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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone. This is my first visit to Lotus Talk, and my first posting. One week ago today my wife and I were in a very bad accident, in our 996. We walked away with minor cuts and bruising, but mostly unscathed. The same cannot be said for our beloved Porsche, which is a total write off!
This unpredictable event has presented an equally unpredicted opportunity, to consider "replacement" options. I have always liked the styling of Lotus cars and they and the owners of those cars, have made a very positive impression on me.
Not to fluff you readers, but honestly the best groups of car people I've met are those in the vintage Fiat community and Lotus enthusiasts. Other then some brief and pleasant encounters, I don't really know crap about Lotus ownership. The nearest I ever had gotten to ownership, was convincing my dad to co-sign financing, on a '91 Elan. This taking place at Deal Motorcars, in Asheville NC. Circa 1999/2000. As an 18 yro, about to graduate high school; my own credit and savings was laughably non existent! Unfortunately having already signed for my older brothers Dodge Neon coupe; my father was tapped out and denied the funding; thus dashing my Lotus dreams. (Thanks Shawn 😑)
My next two Lotus experiences came from working at a rather nice gas station, named Mr. Pete's. First was a fellow in a series III Lotus Seven, who chatted with me, about his car, and then give me a short ride in it.
Not long after this (maybe a couple weeks) a rather younger man pulls up in a modified white Esprit.
Of course I was falling over myself to see it! I talked with the owner for a bit he was as equally enthusiastic and excited about the car, as I was. Just a few moments later, he also asked if I wanted to go for a spin.
After a quick internal debate as to whether I should continue "parking lot duty" (sweeping cigarette butts and checking trash) at my crappy minimum wage job, or bounce out and go for a possibly once in a lifetime joy ride, in an exotic icon; the door was closing and my seat belt was already on with a click.
Either from the sheer excitement of seeing and now finding myself seated in a moving & hard accelerating Lotus Esprit, or from the copious amounts of cannabis I consumed not long prior; I don't recall much of the ride. I do recall the owner telling me that the steering rack and gear box were "weak points" and as such he can't "beat on it". We still managed well over the posted speed limit, in short order! Several years later near abouts 2006 there was a moment when I strongly considered buying an aubergine Elise. It was just prior to the face lift/changes made for the '07 MY. I remembered because a friend of mine, in the Fiat X1/9 community had just received his "new" car and shared pics of it with me. I was sworn to secrecy because according to him, magazines or something haven't yet seen the updated Elise, and owners were told not to post pictures online, until the official release or something 🤷‍♂️. It wasn't until 2018/19 that I had my next Lotus car and owner interaction. This time it was at a now common place "cars & coffee" in my current state of PA, which I actually got to experience an Elise. In hind sight, I'm very thankful that I didn't buy one; that thing was impossibly difficult for me to squeeze my now 235lb fat suit into. The optional hard top made it just that much more fun 🙄

Sorry to ramble, I'm just excited.

Anyway, I'm considering an s4 generation Esprit, or an M100 Elan. Looking for insight and personal experiences into both. I'm not sure what to look for when shopping/ buying. What kind on pitfalls to watch for etc...
If anyone is near the greater Philadelphia area, and would consider meeting up, I'm in Admore. I would like to meet some owners and see some vehicles first hand.
Also are there any good repair shops, in the area, that service classic Lotus cars?

Thanks for reading.
~ Mike

RIP #0073
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Welcome to LT Mike! Whoa you were lucky to walk away from that. I suggest you check out the Esprit Forum here and intro yourself over there as well. Plenty of threads on the good and bad. GLWS!
 
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2017 Evora 400
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Welcome to the forum. I'm just down Lancaster Ave from you.

There is a M100 Elan for sale at Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown, it's been for sale for almost a year, they recently lowered the price but they still want $27,500 for it. There was a yellow one for sale in Malvern for a few months last year, I think they wanted under $20k for it.

Most of the local Elige and Evora owners have their cars serviced by Frank at Zeigler Exotic Cars in Phoenixville. I know he works on Esprits as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the suggestion, and too right you are about being fortunate to walk away!!
I'll look into the Esprit sub forum, thanks again.
Welcome to the forum. I'm just down Lancaster Ave from you.

There is a M100 Elan for sale at Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown, it's been for sale for almost a year, they recently lowered the price but they still want $27,500 for it. There was a yellow one for sale in Malvern for a few months last year, I think they wanted under $20k for it.

Most of the local Elige and Evora owners have their cars serviced by Frank at Zeigler Exotic Cars in Phoenixville. I know he works on Esprits as well.
Awesome! I did see the red M100 listed. At only 5,xxx miles on the clock, I'd be curious about the actual mechanical condition of the car. My concern would be that with so few miles, all the seals and gaskets might begin leaking, after the first heat cycle or two.
By contrast there's a yellow car in California, for under 20 grand with 53k miles. Perhaps I'll contact that shop and pick their brain??
 

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14k mile M100 in Buffalo. I know for a fact dealer is negotiable on this price.

 

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Thanks for the suggestion, and too right you are about being fortunate to walk away!!
I'll look into the Esprit sub forum, thanks again.
Awesome! I did see the red M100 listed. At only 5,xxx miles on the clock, I'd be curious about the actual mechanical condition of the car. My concern would be that with so few miles, all the seals and gaskets might begin leaking, after the first heat cycle or two.
By contrast there's a yellow car in California, for under 20 grand with 53k miles. Perhaps I'll contact that shop and pick their brain??
I assume it's the same for the M100 Elan, but Esprits like to be driven. I would rather have a well maintained car with some miles on it than a car that has been sitting around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
14k mile M100 in Buffalo. I know for a fact dealer is negotiable on this price.

Please, do share this knowledge with me ;)

Are you familiar with the dealer and/or car?
Are there any tell tale signs of a neglected or otherwise undesirable M100, that I should look for?

Thanks
 

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I don't know much about the Esprit market but M100 prices are still fairly stupid now. If you go the M100 route, lotuselancentral.com has lots of good info on problem/upgrade areas and what to look out for when buying. Also, check out this M100 restoration series (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT7soOjhIR3BuTmjcQsIQTA) if you plan on getting your hands dirty. They're fun cars but their age is catching up to them.

I doubt an Elan will feel nearly as 'sporting' as a 996. It might be more fun, though.
 

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Welcome Mike - I'm practically your neighbor (in Wynnewood). Sorry to see about your Porsche, but I'm excited at the prospect of having another Lotus running around these parts. Please keep us posted when you find the right one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Welcome Mike - I'm practically your neighbor (in Wynnewood). Sorry to see about your Porsche, but I'm excited at the prospect of having another Lotus running around these parts. Please keep us posted when you find the right one!
Thanks! Is there a strong Lotus community, in our area? I see a few Elise and older Esprit's, from time to time, but not nearly as much as I see Ferraris, Lamborghini and McLarens, around here. I call the Wynnewood, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr & Wayne, the Beverly Hills of PA. It's kind of nuts the type of cars you see just tooling around this area 🤷‍♂️
 

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Thanks! Is there a strong Lotus community, in our area? I see a few Elise and older Esprit's, from time to time, but not nearly as much as I see Ferraris, Lamborghini and McLarens, around here. I call the Wynnewood, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr & Wayne, the Beverly Hills of PA. It's kind of nuts the type of cars you see just tooling around this area 🤷‍♂️
The Main Line has some crazy cars for sure. Other than the Lotus in my garage there are three Lotus that I know of within walking distance from me.
 

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Thanks! Is there a strong Lotus community, in our area? I see a few Elise and older Esprit's, from time to time, but not nearly as much as I see Ferraris, Lamborghini and McLarens, around here. I call the Wynnewood, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr & Wayne, the Beverly Hills of PA. It's kind of nuts the type of cars you see just tooling around this area 🤷‍♂️
I would not say we have tons of Lotus around here, but we manage to assemble a fun little group from time to time. Here's a picture from a C&C event I went to yesterday: 3 Elises and an Evora GT! I don't think I've ever seen more than 4 at an event here.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would not say we have tons of Lotus around here, but we manage to assemble a fun little group from time to time. Here's a picture from a C&C event I went to yesterday: 3 Elises and an Evora GT! I don't think I've ever seen more than 4 at an event here.

View attachment 1322847
Is this the Main Line C&C? I've been meaning to check it out. Looks like a nice turn out.
 

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Hi Mike,

Welcome to LT and sorry to see the pics of the 996 but glad you're ok. I work just up 176 from Twin valley so know this whole area, although I live on the Lancaster side of Reading.

I'd recommend joining PALS the local club. Kyle that runs it is in Berks County and has an M100 from new, although he just sold his Esprit. He usually has a party at his place and there's always a good selection of Esprits that show up (along with most other models). LotusPALS

I checked out the M100 at the AutoMall and IMO its not worth that money. Prices are creeping up on them (especially going by the one that just sold on BaT). It's a nice car and has a decent wow factor at 5 ft, but on closer inspection it seems a bit rougher than the mileage would suggest, so probably needs to be a bit less to get it back representing the mileage and therefore it's actual worth. Of course if you just want a low mileage one, then its your only option.

My schedule never seems to let me make it to any of the C&Cs but maybe one weekend this fall.
 

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Like cornbeef said, join LotusPALS to meet other local owners, perhaps score a test drive. :love: Many of us are planning to rendezvous on the way to the LOG (Lotus Owners Gathering) on Sept 8. There are discussions and details there.
 
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