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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Delivery Experience

Since my car is currently undergoing the After Sales Service and having the Stage II exhaust installed by Don at Newport European, I finally have a long enough break from driving to write this. I tried taking pictures to document my delivery experience, as some of you have done, only to discover that I am becoming a more horrific photographer by the moment. Even my simple point and shoot Canon PowerShot S400 was no match for my uncanny ability to botch a photo. I eventually gave up trying to be a photo journalist and simply dedicated the remainder of the experience to personal memory. With that said, what photographs I did take, I've included in this write up for your reference.

As some of you may know, I had a pleasant surprise when my car arrived earlier than expected at British Motor Cars in San Francisco. My Graphite Gray Elise with Black Touring, LSS, Hardtop and Star Shield was delivered to the dealership on Dec 22nd. It took 2 days for the PDI and I booked a flight departing LAX on Dec 24th at 6:25AM arriving SFO at 7:40AM. I barely beat the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles crowd, as I nervously witnessed the line behind me at the checkin counter grow at an exponential rate. My flight was uneventful and upon landing I easily strolled through a surprisingly empty SFO and got a cab with no wait.
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Why am I on Elisetalk when I could be driving my Elise?

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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It was about 15 miles into downtown San Francisco and I passed City Hall on my way to BMC.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Upon arriving at BMC this is what I saw.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Arriving at 8:30AM, I was a bit early as BMC does not open until 9:00AM. So, thinking I had to wait, I browsed the front of the dealership taking pictures and admiring the prominently displayed exotics. Being from Southern California and ignorantly assuming all of CA was as warm, I was wearing nothing but jeans, a t-shirt, and a backpack. I soon found my attire was no match for SF in the winter. I could no longer control my shivering and, in a moment of weakness, I huddled in the corner of the front entrance, clutching my backpack to my chest for warmth like a homeless person. There was a bus stop in front of the dealership, and a rather eclectic group was gathered near me in front of BMC, waiting for the bus and casually admiring the exotics displayed in the large window front. I noticed some odd glares from these people, and rightfully so, as I certainly had that fish out of water feeling. I then noticed a buzzer button by the door and a flat panel display showing a live video feed of me and everything else by the entrance. I tried pushing the buzzer, to no response, and decided to venture around the side of the building in hopes of finding a service entrance.

Success! I found a small driveway opening on the side of the building and entered to find a man detailing a new Bentley. I introduced myself and he immediately knew who I was as well as my situation. He then escorted me to my car. This is what I saw when I entered the area where my car was waiting. Like entering the Gates of Heaven!
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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She was stunning. I think I noticed a flirty smile from her as well. Not bad, considering it was an arranged marriage. She was beckoning me, squeaky clean, alone, and . . . locked. I was told I would have to wait till 9:00AM for Vincent Golde to get the keys. No problem, as I had a printout of the pre-delivery checklist thread, so kindly initiated by Steve. I figured taking pictures and inspecting the outside of the vehicle would burn adequate time.

9:00AM came and Vincent Golde strolled in right on time. Although I had frequent communication with him via phone and email, this was my first time meeting him in person. He was well dressed, well spoken, and carried the same dignified presence as the products he represented. We shook hands and he told me to help myself to the beverage bar and relax in the lounge or showroom while he prepared my paperwork. I must say, BMC has one of the more impressive showrooms I've seen to date.
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post #16 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Everything went as planned when signing the paperwork. No hidden costs, no shady dealings. It was effortless and straight forward. After the signings, Vincent took me back up to my Elise and gave me a brief but thorough overview of the vehicle, it's operation, and what to expect when driving it. Nothing I hadn't read in Elisetalk before, but it was nice nonetheless. Within 1 1/2 hours of my arrival I was on my way home, the proud new owner of a 2005 Lotus Elise.

Needless to say, the drive down PCH left me breathless, and traffic on the freeways were not nearly as bad as earlier warnings had suggested. I made it home in nine twisty and scenic hours, just in time for the family Christmas Eve gathering.

My initial observations are as follows, in no particular order (I know what I'm about to say has all been said before, but I'm still going to say it . . . 'cause this is MY write up, damn it! ):

Wow we're low. I've been in other Elises, but when you're driving your own for the first time and you really don't want anything bad to happen, how low you are really jumps out at you. You're staring at door handles and the lug nuts on big rigs.

When the top is on, I look really stupid getting in the car and even more stupid getting out. It doesn't help that I've developed this nasty habit of grunting "Oh God" as I'm doing it. I'm getting better though. I'm working on an entry that involves a running start (video soon to follow).

People do love to hang out in your blind areas to check out the car. On the positive side of this curiosity, people seem to have no problem letting you in their lane when you signal.

I have size 8 1/2 feet and, for me, the pedals are set up perfect for heel and toe. For some reason I find it very easy to heel and toe in this car.

It's torquier in the first cams than I was expecting. Feels like a Boxster S to me.

The shifter is pretty stiff on initial delivery, but really loosens up after a bit of driving. By 1000 miles it does not require much effort at all to shift. I found the shifter to be more precise than I expected. Not as great as the S2000, but still good. I have had no problems with shifting into R, shifting into 1 from R, or distinguishing between R and 1.

My headlights were adjusted perfectly. I would still prefer HID, but I can see the edge of my headlights and I would not want them any higher.

The stereo system sucks. 'Nuff said.

My windshield wiper works better than expected. It streaks a little at the fastest speed, but I was scared to death to use it at first. From what I've read in other posts, I was expecting it to smear tar and feathers over the windshield and poke me in the eyeballs. It, in fact, squeegees the water off of the windshield. For that, I am happy.

I'm a coupe kind of guy, that's why I got the hardtop. I like to hide and I like to feel protected. But, when I took the hardtop off, I fell in love with this car all over again. I actually find my self driving with the top off if it's a light enough rain/sprinkle. If it starts to rain harder, I'll put the soft top on. But then, if I suspect that I may have, say, a 30 min window of no rain, I'll take the top back off. What can I say? I like to pretend I'm in a F1 car. Is that so bad?

The heater sucks. I would love heated seats in this car.

I'm not claiming any driving ability here. I'm well aware that there's plenty of room for my driving technique to improve. With that said, when the A048s are warm, I find that overstear and understear is easy to control with the throttle. The car's balance seems very predictable.

The A048s rooster tail water in the rain like a speed boat. It's kinda cool.

So far, I've come to the conclusion that I have made the perfect choice for me. There is something about efficiency that elevates the soul, and this car has it. I take pride and comfort in knowing that the money I have put in this car has gone to everything that I care about and, for the most part, bypassed everything that I do not. Props, Lotus, for your consummate allocation of resources! IMHO and all things considered, you've engineered an almost perfect $40,000.00 - $50,000.00 sports car for export to our shores.

I would like to make a point here about British Motor Cars. My experience with Vincent Golde at BMC has been exceptional. From the first time I spoke with him to place my order, to him running out of the dealership onto the street to give me last minute directions and a kind goodbye, my dealings with him have been chalk full of integrity and professionalism. He bent over backwards to help me change my order from a base Ardent Red to a fully optioned Graphite Gray. He always courteously answered all of my questions and made it a point to remind me to never hesitate calling him for information. He even ate the cost difference when he mistakenly quoted me the old destination charge. Everything was as agreed upon, and there were never any surprises. Granted, $2500 over MSRP isn't the best deal in the country now. However, one year ago when I placed my deposit, that price wasn't so bad. What's more, my experience with Vincent and BMC has made it worth every cent. Hell, the ability to change my order was worth it alone I think.

Well, I just got the phone call from the Newport European Service Center to pick up my car. Gotta get back to driving.

Why am I on Elisetalk when I could be driving my Elise?

Last edited by Balance; 01-15-2005 at 07:04 PM.
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post #17 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 09:00 PM
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all those pictures and you didn't take one of the hottie in the showroom? i forget her name...
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post #18 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by raggedy1
all those pictures and you didn't take one of the hottie in the showroom? i forget her name...
Damn, she must have been off. I didn't see anyone except for the service guy, Vincent, and Benjie the Sales Manager. Just as well for her, as there was no way I could've done her justice with my camera skills.

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post #19 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 10:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by raggedy1
all those pictures and you didn't take one of the hottie in the showroom? i forget her name...
I think her name is Elise......... Balance, I enjoyed reading your
well written adventure
All The Best, Don
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post #20 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 11:25 PM
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Congrats on the car, got mine the 22nd

Looks great in that color, first pics I've seen for that.

Mine arrived on the 22nd, I only had to drive 10 miles from work to get it, so a little easier on the pickup - but yours must have been done with breakin (or really close) when you got it home!

You mentioned the wipers work better than you expected. Wipers? I only got one!

Don't know if you have the squeaky toy in the front, but mine sings like a canary constantly. Been told it will work itself out, but if not by first service, hopefully they can put some silicon on the bushings.

Since you're in Newport Beach, what are you talking about rain!? Actually in the Bay Area it has been raining since Saturday, and predicted to rain for another week or more! Since I'm too lazy to clean it, and Bay Area drivers are like a demolition derby in the rain I've got it benched until I see sunshine!

I agree on the hardtop - I ordered with the hardtop, and it is gorgeous, but it came off at the dealer, and hasn't been on since. The soft top is an amazing design, and I like it a lot, but it looks best with the hardtop. A tough job to get in and out with the top on, though (I'm 6'1"), but lots of headroom for me once I'm in.

-- Gordie

'05 Elise Bordeaux Red Pearl/Black, Touring, LSS, Hard Top
'06 Cayman S Black/Grey PASM, 19" wheels, Sport Pack

Gone but not forgotten:
'95 CBR600, '96 ZX7R, '97 TL1000S
'99 M Coupe Blue/Blue/Black
'02 Z06 Silver/Black Borla Stingers
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