The lost Exige and other mysteries - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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The lost Exige and other mysteries

A good friend of mine once said "I'm not rich enough to fill my garage with all of the cars I could want, but I can own just about most of them one at a time".

Over the years I've been lucky enough to follow those principles. I've owned some fantastic cars including Porsches ranging from a 1967 hot rod to modern cayman and 911, a BMW M coupe (clownshoe), 2015 Elise, etc.

After all of them, it's the Lotus, despite its faults that keeps coming back to me. Being lucky enough to not need it as a DD, but also busy enough that I don't get a lot of free time, I've decided that an Exige would be just right to give me something to tinker on in the garage, auto-x on occasion, or to pop out for the impromptu Bear Mountain run or Caffeine and Carburetors.

The only issue is finding one! What happened? When I was looking for the the Elise it seemed like there were good early Exiges available at all times. They were never particularly expensive, and you could have a pick of colors. Now it seems that I am seeing over priced, low miles cars that simply aren't selling, or high miles, tracked out (or otherwise heavily modded) cars that simply are too personalized for me (wanting to make my own personalizations of course)

Where's the plain white (or black or orange etc), unmodified 06 that used to be a dime a dozen? you would think that at 10 plus years old they would be trading hands as the owners move up into "modern" performance cars or into more practical daily cars as their families grow.

Jordan
Long Beach NY

2006 Krypton Exige Track Pack, LSD, Touring

Gone:2005 Lotus Elise, 93 RS America, 75 Carrera, 00 M Coupe, 11 C4 GTS, 71 914-6, 65 356C, 13 Boxster, 98 BMW M3 E36 among others
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:22 AM
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I think you were mistaken

with, what fewer than 1200 cars ever imported, they were never common

Sounds like you are complaining about price, which is pretty common among those who seek, and the opposite of the complaints from those who wish to sell

Clean low mile 07's are advertised at 50k all the time

06's tend to mid low 40's

240s tend to be 60

260s are 'more'

pretty stable over the last few years.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Not a comment on price. More a question about the change in ownership. Previously you would see Elise/Exige that had changed hands many times in a few years. Now I'm wondering if they have found their way to owners who are more long term. I see two types of sports car owners. Those who get a new and more interesting car every few years, (such as Porsche owners who continually move to the latest model) and those who just find a car and stick. I'm wondering if the Exige has become one of those cars that now attract long term ownership, and if so, is that unique to NA as we no longer get new models. I'm sure many more pre-2012 would change hands if Lotus opened up the market to new cars again.

Jordan
Long Beach NY

2006 Krypton Exige Track Pack, LSD, Touring

Gone:2005 Lotus Elise, 93 RS America, 75 Carrera, 00 M Coupe, 11 C4 GTS, 71 914-6, 65 356C, 13 Boxster, 98 BMW M3 E36 among others
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:01 AM
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To state the obvious, there can only be fewer and fewer of them each year as they get wrecked since there are no more being imported. With production numbers in the hundreds for a given color, each wrecked car makes a noticeable impact on availability. Compound that with the fact they are now "free" (resale hasn't changed in years), there's no incentive to sell before it depreciates further.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jordanpryce View Post
Not a comment on price. More a question about the change in ownership. Previously you would see Elise/Exige that had changed hands many times in a few years. Now I'm wondering if they have found their way to owners who are more long term. I see two types of sports car owners. Those who get a new and more interesting car every few years, (such as Porsche owners who continually move to the latest model) and those who just find a car and stick. I'm wondering if the Exige has become one of those cars that now attract long term ownership, and if so, is that unique to NA as we no longer get new models. I'm sure many more pre-2012 would change hands if Lotus opened up the market to new cars again.
I'd agree that if a new street legal Exige came here there would be more older versions up for sale. There are still a good number of these for sale, maybe not in the condition you are exactly looking for though. There are several that are hanging on to these cars as well, it's cheap enough that selling is not going to produce a ton of needed cash and for the money I'm not sure there is something else I'd rather have. Keep watching the for sale threads and post up a want to buy add and then wait. I recall watching the sale adds for over a year before pulling the trigger as I'm sure many have.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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It is even worse for a potential buyer in Canada where very limited number of Exige were sold in the first place.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:28 AM
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You're on a path where you're going to lose your shirt. These days unmolested examples command a higher price (and come with ridiculous asking prices). If you buy one of these and mod to your tastes, you are likely going to destroy value - look at your own first post for proof.

If you want to pay less and do modifications, you're far better off buying something with a few more miles, already has mods which can be mitigated/changed, etc, such that the price of entry is lower and modifications don't have a significant impact on resale.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:49 AM
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@jordanpryce , I think you've hit the nail on the head. While Lotus was still supplying the North American market with updated product, people were more keen to sell in order to upgrade. Now that is no longer possible so I think people are wise to the fact that they'll be hard pressed to find another car that scratches the same itch the Elige's do. I myself have an 06 Aspen White Exige that I don't think I could ever let go. Of course, it is highly modified in that it is powered by an a2w intercooled and supercharged Honda mill so according to yourself it is less desirable. Can one complain about the market when one doesn't want to pay for a pristine example at a higher premium nor less money for a modified specimen? I lean towards no. Perhaps if your desire starts to really burn, you might consider changing your perspective on the pricing trends of this particular market. Tracked cars aren't bad cars, necessarily. Modified cars aren't bad cars, necessarily. Just a matter of perspective, I'd say.
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2006 LOTUS EXIGE (ASPEN WHITE) Honda K24A2 + MPx90 supercharger. 322whp/271lb-ft @13psi. Build thread here.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanpryce View Post
Not a comment on price. More a question about the change in ownership. Previously you would see Elise/Exige that had changed hands many times in a few years. Now I'm wondering if they have found their way to owners who are more long term. I see two types of sports car owners. Those who get a new and more interesting car every few years, (such as Porsche owners who continually move to the latest model) and those who just find a car and stick. I'm wondering if the Exige has become one of those cars that now attract long term ownership, and if so, is that unique to NA as we no longer get new models. I'm sure many more pre-2012 would change hands if Lotus opened up the market to new cars again.
I think this is exactly what has happened. I'm lucky to be an owner, but there are no other cars (that I could afford) that would bring as much enjoyment.

2007 Storm Titanium Exige S w/ sunvisor delete
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanpryce View Post
A good friend of mine once said "I'm not rich enough to fill my garage with all of the cars I could want, but I can own just about most of them one at a time".

Over the years I've been lucky enough to follow those principles. I've owned some fantastic cars including Porsches ranging from a 1967 hot rod to modern cayman and 911, a BMW M coupe (clownshoe), 2015 Elise, etc.

After all of them, it's the Lotus, despite its faults that keeps coming back to me. Being lucky enough to not need it as a DD, but also busy enough that I don't get a lot of free time, I've decided that an Exige would be just right to give me something to tinker on in the garage, auto-x on occasion, or to pop out for the impromptu Bear Mountain run or Caffeine and Carburetors.

The only issue is finding one! What happened? When I was looking for the the Elise it seemed like there were good early Exiges available at all times. They were never particularly expensive, and you could have a pick of colors. Now it seems that I am seeing over priced, low miles cars that simply aren't selling, or high miles, tracked out (or otherwise heavily modded) cars that simply are too personalized for me (wanting to make my own personalizations of course)

Where's the plain white (or black or orange etc), unmodified 06 that used to be a dime a dozen? you would think that at 10 plus years old they would be trading hands as the owners move up into "modern" performance cars or into more practical daily cars as their families grow.
They were never a 'dime a dozen.' They always trended pricier than the Elise, even the NA 06's. The 06's were basically a fast back Elise with the LSS suspension stock. People quickly found out that visibility issues were easily corrected, and that it was easy and cheap to fit the Exige with a soft top. The 06's especially, because they made no pretense of having a useful roof scoop.

That said, I'd say it's been a good 8 years since they bottomed out. When I sold my 07 Exige in 2010, I advertised it on here. Touring, carbon fiber/body colored full mohawk. Y and LSS Wheels. Both sets of wheels had fresh tires. Under 20K miles. FSH, lots of ECU dumps, etc. Immaculate. Heck, it was even autographed by Doc Bundy. Not a SINGLE bite on here, at all, when I had it advertised for $37K. Not even an email of interest. Finally sold it for $34K to a local guy who saw it on cars.com or autotrader. It hasn't surfaced since, he isn't part of 'the Lotus community.'

Since then the prices have been on a steady rise.

Owned, loved, enjoyed, and now gone:
1969 Europa S2 Blue
1970 Europa S2 White
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1984 Turbo Esprit Calypso Red
2005 Elise Starlight Black
2005 Elise Saffron Yellow
2005 Elise Ardent Red
2006 Exige Graphite Grey
2007 Exige Canyon Red

Other:
1970 MGB GT
1970 Datsun 510
1984 Honda CRX Si
1984 Pontiac Fiero
2004 Chrysler Crossfire
2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 10:54 AM
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Not a SINGLE bite on here, at all, when I had it advertised for $37K. Not even an email of interest. Finally sold it for $34K to a local guy who saw it on cars.com or autotrader. It hasn't surfaced since, he isn't part of 'the Lotus community.'

Since then the prices have been on a steady rise.
Ouch.

I always admired the Exige. Absolutely radical.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:48 PM
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It's hard to own these cars without modifying them, I mean, there are so many little things that can be improved upon easily. Every time I see one that's unmodified with 20,000 miles I'm like, what the hell was wrong with that guy?

People have this fascination with starting from new, from scratch, and I get that totally, but it's never the best investment.

I'd find a nice car that you like and buy it, it's just going to take you longer because of the aforementioned issues.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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I don’t mind a modified car. It’s more a questions of unknowns. How was it treated and who performed the work and at what quality level. A known well documented car, that’s another story.

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It's hard to own these cars without modifying them, I mean, there are so many little things that can be improved upon easily. Every time I see one that's unmodified with 20,000 miles I'm like, what the hell was wrong with that guy?

People have this fascination with starting from new, from scratch, and I get that totally, but it's never the best investment.

I'd find a nice car that you like and buy it, it's just going to take you longer because of the aforementioned issues.

Jordan
Long Beach NY

2006 Krypton Exige Track Pack, LSD, Touring

Gone:2005 Lotus Elise, 93 RS America, 75 Carrera, 00 M Coupe, 11 C4 GTS, 71 914-6, 65 356C, 13 Boxster, 98 BMW M3 E36 among others
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:25 PM
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The key to understand variance is tease out the variables.

Less of them all the time, quite a number rad rodded or otherwise made less desirable ( no not all mods do that imo)

I think people who have bought them up in the last years were well aware of the beast they purchased. Thus much less inclined to sell. I over payed in2010 from 4830r prices, but there were quite a few lovely mods that had been done, that got me that much more economically to where my machine is performance-wise now.

I think if/when the s3 Exige's hit our shores, you may see a shift in s2 units trading hands, but I expect that won't last long. People will look back to the s2 as more pure, like we might see a s1. Just like air cooled Porsche's...

Oh yeah and if the macro economic trends turn wrong side up then all bets off!

L O T U S
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:24 PM
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I think if/when the s3 Exige's hit our shores...
That will literally never happen. Not until they get 25 years old or whatever it will be at that time. Stupid really, so much "legal" trash on the road, and we can't get the S3 Exige and 34 GTR. Don't get me started.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:55 PM
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That will literally never happen. Not until they get 25 years old or whatever it will be at that time. Stupid really, so much "legal" trash on the road, and we can't get the S3 Exige and 34 GTR. Don't get me started.
Yeah, it is really stupid. Blame Mercedes, they're the ones that lobbied for those stupid laws.
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