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Do you guys remember the first time you drove an Elise/Exige. My first time was today. I am not easily impressed simply because of the volume of sports cars that I have had and driven over the years. The two Elises I drove today were nothing short of amazing. I piled the family in the Ridgeline and made the five hour trek to Fox Valley Motorcars in Chicagoland. Great Experience. As many here have commented before, the staff there is dedicated to the brand and very personable. It was very hard not to pull the trigger on one of the cars I test drove. Color probably kept it from happening. The car is unbelivably responsive and without being to wordy is best described as a four wheeled motorcycle. Just Point it and it goes. I simply can not wait to put one in the garage.
 

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I do remember. I'd already put my deposit down months earlier, but that first drive really cemented in my mine that I just had to have the car.
 

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I remember my first drive. It was a disaster. The truck driver that delivered my car parked in the median lane of a busy arterial during rush hour. So I'm standing in busy traffic trying to figure out how to work the alarm and open the doors. Then I learned that two people can't get in the car at the same exact time without headbutting each other. Wife's still mad about that. Next I realized that my shoes didn't fit the pedal box, so back out into traffic I went so I could take off my shoes. Of course I couldn't figure out how to turn on the lights or work the defroster either. Yet I took off, barefoot and fogged in and in heavy traffic looking for a parking lot so I could get everything straightened out. It was there, in that parking lot, that I realized that I didn't have temporary tags, or in fact any kind of documentation showing the car was mine. Good times, man. Good times.

Note that this wasn't a test drive: I never got one of those.
 

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What a 'day' that was...

How could I forget that day.
The salesman pulled the car out onto the street and I think I said something like 'oh crap. . . I know I'm going to like this car'. After I drove it, it took everything in me not to buy it on the spot. From that day on I knew I just had to buy this car. My family thought I was crazy, but I knew I was never going to be able to get it out of my mind.

I took my Elise on a nice drive today. Damn I love that car.
 

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Congrats! It's cool your whole family shared in the day. December 10th, 2004 will always be a special day for me. My first (and only) test drive...in the snow :eek: We cruised around until we found some dry pavement and then Mike from the dealership looked at me and said "Drop it into second and floor it." I was sold.

Tom
 

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Yep remember that day. Wife was sure we were going home the car. I drove it, got back to the dealership, got out looked at the wife and said for this kind of money I am buying a Caterham. Two weeks later I was picking up my Caterham in Florida. The M100 does all the nice crusie stuff the Caterham can't, the Caterham does the handling thing better than most anything else out there, so its a win win.
 

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I remember the dealership's salesman telling me I was driving too slow. =) I put an offer in they didn't like, so I ended up buying one online from somewhere else without a testdrive. First time I got to drive it was when it arrived after a 1200mi truck ride. Battery was DoA. Lucky for me the truck driver stuck around to help get the car jumped. We'd met to pick the car up ~15mi from where I live on a main artery near where I work. Fun times indeed!
 

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I bought my Elise after I went for a ride in it..... I did not know how to drive a manual at the time. I learned to drive manual in my brother's Nissan Maxima the following Monday night, my brother drove the car (The Elise)home for me from the dealer that following Tues night. Got the car home, then I drive my fiancee home that night in the Elise. So, the first time I drove the car was with my finacee riding shotgun AFTER I bought the car, and barely knew how to drive the thing and my knuckels were white! Every thing has worked out great since then!
 

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wow- i can't count that far, i guess it was fall 2004, maybe summer?

come to think of it, Hmm... never realized this?! i never test drove my car - just handed them a wad and drove off!
 

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It was around eight (!) years ago at Road Atlanta. One of my Elan pals and I drove up to watch the vintage races in my '69 Elan, as his '72 was out of service that day. The guys at Lotus Cars USA had a stock '99 Elise S1 with left hand drive (European model) in the country for evaluation. It had the 120 bhp Rover engine and also had an A/C system installed. They needed someone to drive it back to their facility from the track and asked if we would help. After a brief scuffle in the parking lot, it was agreed that I would drive first and my pal Greg would follow in my Elan. All kidding aside, we swapped cars halfway to our destination, so both of us got to drive. I put ~10-15 miles on back roads on the car and was nuts about it except for a few things: It needed WAY more power and was a pain to get in/out of (the S1's had a higher sill than the S2's). It also didn't have that great Elan shifter, which bolts right in the top of the tranny.

I remember telling Arnie Johnson, then head of LCU, that they needed to bring the Elise over here but with either a Honda or Toyota engine. I told him that his warranty problems would be bad enough without an engine/transaxle built in the UK, as the Japanese manufacturers pretty much had it down in that category. I also pointed out that the aftermarket for power-increasing goodies for these two (especially Honda) was established and that these engines had been approved by the EPA for other applications, unlike the Rover lump. I'm sure all of that was already pretty obvious to Lotus at the time, as you see the result.

I wanted to drive an Elise ever since LCU rolled one out of an enclosed trailer at the LOG held at Chateau Elan north of Atlanta back in 1996. Everyone there gasped with either horror (purists) or astonishment, as photos we'd all seen didn't do it justice.
 

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I put my deposit down in March of '03. When the cars finally started rolling in (summer '04), I drove out to FVMC to check them out. I still hadn't seen one in person. Surprisingly, the salesman asked me if I wanted to drive one. Of course I said yes. I figured he would insist on going, but just handed the keys to me and my friend. I had strappy sandals on, so he suggested I take them off and drive barefoot.

After finally figuring how to get into the car, then it wouldn't start. No one had told me about the button on the fob. After someone leaned in and showed us that, we were ready to go. They had the car parked on a considerable incline and everyone was standing there watching us leave. I was scared to death I'd stall it and embarrass myself, but got lucky and made the perfect getaway.

We took about a ten minute drive. I drove it like a grandmother drving to church. I was taking no chances....but still, it was amazing. It was warm and we had the top off. I knew I was going to love this car. We went back to the dealer, turned in the keys and then the hard part.....I still had to wait about 6-7 more months for my car to come in.
 

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I drove mine in November of '06. I wasn't even ready to buy. I wasn't good at driving manual transmissions, but I got away cleanly!


I will never forget going through the red light because the upwards visibility was bad.



Most importantly, I'll never forget how I felt going full throttle through the first three gears on a back road. Never felt so alive! In retrospect, I probably should have driven it more carefully :eek:
 

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I am hoping that today will be my first day driving my Elise :nanner:. I also have not had a test drive as I purchased it from Fox Valley (Rick was a class act) and I live in VA, it has been siting in my garage calling me unfortunately the weather has had different ideas on what I should be doing. Now I am just waiting for the wife to get out of the shower then :shift: off I go!!!!!
 

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Some customer came by in an exige and gave me a drive. I went out the next day, and bought one without test driving it myself. I forget what my customer's car looks like, I don't think he has driven it in a year.
 

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my first test drive was in Kestrel174's on my 24th birthday! He let me drive his as my birthday present. He made fun of me for driving too slow too! LOL At that point i had no clue what the car could actually do around a ramp. He gave me simple instructions: "At the next turn, I don't want you to let off the gas until i tell you to." Needless to say, less than a year later i had my own!
 

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My test drive was about 10 minutes before we finalized the deal. My Loan was taking a while to get finalized so we went out for a little drive. Afterwards the alarm was freaking out. Doing long beeps then going off. Then to compound that, it took me about 15 minutes to figure out the damn FOB key and why it existed.
 

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Mine was March 10th 2005 when I flew to Atlanta, GA to take delivery of my car :nanner:

That was quite a day, and one I had waited for for a long time, having put down my deposit as soon as I knew the car was coming to the US. I still remember clearly my first sight of the car in the showroom of LoA and my first drive of 300+ miles :D
 
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