328 328 vs Esprit - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-13-2013, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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328 vs Esprit

Blowing back the cobwebs into the eighties. Fun article from 1988.

Lotus Esprit Turbo versus Ferrari 328 GTB

Some of the details really show how technology has moved on. "Large capacity" for the 328. 3.2 litres, really? Nowadays people don't even mention the capacity of a 458. I was also quite shocked by the compression ratio of the Lotus. Only 1:8.0!

Anyway, hope you enjoy it.


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post #2 of 8 Old 04-13-2013, 01:26 PM
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Thanks for the memories Onno. I drove a non-turbo version back then, which coincidentally led to the purchase of a Jensen Healey (same motor), and except for the turbo lag, the article was a nice reminder. The biggest downside of the slant four was the constant oil leak onto the exhaust header.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-17-2013, 02:03 AM
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This brings back sweeeeet memories for me too.

A friend of mine had a brand new 328 GTS and his mother drove an Esprit Turbo with the 260+hp engine. We thoroughly tested the two cars side by side on several occasions. Both are charming cars but the 328 wins with better high speed road holding and more sophistication, particularly regarding the engine.

At that time I was amazed and happy beyond comprehension to be in the driver's seat of such stunning cars, let alone owning cars of the sort later on in life...! A huge chunk of gratitude to the friends who entrusted me to take these cars to their limits!

By the way Onno, the lower compression ratio is due to the supercharged combustion chambers. Exhaust driven super charging requires a lower static compression ratio due to the increase in actual compression as the charge goes super atmospheric.

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-26-2013, 05:49 AM
 
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Just traded my 89 esprit for a 328 GTS...Loving the latter, not missing the former!
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-26-2013, 09:39 AM
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One of the guys in my office bought an early Esprit, the one with the Renault parts in it and no turbo. Very pretty, but turned out to be a four cylinder door stop since he could never get it to run. Nothing more expensive than a cheap Esprit, except maybe a cheap Ferrari.

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-26-2013, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazandjan View Post
One of the guys in my office bought an early Esprit, the one with the Renault parts in it and no turbo. Very pretty, but turned out to be a four cylinder door stop since he could never get it to run. Nothing more expensive than a cheap Esprit, except maybe a cheap Ferrari.


I was shop foreman at a Lotus/Ferrari dealer.

It was laughable how bad the Lotus's were. I was just in constant shock how bad the cars were and the company didn't even care.

We had so many of the V8's just blow up it was amazing. The factory would send their own guy to fix them to save money and they typically brought used parts with them from warranty replacement motors to do so. I had never even heard of that before.
One of my mechanics that went to Lotus school told me he wasn't surprised they were doing that. He said in a corner of the wherehouse they had a lagre collection of the V8 engines there in various stages of disassembly. They were all warranty replacements. Many looked almost new. He said they had far more used V8 parts in stock than new so they just recycled them.


The cable shifters used to disassemble themselves regularly. Soon after I got there one of the mechanics and I figured out why and a fix for it. It was really very siomple. Next time I saw the Lotus rep I mentioned the shifter problem. He acted like a dog about to be kicked and said he was sorry but was not even going to try and defend the shifter problem. I told him we had a fix and explained it to him. He was shocked. Seems they never even tried to figure out what was wrong. A month later my fix came out as a TSB for a problem that had already gone on for a couple of years.

Steffie Graf's deposited a main bearing in the oil pan at 400 miles. They told us not to even consider giving it back. They didn't want to see it again.


We were told if there was a knocking noise going around corners to tighten all the body bolts, they come loose. Especially the ones at the main bulkhead/firewall. Seems the plywood between the fiberglass shrinks and the body shifts around.


Really, it's true.


I had one that the customer complained about the handling. The front shocks had no oil in them. There was no leakage, they were installed that way. They were just there for looks.


Total unmitigated POS.

I really laughed about James Bond having one that was a submarine. The way those things leak JB would have been dead in seconds.

Last edited by Brian; 04-26-2013 at 04:45 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-26-2013, 10:09 PM
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Brian- The old joke on Lotuses (Loti?) was to drag a net behind you to catch the parts that fell off. Peter Egan in Road & Track restored an Elan and still could not go anywhere without something breaking. He sold it fairly quickly. Sounds like some things never change.

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-27-2013, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I was shop foreman at a Lotus/Ferrari dealer.

It was laughable how bad the Lotus's were. I was just in constant shock how bad the cars were and the company didn't even care.

We had so many of the V8's just blow up it was amazing. The factory would send their own guy to fix them to save money and they typically brought used parts with them from warranty replacement motors to do so. I had never even heard of that before.
One of my mechanics that went to Lotus school told me he wasn't surprised they were doing that. He said in a corner of the wherehouse they had a lagre collection of the V8 engines there in various stages of disassembly. They were all warranty replacements. Many looked almost new. He said they had far more used V8 parts in stock than new so they just recycled them.


The cable shifters used to disassemble themselves regularly. Soon after I got there one of the mechanics and I figured out why and a fix for it. It was really very siomple. Next time I saw the Lotus rep I mentioned the shifter problem. He acted like a dog about to be kicked and said he was sorry but was not even going to try and defend the shifter problem. I told him we had a fix and explained it to him. He was shocked. Seems they never even tried to figure out what was wrong. A month later my fix came out as a TSB for a problem that had already gone on for a couple of years.

Steffie Graf's deposited a main bearing in the oil pan at 400 miles. They told us not to even consider giving it back. They didn't want to see it again.


We were told if there was a knocking noise going around corners to tighten all the body bolts, they come loose. Especially the ones at the main bulkhead/firewall. Seems the plywood between the fiberglass shrinks and the body shifts around.


Really, it's true.


I had one that the customer complained about the handling. The front shocks had no oil in them. There was no leakage, they were installed that way. They were just there for looks.


Total unmitigated POS.

I really laughed about James Bond having one that was a submarine. The way those things leak JB would have been dead in seconds.
Yep, they sure had their issues. That V8 was a ticking time-bomb, the liners used to move in the engine regularly causing head gaskets to fail. Starter motors would fry themselves wedged under the inlet manifold and the Renault gearboxes would often end up with internals that looked like a pile of broken biscuits.
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