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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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I just want to start off by commenting on how great this forum is. I have been a lurker here for a while now, researching the sweetest car on the planet! Obviously, now I have to have one for myself.<o:p></o:p>
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I am very interested in a used '06 Elise. Here is the link to the dealers page...<o:p></o:p>
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http://www.drivemb.com/2006-lotus-elise--c-1513.htm<o:p></o:p>
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If you click the Carfax link on the bottom right of the page, it shows the former owner was "Corporate Fleet". This quickly pegged my skepticism. I called the dealer (who is NOT a Lotus dealership) and talked to a salesman about the basic status of the car and its history. The dealer explained that the two '06 Elise's they have were traded in by two guys who were partners/friends/owners of a successful internet business and that they were purchased new at the exact same time and traded in at the exact same time for some $100,000 Benz's. He assured me that they were the owners' personal vehicle and that they were bought under the business name. My BS meter was fully pegged at this point but i didnt call him on it. My fear is that these vehicles are used by clients/employee's of the company, basically the same as a rental. The dealer also told me that they took the cars to the nearest Lotus dealer and attempted to get ECU dumps for each based on another potential buyers request. (this place really knows nothing about Elise's since they dont deal them.) He said they were unable to get the info since it was an '06. (Its possible, so I guess I believe that part). So i have no data to help me make my decision.<o:p></o:p>
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Just curious if this "company owned, personal use" story holds any water with you guys. <o:p></o:p>
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I am quite skeptical at this point. I'm in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Syracuse</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">NY</st1:State></st1:place>, so there aren't too many of what I'm looking for around. I am willing to drive 300 miles if i have a really good idea that i will make a deal.<o:p></o:p>
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Any advice/comments are welcome.<o:p></o:p>
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Thanks a bunch,<o:p></o:p>
Jon<o:p></o:p>
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P.S. Let me know if you guys are interested in an '07 Acura TL Type-S, Black/Black, 20,000K miles, 6 Speed.<o:p></o:p>
 

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Corporate-owned, personal-use makes sense to me. Ever heard of a company car? They were probably running the expenses through their company and taking a write-off for an employee benefit.

FWIW, that car's got a bunch of extras on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess the part that truly makes me skeptical is that they were bought and sold at the exact same time. I've never bought the exact same car as my firend and then sold it at the same time, to the same dealer. It seems weird to me. I just dont trust salesmen, instinctively.
 

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Definitely NOT like a rental car--too many personal touches. That car was loved by someone. Doesn't mean it wasn't mistreated, though, and you'll never know without a dump. I would consider it, and before buying I would take it for a PPI. Car looks great.
 

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I guess the part that truly makes me skeptical is that they were bought and sold at the exact same time. I've never bought the exact same car as my firend and then sold it at the same time, to the same dealer. It seems weird to me. I just dont trust salesmen, instinctively.
You might buy the same car as your friend if you worked together and were running the expenses through the business you both owned. Perhaps they wanted a brand identity or just both liked the car or maybe they got a better deal. Lots of corporations buy cars as a fleet every couple of years, they're just usually buying Tauruses and Sebrings not Elises.
 

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Maybe a previous rental car ??
 

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I wouldn't discount them altogether.

I have the Porsche and BMWs listed as company cars in my own business - nobody else drives them and they are looked after and maintained as well as any private enthusiast cars.

I don't think it's totally unbelievable that a couple of partners treated themselves to identical cars at some point in the business history.
There must be many such case from the "dotcom" era.

The key is a good inspection and an ECU dump.
I don't understand about the "can't because it's an '06"
Some '06's wouldn't read at the 1000mile service - but after that they should be readable (unless it never had a service - which would be odd)

Any chance you can get contact details of the previous owners?
 

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The key is a good inspection and an ECU dump.
I don't understand about the "can't because it's an '06"
Some '06's wouldn't read at the 1000mile service - but after that they should be readable (unless it never had a service - which would be odd)
To expand on this...

The first batch of '06s had a glitch in the ECU that prevented the data dump. The ECUs should have been re-flashed (either at the 1,000 mile service or at a later service - there should have been a Service Bulletin indicating the ECU re-flash needed to be made). The fact that they couldn't get a data dump early in their life should have been taken car of. The fact that they can't get one now is either BS (most Lotus dealers will charge for it - especially to another dealer), of the car's ECUs have never been re-flashed. The re-flash also updated a couple of other things, so it should have been done to the car.
 

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Usually, when "Corporate Fleet" shows on Carfax means it was just a lease (not sure if Lotus offers any type of lease)...however, the previous owner of my 98 Esprit, leased the car through Chase Manhattan and then bought the car out after the lease.

I don't really think it'll be a company car for employee's to drive. Don't think any boss will have a "stick shift" car for employees to drive around for pleasure. On top of that the Elise/Exige is just not practical enough for any other company uses. Anyhow, perhaps you should try to get a hold of the previous owners & try to get some info.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the help guys. I will ask the dealer about contact info for the previous owner. I will also explain the ECU re-flash to him and see where it gets me. An inspection and test drive would be the best idea. Then i have to see how much they are gonna bone me on my trade.
 

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Why "trade?"

They will, as you said, bone you badly on a trade.

Sell your car yourself first!

Recycler works great!
 

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I highly doubt it was a company use car. Does that REALLY make sense to you that someone would buy an Elise as a company use car? What possible advantage could it provide?


Someone buys an Elise and puts it under their company name for tax benefits and also increases the value of assets in their business. They use it as a personal vehicle. An Elise is a personal vehicle, not a multi-purpose vehicle.

My father does this with all of his cars.



So please go fix your BS meter. It's broken :)
 

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Thanks for the help guys. I will ask the dealer about contact info for the previous owner. I will also explain the ECU re-flash to him and see where it gets me. An inspection and test drive would be the best idea. Then i have to see how much they are gonna bone me on my trade.
Check PMs. I have been working with the dealership for their silver elise for a few days now.
 

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Someone buys an Elise and puts it under their company name for tax benefits and also increases the value of assets in their business. They use it as a personal vehicle. An Elise is a personal vehicle, not a multi-purpose vehicle.

QUOTE]

+1

This is usually what happens. Corporate fleet - doesn't mean Avis or taxi use.
I picked-up my car wit 2200miles for $32K, listed as a corporate fleet vehicle, and it was MINT. Some wealthy guy with a business buys the car, lists it as his business vehicle and then dumps it when he's bored with it or the next sexy piece of chrome drives by.

Get a PPI if you're interested.

Be good,
TomK
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just wanted to let you all know that I am now the proud owner of this Elise!!! After numerous conversations and bargaining with the dealership, we agreed on a price and tentative sale. I drove the 300+ miles to MD on Saturday and actually got to put my eyes on the car and take it for a long test drive. Everything appeared to be in great shape, as described. So i signed on the dotted line. I Got them down to $34K, which was almost $6k less than what they were selling it for locally. This car has some nice extra features too. The flip out Navi screen hits the wiper arm, so i'm gonna swap the head unit out for the one in my other vehicle. The Navi/DVD will be more appropriate in my Jeep anyhow. The sub makes the stereo sound ten times better, however it does add valuable weight and takes up a good amount of passenger leg room. Not sure if I want to remove it yet.

Driving impressions: All i can say is WOW! :nanner: Never felt anything like that before...permanent grin from ear to ear. :D Drove home in a terrential downpour. No leaks...sweet! The A/C works really well...double sweet! The car felt solid even at 70+MPH with heavy rain/water accumulation. (probably thanks to the Eagle F1's) The only thing I'm curious about is the engine/exhaust sound. As, expected, the car is very loud, but in the upper RPM's (above 5K or so) when you let off the throttle there is a gurgle/burb/backfire sound. Is this to be expected? The dealer had two of these and the salesman mentioned that one of the cars have the exhaust modified. He couldnt remember which one and i had already singed anyhow. Do you guys think this sound is typical?

Thanks again for your knowledgable advice to the NOOB. Let the mods begin!

Jon
 

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I see "corporate fleet" on CarFax a lot of times on Bentleys that are lease returns. Obviously it's case by case, but most of our customers that lease cars through thier company drive them for personal use only and not as rental or for sharing.
 

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The only thing I'm curious about is the engine/exhaust sound. As, expected, the car is very loud, but in the upper RPM's (above 5K or so) when you let off the throttle there is a gurgle/burb/backfire sound. Is this to be expected? The dealer had two of these and the salesman mentioned that one of the cars have the exhaust modified. He couldnt remember which one and i had already singed anyhow. Do you guys think this sound is typical?

Thanks again for your knowledgable advice to the NOOB. Let the mods begin!

Jon
Congrats! Yes, that is normal. Sounds like yours is the one with the modded exhaust.

The pics aren't so good, but I think you have a Stage 2 exhaust. So, again, that's normal with that exhaust.
 

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The only thing I'm curious about is the engine/exhaust sound. As, expected, the car is very loud, but in the upper RPM's (above 5K or so) when you let off the throttle there is a gurgle/burb/backfire sound. Is this to be expected?
That's her way of telling you to NOT let off the throttle. :D

I bought mine used in February, same title situation, thoroughly checked out by my hometown dealer, no problems and driving it daily.
 
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