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My dream of owning a Lotus may be quickly dying and I'm looking to the LT community to help keep it alive :eek:

My wife and I are about to embark on a pretty major home renovation which is going to cost quite a lot of $$$. My plan was to sell my current car (an Infiniti FX35), buy an '07 Elise or Exige S and a cheap beater as a DD. But budgetary constraints imposed by the reno. mean I can probably only buy the Elise/Exige S. So then I'm stuck with the DD dilemma that I was hoping not to face by buying a beater. I've got about a 20mi drive to work which is located in a fairly remote location that has an uncovered, private parking lot that is security patrolled. So I'm not too concerned about leaving the car parked at work all day (I'd likely keep it covered to protect it from sun, bird droppings, etc.). What I am concerned about is taking the car to shopping plazas, tennis club, etc. where it won't be nearly as safe, and subjected to the usual indignities that cars are subjected to in these places. I know people use these cars as DDs, but is it really, really practical to do so? What percentage of Lotus owners actually manage to pull this off? My wife is (rightly) concerned that I'm going to be constantly taking her car to run errands, leaving her stranded at home without transportation (she can't drive a stick and wouldn't want to drive the Lotus even if she could). Help, I need some advice. My Lotus dream might be dying. :wallbang:
 

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This was one of my fears too, but I can say that I've had this car for a solid 6 months of daily driving. It's really my only form of transportation (besides BMW, bus metro walk) and it has really held together like a charm. I've also autocrossed it once, and I know my previous owner auto crossed it several times. It all boils down to how well you take care of the car. I have yet to try winter, but I'll let you know how that goes. :)

I enjoy waking up to work driving my dream car, it's why I get up to goto work, it's also why I'm early :cool:

My dream of owning a Lotus may be quickly dying and I'm looking to the LT community to help keep it alive :eek:

My wife and I are about to embark on a pretty major home renovation which is going to cost quite a lot of $$$. My plan was to sell my current car (an Infiniti FX35), buy an '07 Elise or Exige S and a cheap beater as a DD. But budgetary constraints imposed by the reno. mean I can probably only buy the Elise/Exige S. So then I'm stuck with the DD dilemma that I was hoping not to face by buying a beater. I've got about a 20mi drive to work which is located in a fairly remote location that has an uncovered, private parking lot that is security patrolled. So I'm not too concerned about leaving the car parked at work all day (I'd likely keep it covered to protect it from sun, bird droppings, etc.). What I am concerned about is taking the car to shopping plazas, tennis club, etc. where it won't be nearly as safe, and subjected to the usual indignities that cars are subjected to in these places. I know people use these cars as DDs, but is it really, really practical to do so? What percentage of Lotus owners actually manage to pull this off? My wife is (rightly) concerned that I'm going to be constantly taking her car to run errands, leaving her stranded at home without transportation (she can't drive a stick and wouldn't want to drive the Lotus even if she could). Help, I need some advice. My Lotus dream might be dying. :wallbang:
 

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I have yet to try winter, but I'll let you know how that goes. :)
Thanks for the reply. Luckily I don't have snow to contend with here in California, but it does rain quite a bit through the winter months. I assume I'd at least need to switch to more wet-friendly tires than those that come stock.
 

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Why not just get a cheap DD? For the renovation, some automatic tranny truck for $2k?
 

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I think it goes with the standard response as any "Can I DD an Elise/Exige?"
It all depends on what you are comfortable with.

I DD mine every day and it is my only vehicle right now(however am getting a motorcycle soon) and I am fine with it. Kind of sucks when you go out to run errands and are getting in/out often, but it is so fun to drive you forget about that pretty quick.
 

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I considered something like that, but figured something that cheap would be a bigger headache than it was worth. But maybe I'm wrong...

I have an extra car, an older Honda Odyssey. Sure you have to detach your testicles when you get in, but it works well, runs forever, and only is worth about $3k. And you can haul crap in it. We use it also to take to the beach so boards can go in it... and sand,, so what? And if we have to haul 7 people... it can almost do it. :)
 

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My wife is (rightly) concerned that I'm going to be constantly taking her car to run errands...
rotfl Yeah, right. I imagine that after a week of ownership, not only will you not be taking her car to run errands, but you'll be looking for excuses to run errands in your Lotus. Mine has been my DD since October of '05. No sense in me getting a beater, because I'd never drive it. Doing errands in the Lotus is what makes doing errands bearable. If you don't feel the same, I wouldn't recommend the car as a DD.
 

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I do have all-season tires on my car at the moment, and I've survived at least 5 torrential storms (in DC Metro area) where it was buckets of rain. I drove extra slow those days.

I think everyone here definitely has a valid point, about needing an additional form of transportation for hauling stuff, carpooling, etc. I do have the option to take metro which works extremely well when I don't feel like driving or when I'm going into the city.

Thanks for the reply. Luckily I don't have snow to contend with here in California, but it does rain quite a bit through the winter months. I assume I'd at least need to switch to more wet-friendly tires than those that come stock.
 

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I use mine (SF Bay Area also) as a DD. When I go to the mall, I park out in the boonies. I never park up front anywhere, or in tight spaces, so things have been okay for now. I'd say the biggest headache might be the lack of trunk space, but otherwise, it's fine for DD.

It sort of just depends on how you live your life, and what kind of adjustments you're comfortable with. For me, the car is like air, I need it, and everything else be damned. :D

As an aside, I had a friend who was thinking about getting an Elise after test driving mine, but he goes golfing a lot, and takes people with him when he does it, so there's no way he can fit clubs and another person in the car at the same time. He's now looking at a used M3 instead.
 

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It is a car just like any other. Would you be as concerned about a Porsche? If you DD it, you'll quickly get over the urge to protect it every second of every day. Sure, at McD's you'll sit by the window, but that is more so you can stare at it than protect it.

I've been DD'ing mine for over a year now with a 21 mile each way commute. I'm 6'3" too. No problem whatsoever.

Here is your ONLY problem. Without a beater, if something goes wrong, you are down a car for longer than your typical car.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here is your ONLY problem. Without a beater, if something goes wrong, you are down a car for longer than your typical car.
Well, there's good news on that front. I have the ability to work at home if I need to and the Lotus dealership closest to me is about a 10 minute walk from my house. So I could probably work around some unscheduled downtime :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It is a car just like any other. Would you be as concerned about a Porsche? If you DD it, you'll quickly get over the urge to protect it every second of every day. Sure, at McD's you'll sit by the window, but that is more so you can stare at it than protect it.
This is a good point. I'm not sure why I feel like I will be more protective about the Lotus than I have been with my other cars. Just my personality I guess, I was anal when I got my $20K Miata for the first little while too, although the Lotus does stand out from a crowd far more than a Miata. I'm sure once the new-ness wore off, I'd lighten up.
 

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There is a good reason to be a bit more picky parking this car, it doesn’t door ding to well, it cracks. But that doesn’t stop me from going most places, I just park smart. If you go to the hood from time to time you may desire a second car just so you don’t get shot at, but this is a bit of an extreme. My work sometimes takes me in to some shady neighborhoods but I would use a truck for that most likely anyway since it’s work.
 
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