The history of this purchase was far from smooth with many problems mainly due to a poor so called Lotus Specialist (Kent Sports Cars) and a continuing list of faults that soon became apparent. I had barely had the car in my possession for the first 8 months. It was not until after I threatened to take legal action to get my money back that a replacement engine was sourced and installed (even that took a further 6 weeks of almost daily fobbed off phone calls). Indeed I have also since come into contact with several other owners who also found them to be a problem. Needless to say
Basic list of problems
No log book was given. 'It had been misfiled and would be forwarded onto me' (Never arrived and I brought it up at every opportunity).
Only had a barely readable photocopy of an MOT but did have the previous three.
After sales prep took over three weeks. Why did it take so long for car I had already driven.
The first journey home was not that smooth with very difficult gear changes and stalled at many junctions. I put this down mainly to me not being used to the car however..
What I now understand was the breather pipe had been cut and a T-piece inserted with a pipe leading to the floor which emptied nearly all the oil during my journey home. The rest was then found on my drive the following morning (Oil stain can still be seen today as I've been unable to remove it).
The gear change joints had gone.
Took another 3 weeks to arrange to have the car returned to have this problem inspected. Once arrived I was informed it could not be done that day so I decided to leave the car with them.
After I had not heard anything for a week I called. Took a further 2 weeks (seemed longer) before it was actually looked at. Only to be informed that replacement parts were on order but delivery and fitting would be another couple of weeks (actually turned out to be a month).
Arranged to collect the car. The dealers were not available and I was given the keys by the 'Grandmother I assume' and told that It would still run rough until the new parts had worn in. I checked the breather pipe (no join) and fired her up. The tick over was way to fast but did seem to be more stable so I took her home.
Did not find that the car had improved but was still suggest to run her in, but fast tick over and backfires seemed like a problem to me. Also noticed the off side outer headlight was not working.
Eventually they agreed to have her back to be tuned. I stressed that I could drop the car off, would be going to France for 4 days and pick it up on the way back. I was assured this would not be a problem. As you may guess it was not ready and told that because the engine had to come out (!) and their engineer was fully booked this could not now be done until the following week.
Picked up the car again a week later and decided to have it fully tested this time. The results were that two of the cylinders had low pressure with a third being Very low. All four wheel bearings were also suspect.
Yes you guessed it, she went back a week later and this is where the real fun started. To cut a very long storey short after two weeks of continuous phone calls the engine was replaced but they wanted to charge me a further £1500 work the work. I agreed to pay £600 (fool me but I just want my car). Six weeks later we arranged meet them half way at Purfleet for the pickup as I could be dropped off. Now someone else arrived, the car ran much better with a lower tick over. I noticed a couple of drips of oil and called them again as the driver 'was just doing them a favour'. I was told its probably dripping oil from the under tray as a result of the earlier problem and the engine replacement. Seemed Logical so I decided to take the car (needed a method of transport anyway).
The oil leak did not stop so I had it looked at and also to check the work they had done. The oil leak was from the near side drive shaft and wheel bearings needed replacing as they had just been greased. The engine was also tuned, balanced and I was amazed at the difference. In fact it was so much smoother and quicker off the mark that I got pulled for speeding by an un marked police car while cruising down the motorway.