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Absolute power does what?
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I may have said that recently to Frank Amoroso in an email to which he commented "that would be a fun LT thread". So here it is, go.

Not sure what the point of the thread is - hell maybe it'll die in a day or maybe it'll be the next "funniest comment about your car" thread.

I'll start with how I rationalized my Exige. I had been doing HPDE/Track Days for about 3 years. I started in a 350Z which I put into a wall at 9k miles (my 2nd season - simple/rookie mistake). After that I went to a Subaru Legacy Spec.B that I heavily modified for track duty. I wanted the all-in-one Colorado car. Something AWD that I could drive/track in the snow, drive to work and then blast around on the track faster than 911s.

After tracking the Spec.B for 2 seasons it was killing me on consumable costs. I would go through a brand new set of rotors in 3 track days, pads in 4. The expense and PITA factors were killing me and I was driving at the limits of the car. What to do, what to do - I know, buy a track car!

I searched for a few months and wound up trading my Spec.B in on my Exige at Fox Valley (before they folded). So yes, I bought my Exige to *save* money as consumables would be far cheaper. And they are. Of course the $50k I've spent on my car since buying it, well, wasn't.

So there's my story - what's yours? Why did you get your car? How did you rationalize it? Did you have a fight with a wife/SO that you had to *win*? Does your wife/SO want you to get rid of the car, if so what's your justification for keeping it??

Go!

-Ross
 

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I have owned and loved a 1991 300zx twin turbo since 2007. It was my first turbo car and man, what a blast. It went from just barely being able to beat my old Lexus SC430 to meeting and beating 2007 Corvettes and 911s. It was able to do 373WHP with just bolt ons (from 260hp stock) and it made more torque than HP. Spinning rear wheels is a just a thought away! I was also tracking and Z and slowly trying to make her into a track car. But at one time she weighed 3610 Lbs but thru the magic of spending lots of money, got her down to 3450Lbs. Still a fat chick that is trying to dance.

But then last year, I had a mishap and a bad part of road with a bump in the middle had knocked off my oil filter. Which in return blew my stock 100K of miles turbos. So to replace turbos on this car requires almost a motor pull. I got a quote from my local Z shop for $8K for upgraded turbos. The car is only worth $12k at best.

So instead of upgrading the turbos, I figured might as well put that money into a real track car. My co worker had just bought a 2005 Elise and I knew that this is what I wanted. I figured a high mileage Elise for mid 20s would be cool.

Well you know how this goes... So I ended up finding and putting down a deposit on a 2006 Exige for mid 30s. I apologized to the wife and bought it. I still had to fix the Z but that also went way above budget.. The z ended up with upgraded turbos anyways but at least she is doing 434Whp.

But even now, the z feels so normal. Kinda crude and muscle car'ish compared to the Lotus. But I want one more date with the track, just to prove she can dance. Some new pilot super sports, brake fluid and brake pads is all she needs to run with the skinnier girls. After that, I'll start working on the Lotus and really get the lap times down!

Heres a pic of the Z at the last track day we did at Chuckwalla.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it..LOL

Ken 2006 Exige
 

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Monaco Dreamin'
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I'm young and single and saved up nearly a year to buy my Exige. If there was any rational thinking involved it was the fact that the Exige is a lot more comfortable than my Ducati to commute with!
 

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Well, I bought a 2007 STi new in 2007, the last year of the GD chassis, and the best looking impreza ever available in the US IMO. I was on the fence between the subie and a used Elise when I bought it, but practicality came into play and the Subaru seemed like a better choice, especially commuting into Baltimore city for work.

Anyhow, I broke the Subaru in April of last year, on the first hard launch at an autocross after replacing the clutch the month prior. I just closed on a house when this happened, after living with my parents for a year after I caught my (ex)wife cheating on me with her coworker. It sat parked for 6 months in front of my parents place before I had it towed to my new house, where it sat in the garage for another 6 months before I finally pulled the motor out to replace the clutch (much easier than pulling the transmission in those cars, which I did the first time).

I promised myself I wouldn't rush the clutch job and murder my back in the process, like I did the first time. So it sat for a month with the motor out. Then the starter broke on my miata, and I drove my mom's 04 thunderbird around for a week. This made me miss the miata. But then I received a hefty tax refund and examined my finances, and realized I could easily afford a new car I'd be content with, like a focus ST.

And then my buddy Paul told me about a local car club guy selling an 05 elise in the low 20's with a clean title and the only real problem being a small spider crack from a loose battery, and I knew I had to have it. Of course he realized he priced it too low and the price went up to 25, but after researching it, I still wanted it.

Anyhow, said guy rescinded his offer to sell. But now I had the bug, and less than a week later I was on a flight to Albuquerque to pick up a high mileage elise with a new bottom end on the motor sight unseen. And that's how I ended up here.

I finally got the Subaru back together this past week and have been driving it while my lotus is (supposedly) near ready for me to pick it up after a collision that happened the second week of ownership. I had the Subaru set up nicely, with a competent suspension and tire set up, a decent tune, and countless autocrosses and a couple of track days on her.

But like the original poster said, consumables kill you in a 3300 pound car with higher end rolling components. I am actually thinking that the lotus would be cheaper to race than the Subaru, if I kept it stock, which I'm not going to.

I'm thinking: sell the Subaru, and put the proceeds into a late 90's / early 2000's lexus sedan for the comfy and practically, and take the rest and make the lotus fast.
 

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I bought my first MR2 and did my first track day when I was 16. Bone stock NA 1991 MR2 on wheels/tires from my brother’s NSX. After that day the MR2 turned into a passion and endless project. I went through 7 MR2s over the next 10 years. I built them, raced them, parted them out, sold them, built new ones… it was fun. At one point during my “big build” I was about $30k into the car and my “trusty mechanic” was still asking for money. I went on a rant about how I could have just picked up a used Elise for the money I spent. After that it was always in the back of my mind that a Lotus would be great fun for money I was already blowing on my MR2s. I parted the “big build” out and built a couple more 350whp MR2s… then decided it was time for something new.

26 was quickly approaching and I was itching for something new to fulfil a nice quarter life crisis. A beautiful 2006 Exige popped up nearby, my girlfriend was out of town, and I made the mistake of taking it for a test drive. I tossed my MR2 and 10 years worth of parts for sale at some ridiculous prices. In 5 days I dropped off a deposit for the Exige and picked it up a couple weeks later.

I’ve spent the last year and a half enjoying the hell out of the car. I’ve found that I don’t enjoy tracking the Lotus nearly as much as I did the MR2s because I’m a lot more afraid of crashing it. Luckily Southern California has no shortage of great driving roads, so that’s where it spends most of its time. The upgrade list is starting to get quite lengthy and the car is only getting more enjoyable.



 

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I suppose my path to my first Lotus is not uncommon.

I wanted something more sport oriented after spending a good bit of money on a BMW E36 328is. It was a real fun car, but I knew it was not going cut it going forward.

I had a Yamaha R1, but I just simply stopped driving my bike and it sat for years sadly... The only reason I can explain my loss of interest in my bike was reality of the risks caught up to me. My wife loved flying on my bike and I just could not stand the thought of her getting hurt.

So I looked around at what was out there. After x months I found Lotus cars and Lotustalk specifically. I read and lurked and made a mistake of introducing my interest. Well... this community kept pushing me on even though I was just talking. Then after a year of heavy and constant lurking I had my ducks in a row and went and test drove a Elise SC. It was the most rough riding, uncomfortable, loud car I had been in. Thing is by that time I knew it would be. I was hooked...

I knew by then I wanted a Exige S and threw it out there that I had to have a CO Exige since that is the color of the Local University. After maybe 6 more months ( total of 2 years of hardcore LT lurking ) someone contacted me.

The car was exactly what I wanted in another state. It had a lot of pre-power mods mods. Meaning it had RLS intercooler, RTD brace, ACT clutch, and low miles. I flew to the car and bought it.

It was silly and I would have uncovered some issues ( broken front passenger shock and other small stuff. ) No PPI, I paid and drove it home 12 hours.

Maybe I got of easy with only the Shock ? I have had the car 4 years now. It has been a long road given I have maintenance OCD and Mod addiction... The car is just bad ass. I am at approx 280whp and done tons of cosmetic mods as well. I guess what's next is enjoy it a few years and then do a monster build for more power. I really want to drop some Ohlins in it too.

The car had 3600 miles when I bought it and I am at 22k now.
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My story isn't nearly that in-depth. I have been in love with the Elise/Exige since I first saw pix from the 1995 Frankfurt auto show. I was full-on wanting to Import one from Sun International, but it just wasn't to be. When it was announced that they would come to these shores I just about lost it.

Years later, after having owned an MR-2, RX-7, S2000, and STi, I got my chance to drive one, and what a let-down. The only thing I liked better about it than my STi was the looks, and how light it felt. But somehow I knew that after some tweaking she'd be what I always wanted. And I was right.

My justification? Everything is cheaper for this car, and when I sell her I'll get not only all my money back, but every cent for every mod...and more.

I thought for sure she was an expense, like most cars, but she will end up being free.

All hail low-production bad-ass cars :D.

On Hallowed Ground. by VisualEchos, on Flickr
 

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I first became interested in the Elise when Road and Track did their review on the car. It posted the fastest slalom speed Road and Track had ever recorded. I was into Motorcycles at that time, which filled my itch for speed and visceral feeling of the road. Two back-to-back motorcycle wrecks convinced me I was invisible to cars. I wanted the same light and nimble feel of a motorcycle, with better visibility and a protective "cage" around me. A few years later, after I had recovered (as much as possible from my second motorcycle wreck), I purchased an Elise. Now, 15K+ later in upgrades, the car now gives me the feel I crave, with the added comfort of enhanced safety a motorcycle could not be modified to offer. Due to the "swoopy" lines of the car, people tend to notice the car, and tend to avoid pulling out in front of it more than a motorcycle. When something stupid happens in traffic, the car is nimble and has great brakes; accidents are more likely to be avoided (unless the Lotus is stationary). The upgraded horn still gets some use in parking lots when high-backed trucks and SUVs are backing out of a space.
 

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I have owned WAY to many vehicles ... 57 as of today. Before my daughter was born almost 3 years ago, I would buy a car,modify it to max, race it, get bored with it, then sell it and buy a sport bike. Then i would do the same to the sportbike and sell it then go back to cars again, rinse and repeat year after year. The cars typically would be daily driven as well.

I have always been a Z guy and have owned 6 different versions of them and on my 35th birthday (3 years ago) I bought a brand new top of the line 370Z and loved it. But exactly 2 months after taking delivery of it we found out my wife was preggers. So I sold the Z and bought a double cab Tundra and then we bought back my wifes old CRX we sold a couple years ago and built it for Auto-x. I hated driving it because I am not a FWD guy and because of her JDM B16A1 engine swap it put me in a high class and the 168 bhp didn't cut it. I also at that time has a Ducati Monster. 1 year after my daughter was born and the wife didn't do back to work figured out we really didn't need the extra space for both of us for family (she had a Acura MDX) I was going to sell the truck, CRX and Ducati and get the newly announced newest Shelby GT500. My daughters name is Shelby Carol after him and figured it would be a good overall car to DD and play with. Then he passed away and the price went through the roof and decided against it.

My wife then suggested getting rid of the CRX and Ducati, keep the truck to DD and pull a dedicated track/nice weather day 2 seat car. I told her if I did that i would want a Lotus Elise, it was always a dream track car but they weren't cheap. She said as long as you will happy with it, won't be bored with it in a year and shouldn't have to spend too much upgrading or work on it (yea right) you can get it. So i bought a 2005 Touring from a dealership in Austin TX and had it shipped to me in FL. Since then I have done lots of upgrades and still love the car. She even started racing it with me at Autox and do some HPDE. She liked racing so much we got her her own S2000 to run.

Long story but how I ended up with a Lotus almost 3 years ago.
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #11
Really glad Frank had the idea to start this thread - been really fun reading everyone's stories.

Moar please!
 

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My parents have always been car people, so when High Plains Raceway opened my parents and best friend headed out and we all got hooked immediately. I had a Chrysler Crossfire at the time, of all things, and while it was (and still is) rock-solid reliable and a lot better than it "should" be with some light mods, it's definitely not a track-suited car by any means.

After 1-3 sessions a year for a few years I realized I wanted to spend more time at the track and get a bit more "serious," and went hunting for something more appropriate.

My friend and dad made the same decision and got an S2000 and new Boss 302 respectively, so I was seriously outgunned in the "friendly car/driving/lap time ribbing" department.

I was literally about to pull the trigger on a Cayman S (was on the phone with a dealer and about to send the deposit) when I had the "consumables price" second-guess one last time. I decided to do one more sweep of fun track cars and realized I'd missed something: a Lotus Elise!

After shopping around for just a few weeks I found something local for sale and made a pretty fair deal. No regrets so far - the car hasn't done anything unexpected yet and it's been a blast at the track. The cams ended up being wiped so it's tied up in the garage this week, but that was something I knew was likely to happen going in and while it's a stupid downer it's no big deal.
 
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