Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
6/9/10 9:31 a.m.

I found this while roaming around last night.

Not mine, not a friends, or relatives, or relatives cousin. Seems like one of you guys should save it.

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u&car_id=280828192&dealer_id=64963805&car_year=1991&rdm=1276092911721&lastStartYear=1981&model=&num_records=25&systime=&make2=&highlightFirstMakeModel=&start_year=1987&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&awsp=false&search_type=used&distance=0&marketZipError=false&search_lang=en&showZipError=n&make=LOTUS&keywords_display=&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=2000&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&seller_type=b&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=32117&advanced=&end_year=2011&doors=&transmission=&max_price=20000&cardist=255&standard=false&rdpage=thumb

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
6/9/10 9:37 a.m.

If Im not mistaken, Cheap lotuses are like fun family vacations and Sasquatch - they do not exist!

DukeOfUndersteer
DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
6/9/10 9:37 a.m.

Paging Jay!

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
6/9/10 9:38 a.m.

Cheap Lotii are like free boats!

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan Reader
6/9/10 9:39 a.m.

jeepers, did they only import about 500+, they prolly built more than that world wide. Considered the best handling front driver of their time. Isuzu engine. always liked the looks of these things. The money stays in checking however.

jlm_photo
jlm_photo New Reader
6/9/10 10:34 a.m.

Yeah, cheap to buy...not to fix. Ever watch Wheeler Dealers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcqL1vWdHk4&feature=fvst

Jay
Jay Dork
6/9/10 10:41 a.m.

Holy crap, that's a steal for a U.S. car. Other than the obvious, I wonder what's wrong with it?

As far as I know, about 800 of them went to the States. The whole production run was something like 4500 original series in '90-'93 and then 800 more S2s in '95. the UK got 2000 cars or so from both series and the rest went elsewhere. I have one of the 27 cars that were originally delivered in Singapore.

They're not that expensive to fix, the drivetrain is pretty common Isuzu stuff, and lot of the switchgear came direct from the GM parts bin. Even Lotus-specific parts can be unbelievably cheap through the Lotus Aftersales sell-off, I got a brand new steering rack direct from the factory for £127. Of course your mileage may vary Stateside.

TJ
TJ Dork
6/9/10 10:51 a.m.

Ever seen one parked next to a Mercury Capri of similar vintage?

Rustfinger
Rustfinger Reader
6/9/10 10:55 a.m.

It can't be that expensive, given it's Isuzu drivetrain. Even body panels were re-produced for a few years by Kia.

From Wikipedia: After the final production run of the Elan in 1995, Kia Motors bought all the relevant license of Elan from Lotus to manufacture their own version. Outwardly, the Kia version looks almost identical to the original. Through 1996 to 1999, Kia Motors built the car as the Kia Elan for the Korean market, using a 151 hp (113 kW) 1.8 L TSD engine instead of the Isuzu-made 1.6.

Jay
Jay Dork
6/9/10 11:01 a.m.
TJ wrote: Ever seen one parked next to a Mercury Capri of similar vintage?

Someone on LotusElanCentral.com has one of each, but I couldn't find his thread where he put the side-by-side pic up. They don't actually look all that similar aside from both being 2-seat convertibles with pop-up lights.

TJ
TJ Dork
6/9/10 11:36 a.m.

They are two cars that I rarely if ever see around. I've seen many more Capris than Elans so if I spotted an Elan in the wild I might first think it was a Mercury. I know they are not identical cars, I just think they are similar and unfamiliar.

What movie featured an Elan? I think it got eaten by a monster of some sort...I don't remember.

TJ
TJ Dork
6/9/10 11:38 a.m.

IMCDb.org to the rescue..."Honey, I blew up the Kid" was the movie I was thinking of.

neon4891
neon4891 SuperDork
6/9/10 11:41 a.m.

looks like one of the dealerships that Clarkson and Co. visited for the Miami-New Orleans challenge

gamby
gamby SuperDork
6/9/10 11:27 p.m.
jlm_photo wrote: Yeah, cheap to buy...not to fix. Ever watch Wheeler Dealers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcqL1vWdHk4&feature=fvst

Eesh--Mike's looking bloated these days. I haven't watched the new ones on youtube because I want to see them in HD on TV.

mattmacklind
mattmacklind SuperDork
6/10/10 11:13 a.m.

The Elan is so much better looking than the Capri they can't even be compared. The Elan has a very exotic quality because its really very wide and low. If you see one in person you would never think it was a Mercury. In traffic and from the front, color depending, you may actually think its a Mondial.

http://www.carsplusplus.com/pictures/1991/16513/photo.jpg

The Capri was a slab sided blunder of a car, probably the one car I despise the most above all. It alone makes Mercury deserve its sentence.

The last Elan I saw in the wild was on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, in late December, 1996 in the evening with a heavy falling snow, travelling Southbound at about 800 North. It was silver and looked awesome. Still remember it. Haven't seen one since in person.

Cotton
Cotton HalfDork
6/10/10 11:29 a.m.
Jay wrote:
TJ wrote: Ever seen one parked next to a Mercury Capri of similar vintage?
Someone on LotusElanCentral.com has one of each, but I couldn't find his thread where he put the side-by-side pic up. They don't actually look all that similar aside from both being 2-seat convertibles with pop-up lights.

The Capri is a 4 seater. I just sold one of the turbo models. I rarely sell a car, and this one was fun to drive, but I never really drove it. Very reliable car.

edit: Well another reason I sold it is because I really dislike FWD. That was my last FWD car. Now they're all RWD or 4WD.

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
6/10/10 11:31 a.m.

Now the Capris aren't that bad (though no question they are not in the Lotus or even Miata category)... the XR2 was reasoably quick and even the standard car with a manual is nice basic topless transportation.

My daughter has had one (one of the rare 1994 series 2, but not an XR2) as her daily driver for going on 6 years now and really likes it. As a 4 season learner car (goes in snow great) it was likely a better solution for her than a more expensive Miata.

I've sworn off Lotus in general (great in theory, constantly disappointing in ownership... and I don't see this one being any different)

Bill

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