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Lotus Carlton

Go on, you know you want to!!!!

Seriously, £20k for a 17 year old car, assuming they do get this price, what was the price of these brand new?

My dad had a 2.0GLi version (in the days when that "i" was important) and I remember driving it as a raw 17 year old, newly passed my test, and twice spinning it 180 degrees due to the rwd power.


RaineMan    on 4 September 2008

If my memory serves me correctly they were a touch under £50,000. They were, and are, a really impressive car.

Are you sure your dad didn't have the 3.0 litre model - the 2.0 has masses of grip unless on worn tyres in the wet!

Bagpuss    on 4 September 2008

Coincidentally read a report about these in a classic car magazine recently. Not many were built, supposed to still be impressive to drive and the biggest ownerhip problem would be the availability of spare parts.

Dynamic Dave    on 4 September 2008

General Motors had hoped to build 1,100 cars in total, but due to the recession of the early 1990s, the £48,000 cars were not selling as well as anticipated and production at Lotus was halted in December 1992. Only 950 cars were completed.....

Rumfitt    on 4 September 2008

Nearly bought one myself a few years back...

Definitely not worth twenty thousand pounds though, despite being a clean, well-maintained example.

The trouble with them is they are based on an eighties design and construction - bodywork in particular will be a major concern to keep right after all these years. Costs associated with the original Lotus components will be very expensive too.

I had a drive of one and boy, was it fun! Effortless acceleration and fine handling for such a brute. Practical too.

The premium on such an 'old' car was too much, so I ended up with a Merc E55 estate - absolutely sublime!

Simon    on 4 September 2008

By todays standards though, are they really that good a car?

doctorchris    on 4 September 2008

I recently had a long discussion about these cars with a garage owner who I met at a wedding. We were both of the opinion that they were fabulous and are still very sought after.
I suspect this dealer may get something near to his price especially if the deal is right and the car is "as new".
Comparison of this car's performance with modern cars is not important here. This is a rare, modern classic with good, understated, looks and great performance. I feel that these cars have reached the point where, if they are cared for, depreciation is nil and they may start to slightly appreciate soon.

audiA6tdi    on 4 September 2008

Its had 7 owners on HPI last change of ownership july 2007 so the description doesnt tie up. Its also on the national mileage register, but that may be incorrect data with HPI.
Nice car but think what else you could buy for £20k that would be probably more reliable. Point taken about a classic car though.
Trade value for this car is £4500, Retail at £8850.

Edited by audiA6tdi on 04/09/2008 at 16:25

BazzaBear {P}    on 4 September 2008

Trade value for this car is £4500 Retail at £8850.

According to what? If you're looking at things like Parkers or Glass, then I'm afraid you're barking up the wrong tree.

A Lotus Carlton is a perfect example of the type of car for which those price guides are utterly useless. The value is heavily caught up in the rarity, the desirability and the enthusiast market - price guides take no account of any of these things.

There are 5 Carltons for sale on Autotrader at the moment.


I think the £11,000 car is as mis-priced (assuming an average condition, etc. car) as the £40,000 one is.

BobbyG    on 4 September 2008

Raineman, definitely a 2 litre.

The GL came with lovely silvery wheel trims, the next spec up was the CD and it had alloys.
Both times I spun the car was when I took left handed turnings from almost a standstill, second gear at most, and I floored it as I went round and the back end overtook me!

For anyone who knows Coatbridge, the traffic lights at Shawhead was one of them!

rtj70    on 4 September 2008

It was not that many years ago (well quite a few) I remember reading there were still some unsold Lotus Carltons at Vauxhall.

SpamCan61 {P}    on 4 September 2008

It still did OK versus the VXR8 on 5th gear:-

rtj70    on 4 September 2008

But you could get a 2007 plate VXR8 with less than 10,000 miles for around the price asked for the Lotus Carlton. It might be a classic in future but I'm not sure I'd want one.

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