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Do you let your kids drive your Lotus?

  • When hell freezes over

    Votes: 28 37.8%
  • Only when I'm in the passenger seat

    Votes: 15 20.3%
  • With certain restrictions

    Votes: 19 25.7%
  • Sure, anytime...

    Votes: 12 16.2%

  • Total voters
    74
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For those of you old enough to have kids who drive, do you ever let them drive your Lotus?

I have two sons of driving age, one now 25, and the other 18. After teaching them manual transmissions on other cars, I've let each of them drive my Elise with restrictions. Each has shown extraordinary respect, and the privilege has paid many other relationship dividends as well.

My eldest (ME!) on this forum, purchased his own Exige S this year, and we continue to share the passion for Lotus motorsports. Am I the only person who lets 'em drive?
 

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My son got his permit about 2 weeks ago. We drive every night (his 91 Honda CRX manual) and I offered to let him drive partway to Lime Rock for the historics as nobody was on the highway at 5am, but he's not confident enough yet. Once he gets his license, I have to exclude him from the Lotus, so then, it'll be no.
 

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I think your youngest (sorry, Todd, forgot his name) got spoiled on the Gumball. Young buck and he's being carted around in dad's Elise, brother's Exige and Jon's McLaren.

I think the three I got when I was his age where dad's Chevy Luv pick up, grandfather's Ford Tempo and my VW Rabbit!
 

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My son got his permit about 2 weeks ago. We drive every night (his 91 Honda CRX manual) and I offered to let him drive partway to Lime Rock for the historics as nobody was on the highway at 5am, but he's not confident enough yet. Once he gets his license, I have to exclude him from the Lotus, so then, it'll be no.
DO NOT let him sell or trash that car. I had a 2nd gen CRX Si in college and LOVED that car. Man, I wish I still had it.

I also wish I knew cars better then to appreciate what it was. Arguably one of THE funnest cars to drive on the road at that time!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think your youngest (sorry, Todd, forgot his name) got spoiled on the Gumball. Young buck and he's being carted around in dad's Elise, brother's Exige and Jon's McLaren.
Yeah, that's Sam. We just moved him to college for his freshman year yesterday!:( He really had it rough this summer slumming it in crappy cars! great kid.
 

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My oldest is 10. When he is old enought to learn I suspect the only manual car available will be the Elise. So he will be driving it (it will be 16 years old when he is old enough to learn :D
 

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I don't have kids (nor will I) but the first car my 14 year old nephew drove was my Exige. Just down the block but still.

My rules for driving my car are simple:
- you can afford the $2k deductible = drive on the street
- you can write a check for the car = you can drive on the track

I figure if I can't take a risk on my nephew I'm not much of an uncle. That said I'd never let a kid take it alone unless I trusted them as a driver.
 

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It honestly depends on the kid. I myself am just 19 years old but I just bought my own Elise with my own money. that kinda tells you I'm not some typical dumb teenager. I can trust myself with my car but I respect my car more because I worked hard to buy it myself. If you know your kids are going to have the utmost respect for it and have a decent amount of driving experience then by all means let them drive it. Just be sure to teach them how to pull in and out of driveways and such.


Sent from my iPhone using AG Free
 

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DO NOT let him sell or trash that car. I had a 2nd gen CRX Si in college and LOVED that car. Man, I wish I still had it.

I also wish I knew cars better then to appreciate what it was. Arguably one of THE funnest cars to drive on the road at that time!
Agreed! I had a 91' CRX Si and man was that a fun little car to chuck around the roads! :shift:

I think that's what started my love affair with small and nimble sports cars.
 

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When I was 16 I learned to drive stick on my dads new Porsche, when he traded that for a jag XK8 I drove that too but both always with him in the car. Next he bought(and still has) a Maserati Quattroporte that I was occasionally allowed to drive on my own when I was 22/23. Then I bought my own sports car and didn't care to drive his anymore lol.

In the future I will let my kids drive my car if they show the care and enthusiasm to know their limits but I don't think I will ever let them take it out on their own.
 

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My view is largely similar to RossCarlson. When my children have the finances to correct for their mistakes, then I will begin to consider letting them drive it. Privilages should always come with accountability (and the ability to make good on the accountability). Growing up, I drove my dad's Bel Air with a corvette engine, but not his Porsche. I had enough money in the bank at age 16 to fully repair the Bel Air, but was woefully short of the funds to repair the Porsche if I made a tragic mistake. The owner of a car should never have to pay for the trust and kindness they extend to others, even family members.
 

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My daughter has had her license for a year now; I have been thinking about taking her out in the Lotus so she can learn how to drive a stick. She drives my Audi S6 (435hp V-10) and seems to do so with respect, so I have some confidence in her. But I would only let her drive the Lotus with me in the passenger seat.
 

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I let my boy drive my Lotus... so far its just been with me or his Uncle in the passenger seat... I think he understands the nature of the privilege and he conducts himself accordingly. I've had "toy" cars since he was a baby; I had him working flags with me at Road America when he was 4... he's been around this stuff all of his life. He's seen how hard I have worked to get it, and maintain it, and he's gotten greasy with me too... so he's earned a little bit of seat time in my mind. He's also seen enough wreckage to understand sh!t can get real, in a hurry, if you don't respect your car...

Having said all of that - I am certain it is different with different kids, and I don't judge anyone for how they choose to handle that situation for themselves. For myself, I am very proud that my son appreciates the situation he has grown up in, and I reward him accordingly.

-Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Clearly if I only viewed this as a financial or actuarial question my answer would be "no". In my case, the car is a great passion to share with my sons, and it proved to be a great incentive as well. It became a reason for my kids to listen to me when I demanded safe driving practices, It provided incentive to master good technique. It served as the ultimate expression of trust and respect between father and son.

Is there risk? ...Of course, but that's life. Fortunately, my kids also have perfect driving records. (thank God)

Here are just a few of my expectations:

No racing ever without my permission, and then only at a track with helmets and intense supervision.

Good judgement always.

Tell me where you're going, and with whom.

Is there a safe place to park?

Who will be with you?

No driving after dark without advance permission.
 

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Let my 18 yr old daughter drive my completely tweaked out 300 hp Dragon

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah..... I think I just pee'ed a little

Hell the car scares me at times. I've let two pro drivers drive and they have both crashed it because it has so much grip and power and extremely balanced but you have to give it complete respect at all times. Almost too much grip so that you forget to focus on the mid engine thingies
 
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