I've been a long time lurker since my father had an 06 Elise back when it was new. At any rate, I'm finally looking at buying one for myself. The car will be predominantly for autocross, weekend backroad runs and occasional DEs. The budget is tight, as usual. Shopping around I'm noticing I have essentially a fork in the road between the following options at my price point:
1) basically stock 05/06 Elise with low/reasonable mileage and well cared for
2) well modified (read: good shocks/sways/needed track mods) 05/06 elise with much higher mileage (>60-70k) and has been tracked/well-used.
There is a very nice example with DA Ohlins and a lot of other great mods, but nearly 80k miles on the clock (I'm sure I'm giving away which car this is). Anyway, I'm concerned that this car likely needs a couple grand in re-freshening; ohlins rebuild, along with higher spring rates which may mean re-valving, and a suspension bushing refresh. All told thats probably around $2k (?).
The alternative would be a basically stock elise, then spend the same 2-3k on good shocks and a few other mods to be competitive. This might be more expensive actually, but with a much 'fresher' low-mileage starting point.
So, could some of the experienced guys comment on whether the mileage makes a difference? Should I shy away from the higher mileage cars if I want to AX competitively and track the car? Or is it just not a big deal? When do these cars 'need' the suspension bushings and ends refreshed?
Thanks for any input!