New Elise owner 2500 mile road trip with fiance and dog to Tail of the Dragon - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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New Elise owner 2500 mile road trip with fiance and dog to Tail of the Dragon

Being a 350Z owner every year we go down to Tail of the Dragon for Zdayz. Even though this year I had no intentions of taking a Z.

I bought my Lotus in January with 100k miles on it. The shocks were blown, the rotors and pads were near the end of their life. So I replaced those and vinyl wrapped the car in preparation for Zdayz (and since I couldn't drive it till mid April due to weather). Got the suspension all dialed in, alignment done, drove it a couple hundred miles to make sure it was ready. Our original plan was to take the Lotus and the fiance's mini cooper (pack mule). After discussing the night before leaving we decided we could squeeze our essentials in the Lotus. And the dog would have to sit on her lap (25lb french bulldog).

I was a little nervous about the comfort having only drove the car for an hour as the longest trip and the lack of cruise control. I can tell you I was nervous for no reason at all. I was far more comfortable driving the Elise than I ever was driving the Z.

I cannot even begin to express how impressed I am with this car.

Comfort = amazing, I could drive for 5 hours with only having to shift the angle of my foot every once and while. only stopping every 3-4 hours for fuel and bathroom breaks
Fuel Economy = average 33-35mpg the whole trip

Only downfalls:

Passenger window leaked a little by the top of the windshield when it rained.
Fuel capacity obviously
I didn't attach my lip good enough (as you can see from the duct tape in one of the attached photos). Hit something and broke one of the bolts out. I repaired it when I got to Fontana.

Once I finally got to take it out on the Dragon and Hellbender I was in love with this car even more. It handles unbelievable. The power is great. This was by far the my best trip I've ever had down there. I could easily and safely carry 10-15mph faster than I ever could in my Z. Just to give you an idea of how much I enjoyed driving it, the trip down is 1022 miles. In total I did 2,478 miles so 434 miles was just driving the roads down there.

Now I 100% want to get this bad boy on the track.

I just wanted to share my experience.

PS. If you ever go down there make sure you visit "The Hub" in Robbinsville. The food is phenomenal. And if you see a silver Miata with the license plate "DA HUB" just get out of his way lol. He owns the restaurant and is an excellent driver and a great guy, we chatted with him for about 45mins about cars and things.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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A few more random pictures of my lotus.
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Zen Dude and difflow like this.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 04:01 AM
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I had two questions for you,

1) the wrap looks great, where was it done?

2) which part of the country were you coming from when you headed down to Robinsville?

Then looked at your profile, answered both questions. Lol.

I lived in Atlanta for 7 years, and made it to the Dragon at least once a month (4-5x a month in Spring/Fall) in one of my Miata.

Best stretch of road I've ever driven. Hard not to have a great time. 😀

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 04:03 AM
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Sounds like a lot of fun. I just bought my elise a couple weeks ago. I came from a G35 coupe. I love driving the Elise a lot more but I am going to have to disagree on the comfort aspect as the G was a much more comfortable cruiser lol and I can't imagine the Z is much different as its the same chassis. Comfy seats, better AC, less wind/road noise and cruise control make for a much better cruising car IMO. But the Elise still wins as the more fun car so I guess that makes up for it. Also it does get better MPGs as you pointed out, but that is just a bonus as I bet very few of us are concerned with fuel economy anyway.

Thanks for inspiring the desire for me to actually go on a longer trip to fun roads like ToD.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 04:04 AM
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So the most important question.............how does the dog like the car?

One tolerant woman you've got there, I don't think my wife's purse would fit in the trunk of the Exige.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 04:05 AM
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Terrific read - and better pics!

By the way, there will be a few Lotus drivers at our event at Palmer (PCA NER (Porsche Club, Northeast Region) which you'd be more than welcome to attend. It is a three day (Fri-Sat-Sun) event beginning June 9th. You can PM me for more info - or read about what they are like here.

And yes, we are a PCA Region that welcomes new drivers who require an Instructor, or drivers of any skill level - and also roll out the welcome mat to non-Porsche enthusiasts as well who belong to other car clubs.

Hope to see you and anyone else at our events!

John D.

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& a few P'cars..
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 04:05 AM
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Palmer Motorsports Park

LimeRock Park

Thompson Motor Speedway

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Probably in that order.

Check out https://www.scda1.com

They run a great program, have seasoned instructors and are safe.
@brgelise is an instructor for them and is excellent.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LotusCC View Post
I had two questions for you,

1) the wrap looks great, where was it done?

2) which part of the country were you coming from when you headed down to Robinsville?

Then looked at your profile, answered both questions. Lol.

I lived in Atlanta for 7 years, and made it to the Dragon at least once a month (4-5x a month in Spring/Fall) in one of my Miata.

Best stretch of road I've ever driven. Hard not to have a great time. 😀
1. I wrapped it with my fiance. I don't know how sponsors work on here so I won't advertise my company.

2. We stayed in Robbinsville for 2 nights as an equal cabin with way more amenities is half the price of Fontana. My friends arrived at Fontana on Wednesday so we stayed there from Wednesday to Sunday.

I love it down there. I wish there were more jobs down that way. I would move down there if I could.

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Originally Posted by fjohn624 View Post
Sounds like a lot of fun. I just bought my elise a couple weeks ago. I came from a G35 coupe. I love driving the Elise a lot more but I am going to have to disagree on the comfort aspect as the G was a much more comfortable cruiser lol and I can't imagine the Z is much different as its the same chassis. Comfy seats, better AC, less wind/road noise and cruise control make for a much better cruising car IMO. But the Elise still wins as the more fun car so I guess that makes up for it. Also it does get better MPGs as you pointed out, but that is just a bonus as I bet very few of us are concerned with fuel economy anyway.

Thanks for inspiring the desire for me to actually go on a longer trip to fun roads like ToD.
On the comfort thing. So cushion the Z has a much better seat. But actually long distance driving the Elise wins. I have Probax seats so I don't know how much that matters but in the Z I would adjust the seat 20 times on my drive well using cruise control (so I was barely ever touching the pedals) and my legs would still become fatigued and stiff. I would have to stop every 3hours just to get out and stretch. That was not an issue at all in the Lotus. I don't know how much the Z differs from the G. But all I can say is if I didn't have to pump gas or pee I would literally just stay in the car.

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Originally Posted by exigegus View Post
So the most important question.............how does the dog like the car?

One tolerant woman you've got there, I don't think my wife's purse would fit in the trunk of the Exige.
She is definitely a keeper. I think I packed more than her on this trip lol.

The dog was great she literally sleeps the instant she gets in the car. It was almost scary she slept to much. But she made up for it at night when we were trying to sleep lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by John D. View Post
Terrific read - and better pics!

By the way, there will be a few Lotus drivers at our event at Palmer (PCA NER (Porsche Club, Northeast Region) which you'd be more than welcome to attend. It is a three day (Fri-Sat-Sun) event beginning June 9th. You can PM me for more info - or read about what they are like here.

And yes, we are a PCA Region that welcomes new drivers who require an Instructor, or drivers of any skill level - and also roll out the welcome mat to non-Porsche enthusiasts as well who belong to other car clubs.

Hope to see you and anyone else at our events!

John D.
I would love to go. I just have so much work to do. We are backed up now until mid July with vinyl wraps. There is an event this weekend at Canaan NH that I was thinking about slipping away for. Its a beginner course.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 06:14 AM
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Nice photos !
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 06:21 AM
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....I would love to go. I just have so much work to do. We are backed up now until mid July with vinyl wraps. There is an event this weekend at Canaan NH that I was thinking about slipping away for. Its a beginner course.
Canaan is a short- but great! - beginners track.! I scheduled an event up there last year for my Instructors - and we almost opted to run a Novice event up there this year for just that reason. Unfortunately - we scheduled 6 other events this year (for 18 track days). If you do go - please post back your impressions of that track, OK?

As well - you have an open invite to any of our events... And..

Hmmm - you do wraps??? I've been thinking of going that direction with my Exige, so maybe we'll be in touch on that subject in the future?

Best to you!

John D.

'07 Exige S
& a few P'cars..
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 06:27 AM
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Love to have you join me at Palmer on 6/5 with SCDA. A day in a Lotus always makes my job easy!

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Love to have you join me at Palmer on 6/5 with SCDA. A day in a Lotus always makes my job easy!
I really wish I could. I have to plan something for mid July or later as that is how far we are booked out. I'm going to look thru the events and see if there is anything I can do.

I'm just a little nervous as I have never done a track day. I've only done auto-x and spirited driving. But most events seem new driver friendly.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 10:39 AM
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I can promise you that you are safer at the track than on the street. Your car will thank you also! 100% new driver friendly. Much easier to teach a clean sheet of paper than have to correct bad habits.
7/17-18 Watkind Glen. Why not learn at the best!!!
7/24 Thompson. Need to know soon to take day off if I know I'd have a fellow Lotus student.
8/14 Lime Rock My home track

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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I can promise you that you are safer at the track than on the street. Your car will thank you also! 100% new driver friendly. Much easier to teach a clean sheet of paper than have to correct bad habits.
7/17-18 Watkind Glen. Why not learn at the best!!!
7/24 Thompson. Need to know soon to take day off if I know I'd have a fellow Lotus student.
8/14 Lime Rock My home track

I am signed up for 7/24 at Thompson.

Also doing club Motorsports in 7/30.

So pumped!!
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 03:02 PM
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Love the car! Are you going to paint your wheels black? Looks like he'd go nicely with the black additions you have. I am in the middle of buying an 05 artic silver myself (red interior though). Cant wait!
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2017, 08:43 PM
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Thanks for the story and the pics. Im always curious about people's experience wrapping a elige. Since it seems you have some knowledge on the subject what are your thoughts? Did it come out to your liking? It looks good in the pics. I want to wrap mine white.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the story and the pics. Im always curious about people's experience wrapping a elige. Since it seems you have some knowledge on the subject what are your thoughts? Did it come out to your liking? It looks good in the pics. I want to wrap mine white.
I am very happy with it. It is a tough wrap for sure. It also doesn't help that my vinyl is a 2 layer vinyl so it is much thicker than a standard vinyl. Just make sure you post heat everything very thoroughly.

I'd say the toughest areas would be the front bumper part of the clam, the upper rear clam and the truck lid. The trunk lid I did in 6 pieces and I 2 toned it.

Also use Avery white if possible.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 05:28 AM
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Great story, thanks for posting!

I love that picture of you all together with the dog in your car. That made my day.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Here are few updated pics of the car.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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This is from a Club Motorsports.
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