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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone here had lower back surgery in the past(still with pain) and drive their Elise/Exige? I ask because I just had my 6th surgery , last one being a fusion. I still have lot's of pain. I have been building and racing cars for 14 years now and had to give it all up because of being in and out of the hospital for the last 2.5 years. I just sold my drag car because I really can't work on it much as well as drive it. I wont give up cars though and have been looking to replace the race car with a Lotus or possibly a s2000. I know everyone will say it's an obvious choice having a sever lower back problem but I really would rather the Lotus. I love what I have seen so far with the car itself and the tight knit community I have found here. I went to the Local lotus dealer here in Ct and wanted to first see if I could even get into one as I walk with a cane. I managed to do it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
This car will not be a daily driver year round as I have a Mazdaspeed 6 for that, I would like to drive it as much as possible on nice days though.
I have never gotten to ride in an Elise so I'm really not sure how much it's going to hurt me. The Exige seats seem to feel slightly better to me compared to the Elise I sat in and I would even possibly consider having one re covered so I could add some lumbar support to one.(or tuck a small pillow lol)
So I'm wondering if anyone here has back issues and how much it affects them when driving their Lotus?(I have yet to even ride in one)

My 2nd question is, for those of you who only drive in the summer in the north east, who do you use for car insurance? I got quoted an extra 1300 per 6 months to add the Lotus to my policy:crazyeyes

All that aside , My name is Tom and I'm from Ct.
I have been building Honda race motors and car's since about 1995, I built my daily driven 1990 Honda Crx back in 2003 , Allmotor with ITB throttle bodies and put down 258whp and 170 tq , the car was actually built for auto cross but since it put down so much power it ended up being a drag car. The motor was just a big bore Integra type r motor 85mm bore 87.2 stroke. It had all the goodies that you need to push that power with an allmotor 1.97 ltr. The car ran 11.78 @ 115 in 2005.
I eventually sold the crx chassis and built another motor with the goal of 300 whp and it was in a true drag car, I ended up hitting that mark with that motor back in the end of 2006.
That's when I was hit by another car on my way to work. I ended up going through 3 major spine surgeries since and a staph infection in my spine for 10 months. I've had about 6 surgeries total because of the car accident and can no longer work because of it. I walk with a cane most of the time but I'm still mobile. I'd like to shift gears and go from always being the mechanic to being the driver now since my injury limits my movement. I really can't think of a better drivers car than the Lotus Elise/Exige, well at least not one that I can somewhat afford after the down payment I'm getting from the race car sale. lol
Thanks.
 

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This is my idea for you.

If you really want the Lotus maybe rent one for a day or two to see if getting in and out is OK on you. If that's OK, there are many after market seats that fit in the Lotus so if the stock seat isn’t right for you one of the after market seats should be fine.

Also why not look at a Porsche Boxster/Cayman? There nice cars.

Good luck with it.
 

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Sorry about your accident and the resultant problems. One thing: if you've tested the Elise, you do know that it is not the easiest car to get in and out of ? If I were you, I'd consider a car that made your life easier in that respect. Just my 2 cents, as one with a neck condition and sometimes sore lower back.
 

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I had a herniated disc about 10 years ago, nothing as bad as what happened to you, but I had surgery to repair it. It acts up on me about 3-4 times a year and lasts about 4-5 days in which case I really can't bend or move. Getting in or out of the Elise is a definite NO for me when the pain is severe . -eek-

I actually test drive my Elise during one of the times my back was acting up. Thankfully my back was in day 5 of a 5 day back pain problem. I did have trouble getting in and out, but the seat was very comfortable for the duration of the test drive and I really didn't even notice the pain. Then again it could have just been all the excitement of the test drive.:shift:
 

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I managed to break my lower back (split 2 lumbar vertebrae) last winter by falling on some icy steps and driving my Elise was impossible until my back was fully healed in late spring. I was able to get into the car, however any bumps caused unbearable pain. The only car I could drive for any length of time during this period was my pickup truck with a flat, tall bench seat. Any car that had supportive, low seats was impossible to drive after a short period of time and I could only ride as a passenger with a lot of oxycodone in my system. Obviously, narcotic pain killers and driving don't mix. :no: If you are having any mobility problems (which it seems you do have) I wouldn't recommend an Elise until your back has healed.
 

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+1 on the Cayman S. Better car for your situation. 2006 models reasonably priced. You should be able to find a prime example for $35k or so. Pretty much the same price as an Elise, maybe a little more. Half the original sticker price with options.

A back supporting cushy wonderland awaits you sir. Park a Cayman next to an Elise then go back and forth and compare. One says 'I will pamper you" - One says "I am going to jerk the crap out of you" ..... Leave the buckboard wagon ride for the future if your back is all healed. :wave:
 

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You really should rent one first, or atleast get a test drive for 1/2 a day.

it is a tough call, since getting in can be hard, and the ride is also hard and not very forgiving,

The Lotus made my Porsche feel like a Benz...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well like I said, I have gone to the dealer and gotten in and out of one without to many issues, it takes me a little longer than most but the cane actually helps me(go figure)
I can deal with that pain of getting in and out , it's the actual ride of the car that's got me worried. I'm willing to suffer some for the enjoyment I'll get being able to drive one. I have given up all of my hobbies and had to learn how to life all over again, having a bad back changes everything.
My doctors would prefer me to actually push myself with getting back into my hobby, for physical and mental rehab.. My back will never heal and I have to live like this for the rest of my life, they have made that very clear to me. If I were to pass up everything that's going to cause me pain, then I'll be doing what I'm doing now(sitting on my @$$)
I don't want to compare myself to someone with a terminal illness like in the movies, where they only have a few months to live and they do all the things they never did, but it's similar in that way as far as if I dont do things because they hurt, i'll never do anything. I live in constant pain, I have been in pain management for 2 years and take more meds then a small town, my body it tolerant to them now and if I didn't tell you, you'd never know I take them.
I sent a message to a guy I saw on here in CT to see if he would give, me a ride in his but haven't gotten any response. The dealer of course has offered to give me a test ride as soon as we have some good weather here. I don't think it would be wise to buy new though as like you are all telling me, I might not even be able to tolerate the car for very long.


GG , it's funny you mentioned the Cayman, we looked at one at the local car show a few months back and it was nice. But I don't know if i could exactly afford a 60k car.
I like the s2000, and the NSX as well as the Elise. I had made a deal with my fiancee years ago that I wouldn't put anymore money into cars, but the money I reclaimed from them could be used towards new ones. That's the only reason I have the money in the first place. We don't even own a house yet.
I know all this might not seem logical thinking to most , but I have been through hell and back and if i didn't have my projects over the years to look forward too, I don't think i would have survived. I need to get back behind the wheel since I can't get under the hood. Who knows it might get me doing that again too..

Shadow, that's exactly what I'm thinking, yes it will be painfull, but i hope the overall excitement and joy of driving would help me temp forget about the pain, it's all i think about now..


I really appreciate your guy's advice though.. It's helping me figure this all out.
So give me some suggestions on cars, what do you guy's like aside from your Lotus's?
I would love to trade in the Mazdaspeed6 and buy a skyline gtr , but I owe more on it than what its worth..lol (and everyone I know would kill me for spending that much on a car lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
+1 on the Cayman S. Better car for your situation. 2006 models reasonably priced. You should be able to find a prime example for $35k or so. Half the sticker price with options.

A back supporting cushy wonderland awaits you sir. Leave the buckboard wagon ride for the future if your back is all healed. :wave:
I haven't looked at the Cayman prices yet but i didn't know you can get them in that price range.! I'm going to start doing some research on them now, my fiancee would like that more I think too...(if you see any send me the info)

It sucks though as I'm so dead set on a Lotus now, I get like obsessed when I want something..lol

I think it's just because I have been laid up for almost 3 years and I'm really staring to miss my car's.
I even went and sat on one of those Can-Am spyder's which was actually not bad at all as you are seated in the up right position compared to a bike.
 

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Backpain - Caymans are in the crapper price wise. Just like anything else about now, but worse than even an Elise used. I have seen a few sell for <$35k pretty much fully loaded, low miles, great shape. You won't get that kind of a price from a dealer though. You have to seek out a desperate private seller. There are lots of them out there right now, so you are in the cat bird's seat.

For example, this Cayman S was previously listed on Ebay and only got to $33k. Chances are he/she will get around $35k. There are many others out there - Craigslist is good.
Good luck.

eBay Motors: Porsche : Cayman (item 190287732716 end time Feb-24-09 04:47:31 PST)
 

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Sorry - I was thinking and had to note that if you buy a car that is not local fly out and pick it up in person. If you don't want to drive it back, deliver it to a shipper and then fly back. DON'T ever send someone money!! Especially someone with '1' feedback as above. They only get the cashier's check when you have the car and title (or you go to their bank and get confirmation that the title transfer/release is legit). Buyer paranoia works in your favor. That is why you can get a much better deal than going to a dealer.

Here is me taking that car for a test drive!!!

YouTube - porsche cayman s drift
 

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I'm very sorry that you are suffering, Tom, and hope that your back heals up soon. While you are working your way back to health, you may want to consider saving up for an Evora. This car has been designed for easier access and will represent the latest technology and innovation from Lotus when it becomes available next year. Of course my ulterior motive is that I want SOMEONE on this forum to actually buy one, post pictures and videos and then come to a meet and drive and show it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Just make sure that if you do get an Elise, it has ProBax seats.
I'm partial to getting a white one so the one I'm looking at actually only has cloth seats and 5pt harness's . I'll probably take them out until/if I'm ready to go back to the track.

I just watched the promo video the Lotus dealer gave me, god I want to go buy one right now!!! it sucks you in..lol

I heard that one of the rental car companies rents the Elise, anyone know who that is?
 

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If you have major back issues and prefer drag racing, a Porsche or Corvette maybe better for you. If you're really stuck on Lotus, wait for the fall for the Evora. It'll be more your speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I actually only did the drag racing because I had the highest naturally aspirated street car in the country at the time. Daily driven crx that ran 11.78 . I became so popular in the Honda community under my user name Tbone that my car became the test bed for 8 different companies. I made over 400 dyno passes with it and tested back to back products. I would actually do cam changes on the dyno for true back to back testing. I did a lot of development for many companies who forgot who I was once I was in my car wreck and I couldn't be used anymore..lol
I really got pushed into the drag stuff buy the people on the net who would call me out on my dyno numbers, so I took the car to the track 1 time, and it ran the 2nd fasted time ever for an allmotor street car(at the time) I then pushed the motor more as it was only making 238whp when I ran the 11.7. I tested several different intake manifolds on the net and eventually went to ITB's, that and some cam changes and breather modifications and I was at 268whp.
I then wanted to try for 300whp which at the time had never been done on gas in a street car, well funds went dry and I needed more money for the motor so I partnered up with another guy who already had a drag car chassis and I sold the crx chassis. I did end up making the 300whp but it was now in a drag car. Thats the car I sold to try to buy Lotus.

I know most of you dont care about any of that but since this is my introduction thread it seems to fit..

I have always been the engine builder , my turbo honda motors make over 890whp in street cars and my na stuff on the smaller B series motors made 300. I actually wasn't even driving my own crx when it ran the 11.7 , my buddy was . I like to drive my cars on the road and around turns, not drag them, it just kinda ended up going that way for business, popularity, and pressure from sponsors.
 

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Tom,

I hurt my lower back lifting a couch, but recovered fully. I know how debilitating it feels to have lower back pain.
The Elise/Exige is not a back pain friendly car. After you've bent yourself in half getting in, you endure the ride harshness, then you bend yourself back the other way getting out.
BUT, you should drive an Elise/Exige to know for certain.
p.s. see Evora

-Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tom,

I hurt my lower back lifting a couch, but recovered fully. I know how debilitating it feels to have lower back pain.
The Elise/Exige is not a back pain friendly car. After you've bent yourself in half getting in, you endure the ride harshness, then you bend yourself back the other way getting out.
BUT, you should drive an Elise/Exige to know for certain.
p.s. see Evora

-Robert
I'm going to try to set something up, I found a place that rents them on the net for 375.00 a day. I'm going to try to contact them. If anyone here know a member here in CT who would be willing to give me a ride that would be great too. Or just give me their username and I'll ask them.

Thank you all for your advice on this..
Anyone know how much the Evora is?
 

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Get a Cayman S T-bone!!! Sounds like you had a car quicker than anything you are going to buy from Lotus or Porsche anyway. The new Evora is going to be too much $$ and a money vacuum depreciation wise. As soon as they come out with an "S" model, they'll sink faster than the Titanic resale wise. Sounded like you were price conscious at first, maybe I am wrong.
 
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