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Advice on Elise S3 Macau Edition


JonB

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Couple of questions for S3 Elise owners:

  • Macau edition as far as I know is a standard 1.6 with A/C for Asian markets. However they were not ready in time so got sold in the UK.
  • I'm looking at one now, but it appears to have some extras. Motorsports seats and the rear diffuser / front maintenance cover are black. Also has radio fitting kit and four speakers.
  • Only problem is it's Cat S - damage to one or more front suspension pickups, headlamp unit, clam shell but not the crash structure -  claimed to have been repaired properly (by means of a new cross member bonded into place instead of attempting to weld, with bolts where the factory fitted rivets usually sit).
  • Seller claims experience with this type of repair. For sure he's been around for a while, fixing up sports cars. It's "Freedco", anyone know of them?
  • Car is cheap for what it is.

So the main question is how much of an impediment is Cat S on a car's record, if it can be demonstrated to have been repaired properly?

Other questions are about the Macau and 2014 options specifically:

  • I read that Macau editions have a crossed out VIN on the VIN plate, with a replacement number underneath. Correct?
  • Does the black diffuser signify any specific option? Or are all Macaus like that?
  • It also has black wheels, I am pretty sure these were options. Care to correct me?
  • Anything else to be aware of?

Thanks all

JonB

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He sells a lot of repaired carsbut is difficult to find much about him.  Cat s doesn't need to be inspected so would certainly get an independent inspection done don't rely on an MOT. If you intend to keep the car  cat s not a problem but if need to sell in future it will be. Difficult to sell and most dealers won't be interested in a part ex, insurance will likely be expensive. Say is cheap but is any price cheap enough, 50% off might be tempting if passes inspection.

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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Quite so, Pete.

He won't sell it for £9k I shouldn't think! So I have walked away from it (figuratively speaking). I will have to keep my powder dry - there are not many Elises out there that are good value but I am sure one will come along eventually. I have a budget of about 18k.

 

There's one on eBay at the moment that could be tempting. It's a 2015 1.6 Club Racer in Saffron Yellow, low mileage and looks fabulous. Only problem is it's £25k. I don't get it. The CR was supposed to be cheaper than the base model due to having loads of stuff stripped out. They were £27k new (so I read). So how come a 5 year old model has depreciated so little? I smell a rat. Meaning by that, a greedy piss-taking dealer.

 

This one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303570316555

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42 minutes ago, JonB said:

Quite so, Pete.

He won't sell it for £9k I shouldn't think!

I didn't mean 50%of his asking price . 50% of its true value

hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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The price of Elises can vary a lot, you will see S1 and S2 for sale in the mid £20k so that price for a S3 CR is probably there or there abouts maybe top end but its subjective with these cars.

I have a S3 CR that is immaculate but with higher than average milage as the previous owner used it as a daily, so its probably worth around £18.5 K. The good thing about the later cars is the Toyota reliability in my opinion, but i would think hard about a repaired car due to what Pete has stated with resale value. If you are thinking of keeping it and none of the suspension pick up points were damaged, and all the chassis is straight then maybe, but there are cars out there that don't have crash history which are probably a better bet.

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Personally I wouldn't touch an Elise that's had a chassis repair.

Re prices for Club Racers - I've been tracking for a while and bought one in March for £24k at a main dealer. It's 2016 reg and 20k miles. The depreciation curve has been beyond glacial on 1.6's, in fact they've actually gone UP slightly in price compared to a couple of years ago.

They're not universally loved either, but I think it's a fantastically pretty car, proper fun on back roads and very cheap to own once bought.

I looked at another 1.6 CR, 45k miles and not in perfect condition. Also at a main dealer, it was up at £21k but we were discussing just under £20k in February. It was sold to guy to use on track in the end.

All this was pre-Covid though...

Good luck!

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  • Gold FFM
On 23/05/2020 at 10:48, Dirk.Diggler said:

but there are cars out there that don't have crash history which are probably a better bet.

That don't have crash history that you know of is what you should be saying. Some crashed cars are "fixed" without the insurance companies ever getting involved so they don't have a Cat marker. For instance, often if damaged on track.

No Cat marker is no guarantee your car has not been crashed repaired at all.

If you think about it logically all a Cat marker is doing is acting as a flag. The very fact it has one indicates to a potential buyer a previous incident. 

A thorough check by someone who knows these cars is what you need. Also when was the Cat marker awarded? Several years ago and well documented mileage with no further issues? Remember some cars were written off just for clam damage due to cost at time for clams.

I have a 19 year old Type 116 (VX220) that I bought 3 years ago. It had a Cat marker from 2006! It's been absolutely fine and was bought on recommendation of a very wll respected Lotus Specialist. I got it Supercharged two years ago by the two of the  best VX "experts" out there who have done the majority of these conversions. Both clams off, lot of work and they kept remarking what a great car it was (condition) and the ease with clams going back and aligning compared with many others.

The Cat marker is there to alert. However too many people take that, naively in my opinion, to mean that cars without are top notch. These cars are relatively cheap performance motors and will be bought by some people with barely adequate financial resources and driving talent (I'm the latter) so when problems do occur..... Well, go figure.

Always buy on condition and ensure someone who knows the cars has gone over them. 

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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  • Gold FFM

I know @pete but if you look at the piece I quoted I was responding to the presumption that if a car does not have a Cat marker it does not have a crash history.

I think the advice I gave stands regardless of any car and the OP is wanting an Elise, not just that Macau car.

Also I was providing an assurance that the Cat marker does not have to mean a bad car, as per my example.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well the guy selling the Macau notified me of another one - a 1.6 in orange with black grilles and other bits. Cat C, only had clamshell damage (repaired now), but 96k miles. I think it was £17.5k. Looked stunning but the mileage killed it for me. Oh well, keep looking!

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I wouldn't let mileage put you off. 

These cars are very understressed and as such they can handle high mileages very well. Dont forget the running gear is Toyota and its pushing a very light car. Doesn't wear tyres rapidly, or brakes. You will probably have more issues with a car that is used rarely. Just make sure its been serviced properly

Mine is high milages but is immaculate, you shouldn't be paying much more that £17.5 k for an undamaged high mileage S3 Elise

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  • Gold FFM

Offer him £15/15.5k for a quick sale and you've got a lot of smiles for not much money. A Toyota engine and gearbox should be fully run in by 96k miles :)

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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