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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to change the front and rear clams of my 2006 Lotus Elise to naked Carbon Fiber, and it seems like the only option is 'international' companies where the units are either heavier than stock, poor construction, or the shipping kills me. I put in a call to Mike Cudahy at Prototype Composites in Wisconsin about making a real CF clam, and he gave me a quick and well-experienced education in the quality of their product versus the competition, including their agreement with Lotus not to infringe on their copyrighted designs, meaning he will not just mold an identical clam.

I'm trying to get some info if anyone would have an interest in an Elise CF clam? Doing some quick math, if 10 people wanted the clams, we'd be at about $10k per person for both clams, front and rear. Future orders would likely be at a higher price. I'd be willing to send my own clams to him as donors, and he would be making modifications to the industry standard of a minimum 10% difference from the original clam. We talked about restructuring the front lip to accept a real splitter, and maybe turn signal deletes up front, but those are all final details. Weight for the front clam would be under 20 lbs, not 50 lbs like the VIS 'stuff'. Biggest thing right now is finding out who would have interest. To the best of my knowledge, the Elise and Exige front clam are identical, so that should apply for both cars, and if there are a decent amount of Exige owners looking for the clams, it could make financial sense to tool the rear clam also.

Again, anyone have any thoughts or interest in going CF? I've seen a few people mentioning they need clams. If your clam has damage already, CF is just the ultimate alternative. If your clam is in good condition, it definitely has resale value, so that would definitely help offset some cost.
 

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front Elise and Exige are not identical.

and if you do that delete the seam between the turn signals and the little license plate box in the front.

just my 2 cents
 

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The Elise and Exige front clams are slightly different, rears are entirely different. Most notably the front clams hinge covers and access panels are not interchangeable. You "may" have better luck using a more desirable clam as a base such as the 2011 facelift version or the Exige 260.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have to figure out a way to make all of my threads set to instant notification automatically...

I stand corrected on the front clam then, but I would think a clam could be made that would fit both cars. I'd imagine the bolt patterns are the same. And yes, license plate delete, "bumper lines" would likely be gone... whatever we wanted to do with it really.

Well, I have my clam from my '06, and personally I'm not a fan of the facelifted version. I think I'd want the '06 with some tweaks to make it a little more agressive looking and lose any details that I don't like, like turn signals and license plate and such.

Well, the two biggest issues on that clam is copyright infringement, which I'm not a fan of, and shipping. I think most of us would be more comfortable working with someone from the states in a small shop who works on his own product than someone from overseas who is trying to get his chinese workers to remember to weigh the parts when they're done. There's just an inherent quality control difference.

Again, does anyone have an interest if we had a group buy?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I could understand that. It's largely about "the look", unfortunately. With Lotus fiberglass clams not costing much less, it's a great alternative for someone with a damaged clam in the first place. I think it's silly to buy a CF clam that weighs MORE, but the crappy ones are actually cheaper than anything. Tough decision I have ahead of me...
 

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$10K + install to save 60 lbs or so on a $30K car is too rich for my blood.
+1 - that seems a bit (a lot) crazy to me. If you're just going for the look I'd consider a carbon wrap. I've done a few small pieces before and if done correctly it can look fantastic. If you want your car to look better my guess is there are far less expensive and dramatic ways to go about it. For example I have the Sector111 carbon front access panels - if you ask me a huge waste of $500 as they are just so subtle.

For $10k go for stripes, a diffuser, splitter, wing and it'll look unique, fantastic and cost you 1/4th as much. Remember it's an Elise, not an exotic...

Doubt you'll find 10 guys who want to spend 1/3 of the value of the car for something so subtle. Are you also going to do the rocker panel, doors and roof? If you went all carbon that'd be one thing but I think just the front/rear would look sorta odd (even on a black car).
 

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I think carbon clams look absolutely awful, I'm pretty sure that's the general consensus here. Not to mention that there's no way to mend a damaged one unless you paint it and these cars are damaged if you hit a big enough bug. If you like it though just get what's already out there and shave weight elsewhere.
 

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I think carbon clams look absolutely awful, I'm pretty sure that's the general consensus here. Not to mention that there's no way to mend a damaged one unless you paint it and these cars are damaged if you hit a big enough bug. If you like it though just get what's already out there and shave weight elsewhere.
Aside from the seam and the front lip differences, the front part of the clam immediately in front of the front wheels on the Exige flare out a bit to get the front wheels in out of the wind a bit more. that's a very big small difference.
 
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