I would have one in the drop of a hat. I only cover 6K a year so could cope with a car with limitations. Unfortunately I am too big. A couple of friends have them, one uses it as a daily driver the other a weekend plaything. Insurance is not stupid, neither are running costs. Driving is a real hoot, although I managed to get myself in trouble a few times.
Thats it you see I have space for 4 or so cars... the 4motion is no longer a daily drive and is more of a toy , and i am changing the Wifes Zafira to a much Nicer Touran 150PD.
Now my works van is great for me as it is saving me a fortune in wear/tear//tax/ fuel and I would be happy to use the Touran as the Family ride (Unlike the Zafira were i would always use the Golf)
So it leaves me with the 4motion .... which got me thinking how about a proper toy, again the usaul supects came up, older TVR older M3 Old 911.... and a race spec Concours 205 Gti ..... then browsing Ebay I found there are loads of low mileage Series one elises for less than 7 grand .
Now its not a car i know alot about apart from it is very capable has a great power to weight ratio and has a rover engine!!!!..... anyone els elaborate or do I have to get of my lazy keyborad and go and Google.
For me, its the Elise or a TVR. The Cerbera won my heart ever since I saw an old top gear video where they lined the Cerbera up against other supercars (911 turbo, Caterham, Vanquish, and others) for a drag race and the Cerbera beat them all by a mile!
Got to be the coolest looking car ever! And you get 2 (small) rear seats!
Old 911s are still really expensive so watch out for that.
Thing is the 911 will never ever depreciate... they seem to have a floor limit of 12k for any age/model/mileage and there are loads of specialists etc to do work on them...........
the TVR is monster but my old man has a Ferrari 575 with about the same power but its chassis is more refined and it has driver aids such as ABS and Traction control..... I know how frightening the ferrari is without TC and how irresponsible I am so.... maybe a TVR is not a great idea
wheeras the elsie may depreciate it takes mostly rover parts so they are common and the mechanicals are well enough documented for a DIYer also insurance shouldnt be as mega as the TVR or porsche i should imagine..... plus it wont get the wrong type of attention outside my house I think!
I used to own a '99 elise and I loved every minute of it until some dozy mare t-boned me at a roundabout and pushed me under an articulated lorry! Myself and my passenger walked away with minor bruising and whiplash so these cars are very strong in an accident.
I used to commute 30 miles on twisty back roads into Edinburgh and then shortly after I got the car I got seconded to a position in Hexham which was about 120 miles each way from my house and I used the elise to commute in (down on a monday morning and back on a friday) and never really felt uncomfortable (other than when I had a dose of food poisoning, but that's another matter - imagine trying to crawl out of one when youneed a carp fast!)
When I first test drove one I phoned my folks to tell them about it "It's noisy, you hear the suspension crash over bumps, the gearbox whines, the windows take ages to defrost, 5 mins to remove the roof you can't hear the stereo.........I love it!!! Two weeks later on my way to a meeting I stopped at the dealer and paid a deposit on one 
I had mine for about three months but I was starting to consider a PTP conversion (Direct to head throttle bodies, remap, performance exhaust etc) They are plenty quick enough in the twisty stuff, but any kind of long straight hill will have a 2.2 diesel vectra leaving you in a cloud of black smoke. WHen I was staying in Hexham I used to leave work and spend the evenings tanking around the twisty back roads with a huge grin on my face.
Hugely Entertaining (deserves more words than that but you've read all the reviews eleswhere I'm sure)
Cheap to insure (at 23 with a fault claim and 3 years no claims I paid 700 fully comp)
Cheap to run (particularly if you use a rover specialist for basic services
Huge amount of info on the net (www.elise.co.uk www.eliseparts.co.uk the owner Geary Powell was a great help to me and bought some of the parts when mine was written off)
Friendly clubs (always get a wave from other owners)
Loads of interest from everybody from kids to old people - always in a friendly way and not a jealous reaction like with other premium brands
If you get the 118bhp you can install the metal throttle body from the MGF trophy (less than 100 quid) and get a few extra horses (The standard one is crap and made of plastic!)
As for bad points, I've mentioned the lack of torque earlier but there are a couple of niggles
Windows take a while to demist in cold weather (not an issue if you are buying as a weekend toy)
Boot release catch doesn't always work
Roof leaks above windows (Oddly this was more frequent with the hard top in place than with the soft top!
Vauxhall nova key, wiper stalks and winder handles (wiper stalks and winders can be changed for nice billet aluminium at not to high a price)
Requires a bit of practice to get in an out, but once you know the technique it's as simple as getting in a normal car (I'm 6'1" and weighed about 16 stone when I had mine)
Very prone to stone chipping so get the armorguard protection in place - watch out on some cars that have resprays as some paint straight over the plastic and it looks terrible when it gets chipped again.
Earlier cars had a red clutch hose that contracted when hot and affected gear change - should have been replaced FOC by dealer
Slightly impractical, but we fitted a surprising amount of stuff in mine for a weeks holiday (two holdalls, suit carrier etc (admittedly some was stackd on my GF's knees)
I really had to pick to get some bad points and you will see that most of them are pretty minor and/or easy to fix.
Just get any car checked out by a lotus specialist and you should be okay. Just because a car has been used on the track doesn't mean it is a wreck.
I say go for one - I'm definately looking to get another one or an exige when I get back to the UK
There is a boot of sorts behind the engine - it's carpeted and will hold two sports holdalls at a push. Then there is a luggage shelf behind the seats with an elasticated net over. The only problem with this is that the passenger seat is fixed in position so you can't really access that side as well as the drivers side. There is also space in the passenger footwell behind the aluminium foot rest.
When considering your car pc, remember that you will be very limited for a space to mount the monitor. Even if you use a motorized head unit it is offest in front of the passenger seat....
to me its all about funds and what she wants for here car I want here
to get a touran sport... so it bcomes both our car and we can both use
the elise.... but she wants a megane convertible , as shes sick
of driving mummy cars????? so if she wrer to get the megane i cant see
the point of having 2 convertibles in the house so i may well go for a
mkiv R32 5 door ....
lol, at least i haven't got that trouble. my misses has a MK1 hyundai coupe and i currently have the practical car, but at the age of 23 i don't ever use the practicality, the only thing that goes in the boot is the sub. as we've got no family plans (even if we did it would be a few years away) i figured i might as well have a fun car too
i've had as golf for 3 years now and facied something a little different/special, also the fact that if i got a 1.8T there are several thousand pounds worth of mods i'd want to do straight away
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