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Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
8/8/17 10:53 p.m.

Considering all the trouble and strife you post about on here regarding vehicles that most mortals have no issues with...

I advise you to stay well away from a Lotus.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
8/9/17 5:46 a.m.

Loti are much the same a drugs, if you are selling, you don't want to be sampling the goods.Do make up your mind if you are buying this for fun or profit. If for profit, you put it somewhere safe and keep it spotless for potential buyers to see.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/17 9:55 a.m.

Yeah I'm leaning more towards flipping it quick. It may be a screamin' deal on one of my dream cars, but the costs of owning it are just too great. I'm getting stressed out just thinking about it.

ZOO
ZOO GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/9/17 4:32 p.m.

I didn't find mine prohibitively expensive to run. Staggered wheels on two different diameter sizes were a pain in the butt. My insurance was cheap (third car, immaculate driving record). But the body is fragile. Ultimately I couldn't face "self-insuring" it for track days. Too much financial risk for me.

It was easy to work on, except anything that required being under the dash. The clutch safety switch on mine broke, and I couldn't get my head and two hands into the area I needed to to fix it.

In my humble opinion, there are better track cars and better autocross cars, and certainly much better fun Sunday drive cars.

calteg
calteg Dork
8/9/17 4:52 p.m.

Owned mine for over a year now: Only oil changes and tires so far. Though I will say the interior plastics are surprisingly brittle

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/17 6:06 p.m.
ZOO wrote: In my humble opinion, there are better track cars and better autocross cars, and certainly much better fun Sunday drive cars.

Perhaps, but at the price I can get this thing for, I'll never get another chance at a better bang-for-buck deal in initial vehicle purchase price. This thing is unnaturally cheap by local standards. I really don't know why it's going for less than $60k if it's in good shape. $24k is about the same my mom paid for a low-spec E87 1-series a couple of years ago. On the new car market, that's just enough to get you a Suzuki Celerio.

Didn't get through with the viewing today (so I brought my helmet out for nothing ), the dealer was trying to arrange a viewing with the owner but didn't get it done before sundown which was about an hour ago. Yaaay 12 hours of scorching sunlight per day, so awesome

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/17 6:10 p.m.
ZOO wrote: In my humble opinion, there are better track cars and better autocross cars, and certainly much better fun Sunday drive cars.

Perhaps, but at the price I can get this thing for, I'll never get another chance at a better bang-for-buck deal in initial vehicle purchase price. This thing is unnaturally cheap by local standards. I really don't know why it's going for less than $60k if it's in good shape. $24k is about the same my mom paid for a low-spec E87 1-series a couple of years ago. On the new car market, that's just enough to get you a Suzuki Celerio.

Didn't get through with the viewing today (so I brought my helmet out for nothing ), the dealer was trying to arrange a viewing with the owner but didn't get it done before sundown which was about an hour ago. Yaaay 12 hours of scorching sunlight per day, so awesome

Should get an insurance quote tomorrow, affordable comprehensive insurance is about the only thing that could make this car remotely affordable for me to own, but again with each of the big clamshell sections having a landed cost similar to a basic economy car, I doubt it will happen.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/9/17 7:31 p.m.

Do it before the price changes, then hide it and list it for sale someplace where enthusiasts and not criminals will see it.

Did you ever get an insurance check on the Samurai?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/9/17 7:35 p.m.

Haven't got any money on the Samurai yet, probably will only net a few hundred bucks, so that's pretty much all being done out of pocket.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/17 7:54 a.m.

Now that there are a good number of current and former Elise owners in this thread, I have some questions about the car.

It seems that that the rear wheel wells can take massive wheels but the fronts are rather tight. Would 17x7s or 17x8s with 205 or 225 wide tires fit in the front? About what range of offsets would fit?

Any recommendations for affordable wheels in those sizes that would fit? I've found that the Konig Hypergram is available in 17x8 with 4x100 bolt pattern and 45mm offset. Stock offset is 30~35mm so they would intrude further into the wheel wells.

Lug bolt to stud conversions: Worth it?

How's the stock handbrake at locking up the rear wheels?

What's involved in changing the retro bladed grille to a mesh grille?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/17 9:04 a.m.

Found some good info on the grille conversion, looks easy enough:

http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/experience/modifications/grille/meshgrille.html

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
8/10/17 9:08 a.m.

So, just trying to be a reality check here. You've referred to yourself as having no safety net, as being poor, and as being berkeleyed when the Samurai got wrecked. Insurance on the island is notoriously terrible based on your poses. But now you're looking at a $25k purchase, and on top of that, modifications? Where is this money coming from? It seems like you're setting yourself up for some serious financial pain. If you can afford this then how do you qualify as poor with no safety net? Don't let pretty and shiny blind you!

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/10/17 9:10 a.m.
dculberson wrote: So, just trying to be a reality check here. You've referred to yourself as having no safety net, as being poor, and as being berkeleyed when the Samurai got wrecked. Insurance on the island is notoriously terrible based on your poses. But now you're looking at a $25k purchase, and on top of that, modifications? Where is this money coming from? It seems like you're setting yourself up for some serious financial pain. If you can afford this then how do you qualify as poor with no safety net? Don't let pretty and shiny blind you!

No kidding--if it is such a good deal, buy it to flip it--but do it QUICK. You cannot afford this.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/17 9:23 a.m.

If I was sure I wanted to keep the Elise, I could sell the full AE92 setup - car, spare car and spare parts for a decent chunk of cash. And I've picked up a side job recently that will give me some breathing space for a while. Any costly mods like changing wheel setups would be a loooong time off, at least 5 years away. Cheap DIY stuff like grilles, diffuser, or lug conversions would be doable.

I want to make a good effort at keeping this car, if I have to flip it and feel like I might've been able to afford to keep it, it'll be the biggest One That Got Away of all time.

docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
8/10/17 9:32 a.m.

I'm immediately suspicious of a car being sold for half of what it should go for. Investigate very carefully.....

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/17 9:47 a.m.

Yeah on top of my own inspection, I would have either the local toyota dealership or a race shop do a compression test, oil pressure check and frame straightness check. If it doesn't have a road tax disc or local license plate I'll also see if I can find out when it was imported so I have some idea of the maximum back tax I'd potentially have to pay. The pics I've seen of it show it with European-style license plates, and my own experience combined with the local gearhead grapevine all back the claim that it's never been driven on the street here.

I've got a viewing arranged for this evening, everyone involved is ready this time.

Kylini
Kylini Dork
8/10/17 9:54 a.m.

If I was buying a Lotus, the last thing I'd want to see are modifications, especially cheap ones.

I have no other input other than don't molest it.

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
8/10/17 10:13 a.m.

This is definitely a good idea.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/10/17 10:31 a.m.
Kylini wrote: If I was buying a Lotus, the last thing I'd want to see are modifications, especially cheap ones. I have no other input other than don't molest it.

This!

Also, I might skip a compression test. Isn't it just a generic Toyota four cylinder? I would not worry about that part.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/17 10:35 a.m.

I don't have any irreversible mods in mind at all, and wouldn't do any mods until I'm sure I can afford to keep the car.

If I'm keeping it then I don't care much about resale value.

calteg
calteg Dork
8/10/17 11:00 a.m.
tuna55 wrote:
Kylini wrote: If I was buying a Lotus, the last thing I'd want to see are modifications, especially cheap ones. I have no other input other than don't molest it.
This! Also, I might skip a compression test. Isn't it just a generic Toyota four cylinder? I would not worry about that part.

Dunno about the Elise' across the pond. Here in the U.S., it's a 2ZZ-GE with the head reworked by Lotus, good for another 20hp.

kb58
kb58 Dork
8/10/17 11:04 a.m.

"Elise ownership while poor" != Trackday events.

For you non-C programmer types, I'm saying the two do not go together. Weekend drives maybe, but track use, no.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/17 11:43 a.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH:

I think a Europa would be a much better Lotus for you: they're not worth much, and are nearly worthless in their most common(abandoned) condition, so there's little money to be lost. Most of them haven't run for ~40 years, so there's no worry about insurance or damage from use. And should you actually have the desire to get it running/driving, you have a great engine for it already in your Toyota.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
8/10/17 12:22 p.m.
Pete Gossett wrote: In reply to GameboyRMH: I think a Europa would be a much better Lotus for you: they're not worth much, and are nearly worthless in their most common(abandoned) condition, so there's little money to be lost. Most of them haven't run for ~40 years, so there's no worry about insurance or damage from use. And should you actually have the desire to get it running/driving, you have a great engine for it already in your Toyota.

But there are probably no Europas on the island of Barbados.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/10/17 12:25 p.m.

No, there aren't. Only 4 Elises in fact, a heavily modded S1 race car that used to hold a record around the bigger track, and 3 S2s including this one. The only other Lotuses at are an old RWD Elan that comes out for classic car shows, and a new FWD Elan that seems to spend most of its time in a shop. Oh and an old Esprit Turbo that lives in a shop.

kb58 wrote: "Elise ownership while poor" != Trackday events. For you non-C programmer types, I'm saying the two do not go together. Weekend drives maybe, but track use, no.

Because of the risk to the body panels, or are there also expensive consumables I should watch out for?

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