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Discussion Starter #1
First off, I just want to give many many thanks to Ian Smith from Smith Lotus for allowing my dad and I to take his personal brand new LSS car out for a spin on some beautiful country roads near San Luis Obispo.

Secondly, I highly recommend, scratch that, I insist on doing business with this wonderful dealership. These are the first salesmen that I have met who are truely enthusiastic about this car. They are selling the car at MSRP only to deposit holders, and are selling the car because they are excited that it is here, not to make a massive profit on a high profile car. I dont know how long their list is, but if you have some time I insist on getting on their list. If you dont want an elise, buy a volvo from them. They are awesome!!!

Now for the story...

While at the Concorso Italiano last friday, I finally met (in person) Brent Smith of Smith Lotus/Volvo. He was just as friendly in person as he has been with me over the phone. I am purchasing one of my cars from his dealership. One of the biggest reasons I left a deposit with his dealership was because Brent himself was an avid elise fan who has been actively tracking his motorsport elise for many years, and is active with lotus groups and is friendly with LCU.

He was at the show talking with people about the elise. The ardent red car (that has already been posted) was the first customer car, purchased by his son Ian who brought it to the show on a last minute whim (they just received this and their demo the day before). I spoke to Ian for a bit about the car and was hoping he could give me a ride (after all, it was an LSS car). Unfortunately, he was leaving early and wasnt feeling well, and there was too much traffic around to show me what the car could do anyway. BUT, he mentioned that I should stop by the dealership on my way back to So Cal because their demo was also LSS.

True to word, I phoned sunday afternoon on my way back so I could arrange a test drive. When I got to the dealership, both Ian and another salesman named Mark were incredibly friendly to my dad and I. And they werent just being friendly because we were customers...they were being friendly because it was in their nature. They both knew everything about the car and were incredibly enthusiastic (what a change from the ferrari dealership down the road :rolleyes: ). After some thought, Ian decided rather than take the demo out at the dealer in town where there is lots of traffic, he said we could drive his car which was parked in his garage out in the country a few miles away.

So my dad and I followed him out along these wonderful backcountry roads to the garage, and then he handed us the keys :eek:

My impressions:
-The LSS does not have an uncomfortable ride at all. Although we were never on very rough roads. Suspension felt great...one with the road.
-The steering input is awesome. Very little input is necessary to turn the car. How all cars should be!
-Brakes had a bit of play. Others have mentioned this before. A lot more pedal travel than I had anticipated. But they work!!!
-Stage 2 exhaust is obnoxiously loud. Will definetly piss off your neighbors. But sounds really really good, especially when you let off the gas and it gurgles. I'll definetly consider getting it, but only because I dont plan on using my car everyday...primarily for autoX/track/club stuff.
-3 point turns are impossible. Discovered the hard way. When it's time to back up, you cant see behind you or to your right where traffic might be coming. Big blind spots! Complete U-turns are better.
-The car is a smile generator. People smile when you pass them.
-If you are tall and ancient, getting in and out with the hard top on is very difficult.
-I want one!
 

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Awesome write-up and pics! I'm so incredibly jealous...

Bob
 

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The blind spot was the biggest suprise for me on the test drives. I was expecting it to be far larger due to the limited size of the windows. It's really not too bad. With a little practice, I suspect it won't be noticable.

The pics don't make the weather look too bad; so why is the hardtop on ?!

Sound like a cool guy :) Did you feel that was true of the dealership, or just the dealer ?
 

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As long as you get in the habit of using all 3 mirrors, blind spot is not to bad, only real leap of faith is backing out of a parking spot, you absolutely can't see then>
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is all true of the dealership. Well, atleast of four guys whom I've spoken to (Brent and Ian Smith, Jeff Karsh, and Mark ???)

It seems that there was only one salesguy who was being an ass. There is a previous post about that dealership being bad, trying to mark up the price of the car, but once Brent discovered this the salesman was fired!
 

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zvezdah1 said:
As long as you get in the habit of using all 3 mirrors, blind spot is not to bad, only real leap of faith is backing out of a parking spot, you absolutely can't see then>
Chris
I let a friend of mine drive the car and he refused to back it in the spot. He stopped and I had to do it because he was affraid he couldn't see. It takes a little getting used to for sure but with well set up mirrors its not bad.
 

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Gromit said:
The pics don't make the weather look too bad; so why is the hardtop on ?!
Probably because the hardtop doesn't just clamp on and off. You have to remove a special trim piece and unbolt the brackets to remove the hardtop. It would be a time consuming change.
 

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Modern Wedgie said:
This is all true of the dealership. Well, atleast of four guys whom I've spoken to (Brent and Ian Smith, Jeff Karsh, and Mark ???)

It seems that there was only one salesguy who was being an ass. There is a previous post about that dealership being bad, trying to mark up the price of the car, but once Brent discovered this the salesman was fired!
Sounds like a damn cool dealership then :)

I asked because Nick at Symbolic is very cool, and honest, yet I have doubts about the actually dealership. And when push comes to shove, it's the dealership that makes the decisions, not Nick.
 

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MW- And you said you didn't feel a need for a test drive;). From my brief talk with Brent, they seem like a great group to work with. Thanks for the write up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gromit said:
Sounds like a damn cool dealership then :)

I asked because Nick at Symbolic is very cool, and honest, yet I have doubts about the actually dealership. And when push comes to shove, it's the dealership that makes the decisions, not Nick.
Yeah, I like Nick too!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
TimMullen said:
Probably because the hardtop doesn't just clamp on and off. You have to remove a special trim piece and unbolt the brackets to remove the hardtop. It would be a time consuming change.
I agree. he just had the car delivered too! And they come delivered that way.
 

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"The LSS does not have an uncomfortable ride at all."

Did the car have the touring package, or just LSS ?

Has anyone had the chance to compare a touring car to a non-touring car ?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It had touring as well. It made me think "Wow, if stage 2 is loud in this car, how loud will it be in my non-touring car?" :D
 
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