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Discussion Starter #1
So guys get ready.
Bare with me
And please read!!!:popcorn:

I'm almost 16 and i am in love with lotus, i have been to multiple forums over the last 6 months asking the same question, but for some reason i have not been here, but that's going to change! :D :wave:

For now i have an old toyota avalon and its fine as a first car. I plan on getting a job very soon and i plan on accumulating about $10k. Obviously this is not enough for my dream car (elise). So my parents have said they will throw in around $15k when I graduate High School or around my 18th birthday. I thought this would be amazing until about a month ago on my brothers 18th birthday. My parents promised him the $15k car also, but after a few weeks of searching, my dad decided to splurge and spent $22k (on a 2007 bmw 3.0si Z4) instead! so this is now my starting point. I want to work and earn money towards this dream, i would feel much better "earning" the car rather than just being given it.

The car i lust after: Lotus Elise. I have always wanted this car. I came up with this "dream" about a year ago and everyone said i was crazy, no 18yo has a lotus.... I hope you all understand where i'm coming from, I am in love with cars. I have had a jar in my room for a year with a piece of paper taped to it stating "Auto Funds". I have a little over $1000 in it now from just birthdays, Christmas, and selling various old things. I am hoping in October when i turn 16 that i can buy an old beater miata for around 2k and learn how to fix things on it and learn how to drive in a much smaller convertible car.:clap:

I've spent hours upon hours on places like autotrader.com and cars.com looking at lotus elises for sale and how much they are worth. I see that right now most of them are going for around $25-30k,and on the classifieds here, that seems about right, and in 2 years hopefully the average will be even lower. Oh and with insurance, my insurance company bases their prices on how much Horsepower your car has, so an Avalon, a Porsche Boxster, and an Elise would be the same to insure! rotfl (but of course ill be helping/paying for insurance)

I love the whole premise of the car, light, not much to it, not luxurious or spacious, not even super powerful... But you know what?.. I love that about the car... What more do you need from a car??:D

Ive been lurking on here for awhile but today ive decided to just outright join the forum in full fledge, over the next two years expect to see my username quite a lot. :) i'm going to learn about all the mechanical mishaps that users have, ill learn about all the little cool things about the car, ill learn to love them even more...

But anyway, I do apologize if this is in the wrong section, i will probably copy/paste this to the "new here" section, i just wanted to get this out there for all to see, i really would love to see what everyone has to say, negative or not. Thanks for reading! :bow:
 

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Welcome aboard, Garrett. The Miata is a great car to start with. Definitely an easy car to work on and learn from.
BTW, you should grab a picture for your avatar, maybe your brothers BMW.



Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Welcome Garrett,

Glad to hear the Lotus is your dream car, and that it sounds like you have a good plan going. Couple things I will start out by saying, that others on here will chime in on.

First off, owning the lotus mechanically is inexpensive and reliable...unless you happen to get one that is plagued with either a blown oil line or a wiped cam. Then you have another situation. There is no definitive thing to look for to be aware of these items (unless you pull the valve cover and see one of the cam lobes going, then it has a wiped cam), so it is hit or miss on that one.

But the largest thing that many will point out, is that if you crack a clam, it is not a cheap repair job. Most here are seeing either the car become a totalled insurance claim and then not getting what they were hoping to get for it, or just the opposite (depends on amount of damage done to the car). Also, realize it doesn't take much to crack a clam...it really doesn't. Guy just hit road debris (I think it was a tire from semi, cracked the clam well and it can be fixed, looking at anywhere from 2k to 6k in repairs. So do keep that in mind.

2nd, truth betold..take this as you want, I am a car guy as well, loved them ever since I started driving, and even before that. Had money when I was 18 and instead of buying a car decided to invest the money in a retirement plan. I am 33 now, I have owned a lot of nice cars, built a few, and I have totalled a few as well. My wife and I own our elise out right, plus our other two cars, we own our house, and we have absolutely no debt (except the remains of my S/C on my credit card). I say this, to encourage you to look at it from the stand point, of don't make the mistake of getting a REALLY nice car before you set yourself up in life. As you NEVER know what can/will happen between now and then. FIRST take care of what MAY become your future, and then start shooting for the dreams. It is nice that your parents are going to help you out, but it is easy for your car's clam to get cracked, or you paint to get keyed just because some other kid is jealous of your car at school and decides to "show you" what it's like to have it keyed. Happened to one of my students just after he got his "new Mustang GT" and another student who picked up his SRT8 300.

And sadly, if you are shooting for a high mileage elise, i think you are looking at the bottom of the price point for now (about $20k - $23k), if you are looking for a mid mileage elise (probably $22k - $26k), and a low mileage elise ($26k - $32k) mostly because they aren't being shipped here anymore. So in this case, that makes the car an even more rarity, thus driving the value up on it a little each year...depending on how people take care of them. (I just found out a lady bought a plymouth prowler 6 years ago for $11k, and just sat on it for the last 6 years, 0 miles on it, and just turned it over for $27k, just to get you an idea).

So I am not saying don't buy one, I am just throwing a different pebble into your thinking pot is all.

Welcome to the forums again, and do your homework if you plan on buying one...as there are A LOT of different choices out there now.
 

Terry
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welcome! And glad you like Lotus as much as most of us do ;)
I got mine 3 years ago when i was 21, so age is definitely not a problem. For some reason my insurance isn't as crazy as I thought it'd be. Make sure you have insurance though, i guess that's the most important thing to know because a crack on your clam can cost you $10k or more. maintenance is cheap, gas mileage is awesome! the driving feels awesome, the car is definitely worth the price. i put 16K ~ 18K miles on my car each year, you might be able to purchase mine 2 years later ;)
 

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I forgot to say, that if a Lotus is the car you want in the end...instead of a miata...eve n though they handle great, i would encourage an Older Toyota MR2 instead. Mostly so that you can get used to the idea of midengine don't lift on throttle idea. Then go practice that on an autocross track...it is a blast when you do it, and even more fun when you don't. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ill be able to post more in a bit, but just letting you all know I haven't abandoned this thread! Thank yoy all very much for your replies.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey guys so ive read over everything youve all said, and believe me, i already feel at home here:)

Every other place ive been to have just said things like you will crash, and people will hate you, and your given everything and all that good stuff. :mad:

You all have just basically told me positive things and things to look out for (like the clam shell replacement) :up:

giantmcm, thank you for your large reply, i most definitely read it over quite a few times. I do know that it is a lot of money to put towards something, when something drastic or bad could happen in the future. I just wanted to let you know that i am NOT spending every cent i make, i plan on spending probably around $27k. With selling my avalon in two years i will probably get $5000, meaning with my fathers money i will most likely be able to purchase a middle milaged car. With the $10,000 i get from working i will put that all in savings and only use in the case that i have to repair something.:)

My dad works with a car fanatic (Owns a 911 and races an e30 3 series, and has quite a few resto projects) who runs his own luxury car repair service on the side. He repairs bmws, porsches, audis, etc. I am more than positive i would be doing all of the repairs to the car with him right by his side. My brothers first car (2000 BMW 3 series) broke down allllllll the time, and we would take it to this guy and he would show us how to fix it and send us on our way. :clap:

Another thing i have always thought about... What do you guys all think about some sort of racing academy? like a place to go to learn how to control more powerful cars? My dad is thinking about sending my brother to a short program (go for two weekends kind of thing) so that he becomes more comfortable with driving his new car.:shift:

Also that MR2 suggestion i will definitely take into consideration :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
welcome! And glad you like Lotus as much as most of us do ;)
I got mine 3 years ago when i was 21, so age is definitely not a problem. For some reason my insurance isn't as crazy as I thought it'd be. Make sure you have insurance though, i guess that's the most important thing to know because a crack on your clam can cost you $10k or more. maintenance is cheap, gas mileage is awesome! the driving feels awesome, the car is definitely worth the price. i put 16K ~ 18K miles on my car each year, you might be able to purchase mine 2 years later ;)
Haha yes insurance and the clam replacement are the two big things. But thats good hearing it wasnt so bad for you! and gosh who knows which lotus ill end up with in the end! :D so far i most definitely want to get it from a user on LT. I know you all love your cars here :)
 

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Is it groundhog day?
 

Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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get a job at a fiberglass repair specialty body shop.......then - no worries mostly. Learn the skills of f/g repair.
 

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Great to see you on the Forum. My only advice is to buy the best car within your budget up front; with a good service history.

Welcome and wishing you the best in your search.

vincesf
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great to see you on the Forum. My only advice is to buy the best car within your budget up front; with a good service history.

Welcome and wishing you the best in your search.

vincesf
Thanks a lot, you know ill be asking for everyones help to find the right one when the time comes! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Welcome aboard, Garrett. The Miata is a great car to start with. Definitely an easy car to work on and learn from.
BTW, you should grab a picture for your avatar, maybe your brothers BMW.



Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app


Yes i might have to upload a picture soon :)
 

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Yes racing school/driving experience is money well spent(and fun). You can add a supercharging and racing slicks and still be slower than a better driver. The driver mod is the first mod that should be done with the car and is ever evolving.

I don't always get an instructor ride along but once or twice a year I try to get one to go out with me to verify my habits and help change bad driving habits.
 

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The day after I graduated college my dad - who worked as a cement mixer driver - picked me up and took me and my stuff home.

I strode in to my parents house, degree in hand, already worried about how I was going to earn my way in the real world.

There in the dining room table was a spread of car brochures. Nothing fancy, but from a variety of local dealers. I smiled and sat down.

"Hey dad," I called out. "What's this all about?" I started smiling as I began leafing through the Pontiac brochure.

Dad came over. "Well, son," he said as he put a hand on my shoulder. "Your mom and I are pretty proud of you. And I figured ...now that you've finished school, and you're getting started on making your own way, well, it's time to trade in my old station wagon and buy myself a nice new car.

"Oh. Gee. That's. Um. Great, dad."

"Yes. Yes it is. Pretty great. Oh, and by the way... your mother and I decided that - until you get a job and move out, we're going to have to ask you to start paying some rent. New cars ain't cheap, you know."
 

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^^^ hahah thats a great story.

as for the OP... ill take the bait. lotus for a teenager = terrible decision. but hey, if you can make it happen, all the power to you. i certainly wouldnt have appreciated someone saying that to me at 16, but at 27 i get it. no one else had said it yet. had to. sorry.
 
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