Richard Hammond has gone out and done something stupid. He’s gone and bought himself a Lotus Esprit. To be more precise, Hammond now owns a Lotus Esprit 350 Sport. Hmmm, bold move. Why? Well you might want to cast your mind back to the Top Gear Patagonia Special, when James May turned up in one.
Upon seeing May’s Lotus at the time, Clarkson said “Lotus does not have a good reputation for quality. Some say that this [LOTUS] stands for Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious.” He then continued to rip into the car. “The door handles are from a Vauxhall Cavalier, the door mirrors are from a Citroen, the gearbox is from a Renault 25 – because that was the best gearbox they could find? Or the only one that would fit?”
Hammond too, agreed that May’s choice was an interesting choice – but now he’s gone and done pretty much the same thing. Hammond knows it too, but, as he explained for Drivetribe, this wasn’t the kind of love-at-first-sight buying decision.
“Six months ago I posted the above picture of a Lotus Esprit 350 Sport that I had, even then, been thinking about buying for some months. And now, another half year later, I have hauled myself off the fence and bought it,” Hammond explained.
The Esprit 350 Sport is a bit more special than your typical Esprit, too. Because as the name might suggest, Lotus only built 350 models with the V8 machine – and while that V8 might not be any different to the other Esprit models, it does feature upgraded suspension, brakes and improved aerodynamics. But all this matters for little, because there’s a few members of the Hammond household who absolutely hate the car.
“I don’t expect it to be to everyone’s taste; my wife, for instance, hates it. As does my eldest daughter. And my youngest,” Hammond admitted.
Ok, so make that everyone in the Hammond household who hates it.