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As a non-owner, I am trying to be prudent and investigate all angles of Lotus ownership before I "write that check".

I have seen several Elise's around in my driving but until recently, had never actually stopped to take the time for a closer look.

A few weeks ago, a friend needed to get picked up at LAX so I offered to make the drive, and ofcourse, not wanting to waste a trip to "LA", I decided to visit the Lotus dealership (Lotus of Beverly Hills) that I used to drive by everyday on my way home.

The contents of the dealership were primarily Lotus, while a few "Lambo's" dotted the window-line.

It was nice getting to compare all the colors next to each other as Lotus doesn't appear to have used the same color for any 2 cars, LOL. There were no less than 6 different shades of Red, then Blue, Silvers etc.

Anyhow, the salesman was a kind, older gentleman, not really knowledgeable about the Elise or Exige, and to be honest, I have a hard time tellling the difference, besides appearance.

None-the-less, a test drive seemed out of the question.

Where can a non-owner go for a ride, or even preferably, a drive? I have this idea of performance in my head, that I've built the Lotus' up to, but I need to know, are they everything I have dreamed? If so, I intend to take the plunge, but if not, then I need to find a way to get on with my life. ;)

Thanks for reading the ramble...

--Phillip
 

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Allentown, PA.......... Fall, 1974. brand new 1974 Europa TC Special.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dealership?

The only one I've been to, had a sign THEN drive policy...

Are there any So-Cal Lotus owners willing to take a prospective for a ride?
 

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As a non-owner, I am trying to be prudent and investigate all angles of Lotus ownership before I "write that check".

I have seen several Elise's around in my driving but until recently, had never actually stopped to take the time for a closer look.

A few weeks ago, a friend needed to get picked up at LAX so I offered to make the drive, and ofcourse, not wanting to waste a trip to "LA", I decided to visit the Lotus dealership (Lotus of Beverly Hills) that I used to drive by everyday on my way home.

The contents of the dealership were primarily Lotus, while a few "Lambo's" dotted the window-line.

It was nice getting to compare all the colors next to each other as Lotus doesn't appear to have used the same color for any 2 cars, LOL. There were no less than 6 different shades of Red, then Blue, Silvers etc.

Anyhow, the salesman was a kind, older gentleman, not really knowledgeable about the Elise or Exige, and to be honest, I have a hard time tellling the difference, besides appearance.

None-the-less, a test drive seemed out of the question.

Where can a non-owner go for a ride, or even preferably, a drive? I have this idea of performance in my head, that I've built the Lotus' up to, but I need to know, are they everything I have dreamed? If so, I intend to take the plunge, but if not, then I need to find a way to get on with my life. ;)

Thanks for reading the ramble...

--Phillip
I rented one in San Diego for a weekend and drove around all over as much as possible, not just twisties but traffic, grocery store ramps, parking lots etc. Rent A Vette offers luxury sports car rentals in  Las Vegas I don't know if they still are there or if they have an Elise any more, but they do have an office in Las Vegas still it looks like. You must realize though that any rental Lotus you find is not going to really represent the car to it's fullest. It will most likely be really really trashed and abused. My rental car had horrible brakes, had been bottomed out very hard several times, and the clutch was trashed. And
it was not cheap, I think $200 a day with 100 mile limit 5cents a mile over, and had to use My own insurance....... Some Enterprise rental cars had Elise and there is a place on Lincoln in MDR that occasionally has one
 

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Sorry but I’m drawing a blank as to where Ridgecrest is.

But at any rate give Newport European a drop buy. They will force you to go on a drive, and by yourself too. No appointment needed.

There are a lot of cars there also so you can see a few more colors too.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ridgecrest is at the intersection of Hwy 395 and the 14.

1.5hrs north of Palmdale/Lancaster, 1.5hrs east of Bakersfield. Chinalake, Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, is the center of the community.
 

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OK I remember where Ridgecrest is now.

Try stopping by Thousand Oaks Lotus. Last time I was there they only had a few cars so not much to choose from. Maybe call to see about any test drive requirements they may have.

Kevin
 

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I thought I couldn't test drive any Lotus Elise either, but my wife had hooked me up with a test drive at Boardwalk in Redwood City, CA. I was totally stoked.

Test drove a 08 Elise SC and a 07 Elise. Now I'm hooked. Just got to get rid of my MR-S.
 

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Toronto. 1970. Lotus Seven S2. I was 21.
 

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i rented one from enterprise when they still had them. boy was it beat to crap. but it gave me a good, real life experience to see if i could live with this car.

a 5 minute test drive around the block in an elise isn't going to tell you squat. Of course you're gonna love it. but to really experience it, you owe it to yourself to rent one for at least a day. if you like it, it's a couple hundred bucks well invested. if you don't like it, you just saved yourself 40 grand.

here's a place that rents elises, several locations in the greater LA area: Luxury car rental, Exotic and Luxury Car Rental, Exotic car rental - Los Angeles, Phoenix & S. CA - Las Vegas - New York
 

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Sorry but I’m drawing a blank as to where Ridgecrest is.

But at any rate give Newport European a drop buy. They will force you to go on a drive, and by yourself too. No appointment needed.

There are a lot of cars there also so you can see a few more colors too.

Kevin
+1 with Newport European. I got hooked over there with my first drive. After that, I could not take my mind off of a Lotus, it was like love at first sight. My gf was jealous for sure... :shift:
 

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Hello Phillip, one of my bests friends is from Ridgecrest, small world, if you know my buddy and happen to be in SD anytime soon you're welcome to take my car for a spin.

Anyways, this is a long shot, if you make it out to Hawaii anytime soon, there is a hotel in Honolulu that has a Lotus Elise and Exige to rent. The Waikiki Parc Hotel. It's a pretty good deal, unlimited miles for as I recall, 195/day for the Elise and bit more for an Exige. That is where I first drove a Lotus (pictured below) and quite soon after I purchased one for myself.

Larez2
 

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First Lotus I ever drove, Salisbury, MD. Series II Lotus 7, around 1974. First I drove I wound up owning, 1970 Lotus Europa Series 2, 1977, also Salisbury, MD.
 

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Last year in Vancouver, BC after I cut the cheque for my Exige, I headed out in the rain on a 11 hr. journey home.:panic: For the first 50 miles I had the pleasure of a police cruiser 30ft. off my backside at 60mph.:panic::panic: He got tired and went for donuts(really, he pulled into a donutshop), so I got the chance to pick up the pace. Got home by 9:30pm:D. Paced a 997 TT through the rockies and had a Lambo join us along the way. He got after it when we blasted past him at 100+.;) Great experience, great car in fantastic scenery. No regrets and I haven't looked back and second guessed my buying decision.
 
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