Valuation and Mods - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to get everyone’s opinion on car valuation and mods and their effects

Across any automobile manufacturer, it is pretty obvious that a 100% stock car will fetch more money in the long run, especially on highly sought after models. The S1 and S2 Elise/Exige fits the category: highly sought after, low production numbers, and not many 1 or 2 owner, original, accident free, paint work free, properly maintained, unmolested, unmodified units remain.

I for one bought my Elise to enjoy driving and hobbying. I am, however, keeping in mind valuation when I install mods. For this reason, every mod I installed is aesthetic and bolt on / bolt off. I am not interested in any engine upgrades, to keep the engine/drivetrain stock, healthy, and not “abused.” Basically I can revert to stock in just hours.

But I was thinking about some mods, and wanted to see if these would deminish the value of the car, even after reverting back to stock:

Front lip - requires drilling underneath front clam
Canards - requires drilling front clam
Rear spoiler - requires drilling into the top of the rear clam
Side skirts - requires drilling underneath
Certain shifter reinforcement mods - requiring drilling into the subframe (not Stan’s mod)
Certain race mirrors - may require using a dremel to expand the stock bolt locations to accomdate bigger mounting hardware
Interior fabrics - in the event of a sagging headliner, going with a different product

Basically anything that would leave behind holes, scars, etc after removal...will this deminish the value compared to a pure exampe?

Last edited by Beemerb0y; 11-25-2018 at 01:04 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Beemerb0y View Post

Basically anything that would leave behind holes, scars, etc after removal...will this deminish the value compared to a pure exampe?
Will holes in the body diminish value? Of course they will , especially top side, it's big dollars to fill and re-paint.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 06:00 AM
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Will holes in the body diminish value? Of course they will , especially top side, it's big dollars to fill and re-paint.
Agreed, anything done that can not easily be put back to stock has the potential to diminish value, OR limit the market to those who truly don't care. A subset of potential buyers.

These cars WILL be collectible one of these days. Once they become 'collectible' they will see 'softer' duty, so the performance mods will become liabilities. Certainly the cosmetic mods, as stated, that require expensive work to put back to right.

I'm semi in the market now, or soon will be. What I'm looking for in an Elise is different. Not interested in aftermarket carbon shift consoles, front splitters (other than their value in protecting the front lip), certainly not the park bench wings, carbon fiber side scoops and mirrors or after market forced induction. Would even prefer actual Lotus OEM wheels.

That's just me, I may be a minority now, but there will be more like me going forward. It's not so much that cars with those thing diminish value, it's that when making first pass through the market, I won't even consider most of them.

Owned, loved, enjoyed, and now gone:
1969 Europa S2 Blue
1970 Europa S2 White
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1974 Europa Twin Cam Blue
1984 Turbo Esprit Calypso Red
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2005 Elise Saffron Yellow
2005 Elise Ardent Red
2006 Exige Graphite Grey
2007 Exige Canyon Red

Other:
1970 MGB GT
1970 Datsun 510
1984 Honda CRX Si
1984 Pontiac Fiero
2004 Chrysler Crossfire
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 07:33 AM
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I think you have to balance future resell valuation against personal enjoyment while you own the car. And by enjoyment, I'm not limiting that to just handling/performance, but including the way it makes it makes you feel when you look at it. There is certainly some personal enjoyment to be had from the aesthetic effects alone of bolt-on mods like side skirts, splitters, wings, etc. To some, it may be worth the reduction in resell value these kinds of mods give the car, just to enjoy them visually and emotionally. You can always remove and resell the mods to get some $$ back too.

"In general, the Elise will be kept in best operating condition by regular use."
Page 152 Lotus Elise owner's manual
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 07:53 AM
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I agree mostly that cosmetic mods should be reversible, but I differ when it comes to engine modifications. My perspective is that one of the best aspects to these eliges is the 2ZZ. I could imagine myself someday having a couple lying around to swap out. The engine isn't the expensive bit if it comes to parts needing replaced. I fully intend to have a built unit on a bench in a few years with all the state of the art goodness for a 2ZZ.

Also, like art history certain vendors will be accepted as "codified" meaning in the hypothetical world where these cars are worth dumb amounts of money, RLS,2bular,Sector111, BOE... Et al will be remembered as supporting that limited market of vehicles.

I can see the ratios of cars modified to not modified will be flipped someday. I dunno. I'm just saying it could be that cars that have modifications from accepted / codified vendors will not hurt values as much as might be the case.

I know, currently to get 10k more out of my vehicle I would have to take all the blingy / pricey bits off and replace with stock. ( then sell bling on the side)

R.E mechanical mods : Torque300 tune and accessories. I would not get much if any more than a stock unit at resale, I do believe if I provided a quick dyno pull, and AFR dump in the for sale post, I would have just as many people interested in it as not interested in it. and the usual stuff like color, packages,mileage, general appearance etc

It's a mixed can o nuts I suppose? At some distant point in the future it would break down from unit to unit available?

I mean what, they are all in museums in 200- 2000 years from now right? heh

L O T U S

Last edited by Motard; 11-25-2018 at 08:01 AM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Not asking if one would get their money back on mods, or how someone would perceive a modded car.

Just wondering if you mod, then de-mod, will it negatively effect the value of the car. Things like a rear wing or canards that get drilled into the clam are obviously going to detract, since their removal will leave holes to fill and repaint, thus not original.

But would holes underneath the clam effect the value. For example, from a front lip spoiler, side skirts, certain shifter reinforcement mods, etc. Or for side mirror mounting fabrications, which cannot be seen since they are inside the door panel.

Basically, “out of sight” leftovers once the mod is removed.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Beemerb0y View Post
Thanks for the feedback. Not asking if one would get their money back on mods, or how someone would perceive a modded car.

Just wondering if you mod, then de-mod, will it negatively effect the value of the car. Things like a rear wing or canards that get drilled into the clam are obviously going to detract, since their removal will leave holes to fill and repaint, thus not original.

But would holes underneath the clam effect the value. For example, from a front lip spoiler, side skirts, certain shifter reinforcement mods, etc. Or for side mirror mounting fabrications, which cannot be seen since they are inside the door panel.

Basically, “out of sight” leftovers once the mod is removed.
Its just going to depend on the buyer, some people won't care some people will. If you're that concerned with a couple thousand one way or the other on resale value then just don't touch the car in any way.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 01:54 PM
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I might or might not have hid a quarter million in diamonds and gold somewhere in my car. anyone want to buy it?
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Oh snap! I'm on fire!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 02:35 PM
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in my opinion Canards - requires drilling front clam and Rear spoiler - requires drilling into the top of the rear clam are a waste of time and money unless you are racing the car. they do no good unless you are on a race course
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 03:25 PM
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My rule of thumb is that whatever amount is spent on mods reduces the value of the car by that amount.

If I see any mod at all, I wonder what else was done by some amateur that I can not see.

I have this argument daily with my 21 year old.

“Don’t start modding unless you are ready to get a trailer and tow vehicle”

We’ve put over $80,000 into the Elise, and that much more into track time etc. (trailer and tow vehicle not included!) She’s worth maybe $35,000? But that was the plan from the beginning.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 07:06 PM
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Some of the worst mods I see hurting resale include drilled aero bits, AC delete, and the infamous engine swap.

Fully reversible mods are ideal. Seats, wheels, steering wheel, catalytic converter, exhaust and so on. Keep these stock pieces for when it comes time to sell and you should be golden. Problem is, too many guys sell their OEM bits to fund their aftermarket purchases only to learn a hard lesson later on!

Unless your name is JC Whitney, car mods will rarely make you a profit.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 07:29 PM
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So I am going to be the heretic here but I loved the fact that my car had wonderful mods on it when I bought it. I bought it to drive it and the previous owner set me up great with Wilwood brakes, Nitrons, a BWR supercharger and tune, and a bunch of other goodies. Sometimes the mods you will enjoy the most are not even seen. What he did not do was add body items that would leave holes if reversed and I love that too. CF parts can be added easily if you like the look and rarely need additional holes. Access covers, roof, rollbar cover and engine lid are all great examples. You can even mount that spoiler on the CF engine lid and not drill holes in the clam! Just make sure you reinforce it... And keep all the original pieces! Most of all, make it something you are happy to look at and especially drive.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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any other opinions?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 03:02 PM
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visual mods are worthless or worse

superchargers probably are a positive.

aftermarket wheels mean you have to buy OEM and spend more

here is the thing, save the parts. That way you can at least recoup some investment if your 60K Elise turns out to be worth 35 like the rest of them
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 03:56 PM
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Watching auctions like BAT for any cars not just Lotus shows very quickly that what is highly valued in general are completely stock very low mileage cars in as clean condition as possible. If they have any mods, they need to be minor and easily reversible preferably with the original parts. This is about what has been said except very low mileage is very important. Exactly what mileage varies some with age of the car but sub 10K miles is always the best for cars from 1990 to 2005. That means cars that have been driven very little to almost never. That's a whole different mindset that having the car for the joy of driving it no matter how original it still is or can be put back to. Older cars like from the 70s can tolerate more miles and can be restored and still bring the big money, for example 240z's these days. These comments are obviously relative to where we are in time now. It's also worth noting that in the muscle car collector world where they're dealing mostly with 60s and 70s cars, the value attributed to original unrestored cars has only appeared in recent years as has the value of restomods. So the market's idea of value does change over time so there is no obvious answer about what will be valued or not 20 years from now. It's not just cars. All collectible markets go up and go down and change in many ways over the years and due to generational changes in people.

Last edited by Mphjr_lt; 12-14-2018 at 04:05 PM.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Another thought. Changing the factory paint protection film. Was thinking to remove the front clam partial PPF and get it redone to cover the entire surface. Unless this distracts from originality and value, of course. My factory PPF is in perfect shape, no sun damage, garage kept with 5k miles.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Any thoughts to replacing the factory PPF to cover more sureface and be seamless? Although it would protect far more and do a better job at it, would this detract from originality?
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 01:27 PM
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In my opinion replacing the paint protection film should not affect the value as it is an item that ages over time and will eventually need to be replaced.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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In my opinion replacing the paint protection film should not affect the value as it is an item that ages over time and will eventually need to be replaced.
True, seems like a wear and tear part perhaps. But so do brakes, tires, battery. I guess im thinking 50 years out, how much the car would be worth in its original shape. Even with OE tires/brakes/battery (even if replaced due to wear/age, replace with same OE parts)
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-16-2019, 12:39 PM
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To OP, I think it all comes down to the right buyer regardless if you have aftermarket mods or not. To simplify it without going into it too deep, the drill-on mods just limit the interest you will have with your car. It will come down to only the ones who also like those drill-on mods. And as we know, not everyone has the same taste. The add-on(no drilling) mods nothing to worry as its easily reversible. With a stock setup, the interest is much larger as the new owner would have their option to do whatever mods they like. Buyers wont have to worry as much if mods were done correctly or not. Just my .02.

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