Classics Monthly - - Contents -

There’s an un­writ­ten ex­pec­ta­tion that cer­tain clas­sic cars will only ever be re­stored by pro­fes­sional spe­cial­ists for cus­tomers who only ever write blank cheques. Won­der if the phrase ‘blank PayPal‘ will ever catch on? I di­gress. The Lo­tus Es­prit, hav­ing reached ex­ot­ica sta­tus, falls into that cat­e­gory. Just be­ing a Lo­tus is ar­guably enough to earn the cliché. Step for­ward Matt Ox­ley, the saver of Lo­tus bas­ket cases. His restora­tion and trans­for­ma­tion of a £200 Es­prit is the kind of real life story that has so far eluded all the cur­rent crop of clas­sic car-re­lated TV shows. For­get the lame, scripted drama; ditch the news­reel his­tory bits and in­stead fo­cus on the de­ter­mi­na­tion, skill and can-do at­ti­tude of en­thu­si­asts such as Matt.

I’ll ad­mit it – I’m jeal­ous as hell Matt found an Es­prit for the cost of a year’s road tax. I’d hit ‘Buy It Now’ on eBay quicker than a bad earth in a wooden Range Rover if one ap­peared. Wouldn’t we all! So, I must thank Matt for rekin­dling my long-lost de­sire to own an Es­prit. Not sure how well the news will go down back at the ranch, but if the Landy doesn’t work out, I’m throw­ing cau­tion to the breeze and the DS will have to wait, too.

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