall book Only Here for the Beer, his first book, in 1979 and has since written over 30 motoring books.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Coterie Press Ltd.; New edition edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190235124X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902351247
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 1 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,236,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Walton is probably the only journalist to have driven and written about all the many Esprit models and this long-standing relationship with the factory has made possible unrivaled access to company archives and employees. Which brings us to the subtitle of the book, "The Official Story." From this it is not be inferred that this is a Lotus-commissioned, -sponsored, or -directed work. A more apropos subtitle would have been "The Complete Story" but that title was already used on Walton's previous Esprit book, in 1991 (his first one was in 1981)--prematurely, obviously, since the Esprit saga not only continued for another 13 years after that but saw the most radical improvement in the Esprit's fortunes, the introduction of the V8 in 1996.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lotus Esprit: The Official Story is an excellent review of the history of the lotus esprit. I highly recommend it to any fan of the esprit especiallly if the reader is considering buying an esprit. The comprehensive look at all years of this model is useful in understanding what years a potential buyer might want to steer clear of even perhaps all of them.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr Walton has compiled a thorough history on the Esprit in this volume. The book is of true quality written for the serious Lotus enthusiast. If, like me, no detail is too insignificant in the history and development of the Esprit, this is an appropriate book to purchase.
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Format: Hardcover
If you own a Lotus Esprit, or are seriously thinking about owning one, then you want this book. It’s a treasure trove of information and insider stories that will make you feel warm and fuzzy!

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!
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