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Years ago I had a '62 AH Sprite. It was my first sports car, and was a kick just to get in and drive. It even rivaled my first 911 as a thrill to drive/own, though the 911 came many years later, and was a far superior car compared to the Sprite. Have any of you current Lotus owners had experience with the British sports cars of old (or other vehicle), and what are your thoughts on such a comparison? I realize the newer Lotus' are far more refined not to mention much quicker, but the thrill factor seems to be a common theme in this forum, despite some of the shortcomings I've read about in the Stickies/FAQ.
 

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I prefer Bud lite over Sprite anyday... Especially, at night.
 

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Not too many similarities to the British roadsters of the 60's. The Sprite (especially the bugeye) is a great car, but the driving experience is nothing like a modern Lotus. Actually, there aren't any cars made today that really feel like the Elise/ Exige. However, the dumb grin is probably the same as what you experienced in your Healey.
 

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...austin healeys, triumphs, and MGs were all cut from the same cloth as the elan, and the elise is very much a contemporary take on the same concept...if you loved your sprite, you'll adore the elise's simple, open-air, raw driving experience...

...rolling the clock back one decade earlier, my boss has an old MG T he's daily-driven for fourty years, and he thinks my elise is fantastic...
 

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I started with a 1962 MG Midget (Sprite with a different grille.) I think these cars appeal to the same people as the Elise although the latter is much better in every way except in getting in and out. IIRC, the Midget weighed around 1200 - 1400 lbs, had a 960 (or maybe 1200) cc engine, and had speed capabilities equivalent to a VW Beetle (in other words, slow.) Its skinny tires and crude suspension meant that it would slide and spin fairly easily. It was fun at the time and still would be today. OTOH, by today's standards, crash protection was nonexistent and any accident could be serious. My brother flipped my car and was lucky to escape without injury. His friend came along and single-handedly flipped the car back onto its wheels.
 

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Come on, the Elise is much more sophisticated, it has more than 2 fuses!

Always loved that about the Sprite.
 

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I don't know, when I was canging my brakes on the Lotus, it seemed awfully similiar to the Bugeye. A very simple design. If you dropped in a decent motor I think you'd see some more similiarities... I was going for the 211 look here:
 

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Ok here we go. As a Brit now living in Canada and coming from a car family I have been privileged to own many British sports car.

61 TVR
65 Midget
66 MGB
67 Spitfire
65 EType
66 TR4

And several 7s

Have just got my Elise and it's has been interesting to compare it with my Caterham 1400 Hayabusa. Firstly I must add that the Elise/Elige will never compete with the Caterham on the performance scale, never.

The first think I noticed about the Elise compared to the Caterham is the dead brake pedal and the woolly steering, don't get me wrong compared with all other cars its fantastic but not compared to the 7

The Elise however seems much more planted to the road than the Caterham and MUCH more staple and speed. The steering on the 7 is FAR superior than the Elise, but the Elise is a much better all round car than the Caterham, its more usable it's easier to drive, less exhausting and can be driven in most weather conditions. The Elise is a blast to drive, however It doesn't have the total balls out, hand on attitude that the Caterham does.

They are both great cars and I love them both. Which one would I choose if I could only have one of them.

The Elise

Pictures of my Caterham
 

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They are both great cars and I love them both. Which one would I choose if I could only have one of them.

The Elise
The only way I would choose an Elise over my Caterham is if it was my only car and I had to use it every day. ;)





You can feel a bit of family resemblance when driving my old Elan compared to an Elise (or the Caterham), but the chassis is no where near as stiff and the suspension settings are much softer. The performance and handling of the Elan is much much better and much more modern feeling than most British cars of that era
 

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...austin healeys, triumphs, and MGs were all cut from the same cloth as the elan,
Having owned 2 Elans('64,'65) and a Triumph spitfire, as well as having driven many other sports cars of the era, british and otherwise the Elan was ahead of it's time, and in a league of it's own handling wise even 20 or 30 years later.
My 2 cents,
Greg
 

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Have any of you current Lotus owners had experience with the British sports cars of old (or other vehicle), and what are your thoughts on such a comparison? I realize the newer Lotus' are far more refined not to mention much quicker, but the thrill factor seems to be a common theme in this forum, despite some of the shortcomings I've read about in the Stickies/FAQ.
There's some similarities I suppose, but a world of a difference as well. (at least between my MG and Lotus).
Similar dimensions, but my MG has half the power, and half the handling!

In the Lotus, if i hit a bump, my body rattles.
in the MG, the whole car rattles!

But the MG is a full convertible!
and it leaks oil. :drool:

you hear all the time about being unable to hear in a Lotus.
-..but it aint nuthin compared to being inside an MG (with my '64 hardtop especially)

still love them both tho.
 

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Well, like my Elise, my Sprite (actually owned two) was about the smallest thing out there, had great unassisted steering feel and low weight, and was the most fun to drive of my various 60's sports cars. Unlike my Elise, it didn't understeer... actually had oversteer, lots of it, deliberately built into the rear "suspension" design.

OTOH my Elise will go over 60 mph without sounding like it's about to explode.
 

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Had a Midget that was a humongous piece of crap and a couple Karmann Ghia's. I'd say other than being small there are really no similarities at all. The Midget was kind of fun to drive despite being not very fast and not handling very good, things working intermittently , shifter coming off in your hand every once in a while, etc. Something about it was still fun, I just get being small, convertible, and a sense of accomplishment when you made it somewhere in it.

The Ghias, again had no comparison in performance but were very enjoyable and fun to drive. Did also get an immense amount of attention, etc. Not fast (especially in comparison to an Elise) handled well for what they were. I don't know how to explain it. There are a million cars that out perform them. Heck I'm sure a stock civic would. But something about driving them was just plain enjoyable and fun. The one was lowered and everything suspension and engine was fresh. Pretty much a stock engine at what- maybe 60HP tops? But for what it was it seemed to go decent, shift nice, handle alright, etc. Some cars just have soul. The feel of the seats and the interior, the smell, the sound of the air cooled engine- just a whole experience. I guess the Elise is similar. There are several cars that may out perform it in one aspect or another, without having near the fun factor.
 
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