Bumping this thread. It's been a few years
We have settled down in CT (Harford burbs) and since this post I went in a completely different direction. I picked up a barely used 2016 C7 Z51 (magnaride, 7 speed manual, PDR, etc) I got the car for a steal in Feb 2017 at a Massachusetts Chevy dealer. I then picked up a 2015 Honda Fit (manual) for my car when I couldn't or didn't want to drive the Vette (winter, bad weather, etc).
Well I did this for over a year and came to the realization that:
- As much as I loved the C7 the limits were just too high for the street. I was constantly speeding (didn't get a ticket) but coming from higher revving lesser powered cars I realized that I just didn't enjoy driving a fast car slow. And trust me I loved the car, but it always felt a little too big and more of a sledgehammer than a scalpel.
- I friggin hated driving the Fit. And I drove the Fit way too much. Between driving kids more than I thought and winter, etc, etc I put 3 times the mileage on the Fit than I did the C7.
Lucky for me I am a bargain shopper. When it was all said and done I lost $1200 on the C7 when I traded it in and made $500 on the Fit
After test driving a bunch of cars I ended up buying a leftover 2017 Ford Focus RS for a great deal. It's the perfect daily driver. A lot of fun on my daily commute (no freeway) and I can drive it all year long. This car will be the long term keeper.
But I am back to craving a RWD lightweight, lower COG, 2 door sports car again.
Enter the Elise. I have started researching again and was really leaning towards buying one in the next few months but I have come to a few concerns:
- I looked around the forum and Google and it appears the nearest capable Lotus mechanic is roughly 1.5 hours from me. And in talking to the place it sounds like for routine maintenance (oil change, etc) he can get you in and out in half a day but anything else can take weeks or months depending on parts and his schedule.
- I have some basic mechanic skills but in my research these cars are not the easiest to work on, and parts can sometimes take a while to get. It also seems like work also can often require removing the front and/or rear clam which is not a one person job. I just don't see my wife doing this with me and I have no family nearby to beg.
At this point I am looking at 30-50K+ mile 2005 Elises for $30-35K range and also also likely buying out of state and transporting.
I know this sounds negative because I have driven an Elise and really loved the car but there are some tradeoffs here.
I am going to test drive an ND Miata. I am finding used ones for $18-22K with low mileage (I don't believe in buying new I will let someone else take the depreciation hit). So I can't compare how the 2 cars drive but the thought getting a club Miata (LSD, billsteins) with almost a full warranty and some money for a few mods (suspension, exhaust, etc) sounds really appealing. I think my wife would also really enjoy driving the car but I don't see her driving the Elise so that is a plus too.
Just want to get some feedback from folks here. I know it will be biased, but some of the stories about working on these cars yourself and getting parts are a little scary. I was listening to Jason Camissa on a podcast (he owns a supercharged Elise) and he was talking about how much a pain it is to work on these cars yourself. For even the smallest thing, it can become a half day two man job.