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Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:46 pm
by mark030358
Can anyone give me any pointers when buying an Elise S1

Help most appreciated.



Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:09 pm
by Coupe

Quite a bit of information on S1 Elises on Rob's website.

Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:19 pm
by twincamman
Elises??? Elises??we don need no steenkin Elises :lol: :lol: :lol: - the s1 is my favourite of the elise cars but they cant be brought into Canada sadly so I had to look for 2008 TO 11 AND THE Toyota motor [ the best one in my opinion ] ,, pay as little as you can ,,check for crash damage at he rear and front as they tend to go in that way when they hook up after a spin , listen for expensive noises tranny and motor -I looked for one and gave up as they all had the bags driven off the ones I looked at -check the oil on the dip stick if its clean that is an indication the owner was concerned with the car -black and gritty walk away --tire wear --cupping indicates hi speed cornering -bring your compression gauge and do a test --shake the front ball joints when on the jack and off the ground both side to side and front to back looking for play --believe NOTHING the seller says about the car -d--after thought --when you have the car take a high speed driver school ------cheap insurance against a big repair bill --- poor spellers untie

Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:45 pm
by LotusElan+217
I am sure there are a few Elise owners on here, me included, previously a Sport 160 and a S1 Exige, but for the low down of everything Elise you best bet is to post a question on SELOC :-

Think you will need to register to post on the forums. Some very helpful people on there and others maybe not quite so helpful but you will soon learn how to use the ignore button.

Bear in mind that they all think that Elan and +2 owners have beards, smoke a pipe, drink real ale, wear courderoy trousers and go around singing folk songs. Okay I like real ale and sported a beard for all of 3 weeks until my wife refused to sleep in the same bed.


Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:35 am
by stugilmour

Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:14 am
by holywood3645
Not an elan but super cool. I didn't like these cars until I saw this picture


Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:22 am
by UAB807F
Hi Mark,
As the others have said, the seloc forum is probably the best for Elise info & I'm sure you'll get the full S1 picture, warts & all. If you're set on an S1 then there were many variants on the theme between 1996 & 2000 with a few specials launched towards the end of the S1 run with more powerful engines, different trim, etc. Add to that the fact that the S1 seems to attract people who want to modify the cars with induction, exhaust and engine mods, and it can be a bit of a minefield.

Even the standard S1 is quick so don't assume you really need 160bhp or whatever and personally I'd buy on condition rather than specification. As a few general pointers, the early ones suffered from footwell corrosion underneath the rubber mats which was subject to a factory mod in severe cases. My car was pampered from day 1 and yet still there are the early signs of this present, so I'd say it's going to be present in 90% of S1's.

The original dampers were koni and as many people pointed out, Koni make good dampers but they also make budget ones when asked and the S1 had very budget ones. Mine failed at between 2 & 3yrs old and were replaced by Bilsteins which have been excellent.

The original brakes were composite discs with special pads and gave a few surprises in wet weather before they warmed up properly. They later changed to conventional steel discs and as the original discs/pads became scarce a lot of owners also changed to steel discs with Mintex/Pagid/etc pads.

Finally, the most worrying thing I've seen about S1's has been from Lakeside Engineering ( ) regarding chassis corrosion. I doubt that would be present in every car and mine shows no signs, but you need to be aware that any problems around the aluminium chassis is going to be far harder to fix than engines, trim or bodywork.


Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:46 am
by mark030358
Thanks for the replies..
It's not for me, but my daughter, she graduates Medical school in July, so it's a well done present after 6 years of $hit.

I have seen two low mileage one's, circa 4800 and 7500 at the same price. One is at UK Sports cars and looks great, but it's about 280 miles from me, a long way to go for a look, does anyone live nearby that could have a peek for me please?. While the other is closer about 78 miles away at "Pure Lotus" but does not have a hard top. ... -from-new/ ... ?logcode=p

Any thoughts?



Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:14 am
by UAB807F
Hi Mark,

As it's not for you I guess the first question is, has your lass ever sat in or driven one ? They aren't the easiest cars to get in and out of so if she wants it for a daily driver that might become a problem.

Assuming she knows what she's getting into then the blue one has a Seloc sticker in the back window so my first call would be that forum to see if the previous owner is on there or the regulars know of the car.

Both cars look to be basic 120bhp S1's judging from the age & seat trim and from the photos both look in great condition. A hard top is down to personal preference, good if she will use the car daily but some say it amplifies the road noise. I found mine ok, doesn't leak now and I haven't removed the hard top in years.

As an aside I'm surprised at the sticker prices which seem higher than the later S2 Elise and by all accounts that is an easier car to live with. Certainly it's easier to get into and I think Lotus did make serious efforts to improve the quality of the S2 models.


Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:54 pm
by Bruce Crowthorne
15K is TOP money for an S1.
The red one is amazingly clean - I love the underside!

My main concern on such low mileage (and therfore little used cars) would be around rubber parts perishing and the few steel fasteners (like on the clams, undertrays etc) rusting and siezing.
All easily fixed.

I have had mine for 12 years / 120,000 miles as a daily driver and still love it.

Seloc is THE place for information, but bear in mind that LOTS of the comments are of the "I can spend LOADS on mine - and you should too" (eg Nitron shocks etc)

As was said, make sure she is happy to get in and out of the car. The sill is high and not terribly conducive to an elegant exit if she is wearing a skirt ....

Find a decent repair place who know what they are doing. They are not complex cars but it is much easier if you know what you are doing.
By the way Geary at Eliseparts ( is the Sue Miller / Paul Matty of Elises.

Personally, I would go for a higher mileage car that was regularly used and well maintained by one of the "normal" places (Steve Williams, Lakeside, Hanger111 etc).


Re: Not an Elan but Elise S1 post

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:20 pm
by elansprint71
These folks know their Elsies ( :wink: ) and are very active in Cheshire and the NW.