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I am thinking about buying a used Elise and wondered if there is anythings in particular i should look for. I looked at two today in this hole in the wall used car dealer and they were crap. They had so many flaws it was unbelivable. One of them had 20,000 miles the other only 700. They wanted around 30,000 for each as where i whould not have given them 10,000. They would not even let me sit in one! By the way i drove up in my 05 supercharged s2000 with carbon hood and hardtop. I guess what i'm getting at is do lotus age that badly are where these just lemons? And what kind of things should i look for?
Thanks
 

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Cracked,scratched,broke interior pieces. Cracked windshield, Missing bolts from gasdoor, Really worn seats, chunks of front bumper gone, horrible looking paint, all plastic looked faded, headlights looked hazy. I could go on but thats probably about it.
 

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i have on '05 with 16,000 miles on it , and it pretty much looks like new. you can find a "like new" car with out much effort - you might have to pay a few grand more over a ragged out car of course.
 

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Cracked,scratched,broke interior pieces. Cracked windshield, Missing bolts from gasdoor, Really worn seats, chunks of front bumper gone, horrible looking paint, all plastic looked faded, headlights looked hazy. I could go on but thats probably about it.
Chunks of bumper gone = Car doesn't even have bumpers, that's chunks of the body gone!
Headlights hazy = not a big deal, those aren't sealed units so they get moisture in them.
Horrible paint = my paint was not very good new. It's very thin in a few spots, I can see primer through it.
 

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Where they rental units? I would hope you could drive it before you got serious. Keep your gut feelings in mind.
If they are 05s look into the recalls (shifters, ECU re-flash) Sounds like a lot of wear for the ages of the cars. I have almost 12k on mine, still has the Lotus new car smell and is solid. Couple scratches under the front clam but no missing bolts or broken bits. Overall they are sturdy cars; chassis and drive train are really solid, just the things connected to them cause problems.
I bought mine used, I checked Carfax and got a lot of helpful info from this site. Maybe if you are more exact with the "flaws" we can provide better guidance.
 

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Cracked,scratched,broke interior pieces. Cracked windshield, Missing bolts from gasdoor, Really worn seats, chunks of front bumper gone, horrible looking paint, all plastic looked faded, headlights looked hazy. I could go on but thats probably about it.
wow, sounds like you were definitely looking at a few cars that weren't treated too well. (hard to believe a car with only 700 miles would have many faults).

But on the other hand, it is a low production, hand-built car. And not quite up to par with the Japanese brands when it comes to overall quality I'd say.
Tho they make up for it in performance!
 

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Cracked,scratched,broke interior pieces. Cracked windshield, Missing bolts from gasdoor, Really worn seats, chunks of front bumper gone, horrible looking paint, all plastic looked faded, headlights looked hazy. I could go on but thats probably about it.
That's not standard stuff. I have none of that on my '05 with 8000 miles and don't expect that I'll see any of it in the foreseable future. How a car with 700 miles on it could look that bad is beyond me.

And how on earth can they be asking the same price for cars with that disparity in mileage. They won't let you sit in the cars? Holy cow! Don't do business with people like that.
 

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If it was the type of "hole in the wall" place I'm thinking of, I'd avoid that place like the plague to begin with. Sounds like this used car lot in Phoenix called Jalopy Jungle. There's got to be a Lotus dealership within reasonable driving distance if that place had two. I'd try looking there first.
 

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Even tracking mine frequently, it has held up well. You must be looking at some very abused cars. Keep looking. There are very nice '05s out there for low 30s. I will say though, the cars were designed to be driven. You will never spend less money for a fantastic track car.
 

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Cracked,scratched,broke interior pieces. Cracked windshield, Missing bolts from gasdoor, Really worn seats, chunks of front bumper gone, horrible looking paint, all plastic looked faded, headlights looked hazy. I could go on but thats probably about it.
These sound like cars that were cobbled together from damaged Elise's.

THere is no way you could have seat wear on a 700 mile car. Mine has ~45,000 and there is NO visible seat wear.

Again, we don't have any faded plastic.

It really sounds like these cars or parts of them have been sitting out in a salvage lot for a long LONG time.

Carfax 'em and let us know.
 

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Wow.....heck I would sell you my car for a bit more than, and it is immaculate. Btw been on S2ki for many years, on my second AP2, love the cars.

Good luck!
 

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Hey KYO,
I could show you our 06 Elise with 12,700 miles. You could then see what items wear on these cars. On ours the starshield in front of the rear wheels is very difficult to get clean. That's it. Those two you looked at must have been really beat on. Keep an eye out for local Atlanta get-togethers. Adam.
 
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