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Lotus in the Peak
28th - 30th June 2024

Purchase assistance


AlanG

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Hi

I am new to this forum, so would like to start with a ‘Hello’.

I am in the market to buy an Elise and thought the forum would be a good starting point for advice on what to look out for.

I think I am looking for an S2. I am not looking to use the car on a daily basis and suspect I will do no more than 3000 miles a year. Is doing low mileage a problem with these engines or any specific engine?

Are there key issues I should be looking for when viewing cars for sale?

Many thanks

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I am not an Elise owner but like any lotus car not regular use you need to put a battery conditioner on it when left for long periods 

I have engine codes as it needs a good run out so consider your usage type?

Also if you garage or leave it outdoors need to consider with composite bodywork how to keep it ventilated . 
 

as to buying an Elise I am sure good folk here who are more knowledgable than me can offer useful advice 
 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Alan, why not come along to one of our Hassop breakfast stops (there’s one tomorrow 9am check the Events section) and have a chat to some S2 owners and of course look over some cars. Failing that our Lotus in the Peak day in a few weeks would be an ideal chance to view over 100 cars and give you a better idea along with some great owner insights and information.. looking forward to seeing you behind the wheel soon. 

Edited by LRS7
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What’s your budget?  As long as it’s been well looked after, mileage is not too important.  Condition is much more important. IMHO

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Posted (edited)

I’d try and get a 111S. A little extra power over the standard 1.8 K series/Toyota engines. 

Edited by Guido
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Hi Alan,

               I own a S2 elise, and only do 2000 miles per year. No issues with engine, however I would suggest as long as its properly maintained (serviced when it should serviced) should be little chance of engine issues. As previously stated the battery will need to be on trickle charge.

Happy to discuss with you if you are able to make one of our runs. 

Thanks and good luck in your search for a Lotus.

Luke

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£20k will get you a very nice early s2 Elise if you choose well.

There are lots of things to look out for on them but some more important than others - the main one being the aluminium chassis 'tub'. The footwells can corrode through but more seriously still the front wishbone mounts can also corrode - it's a wheels-off job to check. Also look for crash damage on the tub - if any of those things are present run away quick and find another.

If anything else breaks pretty much it is fixable. 

Condition is king. There are lots of really nicely looked after Elises out there so why buy a rough one?

They stand high mileages but a lower mileage car is obviously likely to be in better overall nick all other things being equal.

I wouldn't buy one without a full service history and would ideally like to see lots of receipts.

Like the guys said above come to a Sunday morning meet and chat. You will be glad of the investment in time and effort when you are making a better-informed purchase.

Good luck.

Dean

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The 1.6 isn’t really the pick of the bunch. It was pretty slow when it was new marginally slower than the golf gti of the day but with an exotic body. It corners as well as any Elise but never have you the rush of acceleration the higher powered cars give you on the exit of the bend. The club racer is a nice spec being back to basics no thrills but the 1.6 means you’ll be really working it hard to keep up with the chassis. 

I did the running mileage on two back in 2011 a baby blue one and a saffron yellow one. 
 

Personally if you can stretch your budget up to a 111r then you start to get the performance to match the chassis. 
 

I’ve a 2zz sc Elise doing around 3,000 a year. Best bit of advise is check the history, then check the history again then a third time. A lot of cars get serviced however elements get missed out due to the mileage part of the criteria so just because it’s been serviced doesn’t mean everything got done. 

As others have said trickle charger is a must but other than that nothing should be too much of an issue doing low mileage. 

 

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I can't really comment about the Elise as I've got an Evora. Better than having a trickle charger is to take the car out and drive it.

The only time I had to charge up my battery was when I had not driven it for over three weeks and the battery was about 4 years old. Otherwise I take the Evora out every week or sometimes it might be a fortnight and it starts up OK.

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Posted (edited)

S3 Club Racer isn't generally considered to be the pick of the bunch but you will still find plenty of owners that swear by their 1.6s. If driven well on a twisty B road they are still a fast and exciting car. 

Me, I like the Rover K series cars because they are so much lighter - and by that I mean around 100 kilos lighter than non-supercharged Toyota models and over 150 kilos lighter than the later supercharged models. I have an s2 K series car that has some lightweight bits - battery, exhaust etc and it weighs 740 kilos without fuel and the roof. The last 240 Sports weigh 922 kilos - including roof. Also no brake servo and no ABS gives better brake feel, they aren't as tail-heavy and so on. They rattle and bang though.

I also really like the late supercharged cars because of the grunt, much better build quality, air con etc.

Edited by DeanB
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Posted (edited)

PaulH has 1.6 Club Racer, I can't say I ever notice him lagging behind on a spirited run :lol:

To counter Dean (mainly because I like to do this as often as possible) I prefer the S3, I prefer the shape, the build quality, the updated dashboard and most of all the servo brakes.

Edited by duncx
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