THE ORIGINAL ESPRIT
In later years, Peter Stevens and Julian Thompson smoothed and modernized the Esprit, thus disguising the original car’s Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled origami-like styling. It’s also interesting to note that Giugiaro originally proposed that the new car be named ‘Kiwi.’ However, Lotus stuck with its traditional ‘E’ model nomenclature. Turning back the clock, this 1:43 die-cast model from Corgi’s Limited Edition range is of the very first production Esprit. Resplendent in Signal Red, this model shows off the car’s ‘folded paper’ lines perfectly, and the model also includes pop-up headlights. The Esprit’s iconic, sharp style went through three series until, in 1987, Stevens rounded off the edges for a smoother appearance — the new look being reinforced when the Lotus Elise stylist, Thompson, tickled up the old beast’s lines in 1993. We’re still waiting for the sixth-generation Esprit! Corgi models are available from all good toy and hobby shops. Contact Toymod Ltd (PO Box 18 263, Auckland, ph. 09 527 0122/Fax 09 527 0144) to find your closest retailer.
ACBC masterminded Lotus success from 1947 through to his death in 1982 (7) 2. Renault’s 1958 onwards small coupé, a Frua design for Ghia on initially a Renault Dauphine floorpan — its name changed to Caravelle from 1962 (7) 3. Flexible discs, rings or washers used to prevent passage of liquids, air, gas or dirt — for many years, British cars didn’t have good ones, hence oil stains on your garage floor! (5) 4. UK specialist supplier of oils and other important fluids for automotive and industrial use (7) 5. Model name for the Ford V8–engined version of the Sunbeam Alpine, built in two main series from 1964 to 1967 (5) 6. Japanese car maker, with several classics to its credit, notably its rotary models (5) 9. US tyre company, founded in 1900 in Akron, Ohio (just like big rival Goodyear!) but since 1988 owned by Bridgestone of Japan (9) 14. Lex ------- was a four-times Australian GP winner in the 1950s–’60s, and his grandsons Will and Alex have been successful in V8 Supercars (7) 15. Model name of a successful series of small- to mid-sized family cars from 6 down, built in eight generations from 1963 to 2003 (7) 16. British company better known for successful flat-twin motorcycles, but it did make some effective light cars from 1913 to 1922 before and after WWI (7) 19. AC’S classic sports coupé, built from 1954 to 1963, with AC, Bristol or finally Ford Zephyr engines (5) 20. Lancia saloon and coupé, built from 1953 to 1964 to rival Fiat’s 1100/1200 and the Alfa Giulietta (5) 21. Italian classic car, remembered mainly for its win in the 1907 Peking-paris rally/race, plus other competition successes from 1905 to 1907 (5)