On at least some, and perhaps all, Sport 190s (1998 and later), the 12th character in the VIN is an "E", which designates it as a "Race" chassis/body. "C", "D", and "F" are other possible characters in the 12th position of 1998 and later Series 1 Elises, designating them as street cars.Hi, I'm thinking about crossing over to the dark side. I'm looking at a MkI Elise Sport 190. Is there any way to tell if it is authentic or a clone? Anything on the VIN? It looks real, but in this day, not sure if it can be imitated. Thanks, Dan
Not quite so. Sport 190s were not exclusive to the USA. Some were sold in the UK, and perhaps in other countries as well. The "E" race car code in the 12th VIN character, along with the "3" code for Elise in the 13th position, is the best assuarance of authenticity. Check the chassis location as well as the windshield sticker.Meat is right. Check the paper trail. The documentation should take you all the way back to Lotus USA ..... and it will repeatedly state not for street use, have VIN numbers, etc..
There were not many and they should proprerly track back to Atlanta. If they conveniently do not have the papers, then they have a problem proving its origin.
The VIN info in this thread pertains to the Elise Sport 190, not to the Exige.I purchased my Exige direct from Arnie Johnson in 2001. I don't have an "E" in my VIN - because my car was destined for Germany before I made the order - then they rolled it into the Lotus Sport area and they added the items (and more) Meat mentioned. In fact, my car was originally an air con car! How far away from an "E" designation is that?