1988 Lotus Turbo Esprit

The Lotus Turbo Esprit was introduced in 1981 featuring Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed bodywork and a turbocharged 2.2L engine linked to a 5-speed manual gearbox as well as an aerodynamic body kit derived from the special edition Essex model of the previous series. This 1988 example is finished in Calypso Red over a Tan Connolly leather interior and was acquired by the seller in May of 2021 from a long-term owner in California who owned it since 1993. It received extensive service since 2006 including an overhaul of the engine at 34k miles, a rebuilt transmission, a new clutch, flywheel, and timing belt, as well as an air conditioning system recharge, new rear brakes and rear shocks, new door seals, a new battery, and a new set of tires. Now showing just under 48k miles on the odometer, this Lotus Esprit Turbo is being offered at auction by its seller out of California.

The exterior is finished in Calypso Red (A23) and features pop-up headlights, integrated fog lights, and rocker panel aero vents. The factory 15” OZ Racing wheels were mounted with new BFGoodrich tires in 2021. The seller reports some clearcoat failure on the left quarter panel, mild discoloration of the trunk lid, and intermittent issues with the driver-side headlight motor. Detailed images are provided in the gallery along with a clean CARFAX report.

The interior is upholstered with Tan Connolly leather including bucket seats with a matching dashboard, center console, door panels, and carpeting. Amenities include air conditioning, a Panasonic CD stereo, a fire extinguisher, floor mats, and power windows and locks. The seller notes some wear on the seats, handbrake boot, and center console as well as minor damage on the driver’s seat belt buckle housing and some tears in the lining behind the driver’s seat. The air-conditioning was recharged in 2019 along with the replacement of the headlights, door seals, and wiper blade assemblies.

The Esprit Turbo is equipped with a turbocharged 2.2-liter Type 910 inline-four rated at 210 HP and 200 lb.-ft of torque, driving the rear wheels through a Citroen 5-speed manual transaxle. The seller reports the engine was overhauled with a replacement crankshaft and upgraded pilot bearing in 2006 at 34k miles, the transmission was rebuilt in 2007, and the rear shocks, fuel control over speed module, slave cylinder, and clutch, flywheel, pilot bearing, timing belt, and V-belts were all replaced between 2009 and 2015.

This sale will include a set of two keys, owner's manuals, and a clean title.

Auction Results

  • Highest Offer: $18,000
  • Auction End: 2022-07-09 11:45:00+00:00
  • Number of Offers: 1
viewed 2,827 times saved 9 times

Comments (30)

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Hello all -

    I paid $24,250 + 5% buyer fee = $25,462 on Bring a Trailer in May 2021. I then spent $3,000 on new tires and A/C, so I am at $28,462. I am open to reasonable offers, but we all know how the market was from May 2021 to today, and that you can't buy a Lotus Esprit anywhere in the country for less than $25K, let alone a California car with full documentation and recent service. I'm not going to even respond to offers under $24K.

  • $18,000 offer from Brooklyn, NY (11230) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Offer in the amount of $18,000

  • pldiimkly 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $17,252

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    I moved the reserve down but we are not there yet

  • cockee 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $16,752

  • pldiimkly 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $16,502

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    A few minutes before someone takes title to the 3rd fastest production car of 1988. Faster than the 911 Carrera and the Corvette of that year

  • LeCroissant 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $16,251

  • tdskip 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $16,001

  • Mrosilio 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $15,252

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    @Mrosilio You can get instant quotes on the BaT shipping page, but they are typically a few hundred dollars higher than the shipper I use. My last enclosed shipping bill from Long Island to my house was about $2,200. I have used Shipyourcarnow several times, and recommend them

  • Mrosilio (registered bidder) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    @handmethekeys Got it - Last question for you and anyone else reading this who might have an idea - What would approximate enclosed shipping cost be to NJ? It's about 2,700 miles.


  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    @Mrosilio I just bought a 2000 Lotus Esprit V8 for $52K on Bring a Trailer. I love the Esprit platform, and this example you are bidding on is a great car and an even greater value. I have wanted a silver V8 Esprit since a friend of mine, who unfortunately has since passed, showed up to my wedding in a new one in 2001. The 88 Esprit and 91 Esprits that I bought were for dipping my toes in to get familiar with the platform. As much as I'd like to keep them all, I don't have the space or the "marital capital" to pull that off.

  • Mrosilio (registered bidder) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Why are you selling after such a short time?


  • tdskip 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $14,999

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    @Mrosilio Service records added to the gallery. Engine rebuild was 1/4/2006. Performed at Summit Automotive in Marina Del Rey, CA for $7,521. Trans was same shop on 6/12/07 for $2,838.

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Additional content has been added to the gallery for this listing.

  • Mrosilio (registered bidder) 1 month, 3 weeksago


    Is there documentation available from the engine & transmission rebuild?


  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Good morning bidders. Welcome to the final day of the auction for this California owned 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo with 47k miles and extensive service records. Unlike many classics, this one has A/C that blows cold and a working stereo so that you can enjoy it all summer. Good luck!

  • tomneedles 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $13,000

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 3 weeksago

    @PCARMARKET Thank you. The new video is an exterior walk around and full interior view of the Esprit. Bidders feel free to contact me or leave a comment with any questions. I am available to show the car today or tomorrow morning before the auction ends. Good luck!

  • PCARMARKET 1 month, 3 weeksago

    A new video has been added to the listing page.

  • tdskip 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $11,999

  • bemoryusn 1 month, 3 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $5,550

  • tdskip (registered bidder) 1 month, 4 weeksago

    Thanks for the prompt response

  • handmethekeys (seller) 1 month, 4 weeksago

    @tdskip thank you for your bid. Yes I can provide smog for a CA buyer. There are no known repair issues. The car runs beautifully. The next buyer may want to discount the price for a timing belt replacement. There is no issue with the current belt, but it has been 6 years since replacement.

  • tdskip 1 month, 4 weeksago

    Bid in the amount of $1,999

  • tdskip (registered bidder) 1 month, 4 weeksago

    Correct to assume this will come with fresh SMOG for California buyer?

    Any known maintenance issues or problems not covered above?

  • handmethekeys (seller) 2 monthsago

    Thank you @NaplesMotorsports and welcome bidders to the auction of my 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo. I have uploaded a short driving video and a cold start video to the gallery. Please feel free to post any questions to the comments section. If you are local to Southern California, I am also happy to schedule a showing of the Esprit. Thank you all for your interest and thank you to Pcarmarket for facilitating.

  • NaplesMotorsports (registered bidder) 2 monthsago

    These cars are timeless! They still look like a $100,000+ car to me. I own (2) of them and love them. I have a 1991 and a 2003.

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1988 Lotus Turbo Esprit
Final offer: $18,000
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