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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there! I'm looking to buy a Lotus Elige in the next couple months and have been combing through these forums for the last month and learning a ton about the cars and culture of Lotus. I currently have an aging 350z that only sees about 1,100 miles of driving a year due to the fact that I walk to work. I've also owned a Miata that was stripped and tracked in high school and college. My other automotive endeavors involved car audio and building driverless cars.

Thank you all for the knowledge you have shared with me through you forum posts and I'm hoping to meet some of you all at car meets and on the road. I've seen a White Exige and a Silver Exige around Austin recently.

I have some questions about buying a Lotus if any of you would be kind enough to help me out I'd really appreciate it. I found a great guide on inspecting the car and I'm going to be taking that down the dealer with me tomorrow. I've also been doing pricing research on similar cars to the one I'm planning on making an offer on. My pricing research can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/a/ironclad....hFZl9aeHpFenFSMUZYRENmQkE&usp=drive_web#gid=0


Do these prices seem to be right for the market?

The car I'm looking at is a 2005 Lotus Elise w/ 40k miles (30k put on in the last 3 years) it has Star shield, touring and sport packages. It has spend its whole life in Texas and appears to be in Good condition from the photos.

The problem I'm having is with the price. The dealer says $28,900 is a fair price. I just got off the phone with the dealer who sold the same car in 2010 for $29,900 w/ 10,941 miles on it. The current dealer is claiming that the value of these cars has skyrocketed since import stopped however, my data seems to refute that. I would be comfortable forking over $25k for this car if it is in good shape but $29k seems completely unreasonable given the cars sale price history. Any advice here?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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The salvaged cars are creeping up to the mid twenties now, so I wouldn't expect a clean title for the same price. Even in your sheet you had a salvaged title go for within $2k of your asking price for a clean title.

Don't scrape the bottom of the bucket. Save a little more and get a pristine one. It looks like you are trying to catch the cheapest one on the market, but always remember there is a reason it is cheaper than the rest.


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The car does sound a little overpriced given the mileage. You could probably expect to need things like suspension bushings and other wear items, depending on the maintenance history. Ask if the oil cooler line recall was done and the gearshift shaft. How has the car been used? Lots of track sessions or city driving? Offer whatever it is worth to you based on the mileage and condition. There are others out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The car does sound a little overpriced given the mileage. You could probably expect to need things like suspension bushings and other wear items, depending on the maintenance history. Ask if the oil cooler line recall was done and the gearshift shaft. How has the car been used? Lots of track sessions or city driving? Offer whatever it is worth to you based on the mileage and condition. There are others out there.
Thanks for the tip. I'll add those to my checklist.
 

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These cars have stabilized/went up in value over the past several months so that part is true. That being said, a dealer is going to usually have a higher asking price than a private seller. Have you tried offering them 25k and seeing what they say?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
These cars have stabilized/went up in value over the past several months so that part is true. That being said, a dealer is going to usually have a higher asking price than a private seller. Have you tried offering them 25k and seeing what they say?
I'm heading down there tomorrow to inspect it in person. I plan on starting in the 24-25k range. I'll be trading them the Z so there is room for discussion on that as well.
 

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Here is what I used for a checklist. I would buy from someone on the forum over a dealer/internet. Also a tracked can most likely be in better shape than a street car.



Touring Pack?
Sport Pack?
Hardtop?
Interior color?
location?
How many owners?
Has the car been tracked/raced?
Engine over rev on downshift?
ECU print out?
Oil U-tube hoses rubbing/leaking?
Steering knocking?
Rear toe link problems?
Gearbox linkage sloppy?
Any damage to the under-pan?
Condition of Starshield?
Sunburn or discolored headlights?
Heater Blower motor resistor problem fixed?
Leaking windows/roof?
Rattling windows?
Leaking trunk?

Condition of brakes?
Condition of tires?
Any modifications?
LSD?


Radiator
Steering Rack
Oil cooler lines
Valve cams
AC and all things related to it
Toe links
 

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Here's the thing to remember - a car is only worth what someone will pay for it. Everything else is just BS and irrelevant. Doesn't matter if it sold 2 years ago for $10 and a year later for $25,000. It only matters what you're willing to spend on it - that and only that is what the car is worth.
 

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I live in Austin too, and I don't own a Lotus Elise yet. I was wondering if an Elise would be cheaper to buy during the winter when people are less likely to drive their Elise.
 
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