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© Adrian Mugridge (2012)
Buttertubs Pass Buttertubs Pass
I bought my first Esprit, a 1986 S3  in 1992 from Paul Matty Sports cars in  Bromsgrove. I traded in my 1.4 Nova for it.    But, Why Won’t it go ?    The first thing I did was drive off, straight onto the M42 with the hand brake on. I  stopped on the hard shoulder after 200 yards wondering why my new motor  wouldn’t go above 40 mph. Then I noticed the big red ‘BRAKE’ light on the dash  and smelt the burning. It went much better after I took the hand-brake off.     How Much Petrol ?    The first petrol station I stopped at I stood proudly filling the tank, looking around  with a big grin on my face and paying no attention to the petrol that was pouring  out of the filler.  I only stopped when another motorist shouted at me to stop.  As  it came with a big bunch of keys and it had different locks on either petrol cap, I  could only fill one tank to start with.  However, as the two tanks are connected  with a balance pipe, the petrol gauge read full when I left the the forecourt and  half full about 25 miles later.  I couldn't believe my eyes ; half a tank of petrol  gone in only 25 miles.  My first day of ownership was quite eventful for me !    I'm Spinning Around !    As you can imagine, an Esprit is somewhat different to a Nova, and so I  managed to spin it round twice in the first few weeks of owning it. It’s very  unnerving to lose control of a car; all you can do is wait for it to stop.  Even  through it's over 17 years ago, I can still remember these incidents as if it were  yesterday.   Cant' See - Can’t Park   After a couple of weeks of ownership I was wondering what the hell I had  bought. I could hardly see out of it, I couldn’t park the bloody thing and it was a  nightmare to start with a hot engine. However, I kept if for 4 years and it nearly  ruined me. Huge servicing bills, large insurance premiums etc meant in went in  my parents garage for nearly a year until I paid off my overdraft and vast credit  card bills.   It’s Good, But it’s not that fast    One of the major disadvantages I found with it was that other road users  assumed it had shattering performance when it did not. 0-60 was 6.5 seconds  with a top speed of 135 mph. It had 160 bhp and 160 lb/ft of torque, which is no  better than an Astra GTE or Golf GTi at the time. Mind you, I still spent ages  washing and polishing it !