Build your dream sports car with this 1983 Lotus Esprit rolling chassis

Kickstart your fever dreams. Buy this 1983 Lotus Esprit rolling chassis that comes complete with an engine and transmission. You just need to supply… well, you need to supply a lot here. But the current bid of $560 means you may snag this setup for a song.

Reader P161911 sent this glory rider in to our tips line (Tips@Hooniverse.com), and we’re smitten. In fact, this could be the building block for an outrageous LeMons build. Sure, it sounds cheater at first but realize how much work would be required to pull it all off. Factor in the weight of a modern roll cage paired with an aged Lotus engine that was good for maybe 210 horsepower when new, and we think we could get this one past the judges.

But what sort of theme works best here?

Lotus Esprit rolling chassis for sale

Perhaps an oversized vintage Lotus racing theme should be called into play. If you have someone decent enough at bending body panels, then they could construct an oversized Lotus 77. Paint it black and gold, and call it the John Lamm Special livery.

What would you do?

Really the world is your oyster here. This is the type of platform that can allow for some truly wild thoughts. The Type 910 engine  looks like it’s pretty much all there, even if it hasn’t been run in at least five years. The seller does say that last time it did run, it ran well. So there’s that.

Lotus Esprit rolling chassis for sale

This chassis has been in storage for more than a decade. The seller says that the plan was to build a custom sports car on its bones. That never happened, and now the chassis is for sale. There’s no title and California doesn’t have a record of the VIN in its system. Hence why this is probably best served as a LeMons machine… or some other manner of non-street-legal use.

Check out the listing on eBay by clicking here.

14 Comments

  1. Why overthink it? I say you’re just a gearshift knob and a strapped-down milk crate away from a fun ride.

    1. Aren’t you fancy with a gearshift knob.
      Show those decadent Se7en and Aerial Atom drivers true bare bones motoring.

      Although I do find the two apparent cup holders rather puzzling.

  2. Assuming the 98 inch wheelbase matches up, here is literally the PERFECT solution – with one day to go it is sitting at $830 on eBay.

    A Kellison J3A fiberglass body Roadster race car vintage Special
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d5fca587ad0751f4bd8cff413cd7782db422d9d146d4bb3c084b59e6cc97613.jpg

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kellison-J3A-fiberglass-body-Roadster-race-car-vintage-Special-/223313183459

    Assuming you have a few skillz and get both the chassis and the body for roughly their current prices, you could easily be the Season Champion for LeMons in 2020.

    1. The problem there is that the Kellison was designed for a front-engine chassis, so the hood is long, and the body behind the seats is short. The Lotus chassis is long in the rear to accommodate the mid-engine layout, with very little length ahead of the driver. You’d sooner mount the J-series body backwards and get it to fit.

      1. You say that like mounting the body backwards on a LeMons car would be a problem. Backwards body gives you suicide doors! (If that thing even has doors)

        1. But backwards chassis gives you rear wheel steer!

          (all the fancy sports cars these days have rear wheel steer — what could go wrong?)

  3. Whoever buys this: I have some windows that won’t roll down, two headlights that won’t flip up and one that won’t flip down. If you can’t keep it original, at least keep it authentic.

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