As Players Classic was drawing to a close, I had to grab the chance of shooting Dean’s Lotus. Living only 20 miles or so from me, in the Midlands, you would’ve thought it’d be easy to arrange a shoot, but no. Dean’s newest family member had put paid to any automotive based fun and games for the previous few months. So, upon seeing the vision of 80s excess rolling in, I had to take the opportunity to arrange some shots later that day.
The Esprit’s low slung nose has always caused a huge scene whenever it rolls in to a show or meet. The original powerplant has been replaced by 3.0 V6, pulled from an Alfa Romeo 166. With Triumph 955i throttle bodies, an Emerald ECU, custom mounts and raised sump all fabricated by Dean in his workshop at home, its safe to say Frankenstein has never looked so good.
The air ride is also totally bespoke. As you might imagine, asking any air company for an off the shelf kit to fit a 30+ year old Lotus Esprit would probably result in more than one four letter word being uttered. This is where Dean’s expertise as an engineer comes in. He loves anything custom and the process of creating true one-off cars. The suspension build consists of twin Viair compressors, Accuair E Level management with Ridetech Shockwave front struts, custom lower and rose jointed/modified upper control arms. Not your average setup. But then again, this isn’t your average car…
The old adage that “you can’t improve on perfection” is certainly apt in this case. The shape is just fantastic, and it’s absolutely as it left the factory. No bolt on aero on fake carbon fibre.
The stance that Dean’s managed to pull off is just on another level. The rare as you like genuine Compomotive CXNs are an inspired choice, looking aggressive yet subtly retro.
Those that know Esprits know that the interior is unlike anything else. You don’t sit in it, you become a part of it. Dean’s pushed his into the modern era with the addition of some suede trimming and quilted leather, with an after market wooden retro steering wheel and gear knob in place to finish off the interior to perfection.
Ever since it’s reveal at Retro Rides show back in 2011 (where it deservedly won Best in Show), Dean’s Lotus has caused a stir and more than a few mixed emotions. The word “ruined” has been mentioned more than a couple of times by purists, but we love it, and think it brings the retro box slant shape back into the 20th century.