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It's been mentioned before. Here are some thoughts on it and I would like to read what you think.

There is an existing organization in the USA called Lotus Owner's Group...or LOG for short. They have regional groups also I think. The positives of that group are that they exist and are sizable and put on some good meets.

There is also SELOC located in the UK. It's no secret that SELOC would like to be international and the USA is a big "market" for them.

Are there any other organizations? Not sure. If anyone knows of one, please let me know.

The downside of just joining and becoming part of LOG, is that the Elise is new and different. Yes, it's a Lotus. Yes, I expect to be part of LOG also. But if I want to create an Elise event or meet, I have no idea how to do that as part of LOG, if it is even possible, which I doubt. We are faced with this issue now with the idea of an Elise owners club meet at the LA Auto Show.

Perhaps we should organize this. Hotel, restaurants, etc. But under what organization? I can't do it as LOG. I am not a part of SELOC.

I propose that we (not just me!) create a new club now. If LOG would have us, I would like to be a part of that. I would like to be involved with SELOC. I enjoy the SELOC forums. But SELOC is very UK oriented and unless they create a USA chapter quickly, I am not sure that is going to change. Note, a new club could be affiliated with LOG or SELOC. It would be up to us and them.

I think the time is right for making a determination of the direction for us as a group.

Now, what are the benefits of a group like this?

1. The group can put on events, track days, make arrangements.
2. The group can get insurance.
3. We would arrange discounts from suppliers and dealers.
4. Group buys.
5. Cool shirts and hats...and more.
6. Newsletters with interesting articles, tips, etc.

I would like to see a group like this exist. If it already does, than I am happy with that. If someone wants to step forward and make it happen, that would be cool. If we as a group right now want to create this, that would be good also. It's your call. What do we want to do?
 

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Hear, hear!

Great idea. I'm interested in helping out in the MidWest area (or Wisconsin).

RoadAmerica (Elkhart Lake) is the longest track in North America, it would make a great track day location!

Thomas
 

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I'm definitely not opposed to the idea, but why make a club separate from the LOG?

Sure, i'd like to meet up with fellow "Federalized" owners, but a full-on Lotus gathering or track day would be quite fun as well.

Also, there are only going to be a couple thousand cars in the US at first, and especially living in the midwest, other members are going to be tough to find.

On a side note, I have www.lotuselise.us, and am working on an owners registry database on there. Searchable by any criteria, so then you can find who that guy was in town that was driving the sweet black Elise. ;)


Just my .02
 

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I'm definitely not opposed to the idea, but why make a club separate from the LOG?
As I mentioned. I am looking into reserving a block of rooms at the LA Auto Show. I can't do that as LOG. A separate club could do that, and still be part of LOG. That is what got me thinking about this again.

Also, I think it would be nice to have an Elise newsletter. LOG is not going to do that.

A separate club does not preclude being part of LOG, so as far as I can tell, you don't lose anything. If LOG puts on a track event, we can attend. But I can't arrange a LOG track event. And if the club arranged a track event, why not open it up to other Lotus cars anyway?

At least that is how I see it now. I could be wrong! :) That is why we welcome your opinion.
 

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Perhaps an Elise Register?

Within the PCA (Porsche Club) there are separate registers for specific models and interests. Does Lotus Ltd. offer something similar?
 

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Randy Chase said:
As I mentioned. I am looking into reserving a block of rooms at the LA Auto Show. I can't do that as LOG. A separate club could do that, and still be part of LOG. That is what got me thinking about this again.

Also, I think it would be nice to have an Elise newsletter. LOG is not going to do that.

A separate club does not preclude being part of LOG, so as far as I can tell, you don't lose anything. If LOG puts on a track event, we can attend. But I can't arrange a LOG track event. And if the club arranged a track event, why not open it up to other Lotus cars anyway?

At least that is how I see it now. I could be wrong! :) That is why we welcome your opinion.

aah, when you say it like that, it makes sense.

Must be too early in the morning or something. :D

We could call it "ACE3" actually ....

American Club of Elises, formed in 2003

lol
;) :p
 

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HI Randy,
My .02, if we form a chapter within the Lotus Ltd. group (sponsor LOG) this would enable us to use the insurance carrier. However, I suspect they'd want participation to be open to ALL Lotus Ltd. members.

Chris
 

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However, I suspect they'd want participation to be open to ALL Lotus Ltd. members.
I don't see that as a problem at all. Perhaps a sub-group? Or something.

Right now, we are approaching the point where we need some organization. It's going to become more of an issue. I would like to talk to some companies about making deals for Elise owners.
 

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Use the existing Club as the base. Form a sub-group within it and do whatever you want - I'm sure the existing club would love to have more members.

I formed and started the S2000 Club of America (www.s2kca.com) and it was a gigantic PITA to get everything up and running. Then there is the "politics" of the other clubs out there, etc. As a result of all the "crap" involved with the club, I resigned from the Board of the S2KCA.

It's much easier to join an existing club and build from within.

All IMHO.
 

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Am I missing something?

I zipped over to http://www.lotuscarclub.org. They already have a bunch of regional chapters around the country, including one for Los Angeles, but it seems to include greater Southern California, since they had a visit to Symbolic in La Jolla.

It costs $35 to joint Lotus Ltd., the parent organization; no dues for membership in the LA chapter. They seem to organize events, and the parent group seems to offer the benefits that Randy mentioned. I believe that the LA chapter mentioned a quarterly newsletter.

Perhaps some of them are buying Elises or at least would welcome an influx of newly minted Lotus owners? I would prefer to have a mix of Lotus cars involved with events, rather than just mingling with other Elises.

I'm usually a loner, not a joiner, but this sounds intriguing, so I may give it a try. I would like to have some driving instruction, perhaps try pushing the Elise a bit on a track or road course, maybe run up to the wine country as a group (hey, let's meet up with Bay Area folks and head to Napa). However, after looking at the ages posted here and at SELOC, it looks like a preponderance of Elise owners are/will be 20-somethings. I still have a statue of Mephistopheles that I bought on my first trip to Paris that's older than that, so I may not fit in.
:eek:
 

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zvezdah1 said:
HI Randy,
My .02, if we form a chapter within the Lotus Ltd. group (sponsor LOG) this would enable us to use the insurance carrier.
can you post some more information on this? What sort of deals are they getting?

does the LOG have a website?
 

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As suggested, I think a sub-organization will work best. This gives us room to become more integrated or more separated from the rest as time moves on. Randy, I would enjoy having a place to meet at the LA Auto Show. Maybe Clyde will have something special for us as well. So, how do we proceed from here?

JML1952,
I am part of the younger age cohort you speak of, but be rest assured I prefer the company of the wiser and more experienced. The younger car clubs I have observed are complete garbage.
 

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jml1952 said:
Am I missing something?

I zipped over to http://www.lotuscarclub.org. They already have a bunch of regional chapters around the country, including one for Los Angeles, but it seems to include greater Southern California, since they had a visit to Symbolic in La Jolla.
Hmm... Maybe it's just that I need to find out more about this and get involved?

P.S. I am almost sure the demographics will be wide spread. There are a few youngsters that stand out when you read a 20 year old is buying an Elise. But most of us are not that young.
 

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Randy,

Check out Club Lotus LA. They are an affiliate of Lotus Ltd. Here is the link: http://www.synergydesignsolutions.com/Working/Lotus_LA/

I have been on their email list for some time. They organize alot of activities. In fact there is a British car show this Sunday in Bonsal. Let me know if you want more info.

I don't think it makes sense to create a separate group. Lotus owners are such a small group anyway. No need to splinter them up.

My $.02
 

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Thanks, Vantage. Being older definitely brings one more and varied experiences. But I think that my wife may question the "wiser" part. She loves the look of the Elise, but is a little worried that I may get into trouble with so much power.
 

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Personally, I like the idea of having a separate organization from some of the existing groups, partially for the same reason I like this forum a bit better than the Lotus run forum. I feel like the autonomy offered here is better. I think it would be great to have a new group out there that is devoted primarily to this model. Sure, we could probably apply to get inclusion into LOG and get the benefits thereof, and we could certainly allow other folks into our club, regardless of what they drive, but it could still retain the idea of being an 'Elise enthusiast' club.

LOG has a very different demographic from what we are seeing will be buying the Elise. LOG is mostly Esprit owners, or those who restore the older Lotuses. Not that it's bad, I'd like to be a part of that, too... but if I need help on a weekend, or want to get together to discuss Elises, I'd prefer a more tight knit group within a group that really knows this car.

I noticed some mention of LA clubs in existence already. True... but what is there for nationwide? I'm in the Navy. I move a lot. I can't really be a part of my hometown club in Austin. I'd love to have a club where my membership is still good even if I move. It provides a ready group of new friends to attach to wherever I go, and help with car troubles. In addition, it's a chance for all of us from all over to meet up.

I think we should give it a go. And I for one will pledge to help out whenever and wherever I can, in order to help make it work. So count me in!

Cade

PS... Vantage, right on about most car clubs oriented to 'younger' folks. I'm 25, and I don't want to be a part of any club that is centered on even one 'bling,' much less 'bling bling.' I prefer real help and advice, not tips on how to make my stereo drown out police sirens.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Elise Club Newsletter Issue: 1

1. Bigger exhaust tips. How to mod your diffuser at home with a jigsaw.

2. Neon in the vents. Yes you can. But blue or purple?

3. Upsizing the rims to 24" dubs. Will it improve performance?

4. Type R Lotus stickers...where to get them!

5. Front tires. Do we need them for 1/4mile times?
 

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LOL...

Let's not forget:

6. Graphics packages: Why paint stripes on when you can express yourself with vinyl?

7. This weeks DIY: Cupholders!

8. Our intern rates three top video game systems for in-car entertainment value!


I saw a Ford Cougar yesterday (new cougar, not the musclecar) with a giant dragon across the hood and sides, with Japanese lettering all over the car. ???? I must be missing something.
Anyways... back to topic...

We need our own club.

Cade
 

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Randy and all who are considering this question,

One of the good things about a club is that it organizes a diverse group of folks that have a common interest. You may find in the excitement of newness about the Elise coming to our shores that you will undoubtedly get many voluteers. With Lotus Ltd. the organization is already there, and one of the big headaches, it seems is to get new voluteers. It has a superb monthly newsletter (the ReMarque) which was edited a number of years (about 20 I would estimate) by Mark Winston. About a year or so ago Mark retired from the editorship, and now it is run by Andrew Barron out of TX (a track enthusiast, and Elise owner). Others have mentioned about the insurance benefits, etc. Consider very carefully the amount of time you have to work a new club vs what you have now. What I mean by that is that if you scour the various lists, e.g. Lotus at Pistonheads, the LotusSportEliseUSA Yahoo Group, SELOC, www.british-cars.co.uk, and lotus.roadfly.org, you find there is a wealth of information about the problems, fixes, modifications and that there is a willingness of almost everyone that bonds us all together.

My 0.02 cents worth is that you have done well with EliseTalk, and as it evolves, it is sort of a club anyway you look at it - bet you didn't know you already had one!

No one needs the PITA things that happen with administering a club, but you have to be able to put up with it if the club is going to thrive instead of just survive. Our local New England chapter of Lotus Ltd., NELLI, has a newletter about our local activities, but we goup our efforts with about 110 other British marque clubs from around the nation via the British Marque- it lowers our overall cost of producing a newsletter for our chapter members.

The idea of combining the various Elise board members into an international Elise club is a very intriguing idea - it will take a lot of effort, but done right at the local or national levels - Lotus Cars USA will want to participate here in the USA, and so will others who, although they may not come to actually own an Elise, will still be able to contribute as members.

Over in Old Blighty, the Lotus factory has an "Official Lotus Club" that puts out a bi-monthly publication for its OLC members and has had a waining bulletin board for its members ever since one of the technical engineers who was quite outstanding at solving problems for Lotus owners left his position at Lotus. Perhaps here in the US, Clyde seems to be fullfilling much the same role in terms of providing a contact from within Lotus Cars USA.

So, keep up the relationships whichever way you slice it and it will be sure to evolve in the right direction!

-- Tom
 

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Randy, I like the idea of forming an Elise club. My biggest concern is getting insurance to cover whatever drives or track days we organize. If that means falling under the LOG umbrella, that's fine, but if we could go independant that could be better (more freedom).

Having been one of the early members of the MR2 club (IMOC) and organizer of perhaps dozens of MR2 drives in California, I'd be happy to help out however I can.
 
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