Many second-hand Esprit owners have come to realize that their particular Esprit seems to be missing the fiberglass undertray panel that should have come with their car. This panel serves several purposes including:
This panel is held in place by 12 bolts attached to rivnuts set into the fiberglass. Over time, some of these rivnuts lose grab of the surrounding fiberglass and eventually fall off. Eventually, if enough of them fall off, the panel can no longer be securely fastened to the vehicle.
The panel needs to be removed not only for access to the underside of the front of the engine, but also whenever the oil filter is changed during an oil change. The reason is that, no matter how careful you try to be, oil inevitably runs down the right side of the engine and then pools on the undertray where it will seep out through one of its various weep holes. Removing the panel during oil changes allows you to keep this from happening and helps keep the engine bay tidy. Unfortunately, many a DPO fails to reinstall the undertray after maintenance procedures and when the car is sold, the new owner is left without this important and expensive piece of plastic. So whenever buying a used Esprit, make sure the undertray is included and if not factor this into the price of the sale.