cardinaljimenez New Reader
2/24/24 8:33 p.m.

I purchased this car last year in Korea (I'm still here) with the intent to import it to the US. 

This car has a fantastic story worth sharing, and the ongoing repairs are now so onerous that I'd rather write about the horror than actually do any of it. So, to follow will be pictures of the good times, the bad times and so on, musings on the significance of it all, progress reports when I am mentally exhausted.

The story begins with simply becoming aware that these cars existed. I also own a Suzuki Swift GT and have an ownership history full of Geos and Isuzus. So I knew a good bit about the Isuzu powered m100 Elan to begin with, and stumbled upon an article somewhere explaining that they were also made under license in Korea. Fast forward a bit and I find myself moving temporarily to Korea, where I will have the opportunity to purchase and import a 25+ year old vehicle (I am a military dependent). Everybody else wants a Japanese classic to import, and that's doable from Korea as well, but still costs about 2/3 of what it would cost to simply do it from the States. But why do that when you can have a Lotus? 

gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/24/24 9:54 p.m.

I really like these and have been considering getting one. Look forward to learning more! 

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/24/24 10:07 p.m.

TIL so is it badged as a Kia?  Now I feel teased that you didn't include a rear shot.  I miss my year in Korea.

TurnerX19 UberDork
2/25/24 7:34 a.m.

The fragility of earlier Elans, Europas & T14 Elites provided the source of my income for many years. These cars are here as Lotus, but disrespected more for the wrong wheel drive than their fragility. Few have driven far enough to hurt them, but I have seen rusted through chassis on a PPI for a customer 10 years ago, low mileage car. Parts support on the Lotus end is spotty, but I know a shop that is trying to improve that. Good luck, I'm following.

cardinaljimenez New Reader
2/25/24 4:05 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/24 6:28 p.m.

In reply to cardinaljimenez :


brandonsmash GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/25/24 8:19 p.m.

Those photos make me really miss Korea. Where are you located? 

rdcyclist GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/25/24 8:42 p.m.

I was last in Korea ... 45 years ago whilst a member of the United States Navy. Korea back then was a fun place to go and I imagine it's still fun but for different reasons than when I went there. Lovely country and the outdoors is nice too!

Did you see my "Cars for Sale" post:

That's essentially the same vehicle. Where will you be moving your Kia/Lotus to in the US of A?

cardinaljimenez New Reader
2/26/24 5:11 a.m.

In reply to rdcyclist : Bringing to the US is the plan. As far as I know it will be one of one Kia Elans in the US (I do know of at least one in Canada). Then comes the reckoning...the wife allows that I may have one totally impractical vehicle, and there is already one of those in storage in the US. So when I get back, one of them will have to go on BaT. I have a very long term relationship with my car in storage (Suzuki Swift GT) so more likely the Elan goes up for sale, but there's time to agonize about it, negotiate, etc. For now I am enjoying what I've got going on in Korea, as my other DD car is a Suzuki Alto Works. I'll have to sell that here or import and sell. I really wish I could keep them all!!


cardinaljimenez New Reader
2/26/24 5:18 a.m.

In reply to brandonsmash :

Camp Humphreys, Pyeongtaek

cardinaljimenez New Reader
2/26/24 5:25 a.m.

In reply to rdcyclist :

Sorry, I just saw you asked where the Kia will end up in the US--probably Michigan. That's my permanent residence, residence of vehicular storage, lol.

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