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Discussion Starter #1
I am starting to waiver in my commitment towards the Elise. My original plan was to build an FFR Cobra, drive it for a year, then sell it to buy a used Elise. I even have the Mustang donor car. Then I lost all control and put a deposit down on the Lotus. Now I'm torn, because both cars are extremely appealing to me.

Lotus Elise
Cost: $45k
Cornering: 1.2 G (LSS)
Power to weight: 10.4
Accelleration: 0-60 <5 sec
Looks: Awesome modern styling
Practicality: A/C, top, warranty
Summary: Ridiculously fast car with great pedigree and looks

FFR Cobra
Cost: $25k
Cornering: 1+ G (R compounds)
Power to weight: 5.8!!!
Accelleration: ~4.2 sec
Looks: Cool classic looks
Practicality: Cheaper parts
Summary: Stupid fast car that I get to build myself

Note that the Cobra price and performance are based on supercharging my current 302 motor (which already puts down 320 at the wheels.) The car only weighs 2200lbs, so we're talking serious love. And that extra $20k would be nice to have around.

I know that a couple of you have FFRs. What are your thoughts?
 

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shay2nak
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It's a tought choice no doubt. I really like the Cobra. For it's amazing classic looks and power. Everytime I see one, it turns heads and you can hear it from a distance. LOL It's larger than the Elise, so visiblility and that sort of stuff is not really an issue. I'm not sure what I would do in your shoes. I may opt for the Cobra. The only downside from my point of view is that there's no hardtop. I don't like convertibles. You need more input from the rest of us.
 

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It really depends what will be fun for you. I enormously enjoyed modding my Miata. I did just about everything one could think of and it was fun and rewarding. However, my "tinker with it" bug has been satisfied now. So with the Elise I get all this great performance and I don't have to touch a thing. That is now more appealing to me. Get the Lotus for turnkey excitement and enjoyment or get the Cobra for self tinkering, self rewarding, hobby like excitement. What is better is really what you consider more fun... For me I just want to drive and not have to get too dirty anymore, aditionally I am more partial to the look of a modern day sports car like the Lotus:)
 

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JeffersonRaley said:
Looks: Cool classic looks
[...]
Summary: Stupid fast car that I get to build myself
Have you considered a Caterham? If you got one, you could still run with the Lotus crowd. :)

Steve
 

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If you can actually build the FFR for $25K, then that would be a hard choice to ignore. I know I could not - a good paint job alone is about $3500 minimum. But if a person has a well equipped shop and plenty of time, it would be an attractive option.

If you have the cost estimates - perhaps you would post them, if you wouldn't mind? I wonder if I am just overlooking some way to build something like this cheaper (even setting the cost of labor as $0/hr.)

If a lot of used parts are used, and not rebuilt, then there is the consideration of comparing a vehicle with some worn parts against a 100% brand new vehicle (which does have a warranty, though it is a Lotus. :)

Definitely though the kit car route is not for the turnkey type of driver who wants to just drive, not tinker with the car mechanically a lot. Even a turnkey kit car (which I imagine is a lot more expensive) would need, as the British would say, a lot of "fettling" before it is really reliable.



DLY
 

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Discussion Starter #6
etypeiii said:
If you can actually build the FFR for $25K, then that would be a hard choice to ignore. I know I could not - a good paint job alone is about $3500 minimum.
You're right, total cost for me would be about $30k. But I already have the donor car, and won't be able to sell it for what I have in it. I'll do all of the work myself and have a decent home shop to do it in. I also enjoy messing around with cars, so I'm counting my time as "free." The biggest thing that I did to save money was get a great price on a donor car in great shape with a brand new hot motor. The motor happened to be out of the car, which is what made the price so good.

Caterhams are really cool. I spent some track time in an interesting Super 7 derivative recently. Insanely fast at 1550lbs with an S2000 motor. But for me the Caterham would be a track-only car. I'd get a Spec Racer Ford instead.

I suspect that I'll keep vacillating between the two - depending on which I've seen most recently (a guy drove his Cobra in to work today.) At least it keeps my mind occupied while I wait for July. ;)
I keep coming back to the Lotus, which has to mean something.
 

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Those of us who have waited 2 years plus have wavered at one time or another. So are you truly wavering because of the cost or maybe you are just tired of waiting?
 

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huggy bear said:
Those of us who have waited 2 years plus have wavered at one time or another. So are you truly wavering because of the cost or maybe you are just tired of waiting?
Very true!
 

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When I built my FFR I tried to stay at around 30 grand. I ended up at about 36. You can get a really nice hardtop for the FFR by a company called APE.

No matter how much of a perfectionist you are a FFR is never going to come out as nice as a Kirkham or a Superformance but they are crazy fast. Once the car was finished it took very little tinkering. After the first few weeks of dialing in the suspension I never adjusted a thing for years...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
huggy bear said:
Those of us who have waited 2 years plus have wavered at one time or another. So are you truly wavering because of the cost or maybe you are just tired of waiting?
You're right. After sleeping on it I am back solidly on Elise ground. I've been obsessing over the Elise since the S1. All of my computers have Elise wallpaper (including my PDA!) My office is filled with Elise magazines, newspaper clippings and models. Friends avoid me because I can't stop talking about this car. Heck, I spend an houring catching up with EliseTalk every night. I like the FFR, but have never obsessed over it. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and input.

Donovan - great looking FFR. Agree the Superformance cars are great (though very expensive.) I do know one guy who built and FFR that rivals (or exceeds) the Superformance cars I've seen, but he probably spent $60k building it to perfection.

As with everything else, the cheapest way to do it seems to be buying one that is already done. Sure would be nice to be able to make money building and restoring cars.
 

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Excellent Jefferson!
 
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