BMCD (British Motor Car Distributors) of San Francisco - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-23-2006, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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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).
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-23-2006, 09:24 PM
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Congrats on your car - Good to see yet another Berkeley Elise.

I used to live in Berkeley and knew of 4 other Elises there - Perryges and Jen4Juice from the forum and 2 other guys who arent on etalk. I think Berkeley might have one of the highest number of Elises per capita

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-23-2006, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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I see surprising few around here (Prius land dont you know) - though there is this one yellow one occasionally. I blame it for my purchase in fact - I saw it the day I was going to arrange a test drive - so it was fate.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 04:28 AM
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Hi aanon4. Congratulations on your new Elise! I bought my Aztec Bronze from them almost a year ago. Also a positive experience. It has almost 20K now.

From your other thread, I recommend having the first, 1K service done by a dealer. The service department at BMC, though under different management, is good too. After that, I know there are folks on Elise Ealk that have experience with a shop in Oakland/Hayward that's supposed to be high quality. Another option is DIY. It's easy to do the inspections, tourque, and oil change.

I'll be doing my service in a couple of weeks. You're welcome to come over - I'm just on the other side of Tilden (and in Berkeley every day).

#2116 - Aztec Bronze
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the offer but I'll be out of town for a couple of weeks so it probably wont work (that and the fact that I cant barely tell one end of a car from another ... except boxsters where I *really* can't tell one end from another) - so is it your 'yellow' I see about these north Berkeley parts occasionally?
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 05:58 PM
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Mine is not really "yellow"... more an exotic tan - some will argue

I am in north Berkeley almost every day. I have seen a brand new blue BMC Elise twice recently on Oxford - a woman was driving.

My service is either going to be over Labor Day weekend or the third week of September because we're going on holiday to Europe between (including the Lotus factory). I'm happy to show one end of an Elise from the other to you, if you like.
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#2116 - Aztec Bronze

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well not mine anyway - dont pick that up til I get back from vacation. Have fun in Norfolk - hopefully it wont be raining (always novel in England). I may just take you up on the offer when I get back.

As for color - I'm still on my primaries but taking extension courses at CAL on secondaries next semister. I hope to move onto advanced colors next year and finally progress onto understanding advanced nail polish naming by 2010.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 07:56 PM
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Welcome to the family. There's SNdesign/ ST with custom exhaust, also in Berkeley. I go to Berkeley twice a week from Alameda, up High St., onto Skyline, then Grizzly Peak and down Centennial Wy. Fast and furious with a touch of sanity. Love it.
Interested in autocrossing? RNR and I do. Maybe we can all get together for a quick morning run. Or caravan to Marina for autoX. Haven't heardfrom SNDesign lately.
RNR didn't know you moved. Still karting in Burlingame? Hope to see you at Marina soon. Last 3 months, I haven't autoX, cuz of vacation, honey-dos abd y daugther's wedding. Now have OK for Thunderhill HPD school or autoX. May skip track til I get harness and fire extinguisher( do you think it's neccessary?) Will probably follow your advice re driving school vs going to GGLC track day as intro to track (seconded by Kiyoshi).

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-26-2006, 10:09 AM
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Congrats on the purchase! I'm surprised you weren't treated well. When I went to BMCD unannounced on a friday afternoon I showed up in a tee shirt, jeans, and converse with holes in them. I'm only 20 and was treated respectfully.

WTB: lightly used Chrome Orange (or ST, GG) on Black, Touring, HT (ideally), Starshield Elise
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Ah - they were ultimately fine and been very accomodating with one thing and another. That said, I actually get to pick it up in about 10 hours (finally).
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 11:58 PM
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Congrats on the car !
You must be speaking of LOKI's car.
He lives in the hills off Marin.
I live in the hills and have an Artic Silver Elise.

I'll bet you get a lot of sleep tonight

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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So I finally picked up the car, at 10:10am this morning and happily drove it home to Berkeley. I must admit that it's been too long since I drove a stick (and that was on the other side of the road) and I'd forgotten how much I liked that. Now ... I just have to remember to *use* the clutch when parking :-)

Anyway, my observations of people so far are:

1. Two offers of sex for a ride in the car (one was a guy, but this is San Francisco ....)
2. One offer to buy the car for $5000.
3. Lots of mugging smiles from women driving Minis (dont ask me why, I have no idea)
4. One woman asked me as I'm walking down the street if that car was my Lotus (I didnt even have the hat on ... does it show?)
5. A decent number of turned heads.

Not bad for 4 hours. And, I admit, a little unexpected since I'm beginning to think this car is as common as dirt in Berkeley :-)
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 02:33 PM
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Congrats! I missed you by about an hour, as I drove by BMC's window to reacquaint myself with the front end differences between a Gallardo and a Murcielago (had a Gallardo come up behind me this morning, and I was disappointed in not being able to immediately pick out which model it was). It looks like we'll have a sunny weekend so enjoy your new ride!! And get used to a little bit of oggling--the car definitely turns heads. And cell phone cameras.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 03:32 PM
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I test drove an Elise at BMCD. They were nice there, but not over the top and didn't seem excited to sell. I told the sales guy I was going to buy in August or September and to call me if he had any specials. He never called back and lost my business. I bought in ealy August. Like many here have experienced with BMCD, they seemed awfully non chalant... but nice. I may check them out for service though. Good luck with your car!
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 05:29 PM
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Don't forget AgentTripleX is working there in sales.

2005 Elise 250 whp | Forcedfed Custom Intercooled Supercharger | EFI | Forcedfed Street Header | Fujita CAI | TB Bypass | Toda flywheel | ACT HD Clutch | Forcedfed Prototype Exhaust | Micromirror | Forcedfed Half Carbon Splitter | Greddy Catch Can | ForcedFed Engine Damper
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-Y-CHROMOSONES
Don't forget AgentTripleX is working there in sales.
Not in sales yet. I'm a sales assistant. Still learning the ropes.

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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe meet and greet for now - but when they let you actually sell the damn things you're going to be scarey good. Til then, just keep them fingerprints off the blue.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aanon4
Maybe meet and greet for now - but when they let you actually sell the damn things you're going to be scarey good. Til then, just keep them fingerprints off the blue.
Awh thanks...

Maybe I should borrow a couple of the laminated "Do Not Touch. Please Ask For Assistance" signs from work.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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For the car?
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by aanon4
For the car?
For the fingerprints.

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