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Here's the deal: took to Lotus out for a late winter drive last night and broke the GUT spoiler off the front clam. Fortunately the clam has minimal damage but the lip is trashed. I'm just frustrated with the fragility of these otherwise brilliant little machines. I've never had good pedal feel in the brakes despite trying different pads, fluid, etc and experienced ice mode on the track a few times. I spun and crashed at hte track last summer and while I was fortunate with insurance coverage then
, I probably won't be next time. I'm thinking of selling and buying a new CRG TaG kart and trailer and spending the rest in seat time in the kart and Skippy car. I know I'd miss track days in the Elise and just looking at the sexy little beast, but I could always track one of the Hondas. I guess HPDE's are more of a social outing for me anyway.
I know a few of you have been is this situation (fish) and I respect the collective experience and intelligence on this board.
Thanks for listening, (on the couch now...)
 

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I sold mine.

And...I am looking for a kart and tow vehicle that I can toss the kart in. Plus I am getting a Toniq R for the street for fun.

Not sure if I am helping to talk you down.
 

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Like a supermodel girlfriend you have to also love its quirks (ie. Kathy Ireland's voice, etc.). Good luck on your next purchase.
 

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I doubt I will be much help either as mine will be out the door next week. . .
 

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:thwack: What are you people all thinking? Snap out of it.
 

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A little bit more of an explanation. This car is not the perfect car. There... the secret is out. It is not.:panic:

But.... there is no perfect car. EVERY car represents strengths and weaknesses and epitomize the word "compromise." Each car may indeed be the perfect vehicle for the task at hand, or perfect for what one person uses it for.

The Elise is a brilliant compromise. Brilliant in many ways. Specially in terms of communication... road feel. And fun. The perfect element for this car to me, is a twisty mountain or canyon road. Something like Tail of the Dragon or Highway 1 in Big Sur. The car just comes to life. And at the same time, it is street legal and has all the required things for a street car. Radio. Heater. Almost AC (truthfully, some cars have good AC, some not so good). Air bags. ABS. Alarm.

Is it a good drag car? I guess one could make it into that, but there are easier cars to make go fast in a straight line. Is it a good track car? Well sure, but you might end up either wanting more horsepower, or less weight, or both. Might depend on the track and your level of competitiveness. Also...your perception of the potential impact (no pun intended) of an off track excursion, will be very subjective. Many here can afford a shunt. Many here can not. Some will go a bit slower worried about hitting a wall. Some will also have less fun going a bit slower because of it and want a cheap track car.

Some (like me) may end up getting tired of the things like ABS and Immobilizer when developing a track car and want something with LESS stuff on it.

Is it a good street car? Well again, that depends on how you use it. If I was driving rush hour freeway traffic, this would be one of my last choices. Depends. If you have other vehicles, then bad weather and traffic or bad roads or bad neighborhoods or having to haul something from Home Depot may not matter to you.

The key thing keeps coming back that there is no one answer for everyone. It all depends on what you want from a car.

One area of compromise is indeed the fragility of the car. That is a given. We should all know that and respect it for what it is. I think all of us take care about parallel parking for example. Don't leave heavy objects in the boot. Be a bit careful about hitting the kerbs too hard on the track. Watch more careful for stuff on the road, potholes, speedbumps, angled ramps, getting high sided in a parking garage. Take more care when getting tires done or oil changed. Forget automatic washers.

It is relatively fragile. But that is the compromise for lightweight.

Stuff tends to want to vibrate loose. That is the result of a stiff suspension. If you know karts, you know you have to safety wire every fastener.

It looks awesome. It is a lot of fun. It is a great car. And I miss mine. But not all of us can afford a stable of cars and for me, I decided I can get a BETTER track experience in a kart. And it's cheaper and easier to haul and store. Track days are $20-30 a DAY for all day. More runs until my arms drop off. Tires are $160 a SET and can be mounted at home. Etc etc etc.

And for me... a track car might as well not have a warranty. And no ABS. No alarm. No radio. No heater or AC. Just a simple car that weighs 1250 pounds. And I spent a LOT of time tweaking the engine in the Elise to get more power out of it. That was fun and all. But in a track car, I would rather start with something that already had 300 pounds of torque stock and build from there. This is for a crazy car. Could the Elise be made into this? Some have come close in weight (Fred, Perry, and The Stig) and some are close in HP (Frank, Fred) but I want to have a car that is under 1300 pounds and over 300hp.

Now since I am getting that car and a kart, I need a trailer and tow vehicle. Might as well get one that can haul stuff from Home Depot and I don't mind driving in bad weather and bad neighborhoods. Now I added a truck, track car, kart, and trailer. I would have loved to keep the Elise... but I just can't, and my car went down a path that made it much less a street car and much more a track only car.

I do expect for me, my situation will change and I will get the Eagle for a street car. At least that is the plan for now. Or I might get a new Elise next year. Let's see what Lotus comes up with. And then there is the Esprit. :)

Not sure if any of that helps at all. :shrug:
 

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Funny you should be the first to reply to that! :) :)

I suck sometimes at remembering stuff
 

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tracking and Elise / Exige could be expensive with one crash you could have a couple of karts...
 

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I'm just about done parting out my mods and mine goes up for sale. As much as I love the Elise, I want more than just track days so I am buying a Formula 500 next week. F500 is one of the easiest cars to be able to jump back and forth between autocross, time trials, hill climbs, and club racing at the regional level and be competitive. Plus it is a steel tube frame purpose built race car that can very easily and cheaply be repaired. Living up to the the light is right moto, the car is 800 lbs with driver and depending on what numbers you believe, between 90 and 100 hp at the crank. My first time ever in a F500 at Roebling Road and I was 10 secs. quicker than my Elise. :evil: As much as I would love to keep the Elise, I would love to be racing even more, and without the Elise, I'm only left with a house payment. That leaves lots of money for entry fees and tires!
 

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I can't help you much either. I sold mine last spring to buy a RallyCross car, and while I loved the Elise I have never regretted the move. I did have to buy a new Miata a few months later to cure my small, light, sporty convertible itch though.
 

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They are making more Lotus .... for now. If you have the one you want, and you can afford to keep it, I would. I wish I was rich enough to have held on to all my motorcycles and most of my cars. I am a serial owner. A pick up truck and a shifter cart a F500 or FV can be had for $10-15K. If you have the space to keep it all then low budget racing is possible. Despite the current economic and social climate "there are always other cars." (I hope :panic:)
 

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The Elise is certainly a compromise car, but a lot of it is what you make of it.

It isn't a great stop and go car, but I drive it in that traffic all the time. I've got a better DD car, but I leave it in the garage. To me, it is worth it for those times you get to open it up. My philosophy is that I want to make driving as fun as possible and being 6 inches off the ground seems to be the way to go right now.

Of course I grew up driving Jeep CJ's and then Wranglers - more compromise vehicles.

To me, the way to go is to drive the hell out of the Elise, rain, or shine and keep a less expensive vehicle for the times you need to carry a few more folks or more stuff.

For the price, I really don't think there is a better value out there.

You only live once - enjoy the hell out of life and whatever things suit your lifestyle.
 

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Stock Lotus is a fun car for driving on the streets, but racecars -- Formula 500, Formula Vee, Spec Racer Ford -- are all going to be just as quick and a lot more fun on the track.

Steve
 

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Coming from someone who has to sell his - I really wish I could keep it. I know I will regret it once it is gone but such is life.
 

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Love my elise but have also thought about selling it. Race an FV and its counter productive to do any track days in the elise along with racing. Racing involves going as fast as you can at all times. Its a competition. Track days are not and while you can still be pushing it, elises are VERY fragile to push too far. One trip into a deep gravel trap and your front clam is toast. You may get some scratches and paint damage in other cars but not like in the elise.

On the other hand, I still think the cars a ball of fun on empty country roads and it truly is great looking. Steering and handling are sublime. Sell for an M3, Cayman S, some sort of car I can use daily?? As Randy said, there is no perfect car, but that never stops (or maybe causes) us all to keep looking.

Jim A.
 
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