And it’s more time consuming than I thought. Lol. 😅
A friend, who’s been in the auto body business for 30+ years, offered some shop space if I wanted to disassemble the Elise for prep and paint.
Rewind to last November, when I delicately skated the car over black iced roads for 15 miles to his shop. Thankfully, unscathed. 😀
Having three children between the ages of 10 and 14 creates a challenge when making time for work on the car, which took on its’ new nickname when the youngest of the 3 discovered that the car was no longer in the garage.
Tears in her eyes, “Where is LoLo?”
Confused, as I hadn’t heard the car being referred to as LoLo in the past, I wondered what had happened to my fathers wife, Lois?
Hopefully nothing too tragic.
Thankfully, in her mind and in her heart, there was a deeper connection to “LoLo” than any of us had realized.
Well, after careful explanation that LoLo was on a vacation and would look refreshed once she returned, the wrench turning, fastener popping, seal removing, bolt stripping began.
As a child I loved all things with motors. I’ve had everything from the 5hp Briggs and Stratton minibike, go-carts, dirt bikes, ATV’s etc.....
You can imagine how disappointing it was to me when my first car, a car that was given to me for High school graduation was a powder blue Ford Escort. The one that has the exhaust wrapped around the starter. You know, for longevity. 😐
I learned to love that car. The simplicity of it encouraged me to work on it myself, and if you dumped the clutch high, high in the near detonation rev range, you could spin those front tires for 1/2 a mile.
Several years later, I found myself behind the wheel of my first Miata. It was a great car. 1991, no bells or whistles.
Upgraded a couple years later to a 93, with some bells....no whistles, but a dual horn scavenged from an old junk yard Caddy.
Received a lot of laughs with that horn.
It was in this car, that I caught the “track day bug”, which apparently the only known cure for, is all out SCCA racing, which sadly never happened.
I was volunteering as a pit crew member for a friends Porsche team. It was great. I was able to visit most of the tracks in the southeast when my schedule permitted.
Road Atlanta was our home track, but Roebling Road, Barber Motorsports Park, etc....were on the schedule.
I loved the sounds, the sights, the fumes😅, and the competition. My friend would take me out on the track on occasion in his 996 turbo, and as a thank you for volunteering, gave me a track day with what is now Chin Motorsports.
He was my instructor at Road Atlanta, in that 93 Miata.
As you know, if you’ve tracked a car, that first experience is hard to explain. It’s like a calling.....or not. Never to be done again.
For me, it felt natural and congruent with who I was my entire life. I felt like a kid again. If it weren’t for that gift, I’m not sure I would have found LoLo.
Finally, a 95 R package. Lightweight, no bells, no whistles, with the exception of a supercharger and double D roll bar. My first capable track car.
After being in Atlanta for 7 years I moved back to the NorthEast, where I continued 3-4 track days per year. Not enough, but better than none.
It was at NewHampshire Motor Speedway while in an Intermediate 2 grouping that I met Dr. John Gagne (
He was in the advanced run group at the time in his 2005 Elise. By this point, I had researched the Elise quite extensively, but had only seen 1 in the wild.
I immediately started interrogating, not really asking questions, mostly interrogating him. He offered to let me sit shotgun in the infield section of the track.
THAT WAS IT!!!!
My search began, and here we are dozens of track days and almost 10 years later,
Which reminds me why I originally wanted to make this post. Lol.
LoLo has been so good to me. She has helped me become a much better driver. Staying mid pack in the advanced run groups, on R1R street tires and XP-10 pads. Not bad for a 15 year old, 190hp street car.
I have had zero issues with her, and in gratitude, have made sure I’m proactive in maintenance, rather than waiting for something to happen.
So, I thought I’d document the steps I’ve taken to refresh her. She deserves it.