Version 6.1.1 (Last Updated 9/21/2009)

Read Me First!

Online Store finally opens

As many of you know I have been an avid photographer and self-proclaimed Photoshop quasi-expert for the majority of my life. For years people have been suggesting that I start selling some of my artwork but life and procrastination always got in the way of accomplishing that task. Well no more. After puting it off for so long I finally decided to get off my can and create an online store. The result is called prints karlfranz and if you really know me and know some history in musical theatre you may get how I got my name and then understand the pun in my new store's name. Regardless, the purpose of the store is to sell high-quality, limited edition prints of some of my work. They vary in style from paintings, pen & ink drawings,pencil drawings, as well as processed photography, but most start out from orginal photographs I have taken throughout the years.

As you look through them, you will notice the majority of the prints are automotive related (of course). You will probably find an Esprit print or two (or three) and there are more to come. This is yet another effort to fuse my skills, interests and passion into something that combines them all.

If you get the chance, please stop by and give it a look. Your comments are welcome, and your print orders are appreciated.

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Good News
Firefox Users

After years of neglecting Firefox users (and to some degree, Safari users) I finally got around to fixing the problems that some people were experiencing with Firefox's collapsible menu on the left side of the Esprit Fact File. Some users complained that when they clicked on a collapsed menu nothing happened - i.e. they wouldn't expand. I too experienced this problem occasionally during testing but only intermittently which made it all the harder to track down.

In prior versions of the Esprit Fact File I had recommended that people use Microsoft Internet Explorer because that is what the overwhelming majority of the population uses as their browser. I figured this was the target audience that this site was designed for. However, as the years have gone by, I can no longer simply ignore the complete disregard for compatibility with approved web standards that sub-standard browser provides. If the site continues to work with IE6 or IE7 and future versions, good. But I will not make further provisions in the website code to accommodate that a proper browsing experience is attained with Internet Explorer while Microsoft continues to ignores the desires of web designers and the public at large.

From this point forward, the Esprit Fact File recommends that you use Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox for viewing its content.

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How the new EFF is organized

The Esprit Fact File is now broken down into four main chapters: Home, Models, Support, and Gallery. Each one of these chapters has a series of topics that can be accessed via the menu on your left. Topics with a book icon can be clicked on to reveal more sub-topics. Make sure you check out all the chapters and topics to find what has been placed where. I encourage you to explore because there is a ton of data in here and I will add more in the near future ("future" being a relative term here). Here is a summary of what you will find in each chapter:
  • Home:
    • News about the web site.
    • General information about the Esprit Fact File
    • General information if you are considering owning an Esprit
    • Link to donate money to the Esprit Fact File
  • Models:
    • History of the Esprit
    • Details on different Esprit variants
    • Vehicle registry
    • Price guide
    • Classified ads
    • Production numbers
    • Vehicle Identification Numbers
  • Support:
    • Internet and real-world sources for more information
    • Parts sources
    • Details on individual vehicle components classified by systems
    • Troubleshooting and diagnostic tips classified by systems
    • Procedures on performing several service or maintenance tasks
    • Maintenance schedules
    • Instructions on car detailing
    • Links to sponsors who support the Esprit Fact File
    • Technical Service Bulletins
  • Gallery:
    • Magazine articles featuring the Esprit
    • Pictures
    • Wallpapers
    • Videos featuring the Esprit
  • Forum:
    • Portal to all popular Esprit-related discussion forums on the Internet

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Where did my Forum go?

For several years, the PistonHeads discussion forum has been an integral part of the Esprit Fact File. However, in the past year, that site has become a bit too commercial. While I respect their decision to advertise and generate revenue, I find it an annoyance for me and my readership. I also question the effectiveness of these ads. Do the myriad of flashing, animated banner polluting your screen's real estate really want to make you click on them and purchase their products and services? Or do they simply distract you from reading the content of the site? I'm pleased with the fact that for almost ten years this site has been commercial-free! Based on this, some changes have been made. 

I am proud to announce that from this point on, the new Lotus Esprit Forum (LEF). will be the main forum for the Esprit Fact File. This forum is well laid out, has many nice features and I believe it promises to become the leading site for web-based Esprit discussion in the months and years to come. For those of you who refuse change, don't worry, your PistonHeads forum is still here too. In fact, the Esprit Fact File is now the portal to every single major Esprit discussion forum on the web. This means you can access all your favorite discussion groups from one convenient site.

If you prefer the convenience of having forum messages emailed to you, I recommend that you sign up for the Turbo Esprit group in Yahoo. This is by far the most popular and largest collection of Esprit owners in any forum. Its only drawbacks are that the volume of emails can become overwhelming at times (not as much of a problem anymore) and the message search capabilities on Yahoo are absolutely dreadful. If you can overlook these two issues, this is a great place to hang out, lurk, and learn a lot about the Lotus Esprit.

So where are these and all the other wonderful forums located in the new Esprit Fact File? Click on "Forum" chapter from the main navigation menu on the top of screen (below the Esprit picture). The Lotus Esprit Forum (LEF) appears by default. Additionally all other forums or discussion groups are listed on the menu to the left. Clicking on any one of them will take you directly to that forum.

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The Esprit Fact File Sponsors

The popularity of the Esprit Fact File has increased greatly as more and more Lotus enthusiasts get connected online. The number of visitors to this site has increased to well over 1700 hits per week, Not bad, especially when you consider there are approximately 10,000 Esprits in existence in the entire world. All this means that the Esprit Fact File needs to keep up with an increased demand. Luckily, Lotus parts vendor
JAE has stepped up to the plate and volunteered to be my sponsor. From the audience perspective, you won't notice much change. For me, however, this means extra motivation to continue supporting this site. Please support the Esprit Fact File by using the great services of JAE with your Lotus parts needs.

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