There's something about Lotus that makes the British marque stand out.

Perhaps it was the brand's crazy focus on keeping its products lightweight and simple. Perhaps it's that right amount of British quirk. Maybe, just maybe, it comes down to the fact that Lotus vehicles are just tremendous fun to drive.

What I do know is that when I was younger I was always intrigued by the Esprit. It looked like a supercar, had been around forever and was even featured in a James Bond movie where it turned into a submarine.

Clearly, I wasn't the only one.

Spencer Canon recently spoke with Petrolicious to tell the story behind his Esprit. And, believe you me, it's a story. While I don't want to give it all away, I will say that he embarked on a restoration to take his Esprit to the next level. Considering the shape the vehicle arrived in, we have to tip our hats to Canon. Not many would have stuck through it all to get this vehicle up and running.

**Learn MORE about Canon's Lotus Esprit, below!

“The Esprit is not a well-known car,” says Spencer Canon. “Car guys know what it is, but they don’t know much about it—it’s a mystery.”

Canon’s profession as the founder and creative director of Ritte Bicycles may not be your first guess, but when you consider that performance cycling is all about doing more with less, well—a Lotus Esprit is the perfect sports car to have.

Designed as one of the first examples of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s revolutionary wedge shape, Canon’s Esprit was from the generation updated by Peter Stevens (who also did the McLaren F1). It looked stunning…when new.

“When I got the car, it just looked absolutely terrible,” he says. Faced with the prospect of fixing a trashed Esprit, Canon realized something liberating: “I had a car that was probably never going to be in a truly original state again, and that gave me permission—in my mind—to do a few things to it that the original designer wouldn’t be upset with…hopefully.”

“If I can save a car from going to the dump or being parted out, then it’s excusable if it’s not painted the original color or has wheels from five years later…” he adds.

Now tastefully updated, painted in striking light blue, and lightened beyond its stock form, this Esprit is finally the light canyon rider that Canon dreamed of creating.

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