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hey from lincoln, ne. I have been thinking about replacing my miata (that i love) with an used elise. there is no lotus dealer within several hundred miles of here. Am i crazy to consider doing this? Any owners out there who are also far from a dealer want to chime in?
 

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If you rely on dealers to service your vehicles then probably not. Otherwise you may be able to find a nice shop to do the work, but if your not afraid to get your hands dirty and do some of the work yourself then go for it, they are fairly easy to work on and this forum is a good resource for what seems to be the whole car. But there are plenty of reasons why you would want to find a shop that has experience with the car, just look up how not to lift a lotus elise.
 

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Essentially all of us who don't live near a major city are in that same boat. It's really not a problem as long as you can change your own oil and replace your own brakes. Anyone with a little time, patience, and internet access can do the basic stuff as well as any Lotus dealer.

If you don't have a Lotus tech nearby it pays to anticipate major stuff ahead so that you can drive your car to a distant shop on your own terms. For instance, I knew I needed a new thermostat and they are a PITA do do on your own so I planned the appointment ahead and had the stat and flush done when it suited me.

Other than that you just have to accept that if you have a major malfunction you'll have to have your car trailered to a distant shop. The cost of Lotus ownership.
 

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Brett, welcome aboard. I am 600 miles from an official dealer. Yes, my wife considers me crazy as well. :) Short answer is the cars are worth the effort.

As mentioned by others, not bad if you are comfortable with doing the basics yourself. Probably a bit easier to get my vintage Lotus attended to locally due to it's lack of modern electronics, simplicity, etc., although I have found a couple of local shops for the Esprit as well. For major work I have trailered the car. I have often sourced replacement parts for my local independents prior to bringing the car in; they don't mind as it saves them a bunch of time and hassle. After developing a bit of a rapport with the shop, I try to find out any quirky details with the job that might help out the tech.

Can't speak to the Elise, but there are excellent independent parts suppliers for the older Lotus models as well.

It has it's moments for sure, but I expect the dealer(s) in your area are familiar with the issue and quite good at phone orders and shipping parts; my dealer is very good on this. We are scheduled / hoping for a new dealership in our area this spring / summer. The present arrangement is the nearest dealer brings techs into our area about twice a year for pre-booked appointments at a well respected independent's shop. Not the best, but can't fault the dealer for doing his best to take care of his existing customer base.

You could maybe try a post in the Plains region section below, or try contacting some of the guys to see if there is an independent shop closer to you they are comfortable with? I don't know how active they are, but understand the Amalgamated Lotus Owners are based in Kansas City; they are a regional club associated with the Lotus Ltd National Club, and list a contact in the National magazine.

HTH

Stu
 

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FWIW, my last car was also a Miata that I loved and babied, but I never regretted switching to the Lotus. (I still regret selling the Miata though.)

If you do buy one likely it won't be from anywhere near Nebraska. It would probably pay to be sure that any cars you look at have already had their oil line recalls completed or ask that that be done before you complete a sale.
 

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Hey Nebraska! I am currently living in Iowa, but am originally from the Omaha area and have a brother that goes to school in Lincoln.

I don't live anywhere near a normal Lotus dealer, but I did find a local European Auto shop that does have a decent amount of Lotus experience that I trust... at least for basic stuff.
 
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