Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southeast Michigan
LT-specced Elise, Three Years In Making
The car's about to be put away for the winter here in Michigan, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to show my three years-worth of buying and trading parts with all sorts of LT members and vendors. What started out as a car I thought I'd drive stock turned into a fun project. Along the way I bought and sold thousands of dollars worth of wheels, tops, seats, and other goodies with many of you guys, and, knock on wood, never had a problem. Really, to the contrary, I am gratified how considerate and honest Lotus owners and vendors have been, sending expensive pieces to total strangers across the country.
The car started out as a base '05 Elise with a touring package that I got from an LT member in '09. I decided after a year or so that I really, really liked it, enough to start switching out some things to make it more what I had in mind. That meant using Lotus OEM parts-- though not necessarily ones that came on the car, whenever possible.
In no particular order, I switched out the biscuit interior for an Alcantara/leather set of Lotus Sport seats (before the big price hike), and got a set of manual winders from someone who put in electric lifts. Side carpeting came off, and Sector 111's cool rubberized mats put in place. I had Chuck Risen (great and meticulous guy) paint some trim chrome orange (hey it's my car), and do a set of Craftsquare mirrors (last set sold by S111, I think, and used to boot) in body color.
Installed the Lotus Sport OEM harness bar and rear panel and Schroth 6-point belts. The car did about 12 track days last year.
LSS wheels by way of LT member in Hawaii, powdercoated black then traded to another LT member in California for a set of pristine silvers. Got a set of black S260 Cup wheels (awesome!) from keinayo, another great vendor, for track days.
Mirrors and other tidbits from various FS ads. A VF exhaust, and one of the only things on the car that's not Lotus, designed and had fabbed up a rear panel delete that I like, out of milled aluminum and powdercoated black, along with the inside of the diffuser.
Set of Lotus 2-way Ohlins, balanced and set at lower ride height, a V2 baffled tank, BOE's toe link rods, RLS's iPhone holder and brake stuff, parts from Robert at BRG, all good people and good vendors. Stainless steel lines, catch cans, Odyssey battery with custom aluminum bracket (lucky to be in Michigan with Ralph Provitz, who designed a bunch of stuff for S111 and Auto Europe, who has a lot of institutional knowledge), and probably a few odds and ends I forget. The goal was an Elise that I could take to the track and equally well drive on the street with reliability. It's got about 17K miles now, almost all mine (it was a typical garage queen when I bought it), and I quite like it.
See some of you guys next spring.