'99 EPA Cars
|In October, 2015 I came across a red '97 rolling
chassis on ebay and at the same time an engine was offered separately by
the same seller. In the picture of the engine however, there was another
engine. I can't remember the exact details but I think I won the car
auction but the result was nullified for some reason. I was able to get
in touch with the seller and came to understand that he had two cars and
an engine available but the cars had their engines removed. At first,
both cars appeared to be '97 model year cars but it was explained that
the cars were emissions test vehicles targeting the '99 model year. The
first car was red and had many of its parts stripped from it including
most of the interior. The second car was dark blue and was relatively
intact. The stand-alone engine was purported to have only 8 hours on it
and was never installed in a car. It was partially disassembled with
it's plenum and right cylinder head removed. Since the red car was so
far from the road, I felt I would need to buy a donor car to fix it and
that car would provide me with a power train. As such, I negotiated a
deal for the blue car with its engine, the red rolling chassis, and the
partially disassembled engine.
Upon closer inspection, several things were strange about the red car. First, its VIN (5007) was two cars before the beginning of Esprit V8 production. It had European bumpers without marker lights and had a single marker light forward of the doors on each side. It also had an S4 style valance and earlier oil cooler set-up. The rear spoiler was elongated and lastly the boot did not have the side cut-outs seen in later model that allow easier stowage of the sun roof.
It was clear the car previously had the hoop wing on it. Both cars fueled from the left side only. The red car had a grafted fuel filler area as well.
Additionally, both cars had the charcoal canister above the left fuel tank along with many probe wires in the tanks etc.
I tucked the cars away but kept an eye out for a donor car to use to reconstruct the red car. And as luck would have it...