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Impressive! Maybe I'll drive my Elise every day come rain, sleet, snow, what have you!

(I wonder if I could chain it up without destroying the wheel wells????)
 

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We're very fortunate to hear from the euro/UK drivers who've been living with these on a day to day basis, great insight to elise ownership, thanks so much for all the useful information you guys provide!!
:)

Chris
87 days and a wakeup.........................
 

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I second Chris's comment above. You guys in Europe don't know how much your imput is truly appreciated here.

As far as the concern for cars backing into the Elise, I have also worried about the situation. First, those of us with brighter colored cars should experience some benefit of our choice since they will attract far more attention than darker colors. But if this doesn't work, I'll put bicycle flags (bright orange with "Huffy" written on them)on the back of my Elise.....................:D
 

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Arno said:
Snow don't bother my Elise..

After a while it starts to look like this though.. Somewhat more black all over :)

Yes, the white bits are snow/ice on the car.. and it's on snow tires with 15/16" wheels..

Sorry about the geek (aka.. me..) in the picture :D

Bye, Arno.
Umm....Arno...Is that a fire hydrant? :D
 

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Surferjer said:
Impressive! Maybe I'll drive my Elise every day come rain, sleet, snow, what have you!

(I wonder if I could chain it up without destroying the wheel wells????)
I have chains that I use quite regularly though I also have snow tyres (tires for the US:D) which make life a lot easier though I have driven on Yokohama A038s with chains once due to an unexpected blizzard in September.

Not only do I carry skis on the roof bars on my car I carry spare wheels when on the way to tracks which while making the car a bit top heavy works OK. I've done about 70,000 miles in mine since getting it in late 96 and reckon you can easily use it as a daily driver as long as you are aware that you won't be seen as easily as you would in a normal height car.

p.s. Arno, see you at Zandvoort in the summer.
 

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Its great to see a thread about daily driving! I AM going to drive mine as often as I can. I am going to try and attend a lot more AXes and track days once I get used to the Elise. Having owned my yellow Boxster for 5 years (after a series of red cars), I can say that people on the road really do see you. I truly think a bright color does help with safety. I think a serious collision with an SUV though, is likely to take your head off :(
 

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On the issue of leaking roofs, I think there are 2 scenarios. One is if you had leaking through the roof itself, when the application of a sealant would help - as it does on a tent. My car is nearly 5 years old now, and has never had this problem. I think this is quite rare.
The other scenario is the dripping leak at the front of the side window. This is more of an issue, and why we drive with a small chammy on the sill !! The S1 roof is VERY sensitive to being fitted accurately - if it is slightly off centre, water can pour in a usually waterproof car. However the bigger issue is that, due to the curvature of the Elise roof, the water tends to roll off the roof laterally, and after standing in heavy rain the side of the roof above the side windows is sodden, because it is the lowest point of the roof. Therefore when you open the door to get in, you tend to get a lot of drips and water coming in both at that moment, and for a while afterwards.
My trick is to have a shower cape (which we use when the roof is off and when parked), and put this over the top off the normal roof when car is parked outside in rain. This keeps the actual soft top dry, so that when you get in in the morning, you are not faced with the sodden side sections. I recommend a shower cape as one of your first buys.
Once you are moving, leaking is not really an issue - or hasn't been for me. The wind blows the rain away backwards ! I am aware that some people have had just plain bad roofs, but supposedly the S1's were the worst for leaking (so I am told), yet with a few simple precautions, I have never had a major problem.
Lastly, if you do get a hard top, try to find one with gutters along the side over the doors. The official Lotus S1 hardtops didn't have gutters (that I have seen), but my Bell and Colvill (major UK dealer) supplied hard top does have gutters, and this makes a BIG difference both when the car is standing in the rain and when you get in and out in the rain.
Hey Arno - Nice to see what you look like !!
And snow is only a problem when the pile in the middle of the road is so high that it starts to lift your wheels off the ground ! I went over the scottish ski areas in a blizzard a couple of years ago, in convoy with about 40 minis (original ones), and we were all having similar problems at about the same depth of snow !! Much grinning all round !!
And those of you worried about comfort - don't. Last weekend I drove the Great Ocean Road (one of the worlds great drives ? Photo attached) between Adelaide and Melbourne to go to the Australian F1 GP, and also our first Aussie Elises club meeting. It was a 12 hour drive, and with a little extra cushioning that I use, no problems. I then sat in the new Toyota engined Elise at the Melbourne motor show, and the seats in that are like arm chairs compared to the seats in my S1. I don't think you will be having any problems !
Giles.
 

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There is apparently a new seal or lip on the edge of the soft tops of the 111R and presumably the Fed Elise.
 

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Vantage, that's right the US and 111R have a redesigned window seal which incorporates a small rubber wing at the top front corner the driver passenger pillars.which channels the water (I believe something similar is used on boxsters?)

Chris
 

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I'm glad to see this issue being raised. I would like to use this car as a daily driver, but I hear a lot of people saying that you could never get away with using it as a daily driver. Then you hear stories about people in europe using these cars as their primary vehicles. They use them all year round, drive them in snow, go on vacations, etc! Maybe these people in Europe have very short commutes to work? Maybe some of these Europeans have a bit of a masochistic side and can live without the bells and whistles luxury cars have? I'd like to know if the people who think the elise could not be used as a daily driver also think that the Miata is unsuitable as a daily driver. If the answer is yes, I think that would clear things up for me a lot.
 

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My thought is that your situation dictates how good it is as a daily driver. If you need to be able to haul a quantity of anything, it's just not going to work. On the other hand, if for example, you're single, there's plenty of room for groceries or duffel bags and such, over where the passenger would go. If you have another car for the hauling duties, there's no reason not to use the elise for everyday trips to and from work, around town driving, etc.

If you have a miata as a daily right now, I'd guess you'd be ok using the Elise for daily driving. Just plan on about half the trunk space.

Cade
 

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THeir are some S1s being used as daily drivers with over 100K miles on them.

My only concern with the elise as a daily driver is vandalism, not the realiability, ride quality etc. If any of you guys have seen the crowds these draw on US city streets, you'd be amazed.
Chris
 

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I'm looking forward to seeing the crowd my Elise will draw. I'm not ashamed to say theat one of the reasons I want the car is its uniqeness and exclusivity in the US. I'm tired of seeing ten cars on the road just like mine every day on the way to work. The fact that I'll be blowing doors off everyone is attractive, too! A daily driver-everyday. I'm getting the snow tires if I can find em in the new size for the back; else, chains!
 

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i have same concerns as you do, my biggest worry is not the reliabilty but the front spoiler. as far as daily driver my dealer advised against it and mentioned a brighter color (safety) would be a smarter choice.
 

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happytrails said:
i have same concerns as you do, my biggest worry is not the reliabilty but the front spoiler. as far as daily driver my dealer advised against it and mentioned a brighter color (safety) would be a smarter choice.
Thats odd, my dealer told me the exact opposite. He said that the entire front end is pretty hearty fiberglass. Much stronger than the plastic composites on the newer japanese cars on the market right now. He said, and I quote... "Yeah one of our Esprit owners had one of his fenders hit with a hammer accidentally and it bounced right off. So it should hold up pretty well. If it is damaged, it is replaceable. There are 3 levels of damage to replace. Individual shell peices, the entire shell, or chasis damage. The latter will probably total your car."

So those of you who were worried about hitting a rabbit and having to buy a new clam... maybe this will put your worries aside a bit. The rabbit shouls just explode on contact if you are driving your car like you should be ;) ...That or the car might.

-Whit
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Waelsie, thanks for your comments. I can deal with a lot of stuff, but uncontrollable leaking is something that would irritate me. I hope the dealers have the caps in stock, otherwise I'll just order one off the net. Your idea sounds like a good one.

I plan on using the car as a daily driver. I have a garage at home and a garage spot at work, which is 2.4 miles away. While I'm married with kids, we take the wife's Tahoe everywhere as a family.

I too am concerned about vandalism, but where I live there are so many 911s, SL55s, etc. that my $40K car (which costs less than my current A6 2.7T!) shouldn't be more ripe for vandalism. Having said that, I think the car looks so damn cool that people will think I spent more than $40K.

As I read the posts here, its the size of the car that really concerns me more than daily "liveability." I'm afraid that if I'm at a stoplight with some person in a big SUV or Hummer in front of me, he will not be able to see me in his rearview mirror. Or, if I pass one of these suckers on 2 lane roads (which I most certainly will!), they wont see me in their side mirrors. I've been practicing leaving more distance between me and the cars in front of me at stops and in traffic.
 

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I plan on leaving LESS distance between me and the car in front of me. I will be jigging around them so fast they'll say "What the hell was that?!!"

My concern is the toad in the Hummer /Expedition/ Exploder/ Escalade making a lane change on the freeway that doesn't see me sitting there next to him. So I'm practicing staying out of people's blind spots and actually staying (or getting) offset just to the front of parallel traffic. I also plan on keeping the lights on whenever driving to help people see me, and putting something on top of the antenna. The sacrifices we make....sigh :D
 

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bsmesq said:
While I'm married with kids, we take the wife's Tahoe everywhere as a family.
...
I'm afraid that if I'm at a stoplight with some person in a big SUV or Hummer in front of me, he will not be able to see me in his rearview mirror.
Well, if the owner of a big SUV is saying this, then I'd say it IS cause for concern. ;)

I shared your concern about this car's small size for a while, but realized it's about the same size as a Miata, and those seem to be holding their own on the roads. I'm not worried.

Or, if I pass one of these suckers on 2 lane roads (which I most certainly will!), they wont see me in their side mirrors.
In all fairness (and I hate SUVs, so making an argument in their defense always hurts), that's a reflection of the driver, not the vehicle you're passing. SUVs have some of the largest mirrors I've seen; not being aware of the cars around is the fault of the driver, not the vehicle.
 

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MattG said:

In all fairness (and I hate SUVs, so making an argument in their defense always hurts), that's a reflection of the driver, not the vehicle you're passing. SUVs have some of the largest mirrors I've seen; not being aware of the cars around is the fault of the driver, not the vehicle.
I believe that's known as the "cell phone effect", or the "I'm too busy applying makeup to give a **** about what's happening on the road around me" effect...

or the "I'm more patriotic than you because I help fund terrorism by purchasing as much gasoline in a day as you do in a month, so I have the right to run you over" effect :rolleyes:
 

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Well, I don't know about the whole "miatas seem to be holding their own." Sure, we're out there, but I've never had so many close calls in a car before owning this one. I'm sure it's worse that my car is black, but I'm getting really frustrated with virginia drivers changing lanes into mine without seeing me. I take a great deal of care not to be in blind spots, and to pass as quickly as I can... but there are times when there's no choice.

I was sitting at a stoplight a few days ago, waiting to make a left hand turn, and there was a truck directly next to me, on my left, also waiting to make a left hand turn. Light went green, we start moving, start making the turn, and halfway through the turn, he just decides to change lanes into mine... I was really glad that I was quick on the brakes and moved as far right in my lane as I could to avoid him. Even after missing me by inches, he seemed to have no idea that he'd done anything at all. He was TOTALLY oblivious.

I'm just glad the miata is good at accident avoidance. I feel like a mouse in a room full of cats sometimes. I still can't imagine not getting the Elise, though, so I guess it's worth it.

Cade
 
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