I’ve done my fair share of hopeless performance car projects. Sure, the worst cars I’ve taken plunges on have been BMWs, so you can argue I never fully dove into the pool of truly unreliable, but rewarding, machinery. Aaron Bunch (ATS Racing on YouTube) has taken the ultimate plunge: an utterly munted 1988 Lotus Esprit… turbo. The car looks like it’s been in a swamp. This is a level of masochism I’m having a hard time understanding, but we’re looking forward to watching it.
In the first video (here), the Lotus appears to have been found in a literal field. The kind of field that requires a small tractor to traverse, and pull the Lotus out of it. I would’ve been donesies by the time I had to tow anything. This is real dedication.
We’re given a tour of the interior and there’s grass growing on the drivers door sill. Unbelievable. The interior is closer to nature than sleeping naked in the forest. Dusty, dirty, probably wet and gross, this man soldiered on. Bunch loaded the distressed (to put it lightly) Esprit onto an open trailer, and brought it to his workspace.
In the cleanup videos, the car is indeed wet and gross, and has pounds of dirt inside of it. The size of the box that he fills up has to be seen to be believed, and the wetness of the carpet inspire stomach clenching terror for anyone who fears rust. But he presses on! Amazingly, the car appears to have strong bones, with the electronics and various systems in the car looking intact and un-rusty. The paint is terrible, but I can begin to see what he sees in this fine example of British engineering. The most amazing part: the inside of the engine looks insanely clean.
By this point, I’m unsure what he sees in the car, but it is very cool. He even gets it running! I couldn’t believe it, but it makes me believe that I can pull a random Lotus out of a field and get it going too. This man is a brave warrior of wrenching, and he deserves great luck in his journey to save this Esprit.
As of this writing, he’s actually made a lot of progress cleaning the car up and has moved on to vacuum leaks which would probably be an issue on any Lotus this age. It’s an impressive start, here’s hoping he can keep up the momentum.
Wish him luck, reader! Show us in the comments!