Way back in May, Richard Hammond posted on DriveTribe about his latest purchase: a 1999 Lotus Esprit 350 Sport. Chassis No. 5 has been out of commission since he took delivery, being deep-cleaned and generally brought out of its former somewhat tattered state, but it’s finally out, and looks generally acceptable!
The 350 Sport was a very limited series made by Lotus in the late 90s to send the Esprit out with a bang (a noise frequently heard by Esprit owners the world over). It featured better brakes, suspension, and aero than the standard car, including a massive carbon wing, as well as special blue accents and badging inside and out. Hammond admitted he wavered for several months before buying the car, given its condition and the fact that it repulsed the rest of his family, but ultimately pulled the trigger.
Hammond and May took part in a live Q&A over the weekend, and the special surprise Hammond teased turned out to be the newly-refreshed Lotus, unseen since it disappeared into hibernation at the detailer. Though May drove one through Patagonia several years ago and liked it very much, he is now legally obligated to hate it since Hammond has bought one.
Congratulations to Hammond on his new car, even though it’s made of melted-down Pez dispensers and looks about twenty years older than it is. At least it started when they drove it out.