Colin Chapman's Lotus Esprit Turbo Gets A New Lease Of Life

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It's being used to launch the company's new 'Certificate of Provenance' program.

While Lotus is preparing to launch its new Evija hypercar, the company is also honoring its history with the launch of its new 'Certificate of Provenance' program. Designed to "appeal to owners of Lotus cars from any era," the program allows owners to learn more about their car's history and validate its authenticity, which could increase its value.

Presented in a 'For The Drivers' Lotus presentation box, the certificate features a summary of the car's details including the VIN, paint color and specification, as well as the date when the car completed production at company's factory in Hethel, England, and passed to the Lotus sales team.

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In addition, a build specification letter provides more in-depth information about the car's engine, transmission, standard features, and optional extras. Customers will also receive a personalized letter signed by Lotus CEO Phil Popham.

Owners who sign up to the program will receive a selection of Lotus collectibles, including an aluminum plaque engraved with the owner's name and information from the Certificate of Provenance, a leather Lotus keyring, a carbon fiber bookmark featuring the brand's nine most significant motorsport laurels, a presentation tin with four badges, and a Lotus-branded pen. The first car to be authenticated by the company's new certification program was a stunning 1981 Lotus Esprit Turbo that was first registered on August 1, 1981.

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What makes this car special is that it was built exclusively for the company's founder, Colin Chapman, for his own personal use. After Chapman's death in December 1982, it was sold by Lotus in July 1983 and has remained in private ownership ever since, covering 11,000 miles and regularly maintained. It's finished in metallic Silver Diamond paint with 'Turbo Esprit' decals, while optional extras include a full red leather interior, air-conditioning, and a Panasonic audio system integrated into the headliner.

Chapman also had the 2+92 Lotus Turbo Esprit built to his unique specification to "improve his own driving comfort and enjoyment," including power steering for the first time in an Esprit.

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Other unique specifications include lowered suspension, modified brakes and BBS Mahle lattice alloy wheels. On 5 August 1981, Chapman also used the car to promote the latest Lotus models to UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who sat behind the wheel and drove it around private roads at Norwich Airport in the UK "What better way to launch our Certificate of Provenance than by showing how it has validated the celebrated history of an iconic and unique Turbo Esprit," said Lotus CEO Phil Popham. "The Lotus archive is a fully cataloged database of information and can provide a wealth of insightful facts on any Lotus car from any era. It's the perfect gift for a Lotus owner anywhere in the world."

The Certificate of Provenance is available through Lotus retailers worldwide. In the UK, the program costs £170 ($222.43).

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