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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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