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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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

7,500 mile Lotus service in Dublin Ohio

Alright, alright, I know I'm REALLY late with this post but I've been pretty busy since our service in Ohio. It's all paid off though, in two weeks I start a new position as a web developer for English Emprise / The Spalding Group, the folks who were behind the two George W Bush campaigns (the "W" logo & store people). Needless to say I'm extremely excited about working for this company.

Anyway, on with the Lotus Elise goodness! We drove the Elise up to Dublin Ohio to have it's 7,500 mile service performed by Midwestern Auto Group (MAG). Andrew, our service advisor, could not have been nicer and truly made the experience absolutely top notch. The building was VERY cool and a real treat to walk around. All of the techs were very nice and seemed genuinely interested in the cars they were working on, then again, I'd be pretty damn interested in the cars I worked on too if they were Ferraris and whatnot. While at the Midwestern Lotus I got to walk around and check out some interesting cars that were in the building...

Red Ferrari F40
This is the first Ferrari F40 I've seen in person, absolutely stunning.

Red Ferrari F40 at Midwestern Auto

Red Ferrari F40
While I was checking this thing out two different employees walked by and made a point to say "And just think, this car has a hard time getting away from your car on a track".... Cool! ;)

Ferrari 360
Ferrari 360 waiting to be picked up. You can kinda see a smidgen of my Krypton Green car in this photo, unfortunately I forgot to snap a photo of it in the service bay :(

Midwestern Automotive Showroom
Up in the showroom I got to check out a Ferrari 612, Aston Martin Vanquish & Vanquish S. Very humbling.

MAG Showroom
There was also a Maserati and several Porsches.

Black Ferrari 612
Black Ferrari 612

Black Ferrari 612 Rear

Blue and Yellow Lotus Cars
Couple of Lotus cars in the showroom, standard blue Elise and a Lotus Sport Elise.

Lotus Sport Elise
Lotus Sport Elise, limited edition Elise with some Lotus Sport goodies.

Lotus Sport Elise Limited Edition

Lotus Sport Elise

Lotus Sport Limited Edition Elise


After checking out some of the cool cars we headed out to our loaner, a 2006 Saab 9-3.
Silver Saab 9-3

I've always had a thing for Saabs so getting to drive one of these for a couple days was awesome, so awesome in fact that I'm really considering making one of these my daily driver. They have enough power to be entertaining, handle very well for what they are, are very comfy and in my opinion are just a flat out good looking car.

After checking into the LaQuinta we headed out to a very nice shopping area. Easton Towne Center proved to be well worth the trip and had several cool sights.
Huge McDonalds

Easton Town Center Apple Store
Easton Town Center Apple Store. I'm kind of an Apple nerd so this was like the highlight of my trip.

Apple Retail Store


The next day we headed to the Columbus Science center, COSI. A brochure at our hotel informed us that there was a Star Wars exhibit at COSI that featured original Star Wars props and experiences designed by the Lucas team. Not a Star Wars geek by any means but it was very neat to see some of this stuff up close. Stuff like one of the orignial Yoda puppets, Obi Wan's lightsaber, Darth Vader's helmet, etc...
COSI Columbus Science Center

Star Wars Speeder
Speeder from the original movie.

Posing with R2D2
Posing next to R2D2 & C3P0.

After picking the car up on Saturday we headed over to a neat outdoor art exhibit that I found online, a field of corn...
Concrete Corn in Columbus Ohio
Concrete corn that is... ;)

Concrete Corn in Dublin Ohio
This is a big field of concrete corn that was created by, I think, a Dublin Ohio artist. Pictures don't do it justice, it's really cool in person, especially when you've got a Krypton Green Lotus Elise parked next to it ;)

Concrete Corn Field art exhibit

Concrete Corn in Dublin Ohio

Concrete Corn in Columbus Ohio

Concrete Corn in Dublin Ohio

After checking out the concrete corn field we headed on back to Louisville. The trip was an absolute blast. If you are in the Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky region I highly recommend MAG for your Lotus service.


The Sunday after returning home we went to pick up our new puppy. We now have an English dog to match our English car. Introducing Leela, our English Bulldog, posing proudly in front of the Lotus.

English Bulldog Puppy

Anyway, thats all for now. Hopefully the next update will be in a more timely manner ;)

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Fun dealer experience

Today before heading to the dealer we decided to go check out IKEA to see what small things we could pick up and to see what the legendary store looks like in person :)

IKEA in Atlanta

Atlanta IKEA

So last night we dropped our cars (Jenn & George's cars & our car) off at Lotus of Atlanta to have service done on them. All of our appointments were scheduled 2+ weeks ago and were very clear (aside from two minor issues I found while driving our car back from Clearwater). Well, my car was completed fairly early today (Thursday) which was a plus but I had called to add a request to check & adjust the aiming of the headlights (very low, needed to be raised slightly) and that was met with a price quote of $200~. Please keep in mind that this is, if nothing else, a safety issue on a brand new (1300 mile) car. Well, after some calling around from someone in the biz who has some VERY good contacts we are able to give the service advisor the warranty code for the issue and get the charge dropped. BIG thanks to George on that! So my car is now done but we're still hanging around waiting for them to finish most of the issues that the orange & yellow Lotus' were brought in for. During this time (4~ hours at the dealer) I stayed entertained by wandering around the dealer snapping photos of cars...

First up is the Laser Blue Lotus Exige that was brought in this morning. For those not familiar with these, this car is basically just a sport pack equipped Elise with some aerodynamic features added for high speed downforce. Some truly believe that these cars are just flat out faster/quicker/better than the Elise but the only place where it may walk an Elise is on a race track or expressway where upper speeds & cornering are encountered. Aside from that the extra body work is just extra weight to haul around.
Laser Blue Lotus Exige

Lazer Blue Lotus Exige

My car after it was brought out for the first time (sent back in to adjust the passenger window).
Krypton Green Lotus Elise

My car next to a "nightfall blue" Elise
Krypton Green next to Nightfall Blue

Black Lotus Elise

I LOVE these cars. Lamborghini Murcielago, msrp somewhere in the $290-310,000 range. Kinda out of my league but still VERY fun to dream about... This one was kind of blinged out with the orange wheels & orange leather interior.
Lambo Murcielago

Lamborgini Murcielago

Orange Lamborghini

Check out the brakes on this Lamborghini Gallardo ($200,000~), these cars are the total opposite of the Elise, VERY overweight and VERY powerful.
Lamborghini Murcielago Pimped Out

Orange Lamborghini Murcielago

Its hard to think that this car costs over $100,000 more than our house...
Orange Lambo Murcielago

So anyway, after wasting several hours at the dealer waiting for them to finish the cars that they should have been prepared for (yes, we were all quite miffed) we are finally ready to go. Jenn & George's cars didnt even get everything they came down for, they were simply forced to pick up and leave though. We figured we might as well get a couple of photos off before we head out into the night for the drive to Robbinsville North Carolina (Deals Gap).






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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Few days behind....

I've been without internet access (more or less) for a few days so I've gotten kinda backed up with experiences and photos. I'll start with three days ago in Orange Beach.

So Sunday night we decided that we'd leave a day early to head up to Montgomery and then over to Atlanta to meet up with Jennifer & George at Lotus of Atlanta to have our three cars serviced. Since we were cutting a day out of the beach we decided to go ahead and cram a few things into our last day there. This included Niki feeding the seagulls on the beach, walking around & shopping at Fairhope and getting some photos. I've posted a few of these photos first. They apparently just had a mardi gras parade in Fairhope a day or two before and there were still beads hanging from trees & signs and moonpies littering the streets.

Lotus Elise in Gulf Shores



Lotus Elise in Fairhope Alabama

Lotus Elise in Fairhope




















So after we walked around Fairhope's art & shopping district we headed over to the pier where we had taken some very pretty sunset photos a few years ago. What we found was a pier that was closed from Ivan's damage a couple years ago (see photo below) and a gated driveway with a cool gate & fitting sign.

Lotus Elise driveway

Lotus Driveway

Lotus Elise in Garage

Lotus Elise in Garage

Lotus Elise packing in trunk

Lotus Elise Trunk

Lotus Elise full trunk

Victorian Houses Lotus Car



Lotus Elise on Expressway

Lotus at hotel

Black Lamborghini Gallardo

Lamborghini Murcielago Spyder

Orange Murcielago Spyder







The last few are from Lotus of Atlanta which is also a Lamborghini & BMW dealer. The service guy was surprised to see our green car, he hadn't seen one in person yet. After we left the dealer we headed to hell (the Georgia Aquarium) to see a zoo of people inside a somewhat cool aquarium. The last photo is of Niki touching a sea ray. This is kind of a crappy post but I'm typing it damn quickly while 3 others are waiting for me at the breakfast table ;)

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Friday, February 17, 2006

GOT IT!

Well, the color is nothing but amazing! The car looks like its got electricity flowing through it. My salesman kinda drove us around the lot to build us up a little bit but it was all I could do not to run to the car the second I saw it. I absolutely cannot believe how beautiful the color is in person. It changes at every angle and looks amazing with each change.

So anyway, I'm now the proud owner of a 2005 Lotus Elise in Krypton Green. The car has the touring package (power windows, leather, extra sound insulation) and a removable hardtop. I was amazed that we were able to squeeze all of our crap into the trunk. The dealer helped a bit by shipping our soft top and hardtop's bag home for us, which cleared up a bunch of space. This car drives like a dream and finally gives me a new "favorite car", beating out the long favorite VW Rabbit. We picked it up yesterday morning and just now made it to Orange Beach AL where we are staying until Wedneday. I'll post more tomorrow, I'm off to get some dinner now though. Check out the photos for an idea of what our week has involved :)

Lotus Elise at Dimmitt Motors

Krypton Green Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise at Florida Dealer

Lotus alongside Ferrari Cars

Lotus in front of Dimmitt Motors

White Red and Black Lotus Cars

Lotus and Rolls Royce

Bentley Cars

Ferrari 360s and Lotus at Dimmitt



Chili Red Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise in Chilli Red


I'm such a dork!


Niki and myself in our new pride & joy :)



Lotus Elise on Clearwater Florida Beach

Lotus Elise on Beach

Lotus Elise on Florida Beach

Rear of Lotus Elise












At the hotel last night. This color changes in every light and at every angle. I love it. I've got my dream car :)

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