The High Mile Club A quar­ter of a mil­lion miles by Lo­tus Elise? We can’t think of many things that would be more fun!

Iain Ogilvie, Chadling­ton, West Oxon

Practical Classics (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Ibought my Lo­tus Elise in De­cem­ber 2001. The Lon­don Lo­tus Cen­tre/hr Owen in St Al­bans had this one com­ing in as a part ex­change with around 11,000 miles on it. I had it at an ad­van­ta­geous price ‘as was’ with­out a fresh ser­vice and valet. That it was yel­low was the main thing for me.

I al­ready had a 1983 Turbo Esprit that I love, but it’s not a car for ev­ery­day use. So I ac­quired a sec­ond Lo­tus. I’ve kept her pretty stan­dard apart from a stain­less ex­haust and Elise S2 shocks that im­prove the han­dling. In the 16 years and 238,000 miles I’ve owned her she’s been looked after by Elise guru Simon Scott-rus­sell and her longevity is very much down to his care and a cer­tain amount of me­chan­i­cal em­pa­thy by the owner!

It’s a bril­liant cheat. Baby su­per­car looks, pedi­gree, re­li­a­bil­ity and su­perla­tive han­dling, with fuel and run­ning costs lower than your av­er­age Eurobox. 50 mpg any­one? Every­one tells me that Lo­tus cars are un­re­li­able but, in my ex­pe­ri­ence, that re­ally isn’t the case if you keep on top of main­te­nance. There’s not a lot to go wrong as it’s ba­si­cally four wheels, a chas­sis, en­gine and gear­box; the only ‘lux­ury’ be­ing a ra­dio/cd player. In my ex­pe­ri­ence the more you use a car the less trou­ble you have. Top grade coolant and gen­tle warm­ing up over the years has helped with longevity and that sup­pos­edly no­to­ri­ous K-series en­gine has only needed one head gas­ket, at 186,000 miles. In some ar­eas she is a lit­tle like ‘Trig­ger’s Broom’; three ra­di­a­tors, two front clams and two wind­screens, but over­all it’s a tough lit­tle car if treated prop­erly, al­though this car lives out­side on the drive­way. I’ll carry on driv­ing and see if we can hit 500,000 miles. My 10-year-old son, Cameron, has loved the car since he was a tod­dler, calling it ‘Beep Beep’. Maybe one day he’ll in­herit it? Most im­por­tantly, after 16 years, every time I drive the Elise it makes me smile.

Iain (left) and Simon Scot­trussell, who has looked after

the Lo­tus’ me­chan­i­cal side.


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