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mdavies last won the day on July 21 2013

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About mdavies

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    Learning the fiddle and investing. (Unrelated!)

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    Evora S SR. Previously: Exige 350, Zenos S, Elise S CR; Exige V6/Race; Evora NA(CR, Radium); Elises, favourite Series 1 Sport 135)
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    Various minor interior so far. Quite a lot on previous.
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  1. mdavies

    I think I might want an Evora

    Absolutely been and done discussing comparisons - huge amount on here - but do look carefully into NA/S and the "short" (now standard) vs the "long" (some older cars only) gearbox. Your views are what matter for you, not mine. PS: The Radium intake on an NA transformed it for me (and others said so here), but hard to get hold of now I think.
  2. mdavies

    New 410 musings - Ex Cayman

    Without getting into what to do now - well discussed above - I’m with Jon’s perspective on this. Buying a new car consists of “buying a car” and “buying NEW!” Many options for the first bit - including saving some/a lot of money in comparison with the new price+OTR. Demo cars, Almost New <1,000 miles, One Owner <4,000 miles, and the whole range of SH. Many options will include examples near indistinguishable from new - but they will not be NEW! The NEW bit is unique. A car is, or it isn’t. NEW is special, emotionally charged, probably a process of months, building from the first pang of wanting though battles between heart and head until the “not sensible but I only live once” commitment; something special for me, unsullied by others; “perfect”, that’s what I’m paying for. So asking whether it will be blemished is not a likely thought - it’s “NEW!” Then the waiting. When collection day comes “love is blind”. How can anyone see their love object through other than adoring eyes? Inspect it for flaws? That’s what you do for SH - but this is NEW! So when some sad reality strikes, it’s not a matter of “a car worth a bit less”, or that “some compromise must be made because the rest of it great”, or “the flaw can be hidden this way.” No, it’s totally ruined - the NEWness has not been fulfilled. It never was truly NEW. I could have bought an “almost new” one to the same spec. more cheaply.......I really don’t care any more. A few £K’s “compensation” is no compensation - I’ve lost my “NEW car”. PS: Happened to me: a gearbox fault on a brand new Quality Make (not Lotus). Crashed gears several times on the way home. “This can’t be happening; must be that I’m not used to the clutch action.” A couple of days before I admitted the fault to myself. In the end I accepted that the oil had been analysed for metal, the fix done and the warranty extended to four years. But the car was never the same for me. Sympathy Jon.
  3. mdavies

    TLF Evora 'Sports Racer' Club!

    A Sports Racer? I thought black wheels and a Union Flag badge were the standard. (JAWS - I think - spelt out the full spec earlier in the thread.) So a "forgery"/wannabe? PS: Sorry, can't discuss - business away for a few days.
  4. mdavies

    TLF Evora 'Sports Racer' Club!

    Maj. Eaton: We have top men working on it right now. Indiana: Who? Maj. Eaton: Top... men. Paul, I might have misunderstood your comment, but in case it means what I think, I've doubled the landmines, and a plain S is being sprayed up now to leave as a decoy outside......
  5. mdavies

    TLF Evora 'Sports Racer' Club!

    Scotty, saw your photo and dashed out to check mine was still in my garage -- relief! Marvellous photo and I'm thinking it may look so good because of the strict rectangularity of the Scottish architecture standing squarely behind it. (Yes, I'm sticking with rectangularity and squarely....) Re prices mentioned above, I was recently speaking to an expert very well placed to know and he believes that for desirable S SR's (e.g. carbon grey, hurrah!) prices have about bottomed and the demand is such they could be on the turn. (We were talking manuals, which seems historically to be the "Lotus norm" for the majority - I do notice a couple of ISPs on PH) Certainly mine never hit a forecourt as I had a standing order in place. A letter from the Lotus archivist tells me that a total of only 8 Evora S Sports Racer models in Carbon Grey were made. Perhaps some of the other 6 owners will put their hands up here.
  6. mdavies

    TLF Evora 'Sports Racer' Club!

    Andy, I agree that a mint S1 LE would be the version to stand up against an SR for future classic status. The two ends of the spectrum regarding technical development, but a "first edition" is always especially desirable. I stand by my marginal selection of an SR though, as things like fuel and other running costs fall away for a cherished classic. Though the S1's lower power could be down played, things like its "long" gearbox, the SR's gear change cable and mechanism improvements and the more balanced appearance given by the SR's larger wheels and sill/roof paint treatment and better exhaust sounds, with the general quality upgrade, do swing it for me. Mainly though, I want to say that a "classic" mint S1 LE had better be a well polished/sucked/sorted mint. Purely by chance, I was at B&C one evening when a large van arrived and out came the very first Evora to be delivered from Hethel. Turquoise. Something of a B&C reception committee crowded around; I made myself invisible in the background but with camera poised. (My photo and excited post is hopefully still here somewhere. (Though - almost dare not say it - I might have sent it to "the other place".) Relevant to say that that car and colour was intended for a customer. The thing is - at last - that, although I won't go into details as it's now only a historical note and irrelevant, when I asked for a test drive a few weeks (I think) later, I was told there would be a delay as "it has gone back to Hethel to have a few things sorted out". (Pretty much a quote.) I was told of a few of the issues, but it was a private conversation. So, for your mint S1 LE, better not go for a truly original original!
  7. Learn to walk properly before trying to run? Pah! Only for wimps............ EandT News - Automation FINAL - MEMBER&utm_medium=Newsletters - E%26T News&utm_content=E%26T News - Members&
  8. mdavies

    Future of Lotus

    The issue of Car magazine currently on news shelves contains JMG’s “last Lotus interview". It seems to be very little mentioned here. In it, JMG describes Geely’s plans for Lotus - as he then knew them of course. The entry point will be an equivalent of a cross between the current Exige and the current Evora. The price range will between £70K and £150K. So bye-bye Elise, if that is the case. Very happy with my Evora S SR for now - and it seems likely the future too.
  9. The above Thatcham experiment was properly videoed - dramatically! At the end Tesla basically says "not a problem". Thatcham disagrees. I know who I believe, both re the validity of the experiment and the conclusion.
  10. Andy, and others. Something potentially of interest to anyone who drives in the UK. I do, where we have Teslas on the roads, hence I highlight such information. This is re Tesla testing here by Thatcham, currently on the BBC News, Technology section. Of special interest to Tesla owners such as the chap I spoke with a few days ago who regularly uses the 'Autopilot' on motorways. It seemed he was quite unaware of any such issues. The BBC piece covers more, but here is an important extract. "To demonstrate the dangers of partial automation, Thatcham took a Tesla out on its test track at Upper Heyford, in Oxfordshire. With the Autopilot system switched on, the Model S kept in lane and slowed to a halt when a car it was following encountered standing traffic. But on a second run the car in front switched lanes at the last moment, and the Tesla was unable to brake in time, running into a stationary vehicle." Just the sort of lane switch that happens. An unfortunate stationary driver would likely not even have been aware there was a Tesla a couple of cars back. A dangerous vehicle lurking in attack range, I will allow myself to say!
  11. mdavies

    TLF Evora 'Sports Racer' Club!

    Mine and some thoughts. All Evoras, indeed all Lotuses, have ‘future classic’ potential but I’m with those who see the S1 Sport Racer as a star amongst them. The S1 Elise Sport 135, effectively unobtainable now, was a obvious star amongst the later more powerful Elises including the S2s. I wish I’d been able to keep mine - both times I owned it! Already, manual Evora SRs seem fairly thin on the market, and current owners seem rather to cherish them. The Lotus archivist confirms the total production number for the UK (including IPS models), as 101, with 53 being S and 48 NA. All were 2+2. Each doubtless has its supporters but, having owned both, I appreciate the clear distinctions and advantages of both - and can sit on the fence: it’s a matter of horses for courses. How demand for each as a classic will pan out is a pure guess; if forced, I’d pick the S, but not argue that much. I had my NA for three years and loved it. The improvements Lotus made in moving on to the 4xx series are highly desirable, and I’m very keen on the light weight approach, but I don’t see all the changes as improvements. In stripping out weight - and cost - Lotus also stripped out some character. Rather important for classic status; performance alone is not enough. Rpm warning indicators are a natural feature for a performance car - eyes can stay on the road. A shame Lotus sacrificed them. And when our cars become part of motoring history, that characterful interior, quirky if you like, the dash sweeping to the doors, and an integrated set of control buttons grouped around the steering wheel, sport mode at one finger tip, glove box at another, an engine temp gauge, even three 12v sockets in good locations - and a cargo net! So what if the mirror switch is awkward to get at - we will reminisce about such details. And the glass rear hatch; yes heavy but class. So if my Sport Racer turns out to be the last Lotus I own, and becomes a keeper, I’ll feel I have something well worth it. PS: My little extension of the interior colour scheme to the exterior on mine is readily removeable!
  12. I have previously made clear my views about the current state of development of any “self-driving” cars and the, IMO, remaining gulf to anything that should be allowed into general traffic. This post is regarding only the Tesla (in “autopilot” mode) that crashed into a concrete barrier on 23rd March, killing the “driver”. It is extracted from a Guardian piece on 8th June. I have made the final phrase bold. I believe it requires no further comment. (Underlines are for Guardian links.) “......four seconds before ....... the car stopped following the path of a vehicle in front of it. Three seconds before the impact, it sped up from 62mph to 70.8mph. The car did not brake or steer away, the National Transportation Safety Board said. .......... The Tesla battery was breached, causing the car to be engulfed in flames” . The Guardian goes on to say: “......the company has repeatedly sought to deflect blame on to the driver and the local highway conditions............ Musk has also aggressively attacked journalists writing about this crash and other recent autopilot collisions, complaining that the negative attention would discourage people from using his technology. “
  13. mdavies

    JMG gone!

    Was his emergency surgery not a pretty obvious process, for any merely competent manager in any field? Stopped the financial blood loss (I understand) but at serious cost to the workforce, production numbers and not least to the enthusiast for the cars - no longer affordable for many. Prices jacked way up and for models not developed far enough to justify them. Some nice titivation perhaps, but for today's prices? My impression is that they are not moving out from the dealers very fast in the UK at least. Perhaps all that could be done in the sad previous situation, but meriting much applause?
  14. As it happens, just an hour ago, I had a "our cars" chat (very amicable!) with the driver of a new and shiny looking Tesla at a garage where I was filling up the Evora. (Shiny, if not new.) Of course, after we had paid the usual compliments about each others vehicles, compared acceleration figures etc. - he would beat me to 60, but I would leave him after that - I enquired about his Autopilot use. He uses it a great deal, on motorways and similar, and generally it works well, maintaining distance and speed in heavy traffic. However it was "too logical and precise" in following the centre of lanes - because of course, we humans take account of the type and width of the vehicles in lanes beside us, and their lane positioning. Fiat 500 or an giant artic? Dead centre is often not what we choose, and so he would find himself fighting the Autopilot - when it disengages automatically. [I did not say "fingers crossed".] Of course I left the "stationary vehicles" topic until the end of our talk. Interesting and highly relevant to my post above is that though he was a sharp youngish chap - not an old fogey, as he may now be reporting about me - he was not aware of: "stated in its instruction manual that Autopilot is not designed to avoid collisions, and may not brake or decelerate for stationary vehicles." In his experience it did work in that respect. If the case is that it usually does but may not "brake or decelerate for stationary vehicles", I see that as a far worse situation, not only being liable to "not" at any time, but doing so unexpectedly, having lulled the driver into excessive dependence previously. Of course that may not be so any more - but why then is Tesla not announcing loudly that the cause of the previous smashes - I will not call them accidents - has been rectified? Could it be that in the litigious US culture, explicitly recognising a fault could clear the way to multi, multi million dollar claims? Some people have been hurt, and in one case with cause not yet attributed, two youngsters killed.
  15. mdavies

    Fun replicas

    Choose a Scorpion over a Triking ! Wow, that would be getting serious, Trevor. I had a project more in line with my building a Spartan +2 many years ago. (A poor man's Morgan, sort of.) From a new chassis up, with Spitfire mechanicals. Learnt a lot, including how to weld. That was not anticipated to be necessary but actually important for success, along with not following the (very brief) instructions too closely. To end up with something I was prepared to take the family on the road in, I incorporated most of the angle iron from a bed frame in addition to what was supplied. Ran it for 10 years, with daily short run use by my good lady. I wonder how the ERA 30 (my choice) is for tall people? A few years ago at the Kit Car Show I tried several cars for size, for leg length mainly, and found I'd have to have mine shortened a good few inches. (Considering modifications and improvements always an open possibility in a kit builders mind.) Anyway I decided the cost of the operation plus the kit made them a poor resale prospect. In reality, to build anything today the Evora would have to sleep outside, so it's not on. Unless I move? I'm looking forward to following your adventures though: ERA 30, ERA 30, ER.................... Unless you really want a Spartan! Same colour as mine below