Arizona

19-20 January 2017

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Lot 156

1983 Lotus Turbo Esprit

  • Chassis no. SCCFC20A8DHF60363

Sold for $44,000


210 hp, 2,174 cc DOHC sixteen-valve turbocharged four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual rear transaxle, independent front suspension with upper A-arms, lower lateral links, coil springs, and anti-roll bar; independent rear suspension with upper/lower lateral links, angled trailing arms, and coil springs; and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96 in.

  • Highly desirable first-year example, in exceptional low-mileage condition
  • One-of-one in Silver with full red leather interior
  • Impressive history file
  • Rigorously maintained West Coast car


One of the most memorable designs of Italian styling legend Giorgetto Giugiaro, the groundbreaking Lotus Esprit was among the most famous sports cars of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and would remain in production, with the same basic shape but evolving drivetrains, for over 20 years. Low, dramatic, and advanced, with all-independent suspension, a mid-mounted sixteen-valve four-cylinder engine, and four-wheel disc brakes, its performance was as thrilling as its appearance. No wonder that, for a brief time in the films The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only, an Esprit briefly supplanted the Aston Martin as James Bond’s company car of choice.

The Esprit featured in For Your Eyes Only meets an explosive end not long into the film, but its time on-screen was memorable enough to lock it into the minds of enthusiasts worldwide. It was the high-performance, 210-horsepower Turbo model, very similar to the car here, delivered in August 1983 as the 82nd of the 150 examples produced that year. Only seven Turbo Esprits were finished in Silver Metallic in 1983, and this is the only example to be built in that color with a red leather interior.

First registered in Washington State, it was subsequently sold to California in the mid-1990s, and remained there until quite recently. Routinely serviced as-required over the years, it is reported to run and drive virtually as new, with 32,000 actual miles, and even the air conditioning still blowing ice-cold. In fact, in more recent times it was used extensively for touring California and the wine country. Its most recent servicing included new tires.

A “one-of-one” Turbo Esprit with 007 élan, excellent low-mileage originality, and a fine service history, this car marks one of the finest of its kind ever offered at public sale. It is as dramatic and enthralling today as when it was new – a bold but accurate statement, just like the Turbo Esprit itself.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

csmyth@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more