Which of these used cars would you buy? Super Stalker/ Ultralite S2k - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Which of these used cars would you buy? Super Stalker/ Ultralite S2k

I am considering two used Seven replicas. One is a Brunton Super Stalker with a "locker" differential, registered as a 1962 Lotus. The other is registered as a 2006 WCM Ultralite S2k with WRX limited slip diff.

This is what I plan to do with my Seven replica and questions/considerations i have on my mind:

- Take a week long trip at least once a year, and plenty of long wknds on backroads. I used to play in the Smokey Mountains a lot on my touring bike and wish to return.

- Occasional trackday/HPDE. I know both cars will spank the average car on the track with a decent driver, but given the same driver, which car is going to put in a faster lap time? I know it is common for the Stalkers to go from 15 (or 16?) in wheels to 13in slicks on the track. Is it common to do that for the WCM Ultralite S2k as well?

WCM Ultralite S2k:
Horsepower 240 @ 8300 rpm
Torque 153 lb-ft @ 7500 rpm
1240 lbs

Brunton Super Stalker:
250hp @ 5200 rpm
290tq @ 3600 rpm
1550 lbs

More torque w/ the Stalker, but less weight with the WCM. Which wins out in a straight line?

The differentials are a little bit confusing:

WCM Ultralite S2k- From the WCM website: "Subaru WRX with Limites Slip centers, hubs and axles. 10 bars IRS differential."
Brunton Super Stalker- From the owner: "Detroit TrueTrac differential."

From what I can research, the TrueTrac is a "locker" differential, not a true LSD (?). From my reading, the locker only works going straight. You really want an LSD for track days. 1-way, accel. 1.5 - accel, some decel. 2-way - both. Is my research correct?

- Weather protection. The car does not need to protect me from the elements necessarily. I'm used to wearing rain gear and I plan on wearing a helmet/ear plugs. But.. the cars needs to just run well in the rain, have drain holes in the floor, and have (vinyl?) seats, dash and cockpit that will be up to the task.

- Tank range over 250 miles while cruising would be nice. The Stalker runs with 3.42 gears and the WCM S2k Ultralite runs with 4.44 rear end. Both have 10gal tanks.

- Cockpit room. I recently sat in a local Stalker. My GF was fine in the passenger seat, but at 5-10, 190lbs, my legs were cramped. The owner was 5-7, 5-8, so I'm betting the foot pedals have some room to move back. I keep hearing of all these big guys fitting in Stalkers just fine...hrmmm. Would anyone say the WCM Ultralite S2k is bigger/smaller in leg room?

- Luggage. This is something neither car has I've come to find. I want to take a passenger on my trips. I like this design: The Birkin SUV, but the other option is the car on the left (It's a stalker, don't know who owns it, but I screen-captured it from a video I saw):


- Reliability. My gut gives the reliability factor to the WCM Utralite S2k's drivetrain, but if the super-charged GM engine in the Super Stalker goes, they are cheap to replace. The Super Stalker look cheaper to replace parts if need be overall, but I kinda think the engine will be stout/reliable too. The Super Stalker is easier to get more power out of as it is already forced induction (not likely going to want more).

- Community. The Brunton owners have a private forum, but at least they have one. They also have the yearly get-together down in the Smokeys called the "Ambush." I'm not aware of a user community w/ the WCM owners or get-togethers. Anyone know of any? I always appreciated the riding community.

Yes, I know it's a lot of thoughts in one post, but I don't want to get this wrong. I miss motorcycling a ton.. the sites I saw, the people I met etc., and this is my way to get it back. Cheers!

Last edited by Bster13; 06-06-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 07:46 PM
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I prefer the WCM Ultralite.

Brunton Stalker, LS3 powered
5/8th Scale Lotus 7, Series 2
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bster13 View Post
....registered as a 1962 Lotus....


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Originally Posted by Bster13 View Post
Which wins out in a straight line?


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Originally Posted by Bster13 View Post
- Community. The Brunton owners have a private forum, but at least they have one. They also have the yearly get-together down in the Smokeys called the "Ambush." I'm not aware of a user community w/ the WCM owners or get-togethers. Anyone know of any? I always appreciated the riding community.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Could you elaborate why?

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I prefer the WCM Ultralite.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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@ RoadDad

I posted the same thing on USA7s, thx for the link:
Which of these used cars would u buy? Super Stalker/ Ultralite S2k - USA7s

I'm not sure why it's bad if it is registered as a 1962 Lotus 7. I figured that would make it easier to register for emissions in CT. Please let me know your thoughts.

I also think straight-line performance is relevant. It's one small part of the overall package (I've asked about the other parts in this thread as you can see.) that I'm interested in relative to HPDE/Trackdays.

This is an expensive purchase for me...I want ask many details as I can gather. Thx.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 08:15 PM
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I'm not sure why it's bad if it is registered as a 1962 Lotus 7. I figured that would make it easier to register for emissions in CT. Please let me know your thoughts.
If this is registered as an '02 Ferrari Enzo, my reaction is the same. It is not a Ferrari.

.

Why register/rebadge a car as something it is not? Are you (collective, not individual) embarrassed of your Birkin, Westfield, Fiero, etc...?

That's all the is about. Too much purist in me I guess.

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I also think straight-line performance is relevant....
That is what Lotus is not about.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Why register/rebadge a car as something it is not? Are you (collective, not individual) embarrassed of your Birkin, Westfield, Fiero, etc...?

That's all the is about. Too much purist in me I guess.
The previous owner registered it as such, not I. I believe it makes the car easier to register in my state. Don't worry, if I purchase this car, I will be the first to "tell it like it is," and be proud of it. My thread was posted in the correct forum "Lotus Inspired Cars or Cars with Lotus DNA," correct?

Quote:
That is what Lotus is not about.
You might want to tell Lotus that:
http://www.lotuscars.com/exige_s260_sport.html
Quote:
Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus is attributed as saying “adding power makes you faster on the straights; adding lightness makes you faster everywhere” and this statement is more relevant today than it ever has been.
RoadDad, I'm sure you have a wealth of knowledge and could help a former trackday and touring motorcycle nut such as myself get educated in this area. I'm also sure you were new to this at one point in time. New owners of these types of cars come from all different backgrounds and want different things out of these cars. Hopefully you can see my enthusiasm and want, to "do this right." For me. I'd appreciate your help.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
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Could you elaborate why?
Looks, performance, reliability.

Brunton Stalker, LS3 powered
5/8th Scale Lotus 7, Series 2
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Which of these used cars would you buy? Super Stalker/ Ultralite S2k

Neither




.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Neither




.
Could I ask what you'd buy for $20-$25k then in a 7 replica?
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 11:23 PM
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Could I ask what you'd buy for $20-$25k then in a 7 replica?
Well you asked which one would I buy, not which one I think you should buy
I think that the Caterham is the only one to get as it is the continuation of the original (and has built it's own pedigree that is arguably better than the original), it is the real deal. When I bought one I didn't even consider anything else even though it meant spending more, to me, buying anything else is like buying a fake Ferrari
But then again, I am a 7 snob


But now since the real question was which one would I recommend you buy of those two, I would suggest the S2K, it is more in the spirit of the concept. Low weight is more important than power in these kinds of cars as it is all about changing direction not straight line speed, and a big lumbering v6 from a pick up truck that doesn't rev to the sky is just seems wrong



.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bster13 View Post
...
- Tank range over 250 miles while cruising would be nice.
...
- the real question with a clubbie is whether or not you can drive for that long
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bster13 View Post
...
You might want to tell Lotus that:
Lotus Cars USA: 2008 Exige S 240
...
That quote is actually in reference to the fact that they spent a lot of effort reducing the weight in the S260 - not adding power to it



I'd vote for the WCM of the two you are considering - but when buying a second hand clubman condition and build quality is more critical than in your usual car purchase (you get past this issue if you build it yourself - that is a Westfield in my avatar).

Last edited by Aedo; 06-07-2010 at 04:39 AM. Reason: clarity
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
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Neither




.
+1.

You're posting on a Lotus forum, so don't be surprised if you get negative feedback ranging from sarcasm to derision. The cars you are considering are not Lotus, hence the reception the question is getting. To RoadDad's point, what reception do you think you'd get if you went on Ferrarichat and asked their opinion of the best Enzo body kit for a Fiero?

Actually, for this type of car, there are probably several other forums on which more knowledgable could answer your question.

Personally, I'd take neither. I'd save up a few more nickels and get a good Caterham, in a pinch MAYBE a Birkin, but as Mopho says the Caterham is the only way to go to maintain a smidge of Lotus heritage.

On the other hand, I don't know that this style car is going to meet your needs. You want to take a week long trip and long weekends. You want to carry passenger and luggage on these trips. You want plenty of leg room for yourself. You say YOU don't mind getting wet...can you say the same for your passenger?

The weather gear on all these cars is something to keep you from getting soaked, but not from getting wet or cold.

But for the ones you're looking at, test drive both. AND test 'fit' for a weekend. Get someone in the passenger seat, get the weather gear on, find where you're going to put your 'stuff.' Then sit in the driver's seat, look at your passenger, and decide if you could ride like this for a few hours.

I'd go this route whether you were considering an actual Lotus 7 to use as you've described, a Caterham, a Birkin, a Locost, a Rotus, etc. etc.

Once you've found the one that 'fits' then decide if it's built and has the performance you wish.

Best of luck.

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:
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 04:30 AM
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Stop being so hard on the guy. He simply seeks our opinions. Lotus stopped making Sevens years ago and everything out there, including Caterhams, are knock offs from the original. Caterhams are just over-priced knock offs.

The WCM Ultralite was designed from the start to be an auto-X peformer and that it is. I do not think the builder intended it to be a Seven replica - just look at it.

Good luck with your search and let us know what you decide upon.

Brunton Stalker, LS3 powered
5/8th Scale Lotus 7, Series 2
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 06:56 AM
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Its hard to go wrong with either car, get one and have a blast. The most important thing to look for is build and maintenance quality. Inspect the car with a fine toothed comb for build quality and ask bout maintenance routines and receipts for parts, fluids, materials. Really question the owner and see if he or she knows what they are talking about.
Most of the 7 clones are a lot of fun but crappy build quality or a car that has been beat up and not maintained will be your worst nightmare!
Oh, I am biased to the Caterham also, but only because that is what I own, I have driven other makes and they were all a blast.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 08:18 AM
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Lotus stopped making Sevens years ago and everything out there, including Caterhams, are knock offs from the original. Caterhams are just over-priced knock offs.
That is incorrect, Caterham had a hand in the development of the Lotus 7 (series 3) and then took over production from Lotus when Chapman decided to move on, hardly a "knock off".
As a matter of fact, one could argue that it is more "Lotus" than the Elise seeing how Chapman had nothing to do with the Elise and Lotus is owned by Proton
Yes you could say that new Caterham's are overpriced, but there is a reason they hold their resale value very well.



Quote:
The WCM Ultralite was designed from the start to be an auto-X peformer and that it is. I do not think the builder intended it to be a Seven replica - just look at it.
I agree, and that is another reason why I like the WCM better. I actually quite like the WCM, seen some really nice ones.


If you are used touring on a motorcycle, you'll have no trouble doing it in one of these cars. There are plenty of guys who go on long trips in them.

You will get better response on the USA7's forum as you will find people that own the cars you are looking at there, but truth is you have to try them to make a decision, you can't rely on what other people say

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 04:24 PM
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That is incorrect, Caterham had a hand in the development of the Lotus 7 (series 3) and then took over production from Lotus when Chapman decided to move on, hardly a "knock off".
As a matter of fact, one could argue that it is more "Lotus" than the Elise seeing how Chapman had nothing to do with the Elise and Lotus is owned by Proton
Yes you could say that new Caterham's are overpriced, but there is a reason they hold their resale value very well.





I agree, and that is another reason why I like the WCM better. I actually quite like the WCM, seen some really nice ones.


If you are used touring on a motorcycle, you'll have no trouble doing it in one of these cars. There are plenty of guys who go on long trips in them.

You will get better response on the USA7's forum as you will find people that own the cars you are looking at there, but truth is you have to try them to make a decision, you can't rely on what other people say
Mopho - I probably should have chosen my words a little better. Knock-off, replica, all the same to me. The Caterham evolved from the S3 design and not where Lotus left off with the S4. I believe the legal argument from Birkin was that Caterham acquired rights to the S4 lineage, but not the S3.

I'll never bash Caterhams; they're absolutely great cars. Fortunately for the rest of us who cannot or choose not to pay the Caterham premium, there are several competitors with affordable price points and commensurate quality.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 05:11 PM
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Mopho - I probably should have chosen my words a little better. Knock-off, replica, all the same to me. The Caterham evolved from the S3 design and not where Lotus left off with the S4. I believe the legal argument from Birkin was that Caterham acquired rights to the S4 lineage, but not the S3.
Except they are not a replica since production never really stopped and they continued to build the S4 (Lotus even provided the parts) for a while, only the nameplate changed. Caterham went back to the S3 design because it was more complicated to build and that is what customers wanted.

Birkin only exploited a mistake/loophole in the legal documents after Caterham tried to put a stop to them copying their product.

Quote:
I'll never bash Caterhams; they're absolutely great cars. Fortunately for the rest of us who cannot or choose not to pay the Caterham premium, there are several competitors with affordable price points and commensurate quality.
I don't hate the players, I hate the game


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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 04:02 AM
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Since we are talking about Caterhams and Ultralites, this is a video I made over the weekend of me chasing the only Caterham R500 at Buttonwillow. The car has only slightly more power than my Ultralite (263 bhp Vs 240 bhp) than mine but is significantly lighter (1200 lbs Vs 1400 lbs) which makes it much faster in straight line. You can see that every time we get onto a straight he is able to pull away from me. The only reason I was able to keep up at all was because he would have to wait for point-bys from slower cars while I could just stream through the openings he made. More info about the event is on my blog.


http://www.rahulnair.net/blog
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-08-2010, 05:19 AM
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Both of these cars are great 7 clones. I'd probably get one of these if I went for a 7 as the engine/drivetrain is much cheaper than a Caterham. I'm partial to the WCM car as the design of the kit is outstanding.
The '62 registration is fairly common. In some states you have to do something like this to get a kit car registered.

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