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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! :wave:
I joined this forum with the intent of learning and preparing myself for the day when I finally acquire my dream car, the Lotus Elise!

I have my heart set on these cars and I'm saving as much as possible to achieve one. Right now, I'm only 19-years-old, drive a 2005 Honda Civic, live with my parents, and earn a lowly $8/hr. wage, but I'm not the least bit discouraged.

My open questions to anyone on the forum who feel kind enough to share:

-Give me a good rundown of what I need to know about owning a Lotus. What to expect!

-What is the recommended model of Elise for someone in the U.S.? Is the base model good enough to work with, or should I opt for a higher-end version? Is the "Federal Elise" the only option?

-Does anyone use their Elise as a daily driver? If so, how does it fair in year-round conditions?

-What are some common mechanical issues or wear & tear problems found in the Elise? How to tell if a certain Elise is/isn't worth buying?

-Besides performance, how do you feel it compares to the Exige? More streetable? About the same?

And finally, do you truly love your Lotus?
:cool:

Sorry to bombard you with questions like an interrogator, but I'm young and curious. The Lotus Elise/Exige has been a favorite car of mine since the release of the 2nd gen in 2002. They're fantastic little cars!

Thank you very much in advance! I wish to learn a lot!
 

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It looks like you really need to start reading on this site. Start with the uberpost and read on from there. All your questions will be answered and discussed there. And I do still love my Elise. She still puts an ear to ear from on my face when I drive her.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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spend your life reading here. Get back to us. Search is on Google - "Lotus Talk: subject". That will get you relevant threads.
 

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Agreed. Check out the previous threads, but use the following for better results on Google -

query here site:lotustalk.com
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Here's my advice. Spend the next 3 years reading this site. Then get a Miata and spend 3 years driving/tracking/autocrossing that. Then when you're 25 come back here and spend another year reading - then buy one if you still want one.

There are a billion threads on this already - and I don't mean to po-po your idea but if you read you'll read why owning these cars at your age (or early 20s) is a horribly bad idea. At a minimum don't consider one until you can own a second (even if it's a beater) car.
 

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Here's my advice. Spend the next 3 years reading this site. Then get a Miata and spend 3 years driving/tracking/autocrossing that. Then when you're 25 come back here and spend another year reading - then buy one if you still want one.

There are a billion threads on this already - and I don't mean to po-po your idea but if you read you'll read why owning these cars at your age (or early 20s) is a horribly bad idea. At a minimum don't consider one until you can own a second (even if it's a beater) car.
I agree with what Ross said regarding owning another car. Especially since you live in Nebraska, I would NOT have an Elise as your daily driver. A lot of us have owned Miatas, MR2s, CRXs, Del Sols, etc. before we owned our Elise. They're definitely great cars to own before owning a pricey little rocket like the Elise, especially the mid-engined MR2.

Go pick up an MR2 for cheap and trash the hell out of that on the track. It'll be a great prep for the Elise. Also, as those before me have mentioned, there is a TON of info on this forum regarding all of your questions.

Forum members can get a little testy with newbies asking the same questions over and over and over again. It's nothing personal against you at all, but you can probably understand how it gets a little old answering the same questions. Don't take that to mean that Lotus owners are not a friendly bunch. Quite the opposite. In fact, besides reading the past threads on this forum maybe you can find a car show, cars and coffee, Lotus owners club, etc. in your area. That would be a fantastic way to meet some owners and have your questions answered.

Good luck and strive for your dreams. Trust me, you'll get there. Keep plugging away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the advice!

I'm not new at all to forums like this, so I know how important it is to research discussion threads before asking repetitive questions. I'm used to being in the opposite position, being one of the most frequent members on Civic Forums, so I completely understand your bluntness. I'm just looking for a place to start, honestly. I have a strong knowledge of cars already and just looking to further my knowledge about Lotus cars. Thank you for the links!

And to answer some of your concerns, although I asked the question, I am NOT planning on using the car as a daily driver. I intend to keep my current car which is fully paid off and unbelievably reliable. I also do not plan on thrashing the car around the track (mostly because it's not a well supported hobby around here...) and because I want to own the car simply to admire it and take to the open roads whenever the mood tells me. I know the car is built for performance, and I adore that about it, but I'm more of a collector than a racer. I hope you understand.
 

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To be brutally honest (and sorry if you're offended), if you're making $8/hour, you should have other priorities that need your attention more so than an extra car that will only serve the purpose of leisure.

Please don't take out a $20k+ loan (or rope your parents as a cosigner on one) if you're still trying to establish your income.

/sterndadpost
 

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Ahhh it feels like de ja vu, I'm only 16 and a few months ago posted a question very similar to yours, my plan is to work and get over ten grand (hopefully 15) to pitch in with my parents to get an elise when I get out of high-school. My profile picture is the car my brother got when he got accepted to college, a 2007 z4 3.0si. Everyone basically told me either

A) my parents were crazy for helping me with this

Or

B) im to immature and will crash.

Oh and also

(the very rare) C) go for it if you can!!!

I was not discouraged! I got my license a little over two weeks ago, and my dream is still very alive, my parents want me to have more experience before buying a beat up mr2 to learn how fix up and drive for fun, so hopefully around christmas I can buy that for myself. I went to a car show last saturday, and there was ONE lotus, a krypton green elise... You know out of the 100 photos I took, 75 of them were of that car :D :D :D :D .... basically my point is I wouldn't give up, stay on here and learn about the elise, and decide if its for you. I know im long past that decision, this is my goal and I will do everything possible to make it happen despite what others tell me.

:D

Hope I could motivate you to stick with it on here, goodluck man!! :D

Sent from my ADR6300 using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was not discouraged! I got my license a little over two weeks ago, and my dream is still very alive, my parents want me to have more experience before buying a beat up mr2 to learn how fix up and drive for fun, so hopefully around christmas I can buy that for myself. I went to a car show last saturday, and there was ONE lotus, a krypton green elise... You know out of the 100 photos I took, 75 of them were of that car :D :D :D :D .... basically my point is I wouldn't give up, stay on here and learn about the elise, and decide if its for you. I know im long past that decision, this is my goal and I will do everything possible to make it happen despite what others tell me.

:D

Hope I could motivate you to stick with it on here, goodluck man!! :D
I like the way you think! :up:
I've been dead set on buying an Lotus of any kind for nearly 7 years now.
With a new career in engineering just around the corner and a much much greater salary, I feel like this goal is totally within reach.
Thanks man!
 

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Sorry, but you can't afford this car.

It's going to cost you say $25-30K to buy. Which you dont/wont have with an $8/hour job.

Fender benders are expensive.

Some repairs (ie a new radiator like I'm doing) can be very expensive.

Insurance will be expensive.

With an $8 job, a good car to have is a...2005 Civic.

Perhaps sell that and get something more fun that is comparably priced - like a higher mileage S2000 or MR2 or a Miata. Or maybe a Jeep.

You can have a 'fun' car at the same price of your current car, but sorry, with an $8 and hour gig, you shouldn't be buying ANY $30K car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Now would be the wrong time to mention this...
And I'm stupid for leaving this out in my original post.
But by the end of January, I will be working as a facilities space planner and architectural engineer at $17/hr. starting.

My apologies, i shouldn't have even mentioned my current job and wage... That's completely irrelevant to my whole scheme. :shrug:
 

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How do you plan on paying for the car.

Assume it's $30K and your insurance will be $1,500 a year. Are you planning on financing it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First things first, I'm just now beginning to build my credit. Everything I have done to my Civic thusfar has been charged and payed off immediatley.

Then, building a large down-payment over several years that is 50+% of the vehicle's value, applying for a loan for the remaining half at whatever rate seems reasonable at the time, and paying insurance as normal under a hefty discount I get from my mother's insurance sales management position. All combined with a clean and safe driving record, should be a cake walk assuming I don't screw up somewhere and end up with bills I can't handle.

I have no girlfirend, no expensive luxuries, and no plans to buy a house anytime soon... if that makes any difference.

That's what I've worked out with my parents, but I'd love to hear your financial advice too. The more options, the better.
I'm "hoping" to accomplish this in the next 4-5 years, but I'm not expecting anything real soon.
 

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What Swinglo says is true. It's not a cheap car to buy and if something goes wrong with it, it can be expensive. With that said, if you can find a way to own an Elise responsibly I'd say go for it. Just do me a favor. If you get it snag as much hooch with that thing as I wish I was able to at the age of 19 ;)

Oh, and sweet rims on your Civic. I don't really like black wheels but those look great.
 

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First things first, I'm just now beginning to build my credit. Everything I have done to my Civic thusfar has been charged and payed off immediatley.

Then, building a large down-payment over several years that is 50+% of the vehicle's value, applying for a loan for the remaining half at whatever rate seems reasonable at the time, and paying insurance as normal under a hefty discount I get from my mother's insurance sales management position. All combined with a clean and safe driving record, should be a cake walk assuming I don't screw up somewhere and end up with bills I can't handle.

I have no girlfirend, no expensive luxuries, and no plans to buy a house anytime soon... if that makes any difference.

That's what I've worked out with my parents, but I'd love to hear your financial advice too. The more options, the better.
I'm "hoping" to accomplish this in the next 4-5 years, but I'm not expecting anything real soon.
You sound like you've got your head screwed on straight and have good parents. If you haven't already, someday you'll realize just how lucky you are to have that.

As for having a good driving record? Keep it up, but just be forewarned that that'll pretty hard to maintain once you get an Elise.......... :shift:
 
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