V.I.S.I.T. – 1979 Lotus Esprit John Player Special

I'd say they're allowed to be proud of that.
I'd say they're allowed to be proud of that.

Ever have one of those moments when you stumble across something you’re pretty sure is special, but you honestly aren’t sure? This was one of those moments.

One of less than 150, and parked in the middle of a parking lot. Awesome.

I’ll freely admit, I’ve never been a Lotus specialist. I can dubiously make a claim of owning a 1973 Lotus Europa, as one was given to me years ago, however I never actually did anything with it, and I’m fairly certain it has now been turned into a mutant race vehicle with a mid-mounted Ford 427 Side-Oiler. I’m fairly certain of this because I have seen it with mine own eyes, but I did not have a camera, so I can’t prove it. Nevertheless, now would probably be an ideal time to collect on that offered gift.
This one, on the other hand, is truly something special. Before everyone starts jumping up and down and yelling that it must be a copy, I can tell you it is not. As it turns out, the owner is a friend of a friend, and we have been assured that it is 100% genuine and verifiable. It is Chassis #56, and is well-known amongst the Lotus aficionados.
Obviously, it has been painted up to match the John Player Special Formula One cars, and less than 150 of them were produced.
And it’s regularly driven. Both in traffic, over the notoriously horrible Edmonton roads, and on race tracks. Clearly, this is a man with whom the Hoons would easily relate. Let’s face it, there’s no point in owning something this awesome if all you ever do is park it in your garage and talk to your stuffy friends about how rare it is. At that point, why not have the kid down the street build you one out of scrap lumber and a John Deere riding lawnmower engine? It’s just about as exciting.
I’m going to work on exercising my contact to get a closer look at this beauty. In the meantime, you’ll have to make do with these cellphone photos. I’ve heard he may know of hidden troves of interesting cars, and I’m practically foaming at the mouth to get a chance to see them!

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16 responses to “V.I.S.I.T. – 1979 Lotus Esprit John Player Special”

  1. FreeMan Avatar

    I think the JPS' were the reason I had a fetish for black and gold as a color combination when I was in high school.

  2. LTDScott Avatar

    Ford in the US did the same thing, but named it Black Magic instead.
    <img src="http://stangranch.com/graphics/BlackMagic2.jpg"&gt;

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      I had a feeling they might have done. In fact the US has long been a fan of black and gold, Smokey and The Bandid shows it to good effect, and wasn't there an '81 or 82 'Vette pace car replica in black/gold, gold/black, or should I up my dosage?
      EDIT:- It was a C3 and it was black and silver. My bad.

      1. tonyola Avatar

        In 1978 in many parts of the country, there was no way to be cooler than owning one of these.
        <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/1978_Trans-Am_bandit.jpg&quot; width=500>

        1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

          That's the one. The majesty of this vehicle is not lost on me, I live in rural England and have a screaming chicken tattoo on my left upper arm. It takes some explaining, and would probably get me thrown out of US bars, but hey ho.

          1. dculberson Avatar

            What?? No! The screaming chicken would get you hard thwaps on the back and an offer to buy your beer at most bars I go to.

          2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

            I actually have two ways of explaining it to people, depending who they are. It's obvious what it is to car folk, but as far as my girlfriends parents are concerned it's the Phoenix mascot for my university. Handy that Coventry has such a cool logo.

  3. alex Avatar

    Wow, look how young Senna was in that pic.

    1. dmilligan Avatar

      He's just a baby! Awwwww.

  4. dmilligan Avatar

    The JPS Lotus is quite a find. I hope your friend gives you access so that you can do it up right for us. I was a big fan of the JPS F1 cars back in the day, in fact I still have a poorly made 1/12 scale model of one that Andretti drove sitting in my display cabinet.

  5. engineerd Avatar

    Apparently there was a JPS Europa, too.
    <img src="http://www.allsportauto.com/photoautre3/lotus/europa/jsp/1973_lotus_europa_john_player_special_11_m.jpg&quot; style="width: 500px; height: 375px; border: 0" alt="imgTag" />
    I love that ugly little, mid-engined Lotus.

    1. Alff Avatar

      That's the one I've always wanted, too. They're still cheap enough for me to make it reality, once I clear up some workspace.

  6. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    Better combination Senna + JPS
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2065/2151135863_e26228aa34.jpg"&gt;

  7. Landru Avatar

    As a lover/luster of all things from Hethel, Britania and ridden several times in Super 7's and Esprit Mk1s I have just changes my pants from the happy memories you have returned to me. When Lotus was truly racing you could see and feel it in the cars. That 1966 Super 7 with a Cortina 1500 was such a blast. Truly on rails she was.

  8. Bogdan Avatar

    I have #34 of the Commemorative edition,? problem is it's been taken all apart to do a complete clean. Now I don't have time any interest? call calgary 403 294 1020

  9. cris Avatar

    hello bogdan , are you still selling #34 ??? i m looking for such a car , would prefer a complete project, to be sure everything will be done with the best standards . know it may take 2 or 3 years, but think it s worth
    thank you for answering at : sign.co@orange.fr ( yes i m in FRANCE !!)