Finding The Perfect Lotus Exige LF1

  • Westover Lotus LF1-1
  • Westover Lotus LF1-2
  • Williams Lotus LF1-1
  • Williams Lotus LF1-2

After deciding that I wanted a Lotus Exige S LF1 the next thing to do was to locate one. After some research it became apparent that there were about 36 registered in the UK from about June 2014 to June 2015.

There were only three options available for the Lotus Exige S LF1, the convenience pack, rear parking sensors and heated seats. Of the three options I wanted the rear parking sensors and the convenience pack as this included a cup holder and USB connection in the car.

After some searching I came across two LF1 cars for sale. One on AutoTrader being sold by Westover Lotus in Poole and one on a Lotus Dealers website, Williams Automobiles near Bristol. After gathering the information from each dealer about their cars I ascertained that both cars had all three options and were exactly the same specification and they were being sold on behalf of customers. Both cars were priced the same with the Williams LF1 having being registered in April 2015 and having covered just 1,100 miles and the Westover LF1 being registered in March 2015 and having covered 3,100 miles. The Westover car had the front Tow hook, which I wanted as I’m going to take the car on track, whilst the Williams car had some nice additional Lotus graphics on the car doors.

Before travelling to see either of the cars I decided to negotiate a best price as they were both some travelling distance away. I made, what I felt was a sensible offer, on both Lotus LF1’s and waited. After a couple of days Westover agreed to sell at my price but Williams would not, although they did drop their original asking price. So, I agreed to view the Westover LF1 and on they way down to Poole I would also see the Williams car.

After arriving at Williams Automobiles, I inspected their Lotus Exige LF1, which was immaculate. There was not a mark on the exterior of the car, and on the interior there was just a bit of mud on the carpets, and some slight wear to the gear stick knob. I wanted the original invoice and paperwork for the car as well as the LF1 collectors pack and I was assured by the dealer that this was available. The commemorative plaque inside the car was for race victory 38, the 1970 Holland Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

The Westover Lotus LF1 had immaculate bodywork and had clearly been looked after. The commemorative plaque inside the car was for race victory 10, the 1963 Holland Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Unfortunately, someone had scraped their shoe across the leather of the driver’s sill causing a 10cm – 15cm nasty scratch to the leather. Only a specialist would be able to repair this and even then I didn’t think it would be invisible. I took the LF1 out for a quick drive and as expected it handled as per the previous Exige S I had driven. Upon returning to the dealership I found some additional issues. The car had had 2 previous owners, the paperwork was all marked with ‘COPY’, the LF1 collectors pack was not complete and the V5 showed the car as being white. Initially I was buying the car there and then, but after weighing up the problems with the car and paperwork, I decided to spend some time thinking about my options.

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