Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas for my Lotus Elise!

Santa hit the jackpot this year! He (through my wife) brought me an Xbox 360 and managed to bring the Lotus a carbon fiber rear view mirror and a couple of tow hooks! The mirror is a Zoom carbon fiber convex rear view mirror from Sector111. It looks cool, provides a better range of vision and is lighter than the stock unit. The tow hooks consist of this package from Sector111. Santa brought me the standard rear tow hook which unfortunately will not work with a diffuser exit exhaust, like the stock exhaust. I've put in an email to Sector111 to ask about exchanging it for the "Boomerang" style tow hook which will work with any exhaust setup, hopefully I'll be able to swap it out within a week or so.

Today was yet another nice, non-freezing day, in Louisville so I took some time to pop some of the new parts on and clean the car up. You can see the walkthroughs for the very simple installs below. Click on the photos to see larger more detailed images.

This is what the Zoom carbon fiber mirror package consists of. The mirror, installation instructions, two allen head wrenches and a cool sticker.

The Zoom mirror seems to be very well crafted. The carbon fiber looks perfect and the mirror is blemish free.

Zoom carbon fiber mirror for the Lotus Elise / Exige.

To remove the stock mirror you need to pull the plastic base surround down a bit to expose this little retaining clip. Once you have it exposed you can compress it with a paint can lid tool or a modified flat head screwdriver like the one below. Just press the clip down as much as possible and slide the mirror towards the front of the car. Be careful to not use too much pressure, a few folks have cracked their windshields doing this.

"Modified" flat head screwdriver.

This is the metal base on the windshield that the new mirror will mount to.

Slide the new Zoom mirror on from the front of the car towards the back and tighten down the allen head screw using the supplied wrench. Thats it, you're done! Pretty easy.

The new mirror takes some getting used to, the convex mirror surface allows you to see almost completely from one side of the car to the other. The objects behind you seem a little further away and the tinted surface gives it a somewhat unnatural look. I like it though, just takes some getting used to.

Zoom carbon fiber mirror from outside the car (excuse the dirty windshield).

The Zoom unit is quite a bit smaller than stock. This really helps in seeing traffic lights and whatnot without having to duck down.

The convex mirror in the Zoom unit makes up for its small size, visibility is greatly increased.

The rear towhook may not be the correct piece but the front one certainly is. Installation of the front tow hook involves unscrewing the plastic plug piece and screwing in the new hook. Hopefully I'll never have to use this but I do think it adds kind of a neat look. Probably won't leave it on all the time but will toss it on for shows and cruises.

Sector111 larger diameter front tow hook.

Freshly washed Lotus Elise.

Finally had a chance to wash and vacuum the Elise. The poor Lotus had sat dirty for about two weeks because of crappy weaher and the holiday rush.

Felt good to get out and get the car cleaned up.

You can see just how much this color changes, just look at the difference in color from the daytime to dusk.

The european 111R decal.

Goofy artsy shot of the car, you can see the 111R decal in this photo as well.

Shot from above the rear showing the Apple decal on my Lotus.

If you are a regular reader then you might remember that my wife and I got an English Bulldog about 4 or 5 months ago. The puppy had been nothing but problems and had been through about $5,000 in treatment. Well, shes still with us and is doing much better! Check out the photo in that post and the one below, look at how much she has grown!

So aside from the Christmas goodies I don't have much to report. The Elise didn't win Autoblog's Reader Ride of the Year, that title ended up going to a very nice Saab 900 convertible. Check back in a few days or so for a post containing my 10 favorite photos of the Elise from last year. If you have any requests feel free to leave them in the comments. I'll be making wallpapers for your desktop out of these photos so be sure to check back!

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