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Hello. I am close to a nice deal on an '05 Elise.

I know the car has been taken to the track reguarly. However, it was owned and driven by an expert driver who was even an instructor at some HPDE days. The car was not in any accidents while at the track. It has 15,000 miles on it.

What questions do you think I should ask the seller about the car?

What concerns would you have about the purchase of a tracked Elise? If you were me, would anything worry you?

Thank you for your time! You guys are great!

Jim
 

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Try to arrange for an ECU dump, i.e. a data output of the engine speed etc.

Obviously you should go through the car buying checklist in the Uberpost.
 

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Most that track do take good care of there cars but you cant just go by that. Get all the service records to make sure what has been done. I would take it to a trusted service tech to have someone go over it very well. Im sure others will chime in on this but at the basics check brakes/pads, clutch/transmission, tires, see what mods have been done as some are great and some not so much.
 

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I know the car has been taken to the track reguarly. However, it was owned and driven by an expert driver who was even an instructor at some HPDE days.

Jim
Jim, just because the guy is an "expert" driver that doesnt mean the car hasnt been driven really hard. i would actually think the opposite, that the car was driven really hard by an "expert" vs a novice.


judge the car on its merits, not the (percieved) "merits" of the current owner.

if i were buying one of these, i would choose one that was a garage queen. there are plenty of them out there.
when i got mine, it had 600 miles put on it in the previous owners 1 year of ownership.
 

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Jim, just because the guy is an "expert" driver that doesnt mean the car hasnt been driven really hard. i would actually think the opposite, that the car was driven really hard by an "expert" vs a novice.


judge the car on its merits, not the (percieved) "merits" of the current owner.

if i were buying one of these, i would choose one that was a garage queen. there are plenty of them out there.
when i got mine, it had 600 miles put on it in the previous owners 1 year of ownership.
Agreed, regularly tracked cars (any brand) wear out at a much faster rate than a regularly street driven low mileage car. This doesn't mean the car you are considering is bad, but be prepared to replace components early in their normal life cycle. The car may be just fine, but you should buy it at a discounted price and be prepared to replace parts as needed.
 

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I'd agree that I car that was a garage queen will "likely" be a better candidate. It may have been ignored and not maintained, but functionally none of these are cars are so old that things can go that bad.

As per the tracked car, I'd spend a bit more time with the current owner to try and judge how they would treat the car. Some of the HPDE instructors are pretty wild hard drivers while others are very into "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" approach. The owner's personality and style will translate into how the car was functionally treated.

Either way I wouldn't say the car was a hands off choice, I'd just figure it into the price. As a rule of thumb one track mile is about the same as ten road miles on wear and tear.

Good luck,
Adam
 

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2 years ago I bought a '05 Elise (with 18,000 miles) that had been regularly tracked. The previous owner contacted me and we went thru all of the functions, modifications and tips to mantain the Elise in top notch condition. At 30,000 miles, we pulled the valve cover and examined the valves for wear. The engine was still in great shape! I change the oil (Mobil1) every 4000 miles, like clockwork.

The Elise has 41,000 miles on it now and it runs like new. No problems during the two years I've owned it! I put 11,000/year on this Elise and I use it in HPDE sessions several times a year.

I'm thinking of installing the factory supercharger when Lotus and C.A.R.B. approves it.

This particular Elise was the fastest on the big track (Willow Springs) with Craig Stanton driving!:D:cool:

I hope this helps....

-Hal
 

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This particular Elise was the fastest on the big track (Willow Springs) with Craig Stanton driving!:D:cool:

I hope this helps....

-Hal
It ran @ 130:04 with a set of Jacks old slicks the day before i sold it. The guy i sold it to drove it home then sold it to silver star he put a 150 miles on it. never could figure it out but now it's in good hands. carl
 

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A tracked car will simply have more wear and tear than a non-tracked car....pick it wisely.
 
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