...one year ago today...
...still get that awe feeling when taking the cover off…
...still can't wait till 160 pops up on the temp.
...still get that sh*t-eating-grin pulling out of my drive, embarrassed as my neighbors watch while leaf blowing or weed-wacking, or worse, washing their mini vans…
...still have to step away from the car just to look at it after each drive...and say to myself "...holy sh*t..."
I guess I take an "average man" perspective when considering ownership of the Elise. The anxiety ridden, sleepless nights, possibly due to the many that questioned my judgment between commitment of purchase and bringing the car home, might be the cause for euphoria still. Or maybe it's just the machine itself.
In terms of driving, favorite things are on-ramps, big sweeping turns on major high ways, and punching into soft spots between pockets of traffic doing 70mph together (what’s with that pack mentality?). The ability to get away from everyone else is spectacular, and clearly there are few cars on the road with the rarity and looks of the Elise, thus I don’t blame people for wanting to take a closer look.
Other than the early incident with the guy in the Corvette, I have done my best to avoid "negative" attention. For some odd reason, guys in Infinity cars - regardless of model - want to show me how "fast" they can go…who gives a flying you know what at 80+mph unless you’re on a track?
The "hardest" part of ownership in year 1: watching 48" of snow pile on top...not cause I thought the snow would hurt it, cause I couldn't drive it! That’s ok, the early east coast blue sky spring morning top off cruises made up for that tenfold.
Before bringing it home, I had initial intentions of tracking the car on open days at Millville…but after a year, I say no way…certainly not a garage queen, and never beat on, this car is a “tweener’, and I hope a "keeper" for life (the idea is to pay it off, keep it, and then purchase and beat the crap out of a used Exige!). No matter what, this first year was way beyond expectations.
Favorite moments: PALS event at Kyle’s – especially the drive - still can’t get over it. The Bam Margera incident. Coming across fellow Elise randomly on the highway.
Least favorite moments: Old lady ran a red light and I just missed her – thanks to the telepathic steering and agility of the car
. Sitting in bumper to bumper and watching the temp rise to 205+. A buddy of mine wanted to help raise the boot lid - too far...I didn't tell him he chipped the paint slightly...no big deal. Red lights where people want to get close…
6400+ miles in year one, at an average cruise of 50 miles, means I took the car out about 120+ times, sounds about right…put more miles on the Elise than my daily driver (now work from home).
First year mechanical / maintenance stuff: the guys at Rothrock have been unbelievable, and certainly contribute to my first year experience!
2 oil changes (one at 7,500 maintenance)
1 tire plug - ran over a screw or a nail
tail light led – warranty covered it
Diffuser rattle – lose screw
As I have written earlier, if you are on the fence, do your homework (this board, and the members are incredible!), find the “right” car for you, and then go for it…in my opinion, you will not regret it ***.
*** experience might not be "typical", I am the type of guy that kisses the Lotus badge on the steering wheel at the end of each ride, and although I have not experienced a four hour erection from driving, yet, if I did, I would certainly drive the car to the hospital and then consult a physician...unless I chose a hospital that was near a really nice stretch of road and then I would continue to drive in hopes that the woody would go down, but I doubt it with this car, especially if it was a nice day...