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Thanks! What do you think of the condition of this chassis, etc?
I think it looks very clean. It hasn't been high sided on a curb or anything. Overall looks like a nice car. When the PPI was done was there a checklist of all the times checked for function? I would have them run the engine till fully warmed, turn on the heater to the warmest setting and turn on the fan to hear for any unusual noise or odors from critters that may have made a home in the HVAC.

These cars are pretty simple and rugged. As long at the engine and gearbox are good and all the accessory and electrical functions function, go for it. Mine has 97000 miles and it runs and drives with no issues.
 

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Wow! 97k that's why I drive a Lexus, which is nothing but a fancy Toyota. A ppi hasn't been done,but among the pics, are copies of the fairly extensive work the dealer did to get the car back in condition after storage. Another potential bidder (Toretto2) says he asked the seller about ppi and hasn't gotten reply. I just don't know who is qualified to do one in Vegas, even if the seller were willing. The car looks like a low mileage car, but what do I know. The seller also showed a vid of the AC blowing very cold air, and while I know that the ac (condensor?) freezes up and stops blowing cold after a while, I thought that was a good sign.
 

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Wow! 97k that's why I drive a Lexus, which is nothing but a fancy Toyota. A ppi hasn't been done,but among the pics, are copies of the fairly extensive work the dealer did to get the car back in condition after storage. Another potential bidder (Toretto2) says he asked the seller about ppi and hasn't gotten reply. I just don't know who is qualified to do one in Vegas, even if the seller were willing. The car looks like a low mileage car, but what do I know. The seller also showed a vid of the AC blowing very cold air, and while I know that the ac (condensor?) freezes up and stops blowing cold after a while, I thought that was a good sign.
The AC freezing up is fixable. Lots of info with a search in the forum, plus there is a TSB from Lotus on the solution.
If it was me, I would buy a plane ticket, go look and drive it and decide if I want it. I did that for a car in SoCal. I flew down, looked at it, drove it, and decided the car had too many issues and questionable repairs by the owner. I saved myself a lot of money and grief.

The car I bought was the same scenario, but a 2 hour drive to look and test drive. It was what I expected. The owner was completely transparent and great to work with. The defects were fixable for little cost and time, so I bought it and love every mile and minute.

You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
 

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If it weren’t for covid, I would, but I will not, and my wife won’t let me get on a plane.
 

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Check for the OEM radiator which is prone to quite anytime. The first day I bought my Elise, radiator burst and overheated the engine. It was a happy day and a sad one equally.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Yes if I buy it, I'll replace radiator, fluids and toe links asap.

Was not able to get an inspection but did do a test drive. My first time in an Elise and it drove every bit as nice as expected. No evidence of mice or weird smells, was also looking for musty smell indicating wetness in the interior.

That said, there are lots of rattles and thumps. Nothing alarming, I have seat time in GTRs and those got me used to cars with no sound insulation. But there was a constant loud and annoying rattle just by my left shoulder, it was a short drive so I couldn't find the cause.

Is that normal? I think it would drive me nuts, if I buy I'll need to find and eliminate the source.

My only concern is visibility, both mine and others'. I tried to adjust the mirrors but found I could not see much from rear quarters or even directly behind. Driving next to SUVs my roof seemed lower than their windows, no way they would see me. I do have experience riding sport bikes but that was stressful, more like constant planning and threat assessment than fun...until I got out to the country.

Thanks everyone for your help and advice!
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Yes if I buy it, I'll replace radiator, fluids and toe links asap.

Was not able to get an inspection but did do a test drive. My first time in an Elise and it drove every bit as nice as expected. No evidence of mice or weird smells, was also looking for musty smell indicating wetness in the interior.

That said, there are lots of rattles and thumps. Nothing alarming, I have seat time in GTRs and those got me used to cars with no sound insulation. But there was a constant loud and annoying rattle just by my left shoulder, it was a short drive so I couldn't find the cause.

Is that normal? I think it would drive me nuts, if I buy I'll need to find and eliminate the source.

My only concern is visibility, both mine and others'. I tried to adjust the mirrors but found I could not see much from rear quarters or even directly behind. Driving next to SUVs my roof seemed lower than their windows, no way they would see me. I do have experience riding sport bikes but that was stressful, more like constant planning and threat assessment than fun...until I got out to the country.

Thanks everyone for your help and advice!
Rattles are normal, these are hand built cars that have their quarks. When I'm driving and roll up next to a SUV, I cant see inside the window. It's the nature of these cars. It's a street legal track car so keep that in mind, mirrors are there for convenience, not to really let you see well. If you plan on fixing every rattle....well let's just say you might go crazy. When you are driving a lotus elise, you are playing a chess game, moving your pieces and always anticipating the other players move. Hope you enjoyed the short drive!
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Yeah I'm ok with the rattles except the one right in my left ear 😄

Definitely a fun drive, it was everything I expected since reading about them when they first came out. Seems like driving them is a lot like riding though. I guess the advantage is on a bike you die, in these your lovely car is totaled but hopefully you walk away
 

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Most likely the roll bar cover... Easy fix with some felt tape.

Driving an Elige on public roads is very similar to moto mentality. Always on the defensive in traffic, just no wheelies ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Good to hear, thanks. I never did wheelies, this one time in Monterey I saw a guy pull a monster sustained wheelie right in front of a cop. Had to laugh when he didn't do anything. To me if you've got the skills, which that guy did, it's not reckless driving, maybe the cop agreed or maybe he just didn't want to do the paperwork plus he knew he could never catch him 😀
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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You have to be careful in the Elise, I daily a 2016 Mazda 3 Hatchback 6 speed. This thing is the slowest car I have ever driven in my life, and I like it because it gets good gas mileage. Its horrible at passing people and Ive gotten caught a few times with having to pull back and get back behind the car because I just do NOT have enough power to pass someone, especially on a hill where im usually doing my passing. Yesterday out in the Lotus I went to pass a truck on my scenic route and before I knew it I was over 100 MPH and was like oh ****, this thing can actually move!
 
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You have to be careful in the Elise, I daily a 2016 Mazda 3 Hatchback 6 speed. This thing is the slowest car I have ever driven in my life, and I like it because it gets good gas mileage. Its horrible at passing people and Ive gotten caught a few times with having to pull back and get back behind the car because I just do NOT have enough power to pass someone, especially on a hill where im usually doing my passing. Yesterday out in the Lotus I went to pass a truck on my scenic route and before I knew it I was over 100 MPH and was like oh ****, this thing can actually move!
That’s a nice kind of problem to have. I have only driven a different Elise once briefly, but it is in many ways like a sportbike experience.
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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Yesterday out in the Lotus I went to pass a truck on my scenic route and before I knew it I was over 100 MPH and was like oh ****, this thing can actually move!
I get this too - the only other things in the stable that are as quick and nimble as the Elise are bikes. What I tend to see, though, is the reverse problem: I'll drive the Elise for a while, then will get into something else and find myself scuffing the tires in turns, fighting the understeer, and winding the engine harder than I usually do just trying to get it to go somewhere. Then I remind myself that I'm driving a car that weighs probably 1/4 more and has 60 HP less (in the case of the indestructable old Toyota I daily in bad weather).

The other 'that's not so good' thing about the Elise is that, like my X 1/9 of many years ago, it's really comfortable at a highway cruise 20-30 MPH above the speed limit (in the Fiat's case that was 55MPH days). The combination of finally getting the engine up into the torque band in top gear along with the aerodynamics making the suspension work better make it a great highway car above about 90 MPH...which, along with a bright color and noticeable styling, isn't conducive to going unnoticed by John Law.
 

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2020 Evora GT in Formula Red, coordinated black+red interior, windowed engine hatch
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I get this too - the only other things in the stable that are as quick and nimble as the Elise are bikes.
I've heard the Elise described as "a motorcycle with four wheels".

I literally JUST bought a brand new 2020 Evora GT, and that specific Elise is one of my most disliked colors, and I'd rather have an Exige, but that Elise is so clean that even I'm tempted. The price is low enough that even if it needs ~$5K in parts and labor it will likely end up a great vehicle, and with the Toyota drivetrain it will likely last a very long time.

I gotta stop, I'm talking myself into it. Please buy the Elise, save me from myself! {grin}
 

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I was surprised to see at 0:30 the TSB drain holes. This car was not THAT neglected at some point. Radiator needing replacement and oil cooler leaks should be quite evident after a 10 minute test drive. Rattles are ignored because I seldom put the top on. A/C is my only concern on long drives. 60K mi on early '05. I'm original owner.
 

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i have been watching that one just for curiosity. I would say that the majority of Elises that come up for sale have sat given their normally low mileage. I think that is a great car and winner will be very happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
In case anyone is curious, it sold for 35250. The yellow one sold for 31750 but I didn't try to buy it as the airbags may not work and I couldn't get an inspection
 

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Ah so I guess your search continues! Dont worry, you will find one in due time.
 
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