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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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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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A shark eats our Lotus and we find a Jetta

Been a while since the last post, took a vacation and have been busy with some freelance stuff. We took the Elise down to Orange Beach / Gulf Shores Alabama for a week after stopping in Chattanooga to see my sister. While in Orange Beach we took some photos of the Lotus by a couple of local "landmarks". Anyone who has been to Gulf Shores will probably recognize these...

I'm starting a new format with the photos I use in these posts, from now on most of them will be clickable. Click on the photo to see a larger version in a new window.
Lotus Elise and giant Shark

Lotus Elise in Gulf Shores

Lotus Elise in Orange Beach

Lotus Elise Purple Octopus
The Lotus also found a giant purple Octopus to make friends with! ;)

While in Chattanooga seeing my sister (and my new niece!) we took a day trip down to IKEA in Atlanta. While at IKEA I ended up finding the perfect storage container for the Lotus Elise / Exige. It's a 5" x 15" CD storage (although not slotted) container from the LYCKLIG line (Product Link). It's on their website but its only available for purchase instore. It fits perfectly behind the seats on the otherwise useless parcel shelf. The seats push into it just a little bit but help with holding it in place. I'm using mine to store change and all the small crap that I usually have a hard time with securing in the Elise.

You can see the European 111R decal in this photo...

REALLY bad photo, but it shows just how hidden it is with the seats pushed back

Also, a while back I mentioned that I had put some European 111R decals on the Elise, finally got around to snapping a photo of them...
Lotus Elise 111R Decal Sticker

And finally, the newest member to our stable, my wife's 1998 VW Jetta GLS. This is her first car so we're pretty excited about it!
MK3 VW Jetta

MK3 Volkswagen Jetta

Check back next week for an update. I ordered a Green Filter air filter from Blackwatch Racing for the Lotus, it should be here Friday so hopefully I can get it installed on Saturday. I'll be doing a small intake mod during the installation and will try to post soundclips from both before and afterwards. Anyway, look for some cool "Lotus Elise taken apart" photos in the next week!

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Lotus Elise, "Best Exotic"

Today was the Adam Matthews Balloon Festival Car Show and even though the forecast looked fairly wet we decided to go ahead and take the Elise out there. Well, about 15 minutes after arriving it started drizzling and ended up staying wet the rest of the day. About half of the cars left early but for those of us that stayed we came away with some good prizes. Everyone got a foldup chair and either a cinnamon banana cake or another fold up chair. Some really lucky folks walked away with $50 gas cards or $100 Visa cards. There was free ice cream and goodie bags for all. I guess what I'm saying is that even though it rained constantly, it was still a fun time.

When awards time came around I was pleasantly surprised to hear my name called for "Best Exotic". Guess the Lotus Elise qualifies as an Exotic after all ;)

Lotus Elise in the rain

Lotus Elise in field

Red Lotus Elan
Really cool Lotus Elan. I wanted one of these really badly some years ago and have still only seen a handful in my lifetime.

Yellow Mustang

Hotrod Truck
There really was a little bit of everything at the show.

Porsche Cars
Couple of really nice Porsches

Porsche 911 Turbo

I think this photo really does sum up the day :)

Soakng Wet Car

Also, I've noticed a lot of traffic finding the blog through searches for "Pac Man Costume". The Mr & Ms Pac Man costumes I have that are shown in these photos are one off's that some local folks made and then gave to us via Free-cycle.

Lotus Elise Pacman Costumes

Lotus Elise Pacman Costume


Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Elise now has a big brother

Introducing the Elise' new brother, an Atlantic Blue Pearl 2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Limited.

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT

The Subaru is the polar opposite of the Elise, heavy, powerful, comfortable and loaded with ammenities. The Legacy 2.5GT weighs in at about 3,300lbs or so but it makes up for its weight with a turbocharged flat four packing 250hp and 250ft/lbs that sends its power through all four wheels. It definitely isn't as fast as the Elise but it does feel more "stout" while accelerating at speed. Power is very smooth from pretty down low and has a steady rush up until the redline. You're nowhere near as "connected" to the driving experience as you are in the Elise but thats not necessarially a bad thing for a daily driver, its nice to sit back and be a little disconnected every now and then. I've onle had the car for 5 days and its already reminding me of just what makes the Lotus Elise a Lotus Elise.

On the comfort & ammenity side the Subaru has heated power leather seats, dual climate zones, 6 disc in dash changer (although an iPod solution is already in the works), power moonroof, keyless entry & alarm, auto dimming mirror, heated outside mirrors, etc... You get the point ;) When I was looking around at cars the two main ones I had in mind were the Saab 9-3 and the Audi A4. Both of these options would have been used and in my opinion, "not much nicer" than the Subaru Legacy. The Saab lacked the all wheel drive and the A4 lacked the power in stock trim. You can still tell that the Legacy 2.5GT is Japanese but Subaru has made strides in making this car very comparable to the afformentioned Europeans.

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT and Lotus Elise

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT and Lotus Elise

Atlantic Blue Pearl Legacy 2.5GT and Krypton Green Lotus Elise

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT

Subaru Legacy

2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT

Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited

And to house the new Subaru we cleaned out the garage to fit both the cars, now both the Elise and Legacy can fit with room to spare!

Lotus Elise and Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited

Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited & Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise alongside Subaru Legacy


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


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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