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Ageing and it's effects on your car


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OK. So I have recently been for a full medical and apparantly I need to change my lifestyle. Looking at my car and what I do I wondered how everyone else's tastes have changed either through necessity or as a result of wisdom!

I know most of us have always loved Lotus's. For me, since my first memory, which was of an Elan +2. But why, for example, do I still have a yearning for an American Muscle car? I love the new Camaro, despite all it's shortcomings. Maybe as I get older I just see myself cruising down that open road to the soundtrack of V8 over Steppin Wolf, telling me to get my motor running.

But just recently a little thought has been growing at the back of my mind....Nissan GTR...ohhhhhhhh.....Nissan GTR.

Now I have never, ever, been a big Japanese sports car fan. I laughed at Fast and Furious when everyone else was going ohhhh and arrr at the pathetic excuses for street racers in the film.

Am I going mad? Or am I just getting old and want comfort and performance.

Help me Obie One Kenobi you're my only hope!

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I'm a Lotus fanatic.

My favorite is still the Elan (don't ask there was only 1)

I would love an Elise but due to age/spin injury I settle for the relative comfort of an Esprit.

But just once (for about 6 months) a 7 sod the back, that's a real sports car, you're never too old, only too late when you're dead.

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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When I had my red Elite the Esprit hardly got of the garage; the option of being comfortable and/or being able to bring my daughter along obviously had a strong subliminal effect.

After waiting far too long to own one, there will never be a day I don’t have a Lotus………… however there may be a day I won’t have an Esprit, and I never thought I’d say that.

Things change, it’s like that old Jasper Carrott joke about one day finding yourself looking in the shop window of Dunn & Co and saying “my that cardigan looks nice”. I’m doing the same looking at Bentleys (not the trashy footballer ones) and Morgans.

Also some cars outgrow their stigmas and perhaps the prejudices you once held against them, like RR Silver Shadows. Now they are no longer synonymous with Arthur Daley, Mike Yarwood and Bernard Manning I’m finding myself appreciating the design, same with MK1 Range Rovers. Perhaps when Wayne Rooney and his ilk move on from Continental Coupes they may become desireable too…

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I'm a tall guy and long in the leg too boot. I really only just fit in my S1. As long as I have flexibility I will continue to climb in and out of my Esprit. I also do all my maintenance work, no one else within 420+ miles that has ever seen an Esprit. So until climbing in the back to lean over an engine to fiddle with this or that, which seems like every time I drive the car, becomes just too much I will continue with my S1 ownership. For such a low car there seems to be awful lot of climbing involved :)

I must admit I have glanced at one or two Jaguar XK8's with the V8 and supercharger. Damn it I must be getting older.

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I'm definitely a serious Lotus fan....but truth be told I'm a bit of a marque slut. I love most cars and certainly anything that performs well and/or looks the part - be that hot hatch, muscle car, rod, Q-car, coupe, Italian, German, whatever - doesn't seem to change with my age. In order to keep some sort of cap on the automotive money pit I decided some years ago to run a Lotus only "fleet" cos that would at least limit the choices to the 100 odd types produced. I was happy for a while with the Esprit, Elan,Carlton and Sunbeam - a Lotus for every occasion, but it couldn't last cos there's always something else required (eg none of those was a suitable tow car, the Sunbeam was fine for the dump run, but not really big enough for the B&Q pick up, etc). So the fleet has diversified again. I cant see me ever getting rid of the Esprit or Elan...but I'm (hopefully) only two thirds through my driving years so who knows what will seem like a better idea in 2020?....

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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Had to wait until I was 59 before owning an Esprit and don't think I will be getting rid of it before I am carried out of the house feet first. I have even instructed my wife that I would like to be buried siting in the drivers seat of the car and then every available space filed with bottles of good real ale. That will see me nicely into the afterlife like the pharohs. If you can afford something go for it, thats my motto otherwise you will always regret it and believe me life is too short for that.

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After a crap day at work or anywhere else or after a trip to the doctor who tells you to have a look at your lifestyle there are only three good tonics. One: open a bottle of something alcoholic and toast your good fortune that you can still do this despite the advancing years and the wisdom of the medics who predicted you wouldn't last this long. Two: give the wife/partner/kids a hug. Does wonders ( if you haven't got any of these then borrow next door's dog and take it for a walk). Three: go to your garage/driveway and take a long hard look at your Lotus. Result? Huge smiles all round.:thumbsup:

Edited by IanQ

Though this be madness yet there is method in it ( Polonius in William Shakespeare's Hamlet)

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  • Gold FFM

Kimbers -rumors say the actual Nissan Skykine GTR suspension is 'engineered' by LOTUS if you feelin old enough for long evenings in a pub playing cards all night long (I know the poker stories..) there is no reason not to do all the other 'old mans stuff'

Why not drive to the next big international meeting in a Nissan :whistle: But we will laugh if it looks like the one time last year (the Exige @ Dunston hall..) as you leave the car.

Edited by Günter


to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..


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Lets figure you pass your driving test at 18 years old and stop driving when you are 88 years old.

I think thats a fair, if not perhaps too long innings?

If you can drive for seven decades you have done well. I have owned Lotus Esprits for ten years (one seventh of what i can ever dream of being my life behind the wheel), thats enough for me as i can't afford a fleet of cars and don't want to drive just one model until i get bored of it or die, if you are genuinely into cars to limit yourself this way would be daft.

Maybe you should buy a different car every year? Everything else in life from choosing a meal/ holiday/ chocolate bar/ kitchen/ curtains/ whatever gives the chance to make a change and the chance is always taken. Will i ever own an 80's 911 turbo? A Jaguar V12 XJS? A car with a big V8 engine (thats not just another Esprit)? Am we doomed to move from Lotus model to model trapped by a sense of 'brand loyalty'? Is the 'it's a Lotus' enough?

Do i have to spend my life in a loop where i claim to be a '100%Lotus fan' and have to follow and cheer without comment the repetative F1 failures, nasty concept cars, new models i don't care about despite having veiwed and driven? Do i have to join in the laughing on threads about some other brand of sportscar catching fire, crashing, or meeting some other nasty end? How long can i maintain this with enthusiasm? And more to the point, why is every other brand so crap in the eyes of lotus owners? Maybe i am in the best car in the world? But how do i know if i don't own others?


You are going through a life crisis, buy as many cars as you can before you die.


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Thenew car I ever bought (at 33) was the Exige. Then the racing bug bit and I moved to a Caterham which is now my daily driver. I hope to be back into Lotus ownership soon, but probably not for the road. A classic race car would do better. There are lots of 80-year olds driving Lotus historic cars on the track.

Edited by joaovc
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Buy what you want. I got an XK8 once, was a complete disaster and sold it after 8 weeks - but box is ticked and I am pleased about that (if not the £6k I lost on it!!!! - should I have mentioned that bit?)

My S2 Esprit was an itch I had to scratch, got very cold feet at first but am pleased I can say I did it.

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Sorry Kimbers, I can't help you.

I can offer you some advice though - that in 5 years time you'll see 16 year olds driving around in those ricer GTRs with their 14" exhausts, painted in dayglo vomit orange, passing you by with their 4000watt subwoofers (doof doof). Don't be led astray to the dark side.

Simon  (94 S4)      My Esprit will be for sale in late 2017

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Kimbers - if you fancy one, buy it!

The last programme I made for Duke Video (before moving into local radio full time) was on the GT-R and I met a lot of owners/fans, passengered one around Spa and filmed at Rockingham and other places. They are fantastic cars, and apparently eminently tuneable without spending fortunes. Some of the guys I filmed were running 600-700 bhp and achieving 200mph sur le continent, and the cars are just so capable. Have a look at the programme if you can (only runs up to the R34 unless it's been updated recenty).

Of course, they're still Datsuns though...

The ideal for me is Lottie and a nice saloon - recently chopped my XJR and bought a Benz CL55 for days that my tired old bones can't be bothered with dodgy demisters or heavy steering - although it's lovely, every trip in Lottie reminds me how scintillating she is.

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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