Running or restoring an older Lotus requires some bravery—many of these cars use expensive parts and can be challenging to work on. The British sports car company just dropped a new parts-searching site that might make the task a little easier, though. It's full of detailed diagrams and parts numbers, which can be interesting to paw through even if you're not trying to keep one of these cars alive, plus a raft of branded merch.
As of September 1, 2022, a fresh iteration of parts.lotuscars.com is online and offering up thousands of parts from 1981 (for cars like the Esprit and Excel) all the way to Lotus' modern machines and everything that came out along the way (like the Elise, Exige, Evora). Lotus promises all its parts are "either original from period or manufactured to OEM specifications."
The site works like most car part search portals: You select your year, make, and model in the drop-down fields up top and then drill down by category. Scroll even further and the site presents you with the nearest Lotus retailers, apparently based on your IP address, because I viewed the site from New York and was shown four different shops around the NYC area.
I did find it annoying that I went to put in "1998 Lotus Esprit" and a decorative illustration popped up clearly showing an older model of the car (come on guys, if you're going to put a frivolous graphic on your parts search site, make sure it's exactly the right car). But I got over it pretty quickly because the actual diagrams in the part-search subsections are really cool and informative.
You'll find cutaways of every system like this, which not only helps you confirm that you're ordering exactly the right part, but these illustrations are also really useful when you're working on something for the first time and like to confirm exactly how it comes apart before you start swinging wrenches.
I'm guessing the old heads out there knew where to find these illustrations before the launch of this new site, but hopefully, everyone reading this appreciates this new consolidated source of information.
I know experienced mechanics would laugh at me for this, but even if I'm doing something as rudimentary as a brake job, I like to see a diagram like this to assure myself that I'll be able to reassemble whatever I'm taking apart.
Anyway, again like most parts sites, from there you just scroll down from the diagrams to the corresponding part and find its number, price, and a little description. Lotus also thought to include the quantity of how many you'd need, which I thought was helpful.
The site is probably a lot prettier than it needs to be, but if you're looking for Lotus car parts, Lotus-branded merch, or just want to poke around and see how these cars go together, this is a great new resource for you.