Monday, September 29, 2008

Lotus Dealer Reviews

I know this blog gets a lot of traffic from people researching the Lotus Elise and trying to determine the best dealer to buy or service their Lotus through. It's that thought that makes me want to relate both the bad and good experiences I've had with a few different Lotus Dealers. I'll start with the most recent and work my way back through time to when I first bought my Lotus Elise.

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Diamond Motors, Pensacola Florida

My most recent situation was in April of this year in Pensacola Florida, shortly after the Lotus wreck. The timing and location could not have been more ideal. My family owns two condos in Gulf Shores Alabama (about 40 minutes west of Pensacola Florida) and we were preparing to head down there in early April. About 4 days before we were to leave for vacation I get a call from our insurance adjuster saying that they are declaring the Elise a total loss and that I can drive up to Cincinnati to sign it over and pick up my check. I make plans to do so and immediately start checking out different Lotus Elise and Exige throughout the southeast as a vacation would be the perfect time to pick one up. I was thinking of going with another color, Laser Blue, which I had seen on an Exige during our first dealer service in Atlanta. It didn't take long to find one, and at Diamond Motors in Pensacola of all places!

The price was right, the car looked great in the photos and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. I found it late at night so my first attempt at communication was an email. I followed up the next day (and following days) by phone, always reaching an answering machine. I went ahead and packed my checkbook in with our luggage on the hope that I would eventually make contact with Diamond Motors and we'd be driving a Laser Blue Elise on the way home.

We arrive in Gulf Shores mid day on Sunday and Monday morning I wake up and immediately try to call Diamond Motors with still no luck. Going on optimism we go ahead and make the 40-45 minute drive over to Pensacola to see the car in person as it was still shown on Åutotrader, along with a silver Exige S. We arrive in Pensacola only to find a car lot with a few familiar cars from Autotrader but not a single Lotus. Again, taking the optimistic approach (after checking the Autotrader ad AGAIN on my iPhone) I think "maybe they keep the Lotus cars at a separate location" and head inside to ask about them. I go inside only to find no one working, but I do notice a model of an S1 Elise and a couple of Lotus books, now my optimism is going up a notch. I head back outside and look at a few other cars while I wait for the only person working (owner I assume) to finish up with a family. It's at this point that I start to notice that every car I look at is very noticeably dirty on the outside and the interiors are in desperate need of a vacuum and a good wiping down. Now I start to get nervous, thinking back to some auction cars I've been around as these have those same characteristics.

Finally the owner finishes up with the other family and I'm able to get his attention (although I HAD to get his attention, otherwise he was ignoring us) and am able to ask about the Lotus' for sale. He quickly says "those sold last week" and as I ask why they are still on Autotrader he smugly laughs and says he doesn't know why. I then explain my frustration that we've essentially come all the way down from Kentucky and had changed our travel plans to accommodate bringing a Lotus Elise home, mention the dozen or so unanswered calls & emails and all I got was a shrug. He finally did mention that "he might have an Elise coming in the next week or so". At that point I didn't care and judging from the other cars on the lot I asked if it was bright green with fresh paint. The real rub came a couple of weeks later when I noticed that the Elise was STILL for sale on Autotrader. I got the strong feeling that the Elise and Exige were left on to lure people onto the lot as they are very flashy and surely anyone in the area would love to see one in person.

I mentioned this same story on LotusTalk and after a few months received two comments of much worse dealings with Diamond Motors in Pensacola Florida.

b.flippo wrote:
I realize that I'm replying 4 months late, but. That's funny. When I was looking for my Elise, I actually bought an Elise from him. I signed his purchase orders, faxed him a copy of the cashiers check from my loan dispersement and booked a flight to Pensacola (also faxed him a copy of my flight itenerary). I received a fax from the owner the day before I was supposed to fly to P-cola telling me that he sold the car to someone else (for more money). He didn't even have the nuts to call me in person. "He broke up with me by fax". Crooks! The funny thing is, after I bought my Elise, I saw his Elise back on Autotrader/Ebay. His buyer had flaked, and the car was back on the market. The best part was that he was asking $2500 less than I had agreed to pay. Frankly, the only thing that made me angry were the comments he made when I called him. He told me "tough sh!% it's the car business" and to go f%(# myself. I was flabbergasted, especially since I'm in the car business! I couldn't imagine ever telling a customer anything like that (even the customers that deserve it). I'll say it again. Diamond Motors and Bill Weatherall are crooks and scumbags.

Joecooool wrote:
Diamond Motorcars - Bill Weatherall Pensacola

Be careful dealing with this guy, he is a title floater. He sells Lotus cars from time to time, he had several Elises and an Exige on his lot while I was there.

I bought my Lotus from him off eBay in January. His eBay id is flyguy66y. He told me the car was paid for, that he was just waiting for the electronic title to be released. Being a dealer and not some guy on the corner, I took him at his word. I traded him my 2007 Corvette and gave him a check for the car.

After several weeks I got a call from my bank telling me the Corvette wasn't paid off. I still didn't have the title to the Lotus yet either. I called him and he told me that he had been sick and would get everything squared away.

A few weeks later he still had not sent me the Lotus title or paid off my Corvette. I started to leave him negative feed back on ebay when I discovered that he had sold my Corvette less than a week after I had traded it in. I contacted the buyer of my old car and Bill had been lying to him as well. You can imagine his shock when I told him that my bank still owned the car sitting in his driveway.

Long story short, it took me filing a formal complaint with the state of Florida DMV, with the local police department, and threatening to go after his dealer bond before he finally relented and paid off my trade in. I finally got the title to the Lotus and my Corvette paid for about two months after the ordeal began.


Honestly, I think that speaks volumes about this dealer's business practices. I would warn anyone looking for a Lotus Elise or Lotus Exige in Florida to stay as far away as possible from Diamond Motors in Pensacola.

Communication was bad to none, cars were filthy and possibly rebuilt auction cars, deceptive to multiple Lotus owners/buyers

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Midwestern Auto Group, Dublin Ohio

Midwestern Auto Group was my Lotus service dealer. They provided some of the BEST automotive and customer service I've ever seen. I would schedule my visits about a week in advance and was always met with a warm welcome as soon as I arrived. They always asked how I was enjoying the Elise, what kind of problems or concerns I would like them to address, etc... They always insisted that I check out some of the cars around the dealer (Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, etc) and always had a nice Saab waiting as a no-cost loaner. On one trip I did require a part that they did not receive in time but they gladly shipped it to me to install myself, assuring me that it wasn't a very involved procedure and shouldn't require my driving 8 - 9 hours roundtrip for them to perform. Andrew Matune, along with the other staff members, always bent over backwards to help in any way possible.

Customer service above and beyond, great loaner car, all needs met and exceeded, overall extremely good experiences

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Lotus of Atlanta / The Bimmer Store, Atlanta Georgia

This was my initial Lotus service dealer, performing my 1,500 mile service while on the way home with my Elise. I met up with some Lotus friends at the dealer who were also there for their routing servicing. After checking in the cars and explaining our various issues (mine involved adjusting the headlights and leaking windows) we took our one loaner car (older Ford Taurus that desperately needed a detailing, several stains, etc) and headed to the hotel.

The next day we are heading out to the Atlanta Aquarium when I get the call that my headlight adjustment request was a non-warranty issue and would cost $200+. I dreaded the idea of driving home with them in a still useless state so I tell them to go ahead and adjust them after some arguing. With the help of George (one of my Lotus friends) we track down the proper warranty info for the adjustment and send it over to them. After some arguing and calling of Lotus USA they (Lotus of Atlanta) finally agree to perform it under warranty. A few hours later my car is ready although the other two Lotus cars are still being serviced (with their own frustrations). Upon initial inspection the car looks good but then I notice large gaps on both of my windows, seemingly more so than before. I bring it to their attention and they begrudgingly agree to look at it again.

That night, after their normal closing hours, the cars are finally "finished" and we head off on our way. We stop at a gas station before hopping on the expressway and quickly notice that my passenger side window will no longer go up once it is in the down position. We are frustrated enough that we manage to get it up and just decide to fix it when we get home.

The feelings and issues we left with... Overall we all had a sense of being second class citizens while we were there, it almost seemed as though they thought they were doing us favors by performing the services. We left with a severely misaligned window that obviously had not been tested after adjusting. George & Jennifer left without receiving some of the services and parts they had scheduled 2+ weeks in advance. Lotus USA (their US headquarters) is literally a short drive from Lotus of Atlanta yet the dealer acted as though there was no way they could get parts for the requested services. I guess it could have been worse but we really did have an overall bad experience all the way around.

I only mention the loaner car as it seems odd that a Lamborghini/Lotus/BMW/Mercedes dealer would have such a low level car as a loaner.

Bad customer service, fought us on every issue, loaner car far below rental car standards, unresolved repairs

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Dimmitt Lotus, Clearwater Florida

I bought my 2005 Lotus Elise from Dave Hampson at Dimmitt Lotus in Clearwater Florida and could not have had a nicer or easier experience. I started working with Dave about 3 weeks before purchase and he was a pleasure to deal with, answering all of my questions and helping every step of the way. Buying a car (essentially) online can be very scary as you are committing to something you cannot see in person, Dave eliminated those fears. We flew in to Tampa at night and Dave picked us up the next morning. He showed us a few sights around the city on the way to the dealer, telling us about the car as well as the dealer. After meeting some other folks at the dealer we felt very comfortable about the whole transaction.

I would be quick to recommend Dimmitt to anyone looking to purchase a Lotus (or Ferrari / Rolls Royce / Cadillac) in Florida or the southeast in general.

Very professional, warm & welcoming atmosphere, great communication, overall awesome experience

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That sums up my experiences with some different Lotus dealers, hopefully it helps anyone looking to purchase a Lotus or find a good service dealer for their Lotus.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The grand finale...

So I haven't updated the blog in a while, guess I was waiting for a BIG update... The Elise is officially no more. Earlier this year while driving through rural Indiana we came around a tricky corner that sent the car into a spin & into a guardrail. We weren't going excessively fast, nowhere near my or the car's limits, it really was just an odd turn. You come into it after leaving a right hand corner and going uphill, just as the hill crests you are pushing into the left hand section. As we crested the car got really light really quick, enough so to push the rear end out far enough that I couldn't recover.

The photos tell the rest...


Lotus Elise Wrecked


Wrecked Lotus Elise


Lotus Wreck


Lotus Elise Accident


Rear Damage


Rear Elise Damage


Lotus Elise Wreck


Wreck


Wrecked Lotus Elise


A picture perfect definition of irony...



If you look closely you can see my right turn signal stuck in in the guardrail.



This is the opposite side of the road, you can see just how lucky we are that we didn't go through the rail. The arrow is pointing to a piece of the car which must have been thrown across the road as we spun. You can also see some remains of a Chrysler Crossfire that wrecked here as well as several other random car parts from previous accidents. This is proof that it really is just "one of those bad turns".

So, with all of that said & shown I can officially say that the Lotus Elise is a very safe car. My wife & I both walked away with no injuries whatsoever aside from some expected soreness. Lotus did well when designing the crash structure and other safety bits of the car. The Elise still ran just fine and could have been driveable with the exception of a sheared rear toe link which was caused by the impact. Insurance declared it a total loss after several experts came in to evaluate it. When I stopped in to grab some personal items I noticed they had never removed the rear clam, the front damage & visible rear damage was enough to total it. I guess the high bodywork & labor prices were to blame.


My Lotus Elise with the front clam removed.



Did I get another Lotus Elise? Regrettably, no. I ALMOST ended up with another Elise but after searching for a few weeks I decided that I wanted a bit of a change anyway. Whenever I drove the Elise during the week, in not absolutely awesome weather, I would fee bad about doing so. The Lotus didn't mind but I just had some sort of complex about driving "A Lotus" in anything but the absolute best of conditions. I still drove it, probably way too much, but I still had those thoughts in the back of my mind. But no, no more Lotus Elise for me. I was checking out "options" online, consisting of E30 M3s (an old love of mine), when I came across an E46 BMW M3 in Laguna Seca Blue with black BBS LM's & blacked out trim. Ahh yes, I had forgotten about those...













To make a long story short I chased down a few different Laguna Seca Blue M3s only to find they had been sold or had some accident history. Finally I found a nice example of a 2001 M3 in Birmingham and after a few phone calls and some photos I was on my way down to pick it up. I've now been living with my 2001 BMW M3 for about 4 months now and I can say it's a completely different beast than the Elise. It is quite a few notches down on the "fun factor" but surprisingly it seems to turn as many heads as the Elise did. The M3 makes a nice daily driver and I imagine will be a load of fun during the winter, but I still miss my Elise....

I really really really miss my Lotus Elise.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lotus Elise update

Alright, I know this one is overdue by just a few days (months) or so but it's finally here! I still have the Elise, it is still in great shape and I've had a ton of fun with it.

The first part of the update is actually last year's British Bash.  Every year the British Sports Car Club of Louisville throws the "British Bash" at St Joesephs Childrens Home on Frankfort Ave.  The 2007 British Bash was a great turnout, despite some rainy weather, with several Lotus cars making the trip down from Indianapolis.  If you're near Louisville and love british cars then come on out the first weekend of June.



White Lotus Elan






Red M100 Lotus Elan






British Racing Green Lotus 7






Yellow Lotus Esprit





Yellow Lotus Esprit, Green Lotus Exige, Aubergrine Elise






Yellow Lotus Esprit and British Racing Green Lotus Exige






Yellow Lotus Europa






British Racing Green Lotus Exige






Aubergine Purple Lotus Elise






Close up of Aubergine Purple




After the show I cruised down to River Rd with the Indiana Lotus folks...


Yellow Lotus Esprit and British Racing Green Lotus Exige






Lotus Exige engine


The next little update is on some new additions to the Elise. The Lotus received a new set of Yokohama AD07s at about 20,000 miles. Again, I waited until they were almost completely smooth before replacing them. The front Yokohamas are still very usable with about 40-50% tread left. I think the next time I need to replace them I'm going to go ahead and use a different tire.

The next addition to the Lotus was a ForcedFed carbon fiber front splitter. I used Bill's installation guide for my install and it went very well. The only issue I ran into was not being able to install a bolt on the drivers side because of the oil cooler. I've run it at some high speeds since the installation with no cracks or movement so I think it's probably ok!



ForcedFed Carbon Fiber front spoiler on the Elise


Another fun addition to the Elise was my new personal license plate... FRISKE.



Personal plate on the Lotus


The definition of Frisky is "playful and full of energy". I figured that was appropriate!

The rest of this Lotus update is just a bunch of Elise photos from around the Louisville area. The rolling photos of the Lotus are courtesy of Doug Friedman. He was nice enough to do a quick photo shoot with the Elise while he was in town just before Christmas. The graffiti photos were taken at the Mellwood Arts center.



Lotus Elise photo at Mellwood Arts Center



Krypton Green Lotus Elise



Lotus Elise & Graffiti photo



Rear view of the Lotus Elise



Lotus Elise photo



Top view of the Elise while moving



Side view of the Lotus Elise while moving



The Lotus next to a Hummer



The Lotus Elise, dwarfed by a Hummer



My Lotus Elise in motion, shot by Doug Friedman



Lotus Elise in motion, shot by Doug Friedman



Rolling Lotus Elise photo, shot by Doug Friedman



Rolling Lotus photo, shot by Doug Friedman


And now for the Lotus Elise wallpaper for this post...



Thats pretty much all for now. Lotus announced a supercharged version of the Elise for the 2008 model year. I'm going to try to make my own supercharged Lotus Elise this year as well ;)

More on that later!

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lotus Elise roadtrip

This is another "long overdue" post. My wife and I went to Gulf Shores Alabama back in April for about a week and we decided to take the Elise along for some roadster fun at the beach. Packing for the trip was no different than the other roadtrips we've taken with the Lotus, we just had to leave the soft top on until we arrived in Orange Beach where we could unpack and clear up room to store the top. The Lotus Elise is made (specifically) for curvy roads that test any car's handling ability but it is also a fun car for a 2 day roadtrip down a very straight highway. The downside is trunk space / boot space but as I've said before it's not hard to pack for travelling with it, you just have to be smart about it.


2005 Lotus Elise @ Johnson Beach in Florida, just over the Alabama/Florida border.

We were in Gulf Shores during Spring Break and you could tell. Every restaurant was packed, the main roads were always busy, lots of tuner cars, etc. The Elise was definitely the show stopper wherever it went though. Camera phones were taking pictures, kids were yelling & waving, girls were (ahem) flashing, etc... If you ever want to feel like "somebody", rent an Elise for a day. I can't even begin to count how many times I was asked "How much did that cost?!?" only to be followed by a look of disappointment when I tell them "about $45,000". People were guessing in the $120,000 range for the most part although the high & low guesses were $250,000 and $25,000, respectively.


2005 Lotus Elise at Johnson Beach in Florida.

During the stay I only saw a few other exotics out and about, a red Ferrari 355 Spyder and a silver newer Aston Martin along with a slew of modified 996 & 997 Porsches, unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph any of them. This trip was for relaxation so I didn't worry too much about getting Elise photos, hence why there aren't many in this post. Check back soon though for some photos from a local British car show (British Bash 2007) and some photos I've taken around town.


Krypton Green Lotus Elise on a Florida Beach.

2005 Lotus Elise
2005 Lotus Elise at Florida Beach.


2005 Lotus Elise at Johnson Beach in Florida.


Krypton Green Lotus Elise


2005 Lotus Elise at Perdido Dunes in Gulf Shores Alabama.


Lotus Elise in Gulf Shores Alabama.

2005 Krypton Green Lotus Elise
Top view of a Lotus Elise.


Lotus Elise behind a C6 Corvette at a Florida beach.


Lotus Elise, C6 Corvette and black Subaru WRX.


Rear view of 2005 Lotus Elise.


2005 Lotus Elise behind a C6 Corvette. This photo kinda shows the size of the Elise, it looks like a toy next to the Corvette.

Something I want to start doing is adding a wallpaper to each post, available in the 5 most popular resolution sizes that visit this site. To kick it off...

Lotus Elise on the beach in Florida

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lotus Elise 15,000 mile service

This post is waaay behind. I had the scheduled 15,000 mile service performed at Midwestern Auto Group about 3 months ago. Since then I have gone on vacation, found a new day job, had a harddrive failure, more pet troubles, etc... I really am embarrassed that I'm just now getting around to posting this.

Anyway, the 15,000 mile service went off without any troubles. We brought the car into MAG on a Thursday afternoon, saw the sights in Columbus for 2 days and then headed home with our freshly serviced Elise on Saturday. The service cost about $380 and included the following:
-15,000 mile Service (I brought my own Amsoil 5W-40) (PDF Explaining the 2005 Lotus Elise service items, courtesy of Elisetalk Uberpost & the GGLC)

-Check and replace (still waiting on parts though) passenger side headlight. The headlight had a lot of dust & grit from the scratching issue that Lotus issued a "fix" over just before I bought the car.

-Check and replace the driver's side plastic seatbelt mount cover. (still waiting on replacement part)

Kinda pricey but I can live with it if it ensures my Lotus warranty will stay golden. Another reason why I can live with it is that these service trips give me an opportunity to check out some extremely nice automobiles, often without having to step foot in a showroom. Here are the photos for this post, a sample of the cars that were in for service or for sales inspection...


Blue 2007 Aston Martin Vantage V8


Blue 2007 Aston Martin Vantage V8


Ferrari 360 Modena


Ferrari 360 Spyder


A really nice lineup of cars. From front to rear, black Ferrari F430 Spyder, red S4 Lotus Esprit, red Ferrari 599 GTB and a red Ferrari F430 Spyder.


S4 Lotus Esprit behind a Ferrari F430 Spyder


Ferrari F430 Spyder, Ferrari 360 Modena, Ferrari 599 GTB, Lotus Esprit and another Ferrari F430 Spyder.


Ferrari F430 Spyder behind a brand new Ferrari 599 GTB.


Ferrari 599 GTB


Kinda strange, but I love these cars. Saab 9-3 Viggen.


My Krypton Green Lotus Elise in front of a red Ferrari 360 Spyder.


Ferrari 360 Spyder behind my Krypton Green Lotus Elise


Ferrari 360 Spyder behind my Krypton Green Lotus Elise

Thats all for now but I've already got a bunch of photos lined up for another post, check back within the week for some really cool Lotus Elise photos.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

One year later...

I have now officially spent one year with my 2005 Lotus Elise. We bought it one year ago today (yesterday actually, posting this late late at night) from Dave Hampson at Dimmitt Exotics in Clearwater Florida. The sales process consisted of me finding the car online through Autotrader.com, contacting Dave and then flying down with a check a few weeks later. I was extremely worried that there would be some complications but it really was, and has continued to be, a painless process. We flew into Tampa late one night, Dave picked us up the next morning and an hour or so later we drove off with our new Lotus.

The car had right around 110 miles on the clock when we bought it, one year later it is at 14,040 miles. Aside from a few adjustments and a pair of rear tires the Elise has been trouble free. At the first service (Lotus of Atlanta), after much trouble and BS, we were able to have the headlights adjusted under warranty as well as the windows although they didn't really complete the window part. The second service was completely standard with the exception of replacing a lost center cap from one of the rear wheels. The car has been very reliable and has performed flawlessly throughout "mild daily driving" and a few road trips.

Our Lotus Elise has seen a couple of different beaches, some very quick & tight roads, a few tourist traps and even some concrete corn. My wife and I prefer driving it over our other two cars (VW Bug & Jetta). We've both found the Elise to be very comfortable and more than accommodating when you pack wisely. It's road manners are very well sorted and it feels very solid at speed on the expressway. The car draws attention from everyone every time it hits the road, I can't begin to imagine how many camera phone shots there are of this green Elise floating around. Most reviews paint a mixed picture of the Lotus Elise, always praising it's handling & performance but harshly criticizing it's boot space & ingress. This little Lotus isn't for everyone, but it's definitely for us!

Lotus Elise on the beach
We've come a long way since this visit to the beach, about 15 minutes after taking delivery of the Lotus.

Sooo, one year later and these are my thoughts:
What do I love about the Elise?
Simple, the pure connection that it offers between the road & the driver. The car communicates everything with you in a way that had previously been forgotten by everything else on the road.

What would I change about the Elise?
I'd like a bit more power out of the car. It's "just right" now, but another 20 - 30 horsepower would add to the fun without compromising the easy drivability it offers. A supercharger is in this car's future. I can't say when, but this car will definitely have some air stuffed into it's intake manifold before it leaves my hands. Other little upgrades will eventually include aftermarket wheels, a few carbon fiber bits, some drivetrain pieces, etc... My next project is installing XM radio. My wife gave me an XM radio subscription for Valentines day and since the Elise is my roadtrip car of choice it only makes sense to install a cradle for the receiver in it as well.

What is the most common question from onlookers?
"How much does that thing cost?". I get all sorts of questions, the majority of which are inquiries about what it is and who makes Lotus but the one common question thrown into almost every set is the price question. I don't really mind, it just amazes me though how easily people can ask something like that.

Do I still love Krypton Green after living with it for a full year?
Yes. This color never ceases to excite. I think there are some other nice colors (Orange, White, Laser Blue) that fit the car well but this color just looks so amazing in person.

What do I look forward to doing with the Elise in the year to come?
If we end up moving to Orange Beach Alabama then I fully expect to become active in that region's SCCA events. I don't really care for our region (too competitive, too much judging) so a fresh start elsewhere would be great for me. I'd like to head down to Deals Gap / Tail of the Dragon again, maybe run through the Blue Ridge parkway as well. Another Alabama plus is that Barber Motorsports Park is not far from Gulf Shores, if we move then I may be able to attend a couple of events there and finally get some much needed track time.

Any regrets about getting the Elise instead of a turbocharged G35 or Porsche 911 Turbo?
Nope. The only thing close to a regret is that I wouldn't feel "as bad" driving one of those as much as I do the Elise. Since the Elise is a specialty car in a world of special cars it instills a sense of guilt when you get caught in a rain storm or you realize that you're driving it as much as a "regular" car. It's still very much worth it to me though.

Lotus Elise alongside some Graffit art

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Lotus Elise in the snow

Well, Louisville finally got its first real snow the past two days. My area got right around 3" of accumulation last night, turning the driveway into a clean white canvas. Not enough to go sledding but enough to get some cool shots of the Elise in the snow.

Elise in the snow

Lotus Elise in snow

Louisville Lotus Elise

Green Lotus Elise in snow

Krypton Green Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise in the snow

Lotus in snow

Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise rear view

Lotus in the snow

Not much news otherwise, been pretty quiet in Louisville. My birthday was last Saturday, I turned 27 on January 27th in 2007, weird huh. I thought I'd get struck by lightning or something but instead I ended up getting a book on the history of the Elise. Has a ton of cool facts and trivia tidbits in it detailing the S1 and development of the S2 Elise.

One bit of news is our new car. We sold the Subaru Legacy (insurance & gas was killing our finances) and bought a longtime dream car of mine, a 2001 Volkswagen New Beetle in Isotope Green.
Isotope Green New Beetle

Isotope Green VW New Beetle Turbo

Lotus Elise and Volkswagen New Beetle

So why is Isotope Green so important for me? Easy, it's a kick ass limited edition color. There were only about 2000 New Beetles made in this color back in 2001, spanning all of the engines and trim levels available. My 2001 New Beetle is a GLS trim level with a 1.8T motor. The color, in person, looks like glow in the dark green when it's not glowing... A perfect match for the Elise! This is the exact car (even the automatic transmission) that I've wanted since I was delivering pizzas and reading "Performance VW" 6 years ago. The previous owner was the wife of a well known VW enthusiast & VW performance parts supplier so needless to say this thing has had a good life so far. The car is stock aside from an iPod adapter, aftermarket rear wing (in addition to the speed sensitive upper spoiler), european (blue & white) badges and a painted engine cover.

I hate to say it but I haven't driven the Elise since I picked up the Bug, partially because of the obvious weather we've had. It really is THAT fun, a feeling that is much harder to explain than the feeling the Elise brings out. This is going to be a GREAT daily driver!

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