Pleasanton Street Sighting - 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo
One of the first cars I photographed for this blog was a red 1988 Lotus Esprit. Now here's another. For some reason all the Esprits I find parked on the street seem to be red, as this is our third one. It's a very nice one, too.
The Lotus Esprit was always one of my favorite sports cars as a kid. The Giugiaro body design and James Bond pedigree always appealed to me. The fiberglass-bodied wedge and its curious parts-bin mechanicals were a unique alternative to the howling Italian stallions that adorned Ron Kimball wall posters and that other plastic sports coupe from Kentucky. This generation of Esprit featured a turbocharged 2.2 liter four-cylinder Lotus engine good for 215 horsepower, roughly the same as a V8 Mustang GT of the time. A few Citroen bits found their way into this car, among them the transaxle and side mirrors (European cars of this era had Renault transaxles). Yes, the taillights are from a Toyota Corolla AE86. This is an '88 S3 model with Bosch fuel injection, but '89s received General Motors Delco fuel injection. Just because it has a four-banger doesn't mean it's a slouch -- these cars can hit 60 in less than 5.5 seconds. Later models from 1996 on could be had with a 3.5 liter V8.
This is a very well-kept car with its original vanity plates, quite possibly a one-owner car. It reflects obvious pride of ownership. I don't know if the gold pinstriping is original, but it's kept simple and inoffensive. The body styling still looks relatively fresh for being based on a design from 1976. I still like it.
California Streets is a blog that celebrates the history of the automobile in California. We feature old, interesting and often rare cars and trucks found parked on public streets and roads around the state of California.
I'm a delivery driver by trade, but I'm also a freelance artist and hobby photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area with a healthy interest in cars. I love finding and documenting fascinating old cars wherever I go.