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GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/17 11:06 a.m.

Insurance quotes are coming in now. First one is $500 for liability-only, $1100 for comprehensive. That seems wrong. If it's correct, should I reconsider? Maybe tell the shop that owns it that I'll meet their asking price if they fix the shifter and window?

For door handle replacements I'm thinking I'd mold some myself from urethane and screw them in, maybe make some extras and sell them, because it looks like the only replacements available online are blingy CF pieces at $150 EACH.

oldtin
oldtin PowerDork
8/14/17 11:26 a.m.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
8/14/17 11:36 a.m.

Sounds to me like you're trying to convince yourself it's still a good idea. Maybe time to think real hard about it. Anytime I have to convince myself it's a good idea it's not.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/17 11:52 a.m.

I dunno, this is the kind of process I always go through when buying cars, but with this one everything is turned up to 11.

I probably always spend at least a week thinking about it.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/14/17 12:17 p.m.

I want one. Always have.

There, did that help?

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
8/14/17 12:24 p.m.

If you do buy it, many of us will hang on your every-word as fellow broke-ass-poor-Loti-wanna-bees.

My thoughts on this as of today is that if it was any kind of a bargain, it would NOT be here today.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
8/14/17 12:28 p.m.
NOHOME wrote: If you do buy it, many of us will hang on your every-word as fellow broke-ass-poor-Loti-wanna-bees. My thoughts on this as of today is that if it was any kind of a bargain, it would NOT be here today.

I'm not sure about that last part. His market is so vastly different than ours that I could see a niche vehicle like that having no place to go, though obviously that potential situation will manifest itself against you when you try to sell it.

calteg
calteg Dork
8/14/17 12:36 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH:

I was able to order one from a Lotus Garage at a pretty reasonable price:

https://www.lotusgarage.com/index.php?pg=5&l=product_list&c=21

Granted, I waited about a month and a half for it to ship from the UK, but it sounds like you'll have a substantially shorter wait

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/14/17 12:37 p.m.

Generally speaking any kind of expensive toy while you're poor is a bad idea. This one seems particularly ill advised.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/17 12:50 p.m.
tuna55 wrote: I want one. Always have. There, did that help?

Maybe a little

Actually after having a close look at an Elise and the issues involved in ownership, I've kind of fallen out of love with them, and now I look at them from a more starkly rational viewpoint. It's not only the good parts of an MR2 on crack. It's not all rainbows and unicorns and cornering your face off.

Frankly I think the only reason Lotus gets any of these things out of the showroom is that many people are wealthy enough to buy them without looking too closely at them and going for a Corvette instead. It's just a much better deal, sorry I won't spread that too widely though because we do need those people to take the depreciation hit

tuna55 wrote:
NOHOME wrote: If you do buy it, many of us will hang on your every-word as fellow broke-ass-poor-Loti-wanna-bees. My thoughts on this as of today is that if it was any kind of a bargain, it would NOT be here today.
I'm not sure about that last part. His market is so vastly different than ours that I could see a niche vehicle like that having no place to go, though obviously that potential situation will manifest itself against you when you try to sell it.

There is definitely a niche interest problem in this market. I think if it was a later S2 with the 2ZZ and modern doodads it would've been gone before I found out about it, bought by some rich kid who would send it sideways into a light pole and cause a day-long nation-wide power outage (last time it was a GC 2.5RS). The insurance costs are keeping it out of the hands of everybody else. So if I do indeed have the undiscovered superpower of getting incredibly cheap car insurance combined with the practice-earned regular power of pretty good driving skills, that could make me one of the few who both would like to own this car and might be able to afford it.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/17 12:51 p.m.
calteg wrote: https://www.lotusgarage.com/index.php?pg=5&l=product_list&c=21 Granted, I waited about a month and a half for it to ship from the UK, but it sounds like you'll have a substantially shorter wait

Probably not, but I'm used to waiting

Two_Tools_In_a_Tent
Two_Tools_In_a_Tent New Reader
8/14/17 1:02 p.m.

Hopefully not risking my New Reader status, which I hope to never lose, by posting here and now, but jfryjfry makes a REALLY good point.

Never ever go into debt for a "toy." There are just SO many interesting, cool, and cheap cars to be had, even projects to be played with, that going into debt for a fun-car purchase sucks the fun right out of the equation.

It's a very good thing that you've looked at this purchase with your head rather than just your heart and decided against.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/14/17 2:24 p.m.

You'll run over your New Reader status eventually. Embrace the dorkness!

Unless I'm buying a really cheap basic car, I'd probably have to go into debt, cars aren't that cheap around here. I went into debt for the Samurai and for the Toyota's restomodding, so that ship has sailed.

If I really can get cheap (comprehensive) insurance for this Elise I would reconsider.

On a related note, I found some good and bad news about the headlights, the good news is that they're not too hard to re-seal:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f92/diy-elise-exige-headlight-restoration-seal-delete-115010/

The bad news is that if you do ever break one, you'll wish you broke a high-end LED headlight unit instead...maybe even 2 or more depending on where you get a replacement.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/15/17 9:18 a.m.

A couple of interesting updates. The middleman who's marketing the car called me back yesterday for updates, I told him I'm still waiting for insurance quotes, he gave me a number for an insurance agent he knows who might be able to help me out. Seems they're a bit desperate to sell it.

Then I gave a guy who owns a car parts shop a ride to look at my sister's NB Miata which is for sale. On the way back I mentioned the Elise and he knew exactly which one I was talking about. Apparently it's been a garage queen for a few years, and he wanted to buy it back before the owner wanted to sell it.

Doing some research on the Rover engine, it looks like their weak spot is the head gasket, due to thermal shock caused by poor cooling system design. This is a problem many Rover engines have, and Rover has fixed it with a redesigned cooling system. This kit updates an S2 Elise Rover engine with the same layout:

https://www.eliseparts.com/products/show/84/207/pressure-relief-remote-thermostat-kit/

So that would have to be my very first mod, applied with urgency.

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
8/15/17 10:12 a.m.

I know it's not as glamorous as the lotus but a zzw30 mr2 is most of the good with very little of the bad. A little suspension development and more power really closes the gap. A 2zz swap (super easy swap) or a turbo makes them a very potent little car.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/15/17 10:30 a.m.

I've actually been thinking the same thing recently. Around here, those will go for at least half as much as this Elise, there are only a few. Last time I saw one for sale has to be at least 7 years ago.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
8/15/17 10:56 a.m.

Half as much as the Elise, with 1/4 the maintenance costs and half the insurance costs..

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/15/17 11:50 a.m.

If I were to bring one in from Japan, the rule of thumb for a car in that price range is 2x initial purchase price plus shipping...it has to be less than 5 or more than 20 years old though.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/17 10:11 a.m.

OK so after checking through my current insurance broker, the only company willing to insure this car AT ALL (even third-party-only!) is the one that gave the shockingly low comprehensive quote. I've asked them to double check that. Ideally I'd want to see a number of companies coming in with similar quotes, I don't want to be reliant on one company for insurance, especially one that might realize they're not insuring what they thought they were.

Devilsolsi
Devilsolsi Reader
8/16/17 10:45 a.m.

My general rule of thumb...if you can't afford the maintenance, you can't afford the car. If you can't afford the insurance, you can't afford the car. Something unexpected always comes up. Sometimes it is your fault, sometimes it is not. If you can't afford to be prepared for those things, you can't afford the car.

rslifkin
rslifkin SuperDork
8/16/17 11:06 a.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH:

You keep referring to comprehensive insurance. Are you including collision in that or just comprehensive and liability?

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/16/17 11:56 a.m.

Yeah this includes collision.

Maintenance I think I can afford, but if those body panels take any real damage, or worse yet the frame, I'd be SOL, insurance would have to cover those.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/16/17 12:23 p.m.
Devilsolsi wrote: My general rule of thumb...if you can't afford the maintenance, you can't afford the car. If you can't afford the insurance, you can't afford the car. Something unexpected always comes up. Sometimes it is your fault, sometimes it is not. If you can't afford to be prepared for those things, you can't afford the car.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

It's why I don't already have a used Cayman S in the parking lot at work.

LanEvo
LanEvo Reader
8/16/17 2:14 p.m.

I spend a few weeks each summer on a small Greek island. I can honestly say I'd have much more fun in something like a Sprite/Midget (or any of a number of hot hatches) than a "baby exotic" like the Elise. Give me a $5k Renault 5 GT Turbo any day.

maj75
maj75 HalfDork
8/16/17 7:07 p.m.

I was just in the BVI and any road there will destroy an Elise. Some of the other islands I've visited aren't much better.

I'd go with a rally car if I were you;)

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