Elise - we Salute You

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Elise - we Salute You

Post by Shug » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:44 am

So, the time has finally come. The line is being drawn.

Quite right too, I feel - anything you could develop today from scratch carrying the Elise name just wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't have the same stripped back DNA or the same real connection back to the 1996 original. So, instead of dilute, park it in the archive and the hall of fame and move on. Good move Lotus :thumbsup

Got me thinking where I'd be without the Lotus Elise. I can comfortably say my life would be completely different. I got an Elise at a stage of life where things were very fluid and it led me to this group, the people on which have had pivotal roles in how my life has gone since. It taught me to drive, it gave me soooo many laughs over the years, introduced me to some lifelong friends. So a car hasn't driven my life, but certainly it's been massively affected by the people met through it.

While I may be out of the Lotus fold now, who knows what the future holds and I'm happy the company has moved on and isn't just relying on rehashing the greatest hits any more.

What does the wee lump of ally and plastic mean to you?
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Sanjøy » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:30 am

I was 25 when I bought my Elise, Blair was still the PM. Living in London of all places and spent many a hour hacking up the M6 to enjoy it in Scotland with good company.
We did have some japes, birthdays, weddings, births and sadly funerals. Full circle.

Looking forward to the next era and what it will bring.

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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Mikie711 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:18 am

I was in Florida on holiday, suffering from jet lag. To pass the wee small hours I was perusing eBay and came across a silver S1. Through a cheeky bid at it and forgot all about it as the holiday went on. A week into the holiday and I get the congratulation you’ve won email. Oops!.
That led to SE and as Shug said led to many an adventure and to meeting some great people along the way.
Without it life would, for sure, have been very different and probably a little bit duller.
Still have a Lotus but probably not the same passion as the early days but equally as happy to see Lotus moving on to hopefully bigger and better things.
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Scotty C » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:10 pm

Met so many people on SE that have become very close friends.
Spent way to much money i shouldn't have upgrading cars, trackdays, trips abroad and of course going racing. Some of the best memories in my life in and around the Lotus cars. Its very strange, if you talk to your none car friends they just dont get it and think you are a member of a weird car club, but we all know differently (or do we?)
I was introduced to original group (yahoo) via Steve Brand who worked with a friend at the time as i was looking for my first elise. Tut sent me the link to my first Elise that was for sale on a Bell and Covill group page. I became very close friends with Tut and his family like many on here and through them I met my now wife Lindsay. My life would be very different if i had bought a different car back then, but i wouldn't change a thing. We still have an Elise now, although its in a garage in 1001 pieces, probably just as well as our house conversion is running over budget and it would be easy just to sell it. My concern is if I sell it I might not buy another and that just feels wrong.
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by rossybee » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:48 pm

Not sure I'm really qualified to comment here :damnfunny

Been in and around them at numerous trackdays in my Caterhams and more recently road runs in my TVR, but never yet actually owned one :shock:

Driven a few (S1/S2/340R), this situation could change this year depending on how I rearrange my car/garage set up :D
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Matelotman » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:12 pm

Elise S1 B&C 140 - long time ago now

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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Stu160 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:22 pm

It's sad to see its not going to carry on, but at the same time, it's true, nothing would ever be, or can be, the same.
I also think that there will be few, if any of us on here that's life has not been changed by this car, its amazing to think that a car can have such an influence on your life.
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Sanjøy » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:27 pm

Sanjøy wrote:I was 25 when I bought my Elise, Blair was still the PM. Living in London of all places and spent many a hour hacking up the M6 to enjoy it in Scotland with good company.
We did have some japes, birthdays, weddings, births and sadly funerals. Full circle.

Looking forward to the next era and what it will bring.

Looking for a V5 today I found my original advert for my S1.
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by campbell » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:50 am

I could be here for hours. But I’ll try to keep it short Image

Never thought I could afford an Elise. Got a promotion at work and decided to set the goal. 3 yrs to save up. Met several people on Usenet
alt.cars.lotus who are firm friends today. Plus Simon Scuffham. Who made me a VHS copy of “The Making of the Elise”. Before I even had the car I think. Started ScottishElises@onelist.com with Robin, Del, Kelvin etc. Met Lawrence Hoy. He taught me stacks about spannering and life. Found out about Stelvio 99 and it was such a scream did 2001 as well. Met Tut. Chartered an airfield with early members to run a sprint & skills day. Took it to The Ring. Used it as a wedding car. Twice. Kept on meeting more and more friends. Managed to keep the car even when the kids came along, and recession(s), and starting a business. Mostly cos Robin and Lawrence. Still spent a king’s ransom on maintenance. Worth it. Passed 100k miles. Pretended not to notice the Evora being launched. Met Craig Moncrieff Service Manager Extraordinaire. 5 years later bought one in best colour. Cos Evoranomics. Able to take whole family places in it. Met even more new friends. Did Frolic 2015. 2nd best holiday of my life. Able to run 2 Lotuses at once. Because Elise was part of the family. Mental. Got to 118k miles, 18 years of sole ownership from new. Wrote it off on the legendary “Sweeping up the Leaves” run. Gutted. Insurance not enough to buy another. Gave up. Yet more friends spotted a tidy S3 at low money and sent me the link. Man maffs. Bought it. Hardly do any miles now but it’s epic. Mostly for Campaganzas. These are also legendary. Our Graeme got us into the Lotus Factory with the kids. And into Classic Team Lotus. Both epic. Then Lockdown arrived.

Come along way and story’s not over yet...

Thanks for reading. And being a part of my Lotus journey. My life would have been well sad without it.

Also have really enjoyed the other stories here. Keep em coming. Image
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by scott_e » Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:13 am

Really interesting reading about your Lotus stories. For me the word obsession is probably a good fit. It all been about long term goals. Trying to write this without sounding like a dickhead. Honest write up of my Lotus story.

Since 2004 and Toyota engines, my Lotus reliability concerns were muted and I wanted an Elise. Got first house, got married, moved house, got Exige v2 purchased from Graeme at Murray Motors in 2007. Then 3 kids came along and priorities change, keeping a roof over my families head was the most important thing in life. Sold lotus to fund move to a house we could grow a family in and ever since then my ambition was to get back in a Lotus but my rule was I could not feel guilty about the purchase, had to be family first. My parents lost our family home when I was young. I was obsessed to ensure that would never happen to my family. What that meant for me was save for a decade to pay off the mortgage and only then could I direct funds to a new impractical toy for me. Its been a long journey but its almost at an end. Gonna need new goal soon :?

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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by tonyg » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:24 pm

My memories of my Elise life will be the stupid grin that always made it's way on to my face when i had a supercharged 2ZZ at max rpm whining away like mad about two feet behind my head and the great people i met who drive them.
Thinking about getting back to the first example in the future and hoping the second example continues for many years.
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by hammerscharf » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:13 pm

I bought my first Elise (MK1 160 Sport) in 2008 at Bell&Colvill and had a lot of fun with it. Three years later, there was the possibillity to buy the extremely rare MK1 190 Sport (only 2 were delivered to Germany). I spend (and spent) a lot of very fine moments with it on several roads in Italy, France and naturally Germany. These cars are so special, pure, fascinating.....- will never sell it (-:
Frank (from Germany)
P.S.: I love Scotland too- spent very nice holidays there a few years ago
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Fluoxetine » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:14 pm

On securing my first proper job in 1998, I made a short list with a budget of up to £18k to buy a sportscar. On the list were an E30 M3 / Porsche 964 RS and an Elan SE Turbo (at that time E30 M3's were £7-8k for a nice one; 964 RS's were £18k) - I plumped for the Elan SE at £13.5k and that was the start of Lotus ownership for me.

Through the Elan I joined the onelist Campbell mentioned above, after meeting Del at a car show in 1999.

Met Robin / Campbell / Kelvin / Lawrence / tut et al on a road trip to the Lotus Show at Donington also in '99 / '00. Visited the Nurburgring many times in the quieter, pre-Top Gear days. Stelvio 2001 - Epic 8) . Numerous track days at KH - The Pirelli P Zero vs Bridgestone S02 debates. Lorne Mason and his 'how to' videos on VHS for tuning the K Series. Robin lending me his ex-Murray's demo X reg S2 for a week, when the S2 had just launched, and me driving it to Skye for the day, getting stuck in 2 feet of snow on my way back to Aberdeen. Selling my Elan and buying an.... Impreza STi :lol: Seeing the light after a couple of years and buying an '01 Ice Blue S2 Racetech in 2002. Taking my new S2 to the Nurburgring with Robin / Campbell & tut on the Rosyth ferry. The one & only campaganza I actually made it along to. The rise of the Honda Elise. Selling my S2 and racing in the '04 Caterham Academy with Lawrence's support (i.e. building the kit for me!) & encouragement, culminating in a race at the Caterham Festival at Brands. Buying Robin's old S1 PTP165 shed in '06 and having it stolen / written off the following year.

Haven't actually owned an Elise since 2007, but thanks to the generosity of many on here, I've driven plenty of them on both track and road. :cheers

Ireland isn't very Elise friendly, but I'd love another at some point - Probably a tidy S1 for road and gentle track use.

As others have said, it's funny how a wee plastic car built by turnip farmers in Norfolk can have such an impact on one's life :mrgreen:

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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Corranga » Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:24 pm

As you all know, I'm fairly quiet around here, and if anything, wish I'd been more active over the years.

Like others, I was 25 when I bought my first Elise - I actually viewed it on my 25th birthday, unlike most others, I still have it and I'm 39 next month.
I can't imagine not having one in the garage, even after all these years, it still feels fresh and fun. It's sad to see the name go, but I think a sign of the times.

As always, it'll be fun watching where lotus go next, if anyone can make a fun small and (hopefully..) relatively affordable electric sports car, it's them.
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Re: Elise - we Salute You

Post by Andy G » Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:59 pm

The end of an era for sure!

Hard to believe the wee plastic car I lusted after from launch would have gone on for 25 years!

When I cam back from Montreal in 2004, everything I'd left behind in Scotland had moved on, including most of my friends! I'd been lusting for a Lotus since the days of Uncle Rons Esprit, and realised I was now in the position to buy one, and at that stage, with the hours I was working I needed some fun in my life!

Welcomed by Mr Robertson at the time they launched the 111r , I was offered the chance to be the first person in the country to have one in Ardent Red!!! Tremendous fun, and I did 18000 miles in it in just over a year.

I remember the first trackway at KH being invited by Murrays and meeting a madman in barefeet, along with some of the other usual suspects.

Attended the only East Fortune trackway, did tonnes at Knockhill with Ed and Tom, usually upsetting traffic on the M90 on the way home, and with Greg popping along on occasion also. Lots of outings with a certain "win it or bin it" Elise, and met a madman in a bright green Elise who tuned his as he went!

And that was me! Broke the Toyota engine, some shambolic warranty issues, and I was properly in Lotus life. Met Lawrence who helped, got help from Robin, didnt realise that was set to become a pattern!

McKean and I started training with Walshy, a new level of madness (and that was just the night out).

Sold my 111R to buy and Atom, and ended up buying an S1 (the Rough Love Chariot) to go racing as the Atom got delayed. BEST MOVE EVER. What a year that was! My first season racing, French Frolic + holiday with SE afterwards, and by then end of that year I was so fed up with driving and racing I couldnt face the trip to Spa - my original seasons goal! It was an epic year to be single and carefree. I'll always be thankful to the SE massive how helped and came to some races, and to Robin who is just a legend.

I'll always remember Katies response to Robin asking if she was okay if he came racing with me "as longs as its Andys mid-life crisis rather than yours"! What a year though. Madness with everyone twice a month, and Walshy mayhem in addition to that.

Atom vs 211 proved fun, and driving Scottys (later Stus and then mine) at Spa the day before the Cup Europe race was a stand out session. I was having too much fun and came in for fear of breaking it before Scotty raced the next day. What a car.

S1 Frolics were tremendous, although nobody was ever 100% sure they'd make the next stop! Ali C must hold the record for breakdowns in the "Shared Shed" , although I hold the jump record at Ledenon. I even managed to do the cylinder head in the "Mule" on the way to the Ring trying to draft Scib! (at 135mph)

Many frolics followed, trip like Spaz and I drove or owned nearly every variant, from 340R which Ed went to collect in Ireland for me, to Elise and Exiges all versions even Honda, 211, 311.

Never made the shift to Evora, as I couldnt move out of my 911 Gt3 for it, and its styling never quite did it for me.

Between the Racing and SE and Frolic I met so many people, had so many adventures and so much fun. SE was a huge part of my life , with AMP3 Charity Trackday/BBQ/Session raising more than £50k for Charity, not to mention the outings with the Edinburgh SE crew to take advantage of Opal Lounge!!

Frolics have been less frequent, and life has strived to get in the way, but LOT and SIDC are fantastic for getting people together, and despite not having a Lotus anymore, despite car issues, Ali and I with the 311's at the Ring is one of the best track outings Ive ever had - that was the highlight for me. If only we'd not had the monsoon....

I could be writing this for the rest of the day, so I'll give you guys a rest!

Looking forward to seeing what the next chapter looks like for Lotus with my fingers crossed.

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