About to Purchase '05 Elise, Question on Price - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-14-2017, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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About to Purchase '05 Elise, Question on Price

Hi Everyone,
I'm on the cusp of potentially purchasing a 2005 Elise. The mileage is good (just a hair above 10k), the condition is great (no real visible wear), it has a hard top + touring pack, the owner has really cared for it, and it's in my favorite color. Oh, and it's also local (can simply pick it up and drive home... no enclosed carrier nonsense). The owner is asking just north of $36k.

My question is: is this too much for an '05? I know folks like Doug Demuro are always quick to point out that you really shouldn't pay more than $30k for these cars (unless it's a special edition or some such), but this example I am considering really is a well-maintained cherry... and in Racing Green, no less.

I am in a stable situation (income-wise), own a 2k sq-ft home in a nice neighborhood, have a 15-month old bouncing baby boy, and the wifey is expecting another! Sorry if TMI... I just really want this car, but am still unsure if I perhaps would be paying too much. Please help...
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 02:24 AM
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That's about the going rate for a low mileage 2005 right now. Elise prices have gone up a bit since Doug's article a few years ago.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 03:00 AM
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That's on the high end but still in the spectrum. If the car is really in the condition it appears, then it seems appropriate. Not a steal, but not a ripoff either. Keep in mind though to do a thorough pre-purchase inspection. Problems like cam wiping, radiator leaking, and blower motor resistor failure are incredibly common and not related to how a car looks or even mileage.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 03:09 AM
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Seems to be par for the course on the current low mileage cars I’ve seen.

I’m one of those that says “it’s only worth what someone will pay”. I’m not sure what the market is currently.


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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 03:33 AM
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go for it, it's priced accordingly for the mileage & condition.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 05:21 AM
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I think these threads usually end up having lots of opinions and heresay, but not too many recent facts about selling prices.

On a Porsche forum I regularly visit, there's a sticky thread about actual current 993 selling prices (posted by buyers).

https://rennlist.com/forums/993-foru...d-or-sold.html

I will start a thread like this- we'll see if others join in.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies..

Keep 'em coming! It sounds then like the price this gentleman is asking is somewhat appropriate. Believe me when I say he really does baby it... has a Coverking deluxe cover for it, which he will be including.

I've wanted one of these for the better part of the last 15 years, so to be this close to a dream coming true is a little surreal, and sometimes downright frightening (hard to explain). With that being said, it's well known that cars are depreciating assets (unless you own one of those classic garage queens from the 60's). It's interesting how Elise prices have slightly increased over the past few years - although in the short term, not good for me . Ideally, I'd love to purchase one of these and then in time, see the same thing happen to these cars as did the Acura NSX (ridiculous how much those have gone up).

This is a purchase of 100% pure heart over brain, hence the caution. Thanks again for your points of view, and please keep them coming (will be asking seller about some of these maintenance-related points some of you have already brought up).
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 10:34 AM
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I don't think it is unusually high. Maybe just a tiny bit, but it sounds like it is exactly what you are looking for, so JUST DO IT. It isn't easy to find exactly what you want when buying low volume used cars.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 10:46 AM
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If you found this same Elise back East for $34k and had to ship it by enclosed trailer that would put you back in the $36k range. Start your offer at $35K and see what happens.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 10:55 AM
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i think its a little high as well, but yes, prices have gone up since Doug Demuro's videos. I think 34 or 35 is a quick sale, you might be able to negotiate a little, but if you really want it, go for it

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 11:52 AM
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BRG, what are you waiting for! Favorite color, super low mileage & you can go inspect the car yourself. Buying a car sight unseen & relying on sellers description & pictures can be a nightmare. Sellers idea of mint & "as new" might not even be my idea of "good condition". I agree with cyow5 to have the car inspected by someone familiar with Lotus. Good luck. Rusty
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cyow5 View Post
That's on the high end but still in the spectrum. If the car is really in the condition it appears, then it seems appropriate. Not a steal, but not a ripoff either. Keep in mind though to do a thorough pre-purchase inspection. Problems like cam wiping, radiator leaking, and blower motor resistor failure are incredibly common and not related to how a car looks or even mileage.
Always good points to know - thanks! I've spoken with this seller extensively, and he's very aware of potential bent pushrod / bad valve / wiped cam lobe issues caused from over revving (he waited until the engine was warm enough before going aggressive). It highly depends on the car, and I haven't really heard of weak springs being a real issue for these cars, but I know bad timing and a cam that wasn't worn in properly can always rear its ugly head. With that said I've been given lots of reassurances... still think I should go thru with an inspection.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 12:59 PM
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Here are my thoughts on this...

So, after all this time, you finally found the car of your dreams...with the right color, the right mileage (10K wow!!!), in great condition, with your mandatory must-have hardtop and the options that you desire, and not only that, but on top of all that, the car is actually local so you save a couple thousand on enclosed shipping with the ability to just pick it up and drive it home without worries of transport damage or shipping costs...are you kidding man? DO IT!!!! Now, before it is too late!

The planets will likely never align for you as perfectly as they have for this one. These are not brand new cars and finding a car that is exactly what you are looking for is quite miraculous. Most people have to settle, one way or another.

Also, you mentioned a 15 month old boy with another on the way. My advice is like the title of that old Elvis song..."It's Now or Never." You may not think so now, but if you don't do it now or soon, it might not ever happen. Trust me on this.

As for price, I have no problems in paying a little more (or a lot more) for a car that is low miles, well-cared for (ideally pre-worshipped), in the right color, and condition. Once I know it is the one for me, I have no fear in paying more. I just did this last May for the yellow car in my profile pic. Funny thing is that prices went up (Esprit V8) so what was over-priced at the time is now an amazing deal compared to what lesser cars are going for today. Done this many times over the years and have never regretted it. It is money well-spent. However, when I was younger, I have had regrets on not having spent more to get something I really wanted and in a better condition with lower miles, something owned by an owner that cherished it as opposed to an automotive appliance. For cars like these, I have never regretted spending more, but I have most definitely regretted, not spending enough.

We are all cheering for you, you found exactly what you are looking for...if you truly believe this is the one, then hurry up and do it before it is too late. I say...GO FOR IT!!!!

We want to see you doing this:
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Here are my thoughts on this...

So, after all this time, you finally found the car of your dreams...with the right color, the right mileage (10K wow!!!), in great condition, with your mandatory must-have hardtop and the options that you desire, and not only that, but on top of all that, the car is actually local so you save a couple thousand on enclosed shipping with the ability to just pick it up and drive it home without worries of transport damage or shipping costs...are you kidding man? DO IT!!!! Now, before it is too late!

The planets will likely never align for you as perfectly as they have for this one. These are not brand new cars and finding a car that is exactly what you are looking for is quite miraculous. Most people have to settle, one way or another.

Also, you mentioned a 15 month old boy with another on the way. My advice is like the title of that old Elvis song..."It's Now or Never." You may not think so now, but if you don't do it now or soon, it might not ever happen. Trust me on this.

As for price, I have no problems in paying a little more (or a lot more) for a car that is low miles, well-cared for (ideally pre-worshipped), in the right color, and condition. Once I know it is the one for me, I have no fear in paying more. I just did this last May for the yellow car in my profile pic. Funny thing is that prices went up (Esprit V8) so what was over-priced at the time is now an amazing deal compared to what lesser cars are going for today. Done this many times over the years and have never regretted it. It is money well-spent. However, when I was younger, I have had regrets on not having spent more to get something I really wanted and in a better condition with lower miles, something owned by an owner that cherished it as opposed to an automotive appliance. For cars like these, I have never regretted spending more, but I have most definitely regretted, not spending enough.

We are all cheering for you, you found exactly what you are looking for...if you truly believe this is the one, then hurry up and do it before it is too late. I say...GO FOR IT!!!!

We want to see you doing this:
Turbo, if you're ever in the SoCal area, you and I seriously need to have a beer sometime!!
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Holy BRG! View Post
Always good points to know - thanks! I've spoken with this seller extensively, and he's very aware of potential bent pushrod / bad valve / wiped cam lobe issues caused from over revving (he waited until the engine was warm enough before going aggressive). It highly depends on the car, and I haven't really heard of weak springs being a real issue for these cars, but I know bad timing and a cam that wasn't worn in properly can always rear its ugly head. With that said I've been given lots of reassurances... still think I should go thru with an inspection.
Yeah, he sounds clueless if that's what he told you - these cars don't even have pushrods. Aside from that, there has been extensive debate on the topic (you can spend hours scouring threads if you want) but the gist is that the material on the cams is inadequate, and this may or may not be exacerbated by lower running temperatures. The water temperature warms up much quicker than the oil, especially on cars with two oil coolers (early '05s and LSS pack cars), so there are some guys who posted saying they did all the right things and still got it.

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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cyow5 View Post
Yeah, he sounds clueless if that's what he told you - these cars don't even have pushrods. Aside from that, there has been extensive debate on the topic (you can spend hours scouring threads if you want) but the gist is that the material on the cams is inadequate, and this may or may not be exacerbated by lower running temperatures. The water temperature warms up much quicker than the oil, especially on cars with two oil coolers (early '05s and LSS pack cars), so there are some guys who posted saying they did all the right things and still got it.
The pushrods comment was actually my own. Sometimes I tend to think outloud via the keyboard, if that makes any sense, and especially when I'm getting all excited about something. I'm not gonna pretend to be any manner of Lotus mechanic and I'm aware that these cars aren't perfect; however, I'm willing to deal with the risk of mechanical imperfection (which decreases on a low mileage example, such as this) because, well, it's one of the sexiest damn things on 4 wheels I've ever seen.

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 03:38 PM
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The right car (or almost anything) is worth more money.

If you find a less expensive model in the wrong color, that may irk you for a long time.

Meanwhile:

Note to new Elise & Exige Owners:


1. These cars have large (i.e. dangerous) blind spots. Multivex mirrors are NLA, but RLS (Really Light Stuff) offers very good tape-on replacements.


2. The horns are way too weak (quiet). There’s an inverse relationship: smaller the car, louder the horn needs to be.

Get something such as a Stebel Nautilus.

Stock: “Excuse me”


Stebel: “HONK! LOOK OUT!”

Remove the stock horn; replace with louder.

(I drive with my finger on the horn button in any traffic. Iffy situations, my headlights are on.

Stay to the left of traffic, i.e. avoid passing on the right if you can.

Stop way behind trucks, SUVs, etc. Some have blindspots >50’. )


3. The early cars came with misaimed and dim headlights. If you drive at night, convert to HIDs. While better than stock halogen bulbs are available, HIDs throw more light. Stay around 5000k.


4. Ensure your car has had the work required by the recall for oil line fittings done. You could lose an engine and/or spin in your own oil.

5. The best transmission lube I’ve found is Redline MT-90 plus a little Power Punch Extreme Gear Oil Additive. (Note that it takes two changes to get rid of the previous lube.)

a) Early cars have wobbly shift towers. Look up Stan’s Mod (bolt and spacer; http://www.billswebspace.com/ShifterReinforcement.pdf) and

Re-Enforcer long thru bolts that terminate under car and tie down the tower:
https://www.inokinetic.com/lotus/re-...y=Transmission

These (lube, mods) make a huge change in shifting.


6. As per some engine builders on these sites, wait AT LEAST 20 minutes after coolant has reached full operating temp before engaging cam switchover.


7. Rear toe-links can loosen and break with disastrous results. You can check tq periodically, or use Nordlock washers. Best is conversion to better engineered brace, such as BOE’s for one example.


8. While under the car with panel off, look around for hoses and wires chafing their way to failure. That’s how this was found:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f311...-u-tube-47232/

9. The stock radiators are prone to leaking where the end caps meet the metal part. Keep an eye on this. Most of us use single-pass all-aluminum radiators.

10. When your wheel well liner comes loose, skip the lame plastic rivet and use Well-Nuts instead.

11. Life will be better if you disable the auto-arming alarm function on the earlier cars. You won’t have to press a button to start the car. Instructions:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f320...ramming-70940/

12. Visit the Uber Thread

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/e...ow-here-25131/

13. Most parts on the car are made by Toyota and others, so buying things like a/c compressors, engine parts, etc. are wildly expense when purchased thru Lotus.

Toyota dealers, auto parts stores are way less expensive.


-----

Plus:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f101...brakes-241138/


How to Search:

For future reference: Don't use the search on this site. Simply use Google and end the search text with "site:lotustalk.com". E.g.
Transmission Fluid change what bolt site:lotustalk.com no space betw site:lotustalk.com
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 03:47 PM
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The pushrods comment was actually my own. Sometimes I tend to think outloud via the keyboard, if that makes any sense, and especially when I'm getting all excited about something. I'm not gonna pretend to be any manner of Lotus mechanic and I'm aware that these cars aren't perfect; however, I'm willing to deal with the risk of mechanical imperfection (which decreases on a low mileage example, such as this) because, well, it's one of the sexiest damn things on 4 wheels I've ever seen.

Gotcha. And while I share your enthusiasm and am a huge advocate of the brand, a rushed mistake can ruin the entire experience for you. I learned the hard way to take a step back and really evaluate the car. The issues I listed are related more to age than miles, so don't let your excitement blind you. That being said, nothing is ever a sure thing despite PPIs and such, so whatever you end up buying, enjoy it!

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Gotcha. And while I share your enthusiasm and am a huge advocate of the brand, a rushed mistake can ruin the entire experience for you. I learned the hard way to take a step back and really evaluate the car. The issues I listed are related more to age than miles, so don't let your excitement blind you. That being said, nothing is ever a sure thing despite PPIs and such, so whatever you end up buying, enjoy it!
Sound advice, and thank you.

To me, this is absolutely something that someone works up towards... the answer to that question "What awesome thing do you want to do so that you will feel like you achieved something baffling in your life?" What’s that ONE thing for you that you’ve always wanted to do/own that you always thought would be almost impossible? I've been fortunate enough to say I can go out and do this thing and it won't strain me emotionally and financially.

I know there's another thread on here somewhere about this, but the biggest hurdle by far.. has been convincing the wifey. Why do they always do that? Lol...
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-15-2017, 04:48 PM
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Would absolutely love that!
No stranger to alcohol here...LOL



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Turbo, if you're ever in the SoCal area, you and I seriously need to have a beer sometime!!
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