DT: 167-Mile MSO 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo Commemorative Edition

We are pleased to offer this 1988 Lotus Esprit X180 Commemorative Edition finished in Pearlescent White over a tritone Blue and Grey Connolly leather interior. For the 1988 model year, Lotus produced a limited run of 88 freshly redesigned Esprit Turbos to commemorate the first race car of marque's founder Colin Chapman in 1948. The Commemorative Edition cars feature a unique pearlescent paint finish, distinctive upholstery and trim, and a numbered limitation plaque. This example, #68, was originally delivered to Robert’s Lotus of Meriden, Connecticut, and remained with the dealership’s owner until 2022 while being kept in climate-controlled storage and driven less than 200 miles in total. Having never been titled, remaining on its Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin, this rare and exceptionally well-preserved Lotus is now being offered for auction by its seller out of California.

For the 1988 model year, the Esprit was redesigned by Peter Stevens who was also responsible for the legendary McLaren F1. A new method patented by Lotus called VARI (Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection) was used to produce the body panels with kevlar added to the roof and sides for increased rollover protection. This Commemorative Edition is finished in Pearlescent White and features a removable roof panel, pop-up headlights, a rear wing, heated side mirrors, and rocker panel aero vents. It rides on a set of body-colored 15″ Lotus Design OZ wheels which come dressed in original Goodyear Eagle NCT tires from 1988.

The cabin is trimmed in a unique tritone theme with Blue Connolly leather, grey pigskin inserts, and blue carpets. Along with the exterior refresh, 1988 brought changes to the Esprit's cabin resulting in more spacious accommodations for occupants. Details include wood grain dashboard trim, tinted glass, air conditioning, power windows, a Sony AM/FM cassette player with a graphic equalizer, and a CD changer. The seller confirms that all gauges, electronics, and accessories remain functional.

Power comes from a mid-mounted Type 910 2.2-liter 16-valve turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. As much as 215 HP and 192 lb-ft of torque are sent to the rear wheels by way of a 5-speed manual Citroën-sourced transaxle. The Esprit features four-wheel independent suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, and four-wheel disc brakes with ventilated front rotors. The seller notes a fuel system flush was performed earlier in 2022.

This sale will include the owner's manuals and window sticker.

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Comments (40)

  • Lotusx (seller) 1 day, 20 hoursago

    Hello and thank you so much to all the people that have been leaving great comments and of course those people bidding on the lotus.

    We got very, very close to the reserve and I’m very open to making a positive deal.

    I did want to emphasize that we have approximately 90 hours into the Lotus in the last few months. Everything from checking wiring, making sure that there are no problems such as coolant hoses or rubber parts. The fuel system, brakes and all the other major components.

    We probably only have 15 hours into the exterior and the wheels because the car is “as new” old stock. Where we did spend quite a bit of time was using proper English leather conditioner, and really making sure that all of the leather inside the car was kept soft. English leather interior has a pretty specific way to keep it beautiful and soft. It’s also very important not to cross contaminate to the darker pig skin inserts.

    It’s amazing how impeccable this 35-year-old Lotus interior actually is. Nothing has been replaced, and it shows you what happens when a vehicle has been kept out of sight for almost 4 decades.

    If anybody has any questions, I am always available to answer them. I will say it one more time, this is the only new old stock lotus Esprit still on MSO in the entire world, of any year.

  • smythcllction 3 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $107,750

  • eyeonair3100 3 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $107,500

  • smythcllction 3 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $107,000

  • Proffittaf 3 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $105,000

  • eyeonair3100 3 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $100,000

  • Proffittaf 3 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $98,000

  • smythcllction 3 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $97,000

  • fcort7 (registered bidder) 3 days, 1 hourago

    Yeah I probably shouldn't have said anything. I am a Lotus dealer and yes the car is amazing!

  • eyeonair3100 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $94,000

  • Km48gg (registered bidder) 3 days, 2 hoursago

    @fcort7 Why? Just curious. Car is incredible

  • Proffittaf 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $92,500

  • celalaryxd (registered bidder) 3 days, 2 hoursago

    @fcort7 ? You do realize this car probably worth north of 100k?

  • eyeonair3100 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $86,000

  • fcort7 (registered bidder) 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Jumping the bid that much concerns me. GLWTS

  • smythcllction 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $85,000

  • fcort7 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $63,000

  • Proffittaf 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $62,500

  • Magicalmachine 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $51,250

  • fcort7 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $51,000

  • Sunvalley (registered bidder) 3 days, 2 hoursago

    I guess this will be dropping into the deal tank unless it's near the BAT price. I would like this in my collection so we shall see who has deep pockets today for a rare oppertunity.

  • Magicalmachine 3 days, 2 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $50,250

  • msdesignltd 3 days, 8 hoursago

    Wonderful Car...People should not have to be afraid to say " I am doing it to take advantage of a rare collector car market " I intend to make a profit!

  • smythcllction 3 days, 9 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $50,000

  • hot-rods-to-hell (registered bidder) 4 days, 22 hoursago

    amazing car, but candidly the interior looks like something out of an early 1970’s custom van……..

  • JJ 5 days, 1 hourago

    Bid in the amount of $31,988

  • Lotusx (seller) 6 days, 3 hoursago

    I did want to add a little bit of information to the listing. When the Esprit was delivered, there was very little for us to do because the car was so perfect.

    There was no paint correction necessary so 100% of the clearcoat is intact. I also decided not to ceramic coat the car because in 1988 the only ceramic coat on the market was PermaPlate. I am pretty fanatical about only using products on a new old stock vehicle that do not change the way the color looks.

    We did remove some dust from the engine bay but nothing has been polished or coated. When you see the bright red/orange powder coat that is the actual color. Every photograph is as taken. None of them have been color corrected.

    Lastly, I have put 2 miles on the car so the current mileage now is 169 miles. No additional mileage will be added.

  • Lotusx (seller) 6 days, 4 hoursago

    @Plancaster The plan was to put my X180R next to the X180. On the other side would be my preproduction prototype 340R.

    In all honesty, I can’t bring myself to put any miles on this car, and I’m certainly not willing to remove the window sticker from the windshield.

    I would imagine whoever ends up acquiring this car will keep it as a perfect time capsule still on MSO. But then again, maybe somebody would just like a brand new lotus Esprit, to be the first owner and actually put some real mileage on.

    Either way, sitting in my collection being started once a week but never driven is not ideal for the car. This Esprit is just too wonderful.

  • Plancaster 6 days, 8 hoursago

    What’s the reason for selling such a beautiful vehicle after just months of ownership.

  • Lotusx (seller) 6 days, 20 hoursago

    @JJ I have previously shipped a historic vehicle into Canada that also had never been registered. And on top of that, the vehicle I sent had a short VIN number because it came from Europe.

    I ran into absolutely no issues, but it would have been very difficult to get the car from Canada into the United States. It was under the 25 year rule for entry into the US.

    I would imagine the Esprit, if it was going to Canada, would be going via single use cargo container. I would heavily recommend Schumacher transport out of the port of Long Beach.

    If the car does end up going to Canada, I would be more than happy to help work with my contacts at Schumacher to assist in an effortless transport.

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to let me know.

  • JJ (registered bidder) 6 days, 22 hoursago

    Anyone know what issues the lack of title may cause if a buyer were to import the car to Canada?

  • Jrgonce 1 weekago

    Bid in the amount of $27,300

  • Lotusx (seller) 1 week, 3 daysago

    @CarNutinMiami Thank you for the question. All fluids have been replaced and that’s the first thing I do on anything that comes into my collection.

    Even on cars that are driven in my collection, I change oil every 100 hours which normally equates to about 1900 km of my driving. You can never change brake fluid or coolant often enough especially on a car that’s not used.

    The Esprit operates exactly as it should and at the correct temperature. If you have more detailed questions, please let me know.

    Thank Arnie Johnson (RIP) at Lotus for always recommending to me the extra service work. My first Lotus was/is an X180R that we purchased new in 1991.

  • Jadvette94 1 week, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $27,007

  • phurlston 1 week, 3 daysago

    This car did well on BaT in April of this year. It will be interesting to see how it does in the current market. Esprit prices seemed to peak earlier this year. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1988-lotus-160-mile-40th-anniversary-edition-esprit/

  • CarNutinMiami 1 week, 3 daysago

    I see where it says the fuel system was flushed. I would imagine that all the fluids in the car have to be flushed and changed for fresh fluids. Has that been done?

  • fcort7 1 week, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $25,000

  • Lendou 1 week, 3 daysago

    Bid in the amount of $20,000

  • Lotusx (seller) 1 week, 3 daysago

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

  • Lotusx (seller) 1 week, 3 daysago

    I want you to say hello to all the people viewing and bidding on my new old stock Lotus Esprit.

    I am available to answer any questions, no matter how small or how detailed the request.

    To emphasize, this is the last known Esprit of any year that is still on MSO and has never been sold or titled. The window sticker has never been removed from the front windshield. For the last 35 years, this Esprit has been hidden away without even the ability for people to see it or sit in it.

    It is pristine and perfect in every possible way. Please feel free to reach out if I can help with any questions or additional photographs.

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DT: 167-Mile MSO 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo Commemorative Edition
Buy Now: $115,000 Final Bid: $107,750
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