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Looking for S1 Elise R65 FYJ / buying a second hand Elise


JonB

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Hello!

I used to have an S1 Elise - R65 FYJ in Deep purple and frequented the forum. The car was bought new 23 years ago and I had a great deal of fun in it, including driving to Portugal from northern Spain. I would love to find the car again and see if it is doing better than me! Does anyone know where it is?

Meanwhile I have been through a few cars since, mostly boring types but I have an Elan Plus 2 S130/5 at the moment, which I am working on. Soon, though, I plan to go back to the Elise and I am looking for a bit of advice on what is a good choice. As there are so many different models out there is gets a bit confusing. I'm thinking at least an S2 with a Toyota engine, with touring pack and A/C, preferably a hardtop. 111S perhaps?

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  • 5 weeks later...

No,

 

Sorry my mistake! My reg is R59FJY but in the same deep purple. Wonder if they were sold out of the same place.

 

I think mine came from Wilsons Lotus, but I'll have to check the dealer sticker in the back window to refresh my memory 

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29 minutes ago, gazlar53 said:

R59FJY

That's spooky! Welcome to TLF Gareth! 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

So.. the Elan is advertised now and a couple of potential buyers have appeared but they are as slippery as fish. You'd think they didn't really want to buy the car.

 

But back to the Elise. Skimming car ads on AutoTrader and eBay I can see a price range for S1s between 11k and 18k (that latter price is highly optimistic, IMHO). There is an S3 going for £20k that looks good value, it has A/C and Touring pack plus Cruise but I'm not sure about the horrid dull colour. Metallic Grey? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/283798573120

I've decided that if I go S1 it must have MMC brakes like my old one; if S2, A/C and a Toyota engine are mandatory. Preferably with a hardtop, though I've heard they don't help much in the interior noise department. Comments?

There is also a red S1 with MMC for £14k, this is looking strong except it has a nasty aftermarket oil / temperature gauge jammed into the bottom of the A pillar. The original coin tray is probably lost and it also has Willans harnesses instead of inertia reel seat belts. So to the buying price I have to add the parts to restore it to originality, which for me is important on an S1. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254520836342

Finally, a yellow S1 for 12k, not MMC and has later seats fitted that look new and have wider headrests that incorporate holes for four / five point harnesses. I'm trying to decide if they look out of place in an S1. This car also has a Janspeed exhaust with oval tail pipe (looks wrong to me) and one of those free flowing air filters just clamped onto the end of the intake pipe in the engine bay, where it can suck in hot air. Question is, how much might the correct intake and filter housing cost? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/153852362124

Regarding the S1 soft top.. Mine tended to leak from new - a drip from the top of the A pillar apparently caused by water wicking around the fabric flap that wraps around the front of the cant rails. Might a waterproofing treatment like Fabsil help eliminate this? Has anyone tried?

Edited by JonB
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  • Gold FFM

It sounds to me like you should buy a S1 Elise that is as it left Hethel, ideally with MMC discs but personally I would not get to hung up on that final point. I had a MMC Elise in 1997, I now have a 2000 without...it makes no odds from a driving point a view (except you don't get the terrible lack of bite initially in the wet that MMC do). 

There are plenty S1 in original state out there. Look every day and be prepared to pay a tad more than you think you should for the right car for you. You will soon forget the price as you enjoy the sheer brilliance of Elise. 

I think if you buy a S2 or 3, all fab of course, you will pine for a S1 as that is the car you had before. 

Justin 

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I think if you buy a S2 or 3, all fab of course, you will pine for a S1 as that is the car you had before.

That is quite possible, Justin.

However, I did have problems with my brand new S1;  the seats were not terribly comfortable , the roof leaked and I didn't really like the anaemic sounding engine. It was difficult to hear the stereo (I like music when I drive) as the car was quite noisy. I thought it was in dire need of A/C, not just for hot summer days, but to help demist in the rainy cold winter. Finally, there is the question of age. An S1 is going to be over 20 years old. Even the S3 I linked to is 10 years old. Any S1 is likely to need new bushes and possibly the suspension arms repainted (ha! just like my 47 year old Elan!). Plus the radiator - I have read the originals have plastic ends that crack over time, and need to be replaced.

MMC is important to me as it is one of the special features of the original S1s. Reduces unsprung weight, your wheels don't get covered in brake dust and the disks and pads tend to last forever. 

So.. If I found an original, unmolested S1 in yellow or orange with MMC and less than 50k miles for £10-12k I think I'd grab it. There's actually a green one for £9000 listed but it needs a respray. It looks badly neglected, too. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/133353317142 Oh, and not MMC (listing says the disks and pads are new).

 

By the way, if you swapped your Excel for an Esprit, and added an Elan Sprint, I think you'd have my dream garage!

Edited by JonB
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4 hours ago, JonB said:

However, I did have problems with my brand new S1;  the seats were not terribly comfortable , the roof leaked and I didn't really like the anaemic sounding engine. It was difficult to hear the stereo (I like music when I drive) as the car was quite noisy. I thought it was in dire need of A/C, not just for hot summer days, but to help demist in the rainy cold winter. Finally, there is the question of age. An S1 is going to be over 20 years old. Even the S3 I linked to is 10 years old. Any S1 is likely to need new bushes and possibly the suspension arms repainted (ha! just like my 47 year old Elan!). Plus the radiator - I have read the originals have plastic ends that crack over time, and need to be replaced.

I think you need to buy an Evora. 😉

Justin 

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4 hours ago, JonB said:

By the way, if you swapped your Excel for an Esprit, and added an Elan Sprint, I think you'd have my dream garage!

Thanks. Love 'em all. Love Esprit, have had most variants over the years, nearly bought HC Turbo in 2016 but went to a more modern Brit mid-engined car instead with an extra turbo. 

Elan Sprint, yum yum...I prefer S1 but any Elan will do. I have never owned one, shamefully.

Justin 

Just now, JonB said:

Sorry, can't really justify one of those... :)

No-one can! 

Evora is a seriously special car, should the opportunity ever arise, don't hesitate.

Justin 

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2 hours ago, JonB said:

Shame on you!

Maybe you can redeem yourself: https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1206211

:D

Love it but...……...I would want a Lotus chassis. I had a Europa once and that had a Spyder chassis. I just could not get my head around not having Lotus chassis, not because I necessarily could tell the difference but I just felt that it was sort of fundamental to the having a Lotus. Others disagree and I am happy for all to have what they want.

I so nearly bought a +2, 1968 one owner, in or around 2013. It needed work, we could not agree a price. B&C bought it and still own it. Silver, very early car bought from Len Street Lotus new, who painted it silver as it was not a factory colour at the time. 

I hope you find a new home for it soon. Such a fab colour. Bramley have a purple Evora at the moment, looks so good.

Justin 

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Fair do's. Lotus folded chassis (if original) will most likely be on the verge of collapse by now (due to rust in the base of the front turrets). Lotus LR chassis (galvanised) will likely be warped due to heat encountered during the galvanising process. Spyder space frame chassis is more rigid and it's easier to access parts for service / repair. Plus, has a tow loop at the front. Pay your money, take your choice... :)

You're actually the first person I've talked to who would exclude a car due to having a Spyder chassis. Most people don't really care as long as it is sound (which it is). I mean Plus 2s aren't that precious, are they?

 

Meanwhile my hunt for a good S1 continues. Why are so many of them "oop Noorth"?

Edited by JonB
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5 minutes ago, JonB said:

Why are so many of them "oop Noorth"?

Love a car trip. Bought many a car from Scotland, at least 3 sight unseen and all worked out very well.

I did once take a night train to Edinburgh to see a Dolomite Sprint. From 5 yards away I knew it was a no-go. I had to wait 3 hours just to get a taxi back to the station...…...that was a hard conversation-making 180 minutes with a person you ain't buying a car from (private sale).

Justin

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54 minutes ago, JonB said:

That must have been hard.. I think I will drive to see some of them but all the way to flippin' Knaresborough (for the red MMC one) from here is a 4.5hr journey. Ye gods..

It all fades away if you get the right car (it fades away even if you don't). Leave at 3am, bag the deal, back home for a late lunch. Then you fly up to collect, have a holiday with your new steed...….

Justin 

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Er....the film is near 3 hours long though (usually these days).

The point being, if you want a great car, you have to put the effort in. You may have to kiss a few frogs before you catch your prince or princess. 

Justin 

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