Since the age of 29, I have always had car that was a convertible. When we bought the Moody I sold my beloved Lotus Elise 111S that I had owned for ten years which contributed to the deposit. Then when we decided to buy the motorhome, Maria traded in the BMW 650i which was also nearly ten years old. At that stage, I no longer had a sporty car 😦
One of the advantages of having such a car, and suitable performance car training, is that it is possible to drive them in a spirited fashion if you have had a bad day and feel all of the stresses and strains ease away as you focus on driving the car quickly and safely. Over the last three years, I had missed that.
Maria blames our Matt for what happened next. A bit like Darth Vadar, I realised that Matt’s training was complete when he bought himself a Mazda MX-5 Mk1 with pop-up headlights. His grandmother would have been proud of him, she liked a pop up headlight! Within a few weeks of him getting his current car, I was reminded of how relaxing and fun having a sports car was. However, we do have a goal and so wasting a lot of money on such a car was a non-starter. But surely if I could find one that was an investment then I would be fine…..
As a firm lotus fan for years, my eyes naturally fell upon the 1990s Lotus Elan, a car that I dreamed about when I was on my own in my first house as the interest rates rocketed to 16.5% and I couldn’t afford to heat the house.
These are becoming a classic, described as the best front wheel drive car of all time and at the very least holding their value.
I didn’t the search and found one for sale on the cheap side but still with quite low mileage for a nearly thirty year old car of 65k miles. Matt, who is actually younger than the car, and I drove to see it and it was clearly quite unloved. The test drive was interesting since the handling wasn’t right and the engine warning light came on when the turbo kicked in. We negotiated a good deal but there was a list of things that needed sorting.
This list included: two slightly buckled wheels from pot holes, a leaky room needing new seals, fix the sticky waste gate which is a common problem and a pop up headlight that didn’t work properly. All pretty minor stuff that helps get the price down and easily fixed.
The wheels were sorted by Wheelworx in Colchester and Ipswich who did a fine job and the car was driving very nicely. I decided to upgrade the rear brakes to a PNM engineering brake system which was done by hanger111, a great lotus specialist, which also looked the car over for me and confirmed that we had found a good s able to source a replacement seal kit for the roof which I fitted and stopped water pouring in although the lotus is a dry weather car if I’m honest. I was also able to fix the sticky waste gate myself reading articles from the internet for inspiration. A few niceties such as new floor mats and some stainless steel seat protectors to replace the old rusty ones and she looks completely different. I also think that she is worth a lot more now that she is mostly sorted.
Unfortunately, Maria isnt much of a fan since she likes her creature comforts too much but it helps me to unwind so all good 🙂