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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

First post, so be gentle...

Before I start with all rookie questions, I have to compliment all the users here on an informative, entertaining, polite and high-value community.

I'm SERIOUSLY considering getting an Elise to be used as a fun weekend/track car. It won't be a daily driver. I'm still working all the angles to make it happen (finances, dealers, spouse, etc.) but hope to pull the trigger shortly.

I've got a few questions specifically for those north of Boston along the I-93 corridor that I hope you can help me with.

1. Where do you go for local service and NH state inspections? I've read enough to know that the Elise is not to be trusted with just any local garage with a lift.

2. Your opinions on the nearest 3 dealers (Aston-Martin in Waltham, Valenti and Greenwich Motors in CT) for sales, parts and service would be welcome. I've already done the searches and read the chatter on all three. What are your most recent experiences?

3. What do you think would be reasonable price ranges for '06 used and '07 new or used with the Touring Package and hard top. I've been browsing the forums for prices, but much of the information is dated. The local market isn't that extensive, so distant purchases require adjustment for either gas/hotel or transport.

4. I'm looking for a weekend tourer that will do the occasional autocross and HPDE event; I'm not a hard-core track rat. Would you agree that the touring package w/ hard top would be the best choice, given these uses and our local (occasionally horrific) road conditions? Are there other options that I need to consider?

5. How do you insure your Lotus? Did you go with an exotic-specific policy, or just add it in with your other car(s)? Why?

6. Finally, what should I look for during my test drive and inspection?

I appreciate all your help and look forward to your replies.
 

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4. I'm looking for a weekend tourer that will do the occasional autocross and HPDE event; I'm not a hard-core track rat. Would you agree that the touring package w/ hard top would be the best choice, given these uses and our local (occasionally horrific) road conditions? Are there other options that I need to consider?
Get neither and save a little money and weight. You might want to consider the Sport Pack, but that depends on how serious of an autocrosser you'll be. For example, if you want to compete in the nationals, you'll need an almost completely stock car. Skip the Sport Pack if this isn't a concern. If you plan on tracking the car a lot, you might want to get a no-options car and mod it up.

The Touring Pack is out of place in these cars, IMNSHO. Leather seats are nice, but you can always get those later. The rest of it is useless.
 

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Get neither and save a little money and weight. You might want to consider the Sport Pack, but that depends on how serious of an autocrosser you'll be. For example, if you want to compete in the nationals, you'll need an almost completely stock car. Skip the Sport Pack if this isn't a concern. If you plan on tracking the car a lot, you might want to get a no-options car and mod it up.

The Touring Pack is out of place in these cars, IMNSHO. Leather seats are nice, but you can always get those later. The rest of it is useless.
'cept the electric windows are lighter than the hand crank winders.
 

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All the cars are fitted with electric windows, touring pack or not.


The touring pack will greatly add to the resale value of the vehicle. Believe it or not, most people want it. The audio system is marginally better, the leather sucks like all leather does, and the sound deadening? I barely notice a difference. Despite that, people want it.


Hard top is not necessary for HPDEs unless you want to be very competitive. Certainly not necessary for autocrosses.



I'd recommend getting aftermarket coilovers that could make the ride softer and increase handling ability :)


One of the benefits of the sport pack, though, is that you get the dual oil coolers.
 

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'cept the electric windows are lighter than the hand crank winders.
I don't think this has ever been established as fact. If it is true, it is just a few grams of weight. The Touring Pack adds 20 lbs to the car and removes $1500 from your wallet.

All the cars are fitted with electric windows, touring pack or not.
All of the new Lotus do, but OP might be considering getting a used car. My '06 has manual windows.

One of the benefits of the sport pack, though, is that you get the dual oil coolers.
This is true, and unlike the other LSS equipment, it isn't easy to add later. I don't knowhow valuable it is, though.

The touring pack will greatly add to the resale value of the vehicle. Believe it or not, most people want it. The audio system is marginally better, the leather sucks like all leather does, and the sound deadening? I barely notice a difference. Despite that, people want it.
This is probably true.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies, guys.

As for weight and the hard top, why wouldn't I leave it off for the track sessions? I find it hard to imagine I'd want the soft top instead.

I was thinking that for the rest of the time (i.e. tours, etc.) the hardtop would be useful in extending the driving season here in the NE. Am I way off base on either of these points?
 

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Depending upon organization, most don't require the hard top to be on for track use. If you really want one, go for it, but I'm just saying it isn't absolutely necessary.


And responding to Chris Mackey above, I suppose the dual oil coolers would help if you tracked, but I'm not really an expert on that... (or an expert on much of anything for that matter!)
 

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Thanks for the replies, guys.

As for weight and the hard top, why wouldn't I leave it off for the track sessions? I find it hard to imagine I'd want the soft top instead.

I was thinking that for the rest of the time (i.e. tours, etc.) the hardtop would be useful in extending the driving season here in the NE. Am I way off base on either of these points?
I think the hard top decision breaks down to aesthetics. Some guys prefer the look of the hard top. I don't think anyone finds it to be more practical.
 

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What color are you looking for? A used 06 from a dealer should run in the mid $30k range. A used 07, somehwere in the upper $30 to low $40k range.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What color are you looking for? A used 06 from a dealer should run in the mid $30k range. A used 07, somehwere in the upper $30 to low $40k range.
Good question. If I had the opportunity to order it from scratch (which is a dream; the '08's are above my budget), I'd get either Canyon red or British Racing Green, the touring package, the hard top, Star Shield, traction control and, possibly, the sport pack. If I can't get those colors, the white, the titanium (the Mrs. said she likes this one best - the first sign of weakness!) and the blue fall next in line.

But, since life is a compromise, I'll shop for the essentials first (Touring pack, hard top), then condition/miles, price (willing to pay for better condition) and, finally, balance the trade-offs of color and other options.

Thanks for the price guidelines. They are helpful.

Can you give me any tips on what to look for when I inspect a used Elise? I'm a hobbyist mechanic (maintenance, brakes, etc.) and willing to crawl around the car.
 

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I bought mine used with a soft top. I love it! It doesn't leak, not that noisy and I can take it off in a minute or less without getting out of the car.
 

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I have the hardtop. Used it during one winter, never put it on again. Soft top is fine and there are sometimes nice days in winter when I (easily) remove it.

Not worth the $$.
 

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Pengineer91, I live in southern NH just over the border and I insure my '06 Elise on a separate policy with Hagerty. I have teenagers on my normal policy with Liberty Mutual and they would kill me on the cost even though there is no way my kids would ever drive the Elise. My wife won't even drive the car. So it is only insured with me as a driver. Hagerty's policy is pretty good, they just require that you have a primary car for day to day and that it is insured under another policy. I ensure the Elise in their exotic category. I am 49 with a good driving record and they cover me all year long for ~$900.00. They allow for driving on good winter days etc. However, like everybody else they do not cover AutoX and HPDE.:mad:

I have both hard and soft tops for my car. IMHO the hardtop looks much better on the car but it is harder to get in and out. I have a Larini SE exhaust and I think the car is noisier inside with the hardtop on than it is with either the soft top or no top. I put the hardtop on in the late fall because you stay warmer for sure. One of the reasons I bought my particular car was that it had a hard top. Be warned a number of the hardtops had problems with them bowing up in the center and not fitting properly, i.e. the top doesn't sit flush in the back. Ask me how I know. It took me 15 months for Lotus to finally get around to making a new one for me. I have an early '06. The new hard tops have an extra clamp in the rear middle of the roof to resolve any further possibilities of this problem. If you buy with a hardtop make sure you see it on the car and look at the rear fit carefully.

I can't tell you much in the way of used prices today; I can tell you that I paid $47,500.00 in November of '06 for new.

I also bought this as a weekend car but it is hard to only drive it on the weekends. I drive it into Cambridge at least once a week so I don't go through withdrawal. Good luck on you purchase and hope to see you this summer.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Wicked.

PM sent. Very interested in networking with other owners.

I just drove home yesterday from Norwalk, CT in the BRG '06 that was for sale at HRM. Yes, it has the Hard top. Only had to stop at the side of the road once to tighten it down...

Since my kids aren't driving yet, I just added it to my regular auto insurance policy. No HPDE or AutoX coverage either, but it only costs about as much as my Tundra. Go Figure. When the time comes for the kids to drive, I'll look into the other policies.

Thanks to all who provided their opinions.
 
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