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2005 Lotus Elise Nightfall Blue
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Folks!

Looking to buy an Elise, and while I'm watching the auto sales websites, I figured I would post a WTB here just in case someone was local and just hasn't gotten around to listing their car yet

Tried to be as descriptive in the title as possible, but let's go down the list:
Budget: ~$35,000
Timeline: Any time. I'm ready now, but I also am happy to wait for the right car.

Looking for:
  1. Low mileage. Ideally looking for less than 20k, but I could see myself buying a car with 30, 40, or even 50k miles under the right circumstances (aka: being a clean, well cared for car)
  2. Clean Title
  3. No mods/few mods/stock components included. "Reliability" upgrades are OK (radiator, toe link reinforcement, etc)
  4. Blue or BRG, or Purple. Preferred Laser, Night Fall, and Magnetic are all good. May consider other shades of blue, but I'd have to see it first.
  5. Touring package (let's be honest, these cars are loud, and I want the added sound deadening)
  6. Hardtop
  7. Within ~500 miles of San Diego preferred, but for the right car, further is fine.
Sport package: Doesn't matter one way or the other
Model Year: 2005-2010

What I offer: "Market Rate" based on Bring-a-Trailer auctions (including the 5% BaT Buyer's fee) since this is the best data I have on what these cars are actually selling for (which tends to be ~$4k less than what they're listing for). You share details about your car, and I'll identify and share minimum of 3 comps, you approve the comps as being legitimately comparable, and then I offer the average of those comps (with adjustments for mileage). My budget is ~$35k, which should be good for a 2005 as I described with about 13,000 miles on it, based on the comps I'm aware of today, but this will be adjusted depending on the particulars of the car in question.

Finally, I'm not interested in an Exige or Elise SC. The base Elise is plenty fast enough for my driving preferences, and I'm not interested in paying extra for either of these options. I suppose if you want to get rid of it for under market rate, you can reach out... but chances are I won't be interested in paying market rate for either of these alternative vehicles.
 

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I wish you luck on your search, thankfully you are looking for an Elise which are a more common than the Exige, but the longer your list of "requirements" for the "right car", the longer you can expect to wait for the "right car" to come available. Also, as many discussions on this forum have mentioned, BAT isn't the best resource for "gauging" the market/value of these cars, especially when you look in the classified section here and can see a wide variety of colors, mods, etc have sold through this forum in the past 6 months, year, etc.

Not to mention that under 20K on a 15 yr old car will also fetch a higher premium...
 

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2005 Lotus Elise Nightfall Blue
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I'm prepared for this to take about 6 months, maybe more. Also, I am pretty negotiable on many of these things - it's really just the touring pack, hard top, and color that are really important. I will travel much futher than 500 miles for the right car, but it's significantly easier if it's that close. Maybe I should make that more clear in my post.

As for prices, I hesitated to be this direct, but the way I see it is like this: Lotus Talk forum list prices are, by my estimation, 15% higher than what the "final bid" is on Bring-a-Trailer. So 5% of that is the Bring-a-Trailer buyer's fee, which is easy for me to account for: I just tack on 5% over the final bid, and that's what the buyer actually paid for the car. For the other 10%, I just assumed it was run-of-the-mill private-party sales negotiations, and that every seller is willing to negotiate ~10%. With those two things accounted for, a car that is bid to $33k on BaT should be expected to list for $39k or $40k on Lotus Talk, and the buyer would be expected to actually pay ~$35-$36k.

Finally, I'll just add one more thing: I know that on any site that lists cars for sale, the high priced ones hang around for a long time. This means that a quick glance at any classified section (Lotus Talk, AutoTrader, Cars.com, etc.) will bias to showing cars that are overpriced, since the more reasonably priced ads don't stay up for nearly as long, so those aren't reliable measures, either. You really gotta dig in to know what cars are actually selling for, and BaT is the easiest, most reliable way to do that (and I would argue, most accurate once you account for the 5% buyer's fee).
 

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I would call mine middle+mileage.. but I got this just under a year ago... and through circumstance I bought another Elise that was EXACTLY what I was looking for that was 5 miles from this 3 months later in LA area. I will be selling it, but in no hurry, and still love looking at it and driving it on occasion... maybe added 500 miles so far...I live in northern SD county..

Ad for my Nightfall Blue that enticed me is still up, I own it now..
 

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2005 Lotus Elise Nightfall Blue
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Discussion Starter #7
Lol 6TVRs I totally recognize your name from all the BaT auctions - I've been a lurker for years, never really felt like I had much to add to the conversation. In any even, Night Fall Blue is a gorgeous color perhaps my favorite (although I think Laser Blue would be easier to keep looking clean), and we both know one just sold for (I love this quote) "supercharged Exige skittle color money." - I have mixed feelings about that auction, since it is a significant outlier, and implies I would be paying a premium for a Night Fall Blue car, but perhaps we can find the right balance. So, definitely interested, and you're close enough that I can do a thorough inspection about wear and tear, so the mileage is easier to account for. I'll shoot you over a PM.
 

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Hey Folks!

Looking to buy an Elise, and while I'm watching the auto sales websites, I figured I would post a WTB here just in case someone was local and just hasn't gotten around to listing their car yet
Well Martin, that opening statement proved more prophetic than I think you or I thought it would be!

It was great to meet you today and ultimately welcoming a new member into the fold as a "Lotus owner"!
Looking forward to our next steps...and keep staring at it thinking .."what have I done"?..lol... I may be back in line in front of the previous owner if you go to sell...! :oops:
 

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2005 Lotus Elise Nightfall Blue
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Discussion Starter #9
Bill,

Indeed. So nice to meet you, and I'm looking forward to giving this beauty a new home. Can't wait to wrap this up and have it in my garage (and nipping at your heels on the autocross course ;)
 

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2005 Lotus Elise Nightfall Blue
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Discussion Starter #11
Indeed! Starting this thread really worked out, ha ha!

Driving this car home was the third time I've ever driven an Elise, and the first time in 10 years I've driven one on proper twisty roads. I had a grin the entire time. Everything they say about these cars is true. It's fine for normal driving, and hell I would say more comfortable than the '86 Chevy k10 I drove cross country (especially given that it has a/c)... But it really comes alive on the twisty back roads. These have always been a dream car for me. I originally wanted an s1 way back in the day, and was so elated when I found out the s2 was coming to the US. It's been 18 years I reckon since I learned about these cars (Gran Turismo 3, anyone?) - which has been just over half my lifetime. It's surreal to finally be able to have my dream car. I have a soft spot for light and nimble cars, and never have been that interestef in other exotics that people drool over - not really a fan of that kind of attention, although this is clearly an attention grabber: I'm 1 for 1 getting comments while filling up at the fuel pump. Can't imagine a better weekend car. It was worth the wait 😁

Next stop: photoshoot, new tires, fixing the headliner 😂
 

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Let us know if you want thread closed.
 

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2005 Lotus Elise Nightfall Blue
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Discussion Starter #13
Sure! close it! It's done it's job 😊
 
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