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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering the purchase of a S2 Federal Elise, I have searched to see if there's info. around, but most people are concerned if tall people fit an Elise and not if those on the other side of the bell curve do. I'm but 5 feet tall with a proportional torso to leg length ratio (i.e. I don't have super short legs relative to my height), but have not evaluated an Elise to see if it could be livable or not.

Does anyone have experience to help me out?

If a few calibration points are useful, here they are:

-My 1970 Elan Plus 2S is no problem
-My 74 Europa Special is more of a challenge, but I think that's a general statement for the Europa
-My daily driver is a 2nd Gen. Volt, and it fits pretty perfectly for a modern car
-I recently had the use of a 2020 Evora for a few days. The clutch pedal was ~1 inch too far way for comfortable everyday use, but more problematic was visibility around the base of the A-pillar/side-mirror. With the driver's seat all the way forward the view out of the driver's side window was horrible and not something I'd like to put up with.

I live in the SF Bay Area, specifically San Jose, in case anyone is nearby, not infected with coronavirus, and able to help out.

If there's an existing thread on the subject, please point me to it.

Thanks - Philip
 

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I think you need to sit in one. My wife is maybe 5’2” and could not drive it with the stock seat all the way up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think you need to sit in one. My wife is maybe 5’2” and could not drive it with the stock seat all the way up.
Thanks LostPawn. That's a useful data point for me. Unfortunately with the current situation it might not be possible to do so for a while, but I would definitely do so before committing one way or another.
 

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I am 5'3" with normal torso but short (26.5" inseam) legs. I placed 1" risers on the driver's seat bolts. You need to get longer bolts as well. I initially used square steel beam but they eventually deformed. I now use risers cut from 1" round solid aluminum bar. Bar stock was acquired from Amazon but it is listed as currently unavailable. 1" Inch Diameter 6" Long 6061 Aluminum Round Bar Lathe Rod Stock
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am 5'3" with normal torso but short (26.5" inseam) legs. I placed 1" risers on the driver's seat bolts. You need to get longer bolts as well. I initially used square steel beam but they eventually deformed. I now use risers cut from 1" round solid aluminum bar. Bar stock was acquired from Amazon but it is listed as currently unavailable. 1" Inch Diameter 6" Long 6061 Aluminum Round Bar Lathe Rod Stock
Thanks CALtd. I take it that comfortable clutch, brake, and throttle operation were OK for you, and you decided you'd like to have a higher vantage point?

My inseam is ~28" so if infer properly, pedals should be OK for me, but visibility is going to be my challenge. I can work with that as you did with riser blocks or otherwise. I have access to a full machine shop so can make appropriate spacers, if that's how I decide to go.

Thanks for another data point.

Philip
 

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Thanks CALtd. I take it that comfortable clutch, brake, and throttle operation were OK for you, and you decided you'd like to have a higher vantage point?

My inseam is ~28" so if infer properly, pedals should be OK for me, but visibility is going to be my challenge. I can work with that as you did with riser blocks or otherwise. I have access to a full machine shop so can make appropriate spacers, if that's how I decide to go.

Thanks for another data point.

Philip
As for clutch operation, the "clutch stop mod" may be a huge help. All it does is reduce the wasted travel after the disengagment point, so it doesn't harm anything, but it will decrease how far you have to hold the pedal in

 

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Hey Philip,

The good news is that the inside rearview mirror shouldn't block your view to right-hand apexes!
Cowl height seems pretty low compared to a lot of other cars I've driven, but you need to sit in one to be sure.

Here's an idea...take a measurement in a seated position from your butt to eye level. Then I'll go out in the garage and take a couple of forward-looking photos in my Elise from that vantage point. Not perfect, but I'm willing to do it.
 

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Last summer I went on a 12,000 km road trip in my Elise. My wife who is 5 feet tall drove for 8,000 km. She uses a seat cushion that is about 3/4 inch thick. I think her jeans have an inseam of about 28 inches. You will be fine.

You will have an advantage getting into and out of the car. For taller people it can be tricky.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Philip,

The good news is that the inside rearview mirror shouldn't block your view to right-hand apexes!
Cowl height seems pretty low compared to a lot of other cars I've driven, but you need to sit in one to be sure.

Here's an idea...take a measurement in a seated position from your butt to eye level. Then I'll go out in the garage and take a couple of forward-looking photos in my Elise from that vantage point. Not perfect, but I'm willing to do it.
Thanks RightRudder. Sitting on a hard table, and measuring my upright line of sight, it is 26 inches. Who knows what that is with whatever angle of recline is normal in an Elise seat.

Thanks for offering up ideas. Under normal circumstances I'd just get my butt in an Elise and see, but Coronavirus is creating an opportunity for all of us to be creative.

Philip
 

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Last summer I went on a 12,000 km road trip in my Elise. My wife who is 5 feet tall drove for 8,000 km. She uses a seat cushion that is about 3/4 inch thick. I think her jeans have an inseam of about 28 inches. You will be fine.

You will have an advantage getting into and out of the car. For taller people it can be tricky.
Another useful data point, thanks David Craig.

Thanks everyone for the ideas. I know it isn't a replacement for simply driving one and finding out.
 

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I've seen a couple of cars modified to suit smaller drivers. One was a racecar and the other was a track toy, so I'm not sure how it'll fit your use case.
The racecar had a Sparco bucket seat with solid mounts at the very top position. I had the unfortunate opportunity to sit in one, and that did produce raised seating position compared to stock. I think it also had aftermarket pedal covers.
The track car had aluminum barstock running lengthwise along the the seat rails to work as a spacer. I think it had the seat mount reinforcing kit that bolts through the floor pan to counteract the forces and give it extra support. It's a good idea anyway if you're tracking anyways. It also had aftermarket floor plate around the pedals so that the feet are raised about half an inch. That made the pedal work easier for the driver, apparently. Also, a modified AliTech shifter to be a bit forward for ergonomics.

Normally, you could join us for lunch(Silicon Valley Lunch Meet), and I'm sure some of us are nice enough for you to try the seating positions, except because of the bug that's going around right now, there isn't one planned anytime soon....
 

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My wife is 4'11". While she doesn't like driving it, when she does, she just sits on a pillow and moves the seat all(?) the way up. Her big problem is seeing over the hood, so the extra height of the pillow fixes that problem. She hasn't had any problems reaching the pedals though she finds it tiring to hold the clutch down for any period of time since she is stretching a bit to reach the floor.
 

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Hi Philip,

Well, these are better than nothing. The measurement of 26" worked out to about where my chin is...I'm 6'2" with a shorter torso and longer legs...so I positioned the lens there and took the photos. I've got the opposite problem where I have to hunch forward a little to see stoplights under the windshield header.

I think you'll be fine, especially with the seat spaced up a little. Good that the Elise has very prominent front fender peaks, so helpful in positioning the car.


IMG_5003.jpg
IMG_4999.jpg
IMG_5001.jpg
IMG_5002.jpg
 

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My w
I'm considering the purchase of a S2 Federal Elise, I have searched to see if there's info. around, but most people are concerned if tall people fit an Elise and not if those on the other side of the bell curve do. I'm but 5 feet tall with a proportional torso to leg length ratio (i.e. I don't have super short legs relative to my height), but have not evaluated an Elise to see if it could be livable or not.

Does anyone have experience to help me out?

If a few calibration points are useful, here they are:

-My 1970 Elan Plus 2S is no problem
-My 74 Europa Special is more of a challenge, but I think that's a general statement for the Europa
-My daily driver is a 2nd Gen. Volt, and it fits pretty perfectly for a modern car
-I recently had the use of a 2020 Evora for a few days. The clutch pedal was ~1 inch too far way for comfortable everyday use, but more problematic was visibility around the base of the A-pillar/side-mirror. With the driver's seat all the way forward the view out of the driver's side window was horrible and not something I'd like to put up with.

I live in the SF Bay Area, specifically San Jose, in case anyone is nearby, not infected with coronavirus, and able to help out.

If there's an existing thread on the subject, please point me to it.

Thanks - Philip
My wife is 5 foot and change. She couldn’t drive my 2007 Elise. The clutch pedal is too far. Reaching the pedal is so challenging that by reaching she can’t see through the front windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've seen a couple of cars modified to suit smaller drivers. One was a racecar and the other was a track toy, so I'm not sure how it'll fit your use case.
The racecar had a Sparco bucket seat with solid mounts at the very top position. I had the unfortunate opportunity to sit in one, and that did produce raised seating position compared to stock. I think it also had aftermarket pedal covers.
The track car had aluminum barstock running lengthwise along the the seat rails to work as a spacer. I think it had the seat mount reinforcing kit that bolts through the floor pan to counteract the forces and give it extra support. It's a good idea anyway if you're tracking anyways. It also had aftermarket floor plate around the pedals so that the feet are raised about half an inch. That made the pedal work easier for the driver, apparently. Also, a modified AliTech shifter to be a bit forward for ergonomics.

Normally, you could join us for lunch(Silicon Valley Lunch Meet), and I'm sure some of us are nice enough for you to try the seating positions, except because of the bug that's going around right now, there isn't one planned anytime soon....
Thanks very much for the reply. Yes, were it not for Shelter In Place and associated risks of travel in general, I'd be on a plane to try/inspect the car myself. Thanks for the tip on the SV Lunch Meet. I look forward to possibly joining once things settle down.

Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When there's a will there's a way. A clutch pedal extension, done right, would help.
Agreed, rightrudder. Thanks very much for taking the time to snap those photos. The view is much as I imagined it might be, and in conjunction with the other responses feel more encouraged than not. Perhaps in stock form the car will not be plug and play for me, but I can imagine that there is a pragmatic solution to be found. As I will be the only driver I needn't be concerned that somebody else will not be able to tolerate whatever needs to be done to suit me.

Thanks again!
 

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It's not a big deal to raise the seat up with spacers to get your eye point where you need it. I would be surprised if you need to run the track further forward than the seat normally goes It's definitely easily modified with a a little metal from the hardware store and a drill as needed. That said, you will probably have to run the seat back to get in and out of the car (I do at 5' 7") because of the difficulty of getting around the steering wheel and ducking under the top on the way in and out. Ingress/egress is definitely easier with the top off for this reason.

The only 'magic number' you'll have to assess is pedal height relative to the steering wheel and how close your chest will be to the wheel, as the column does not telescope. The good news is that the Elige has basically no steering effort at all, so wheel proximity doesn't matter very much as long as it is comfortable for you. The other good news is that the pedal cluster is pretty adjustable, as others have mentioned.
 

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I have an S2 2001 'K' and i have driven a Europa. It was horrible. LHD so I was in the gutter (I live in Oz) and the stupid gear knob way up on the console. If you can drive your Europa you will easily drive an Elise. I was so glad to get back in my Elise. Although I am 5'6 and have my seat fully forward to feel comfortable. Yes you may need to sit in one.
 

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It's not a big deal to raise the seat up with spacers to get your eye point where you need it. I would be surprised if you need to run the track further forward than the seat normally goes It's definitely easily modified with a a little metal from the hardware store and a drill as needed. That said, you will probably have to run the seat back to get in and out of the car (I do at 5' 7") because of the difficulty of getting around the steering wheel and ducking under the top on the way in and out. Ingress/egress is definitely easier with the top off for this reason.

The only 'magic number' you'll have to assess is pedal height relative to the steering wheel and how close your chest will be to the wheel, as the column does not telescope. The good news is that the Elige has basically no steering effort at all, so wheel proximity doesn't matter very much as long as it is comfortable for you. The other good news is that the pedal cluster is pretty adjustable, as others have mentioned.
Elige? Hmm is this a new model I have not heard of? Yes I am 5'6/7 and do th esame, the seat goes back so ingress is possible and I have no roof on... ever!
 
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