BMCD (British Motor Car Distributors) of San Francisco
So ... I bought an Elise today.
I saw this car 10 years back when I lived in England - but then promptly moved to the California and discovered you couldnt buy them here. Wait wait wait ... and they finally turn up and I finally get round to buying one.
I went to BMCD because it was local (I'm in Berkeley) - didn't know anything about them (though driven past the place plenty over the years). I had arranged to test drive one. I admit, I went in not intending to buy a 2006, but rather find a lightly used 2005 - but I wanted to see if I actually liked the car - I'd never actually been in one at that point - it was more lust at a distance really.
Now .. my first impression of BMCD was not entirely positive and, in part, this is because I dont exactly look like your average guy who wants to buy an impractical car. I am cultivating my inner Dougal (see Father Ted as necessary) and am rather dressed down (which is how my wife kindly puts it). I don't honestly think the sales guy thought I would/could buy one - and I think the service I received, though pleasant and courteous, reflected that pre-formed opinion. I test drove a very yellow car - its was nice - I almost didn't scare myself to death. We spoke about price, and they were offering a reduction but the sale guy wasn't in the mood for commitment it seemed.
Later, via email, I told him what I would offer for what - and to cut a long story short, he offered me the car I wanted at invoice. That was rather nice of him I thought, especially since he offered to show me the invoice. Compared to the 2005's I saw on EBay - a new 2006 for 5K off seemed like a steal (well, stealing would have been cheaper but required more prison time I suppose).
Still - I rang around the local area - spoke to a very nice chap from Los Altos (another Brit) who marvelled at the price I was offered (a cunning conspiracy perhaps?) and spoke to those people in Redwood City that made my skin crawl into a jar and pull on the lid behind it. They didnt have any hardtops anyway.
So - I bought a Polar Blue Elise from the team of Vince and Ramin over in SF - and after initial fears, I can't praise these guys enough for offering me a great deal, greasing all the wheels (not the ones on the car obviously) since I have to leave town and had very little time to sort things out before going, and getting it all together.
The only down side is that I dont actually get to pick the bloody car up until 7th Sept since I didnt see much point in bring it home, sticking it in the garage, and then getting on a plane (my co-worker said he'd look after it - such a nice guy).
So - British Motor Car Distributors are great (they gave me a book about them too)
And .. when I finally get it ... I'll let you know. In the meantime, I go and read the owner manual (probably only qualifies as soft car porn).