Lotus recently bought a piece of its own history after purchasing the modified Esprit made especially for its founder, Colin Chapman.
The 1981 Series 3 Esprit was Chapman’s final company car before it was sold on. However, after the machine was advertised for sale again recently, Lotus coughed up £100,000 to bring the car back to Hethel, where it plans to give it a full restoration before placing it in the company’s collection of significant and historic Lotus cars.
Being made especially for Chapman, the Esprit features modifications such as lowered suspension, power steering, revised aerodynamics to reduce wind noise, a dry- sump engine and even a pollen filter to help reduce the effects of Chapman’s hayfever.
The car was also once driven by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was treated to a test drive alongside Chapman during a visit to the factory. It even has a historic photo of the two nestled inside the ruched red leather interior.