Considering a 91 Elan - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Considering a 91 Elan

Hey guys, I am very familiar with the Lotus Elise and have driven a few of them. I was just wondering if you guys could give me some insight on how the Lotus Elan compares or even just the fun factor. I'm wondering if I should pull the trigger on a Elan or just wait and save some more to get an Elise. Thanks
-Jon
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 05:57 PM
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Sub'd, as I've pondered this choice too, and I'm curious to see what sorts of answers you get here.

If you want to get the perspective from the Elan side, definitely check out Lotus Elan Central, if you haven't already.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 11:40 AM
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I had an M100 for 5 years and sold it with ~85K on the clock. The current owner has her up to ~110K and just had to do a clutch job. IMO, the M100 is probably the most under-appreciated of all the Lotus road cars. It is a solid "A-to-B" car that is capable of gobbling up tarmac at an impressive rate while being very civilized creature comfort wise. It is not anything like the raw, bare bones Elise/Exige cars, though, based on my limited experience with those cars. Indeed, I would say it compares more favorably with the Evora in terms of sophistication and general usability. There were issues, though , and you probably only want to consider examples that are well sorted with appropriate upgrades (e.g., front brakes, shift cables, door window mechanism, good top (hood)/rubber seals, working A/C). LEC is a great source of all M100 info.

Joel
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 11:55 AM
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THe M100 was my first Lotus. I still have it. Wonderful car. Very much under-rated as a Lotus and a car in general. Even without the "upgrades" an excellent car. Many have been abused, but even a car that was just normal use and not pampered is going to hold up well into the 100k's. THey are also very inexpensive on the used market. Look for a car without a rollbar (only reason to put one in is autocross and track use). ANd use the resources of LEC as previously mentioned.

Kyle Kaulback '56 Mark VI '71 Type61mX '71 Type69 FF '71 Type 69 F2 '77 Super 907 '91 M100 Elan '91 Omega LotusSport 110 '05 Elise(custodian) '13 Evora S

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 12:08 PM
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i had one, great car. some things i remember - power steering boost is too high, soft. turbo lag is significant - you 'must' left foot brake to keep it spooled. very aero car, it does not want to slow down. interior is very 90's gm'ish. m100 bespoke parts can be rare and expensive (hubs, tail lights, etc..)

i politely disagree with kyle, i know 2 owners that have put in the roll bar solution for street safety only. best FWD car i have ever driven. loads of grip when you are on the throttle. torque steer is easily managed.

not anything like an elise though - i would describe them as night and day different. the M100 is a bit "girlie" soft, a little numb, production car feel. not saying thats bad... just saying its a very different kind of car. at the time i had a TVR so.....

kyle, how would you compare the 51/61 vs the 69?

"I really started paying attention to cars was when they came out with the Nissan Z, the first body. Then I seen the Cherokees, the old square ones, and I was like, “Wow, that’s cool.” Then I seen the Isuzu jeeps and I seen the Wranglers."
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys, I remember when I first saw the Elan. I was in a used euro car dealer in San Fran and I thought it was a older Ferrari. They are great looking cars. I'm just so in love with the current Elise's so I think im gona wait it out. Unless I drive an Elan and fall for that too. Then I will just have to have both one day. lol
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeflash View Post
Hey guys, I am very familiar with the Lotus Elise and have driven a few of them. I was just wondering if you guys could give me some insight on how the Lotus Elan compares or even just the fun factor. I'm wondering if I should pull the trigger on a Elan or just wait and save some more to get an Elise. Thanks
-Jon
I was going to buy one because my wife can get in and out of it better than any other Lotus. The woefully-weak brakes put me off. There is probably a good fix for that, but it won't be ASP autocross-legal, I bet. They run the same autocross class as a supercharged Elise/Exige, and there is no way they would keep up. I HAVE to have an autocross car...

I went Elise and have been dealing with the fact that my wife refuses to get into it because she does not have the arm-strength to get out of it (fibromyalgia).
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philethier View Post
I was going to buy one because my wife can get in and out of it better than any other Lotus. The woefully-weak brakes put me off. There is probably a good fix for that, but it won't be ASP autocross-legal, I bet. They run the same autocross class as a supercharged Elise/Exige, and there is no way they would keep up. I HAVE to have an autocross car...

I went Elise and have been dealing with the fact that my wife refuses to get into it because she does not have the arm-strength to get out of it (fibromyalgia).
My wife is perfectly happy riding around in my M100 Elan, and only enters my Elise under duress. I agree the brakes on the M100 are weak, and parts are bitch to find (especially in the US), but it handles very well, shifts smooth as silk, has very decent acceleration with the turbo, plenty of room in the boot, and in general is a great car for cruising around with the top down on a summer day or night.
Having said that, there's nothing like zipping around a curvy country road in an Elise. Not too practical for much else, though.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-06-2014, 11:37 PM
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I love my M100. It has been upgraded a little. Exhaust, mountain chip, wheels and tires, front brakes have been upgraded (a must) and I put an Elise S1 steering wheel in because the original one is pretty big and for me being really tall I needed the change.

Mine is going through fiberglass and paint right now. It hasn't had the best life but I'm turning it into a great car now. I daily drove mine for about 2 years. After some maintenance issues that I fixed, it has ran like a champ. Haven't had any problems since I swapped the cooling hoses.

Having mine with the mountain chip and exhaust I have about 190hp the same as the Elise. The only problem is I need to port the wastegate to improve the air flow through the engine to free up more power. Once I do that I will be able to keep up with my dads Elise. Right now though the Elan is surprisingly fast, me and my dad love driving it. My mom likes it more than the Elise just because its more of a car and not a go kart however it still performs like one.

The Elise and Elan are 2 different cars, both great and perform almost the same. The Elise is of course quicker and handles better since the mid-engine and rear wheel drive. However the M100 handles like a lotus its just different. Don't be scared of FWD. It is the best handling FWD car ever made.

Both cars are going up in value which is great. If you want an Elise go for it but I'm telling you, if you go to a car show you'll see an Elise. When I bought my M100 it was the first one I've ever seen. Haven't seen another one on the road or car show besides LOG. Some people know what the Elise is but no one knows what the M100 is. I remember going to Cars and Coffee a year ago with my M100 and a guy came up to me and said you have the rarest car here and no body even knows it. Either way you will have a great Lotus and you will have fun no matter what, both perform great but its really just a matter of taste and money. I'd take a Europa over both of them any day though... But that's just me.
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