The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. Obviously I am new here.

I am researching my future track day car. I used to think all I wanted was hp, but after doing track events, and attending driving schools with Audi I now am focused on handling (and brakes). My current track day car is an Audi S4, which has been fun but in order for me to get it to handle the way I want it to I would need to modify it to an illogical level and risk messing the car up in the end.

So, here I am researching the Lotus Elise, which is in my price range (used).

My main hesitation with Lotus is the lack of Dealers in Wisconsin. I am in the Milwaukee area and I can't seem to find a shop that handles Lotus. Anyone from Wisconsin with a lead on a good Lotus mechanic?

I will continue to read the forums, as there is quite a bit of good info collected here. Thank you everyone who has contributed to this stockpile of info.

I am searching the forums for reliability info as well. Any thoughts from owners? I grew up with the Lotus Esprit and its reputation, I can assume it does not carry forward to the Elise (2005ish)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
welcome. I am the Lotus tech at the dealer in Chicago (Fox Valley Motorcars/Lamborghini Chicago). that might be too far for you, so try to get ahold of Thomas Alberti (Thomasio) on here, he has a shop and owns RLS, and Chimera (lotus aftermarket stuff) not sure if they do work, but might be able to help you if not. I believe he is in Oak Creek or something like that, and lives in Miluakee. Lots of good Lotus owners up there. If I can be any help let me know.

T.J.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
690 Posts
Hi everyone. Obviously I am new here.

I am researching my future track day car. I used to think all I wanted was hp, but after doing track events, and attending driving schools with Audi I now am focused on handling (and brakes). My current track day car is an Audi S4, which has been fun but in order for me to get it to handle the way I want it to I would need to modify it to an illogical level and risk messing the car up in the end.

So, here I am researching the Lotus Elise, which is in my price range (used).

My main hesitation with Lotus is the lack of Dealers in Wisconsin. I am in the Milwaukee area and I can't seem to find a shop that handles Lotus. Anyone from Wisconsin with a lead on a good Lotus mechanic?

I will continue to read the forums, as there is quite a bit of good info collected here. Thank you everyone who has contributed to this stockpile of info.

I am searching the forums for reliability info as well. Any thoughts from owners? I grew up with the Lotus Esprit and its reputation, I can assume it does not carry forward to the Elise (2005ish)?
I use King Motorsports Unlimited, Inc. - Mugen Performance Products for Honda and Acura to work on my Exige. They are great, the owner has owned an Elan and Exige. The finance guy has a Europa and one of the LT members keeps his S1 Exige there.

On a different note if you are interested in an Exige 240s (08) I will be putting mine up for sale. 3.5K miles, perfect...

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
Yea I would suggest FMVC (in Chicago for a real Lotus tech). They would be the closest and the reputation is very good.

King would be a good choice for most of your little odds and ends work. But if it is a tough issue, or recall or something then FVMC.

... And yes I've raced with my buddy in his S4. Wonderful sport/luxury car, but man does that thing need more brakes. Totally different animal from a more single purposed performance car like the Elise/Exige.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
Just go down to see T.J. when you need something done that's beyond your skill/comfort level. Don't let a two hour trip maybe once a year stop you from buying one of these amazing cars.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
690 Posts
Yea I would suggest FMVC (in Chicago for a real Lotus tech). They would be the closest and the reputation is very good.

King would be a good choice for most of your little odds and ends work. But if it is a tough issue, or recall or something then FVMC.

... And yes I've raced with my buddy in his S4. Wonderful sport/luxury car, but man does that thing need more brakes. Totally different animal from a more single purposed performance car like the Elise/Exige.
Yep. If you want a dealer employee who has been to a few hours of training at Lotus that's your guy.
 

·
He's on fire!
Joined
·
3,287 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
Yep. If you want a dealer employee who has been to a few hours of training at Lotus that's your guy.
I have NOTHING against King at all. I've purchased parts from them and paid to have them look at some of my Honda mishaps. They are great guys!

However TJ (and FVMC) have a reputation all their own when it comes to Lotus. Undoubtedly if you want a honest-to-goodness Lotus tech to work on your car then you need to go to a dealer.. That's just the way it works.

As you can imagine I am pretty darn comfortable around this chassis myself (the work on my car is 99% mine), and yet I still can't do many things that a Lotus dealer can. I don't have access to any of the ECU tools, ABS tools, etc. Not to mention I obviously can't fix any recall/warranty issues for free like FVMC could.

So.... like I said these cars can most certainly be worked on by any decent shop (King is certainly a decent shop). However there ARE some times where you want to use the "right tool for the job". I could have King say replace the front crash structure on a Lotus, and I could have FVMC say rebuild my Honda K-series or fix a friends s2000... but that really wouldn't make much sense would it? ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
welcome. I am the Lotus tech at the dealer in Chicago (Fox Valley Motorcars/Lamborghini Chicago). that might be too far for you, so try to get ahold of Thomas Alberti (Thomasio) on here, he has a shop and owns RLS, and Chimera (lotus aftermarket stuff) not sure if they do work, but might be able to help you if not. I believe he is in Oak Creek or something like that, and lives in Miluakee. Lots of good Lotus owners up there. If I can be any help let me know.

T.J.
Cool, thanks. I saw the RLS site before coming here I didn't realize they were local (to me). Oak Creek is just 5 minutes from me. :D I figured Chicago would have a good dealer/service for Lotus.

I use King Motorsports Unlimited, Inc. - Mugen Performance Products for Honda and Acura to work on my Exige. They are great, the owner has owned an Elan and Exige. The finance guy has a Europa and one of the LT members keeps his S1 Exige there.

On a different note if you are interested in an Exige 240s (08) I will be putting mine up for sale. 3.5K miles, perfect...

Good luck.
That's great news too, New Berlin is very close to me. I didn't realize they were there.

I would love an Exige 240s, but it's out of my price range. I am focused on an Elise.

Yea I would suggest FMVC (in Chicago for a real Lotus tech). They would be the closest and the reputation is very good.

King would be a good choice for most of your little odds and ends work. But if it is a tough issue, or recall or something then FVMC.

... And yes I've raced with my buddy in his S4. Wonderful sport/luxury car, but man does that thing need more brakes. Totally different animal from a more single purposed performance car like the Elise/Exige.
I upgraded the brakes on my S4 to the 6 pot Porsche Cayenne brakes. But I have been having issues with them, and overall am disappointed.

Just go down to see T.J. when you need something done that's beyond your skill/comfort level. Don't let a two hour trip maybe once a year stop you from buying one of these amazing cars.
I agree, I have no problem with a once/year 2 hour trip if I love the car. My main concern in the end is $$$. I have two kids starting school and with 4 or 5 track events per year I have to keep the costs of this hobby down.

Thank you everyone for the input. I had no idea there was this much support in my area. That's fantastic news. Next step: convince my wife it makes sense.:evil: Then after that I have to find the right car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
690 Posts
I have NOTHING against King at all. I've purchased parts from them and paid to have them look at some of my Honda mishaps. They are great guys!

However TJ (and FVMC) have a reputation all their own when it comes to Lotus. Undoubtedly if you want a honest-to-goodness Lotus tech to work on your car then you need to go to a dealer.. That's just the way it works.

As you can imagine I am pretty darn comfortable around this chassis myself (the work on my car is 99% mine), and yet I still can't do many things that a Lotus dealer can. I don't have access to any of the ECU tools, ABS tools, etc. Not to mention I obviously can't fix any recall/warranty issues for free like FVMC could.

So.... like I said these cars can most certainly be worked on by any decent shop (King is certainly a decent shop). However there ARE some times where you want to use the "right tool for the job". I could have King say replace the front crash structure on a Lotus, and I could have FVMC say rebuild my Honda K-series or fix a friends s2000... but that really wouldn't make much sense would it? ;)
I understand your point and I have not had the pleasure of working with TJ. My experience with Lotus dealers is not good so I would only take my car to one for major warranty work that I don't want to pay for. I will say that FV may have enough Lotus business to minimize my concerns. Most of the dealers I worked with see one car a month best case.

The issue for me is alignment of interests. Dealer service guys are typically paid flat rate. If the book says it should take an hour, they get paid an hour no matter how long it takes. Their interest is speed to maximize the tech and dealer's income. I'm interested in precision; cost is secondary. If the book says torque something to 40 ft/lbs that's what I want, not 39 and not 41. Thats why I typically look for experienced race shops to do work. In my experience "close enough" is not a concept that works with racing. The point is I'll happily pay 10% more to get it done right.

Not trying to debate, just sharing a different point of view.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,314 Posts
one more note if it makes you feel better, at my store we get paid salary not book so that we dont rush things and do maintain a good reputation. I also worked at a race shop so I know how that works as well. That said, I totally understand your statments, I have seen exactly what your talking about.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top