Lotus Elan

Is the M100 worth considering, have you owned one

PostPost by: Bugeyed » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:27 am

Looking for a lotus and trying to make up my mind which one. Have has Healey's and such in the past and now feel the a Lotus calling me.
Don't think I like the idea of a front wheel drive but they say this one is OK?
I am only looking at it because every time I look at the car sales sites I see the same over valued cars again and again, they never move.

I know there are mixed feeling about it, tell me its like.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:38 am

Hi Bugeyed

This site is dedicated to the early Elans. But for what its worth i think the M100 cars were great. I like the looks and they handle like a true Lotus. Trim bits and some of the other specialist Lotus bits are sometimes hard to come by from what i have heard from people who own them in Australia but potentially they are easier to find in the UK.

There is a M100 Elan web site somewhere i am sure you will find it if you google.

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PostPost by: gherlt » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:55 pm

the website you need to look at is lotuselancentral.com.

My first Lotus was a M100 from new and started my love affair with Lotus, especially with the fine and delicate handling. Its front drive was better than anything at that time.
Its a luxurious interpretation of the Lotus-theme, fast, agile, easy. Has good usable boot, electric windows, AC, power steering, I liked the seats very much (I travelled many times 1600 km in one day without problems). I sold mine in 2001 (bought house) and bought the second one in 2005 (new job).
They are very cheap to buy, cheap to mantain, very usable, reliable (japanese engine, GM electrics), uses from 8 to 11 l/100km (up to 23 on full perma-WOT on German Autobahn).

On the bad side, nowadays 160 bhp is not that much, a Golf GTI handles much better, some parts are of a cheap quality and its not a a quiet car.
And final criticism, its very capable, but its not involving as the old Elan.
And that's why I sold my 2nd M100 and bought a 2nd M45 Elan.

If you look for an easy and nice handling would-be-sports-cabriolet you can use and enjoy with your partner, the M100 is fine. If you want to "enjoy driving" as a pleasure with *all* your senses, you should buy an old Elan, this is "hard core" with all its joys and problems.


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PostPost by: DeanG » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:03 pm

We certainly have more miles on our M100 than we do our Elan. A totally different car. Akin to the Audi TT. Like most "modern" cars it is more capable than it is fun to drive. A/C is marginal in most, ours couldn't beat the heat in Death Valley even in October. It is great for long distances (we have made 1 trip of 7,000 miles and 2 of over 9,000). Unfortunately it is now a 20 year old limited production car. Some parts are difficult to get. Depending on where you live finding mechanic that knows the model can be difficult.
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PostPost by: Bugeyed » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:41 pm

Thanks for the replays, very useful information.
I am new to the forum. I have had a succession of worked Healey Bueyed Sprites, which are very dear to me. Buy this time round I want to step up to a Lotus to overcome some of the limitations of the Sprite. I was considering an Elise, and have driven some, but I feel the Elan has a better driving experience and one very special feature which helps me justify the purchase to the powers that be, that is an appreciating value.
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PostPost by: alan d bell » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:22 pm

dear bugeyed,
you seem to have caused some distress by mentioning a lotus other than "early Elans" I own an excel and an m100. and i'm here because I have a share in period '65 racing elan gt so I,m not really interested in early elans that do not have racing provenance or more importantly performance. the m100 is perhaps the only lotus that was a true everyday use car. mine has covered 156k miles and still performs as it should which is very well indeed. buy one. the only difference between the period gt we have and a 26r was the chassis and wheels and the fact it had a brake servo.
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