I can completely agree with the "money pit" aspect of owning a Lotus. I did an Ebay purchase of a 88 Turbo back in May, 2012. The body and interior were in excellent shape but there were a few minor mechanical issues. I bought the Lotus from a guy in Alabama, and as I found out later, Alabama did not require vehicle inspections - the windshield wipers did not work, the horn did not work, and the braking was not up to passing a Texas inspection.
A few other minor issues such as fuel gauge sticking, no speedo, or boost gauge. Took the car to a mechanic I had used for years, but who knew nothing about Lotus. After 6 weeks in the shop, I go to pick it up, went over the check list, and the windshield wiper kept blowing fuses. Another month goes by as I try to locate a replacement wiper motor as the OEM motor was fried, get the replacement installed, and it too was blowing fuses, but it worked long enough to get is past an inspection.
By now, 9 months have passed when I go to pick up the Lotus again, one of the workers bumped into the passenger side mirror breaking it from the mount. I searched for replacement mirror only to find that they were extremely expensive, and so I opted to replace both mirrors with those from a Honda S2000 which I purchased from LTF member Mr. Dangerous.
While test driving the Lotus, I noticed it was running hot, left it with the shop once again, and they stated it needed a new water pump. So, I buy a rebuild kit from J.A.E. and after two molnths, was able to pick up the Lotus last week.
But, in driving it home, I noticed it was still running hot. When I got home, and after letting it cool, I refilled the water reservoir, not thinking to check for any leaks. I drive the car about 20 miles, it was running very hot, and in returning home, it was scalding, and I could hear a compression leak sound as I drove into the driveway. Steam and oil spewing from the engine block area, I knew the head gasket was done for! Upon inspecting the car further, I found the the upper water hose was tucked under the plug wire harness, and not connected to the engine block!
Needless to say, the shop owner had a discussion about his shop's negligence. I have told him that I will most likely not be brining the Lotus back to his shop, although I had only paid half of the previous repair bill. We have only one foreign car repair shop here in town; they are expensive, but reliable.
I am still trying to decide my best course of action about getting the repairs done, but I am leaning towards the other shop.....for obvious reasons!