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Wrecked my Esprit!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by tonybelding, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    This morning I was taking the Esprit V8 to a nearby town to get some fresh tires put on it. While running down this country road I wandered a bit too far to the right and hit a patch of gravel. The car swerved to the left, I swerved it back to the right and reflexively hit the brakes -- and the brakes locked up, and then I was just a passenger on the roller-coaster ride.

    The car spun and launched over the barditch and through a barbed-wire fence, taking out a cedar post, a steel post, and four strands of barbed wire. I continued sliding to a stop in a field of soft dirt. If the fence hadn't been there, I believe the car would have suffered little damage. As it is, there was no mechanical damage, but almost every part of the body was skinned up in some way, and several fiberglass components were damaged. It's going to be an expensive repair bill.

    As you might imagine I'm still a bit shaken up. This accident came out of nowhere, under nearly perfect driving conditions -- going in a straight line down a clean, smooth road, in clear weather, with no other traffic around, and I wasn't driving super-fast. It's the first accident of any consequence I've been into in my life. So. . . I don't know yet what conclusion I'm going to draw from it in the end.

    One obvious lesson. . . It made me a quick believer in antilock brakes. If this car had antilock brakes -- or if I'd had the presense of mind to stay out of the brakes -- I'm almost certain I wouldn't have lost control, and this would have been a non-event.
     
  2. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Mainecoon Butler

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    :(

    Sorry to read this but at least you are still among us, the breathing ones.
     
  3. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Yeah, it could have been a lot worse.

    I went back to the scene and took another look, got a clearer idea what happened. It wasn't exactly "nearly perfect driving conditions" after all. The highway department is reworking the shoulders, laying down dirt and grading it even with the road surface (maybe in preparation to widen the road, I'm not sure). I came out of a turn and skipped into the loose dirt they'd put down, that's what triggered the whole event.

    What I wrote before about the brakes still stands, though.

    I've already talked to someone who's going to help me get the car fixed.
     
  4. danny

    danny Administrator

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    Hey Tony,
    Very Glad to hear your okay
    Sorry this happened to you
    Stuff just comes our way sometimes when we least expect it
     
  5. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Got my Esprit back -- finally!

    It's been a long time, but I finally got my Lotus Esprit V8 fully repaired and back in my own hands.   ;D

    It's beautiful!  With the paint chips and other defects fixed, and the various new replacement parts it actually looks better than when I got it.

    As I was driving home, kids along the street were pointing and waving.  I'll have to get used to that kind of attention again.

    Total repair cost from start to finish: $9,500. Let's hope not to repeat that little adventure.
     
  6. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Mainecoon Butler

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    Re: Got my Esprit back -- finally!

    Nice ;)
     
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Re: Got my Esprit back -- finally!

    Quick! Sell it before you wreck it again.

    (Hate to see you not be able to pay off the Roadster)

    :)
     
  8. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Got My Esprit Back Today!

    It took a while, didn't it? This was after a rat got into the engine compartment and chewed up the wiring, as some of you may recall. I had the car hauled to Lotus of Austin for repairs.

    I guess it was inevitable that they would find a few other things to work on, in addition to the wiring harness. They also replaced the rear shock struts, repaired the airbag inflator module, and rebuilt the clutch.

    It wasn't cheap, but now the car should be fully sorted.

    After being without the car so long, I'd almost forgotten how to drive it. I stalled it at an intersection. Twice I tried to launch it in third. I tried driving with the windows down, until I nearly choked on fumes swirling in from the engine compartment.

    Pulled into my garage today with 20,002 miles on the odometer.

    My plan is to sell it sometime in coming months to make room for the Tesla. This is a moment for reflection. . . I love the Esprit, and I hate the Esprit. Owning it has been a source of pride, frustration, education, thrills, pleasure, anxiety, notoriety and considerable financial expense. It definitely hasn't been boring.
     
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    At least you have a kitten now to keep the rats away!
     
  10. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    Ya know... I'm always hearing that dealers of high-end sportscars are always finding stuff to fix. Are they really that unreliable or are they just milking you for cash?

    -Ryan
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #11 TEG, Nov 20, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
    I once drove my boss to a BMW service place to pick up his 750iL
    He hit a pothole and got a bubble in one of his tires...
    When we got there the shop gave him a bill for $2600.
    He said "What this time? Why so much?"
    They were like "We replaced all your logos because they were faded. We replaced the leather on one of the headrests because it was scratched."
    He was like "I didn't ask you to do all that"
    They were like "on a car like this owners typically don't want us to ask, they just want it taken care of". So he just puts his head down and sheepishly hands over his credit card. He says to me "my wife hates it when I take my car into the shop... They always find extra things to do when I bring it in."
     
  12. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I wondered that. Let's review. . . .

    The airbag warning light has been coming on sometimes ever since I got the car. The previous technician thought it was just a bad connector. This time they wanted to replace the inflator module -- but couldn't find one. Lotus didn't have one, and the company that made the airbags for Lotus didn't have one. Finally they got into the original inflator module, cleaned up some corrosion, and got it working.

    The rear shock strut, I had no idea there was a problem with it -- but it could have been damaged from my accident last fall, or the seals might have started to fail simply due to age. They always replace these in pairs, so I got two new struts.

    The clutch. . . It had always been hard to get into reverse, and recently I had a few instances where it didn't want to go into first. The clutch always had to be pressed way down to the floor before it would engage, which I had just assumed was normal for the Esprit. Now they tell me the problem originates when the car sits for a while (like, for example, the five months it was in the body shop), then the clutch components can rust. Lotus came up with a new lubricant that should prevent rusting in the future, but my older car didn't come with that from the factory.

    So. . . I can't prove all of these were real problems, but they were all plausible problems. And really, it goes with the territory. I had a fair idea what I was getting into when I bought the thing.
     
  13. lilies34

    lilies34 New Member

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    hahahaha! Good one!:biggrin:
     

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