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    Chris Harris - You Know You Want To: Lotus Elise S1

    By some margin, the best summer car I ever owned was an S1 Elise. Prancing around southern France in mine back in 1998 remains a favourite adventure, even if the clutch became inoperable in the midday sun.

    Literally gold-tinted memories of Harris's Elise

    It was like a high-performance Citroen Mehari – heading back from the beach in wet clobber, not worrying about ruining any trim, because there wasn’t any.

    I’m sure my affection for the S1 Elise springs from this time, but however hard I try to like the looks of the subsequent models, I can’t help but prefer the original. There’s a resonance about it that comes from reading those early magazine tests and desperately, desperately wanting one.

    Sun-parched, I’m fancying another Elise now. Scouring the classifieds, I’m not sure I want anything other than a 120hp K-Series car – perhaps the Sport 135 at a pinch. This wouldn’t be about going fast and, besides, for all the known K-Series issues it was damned light.

    Pricey, but in this weather you know you want to

    My car was Azure Blue, but the one I’ve found in the classifieds is, er, orange. But check out the history. It’s one of the original press cars and the one we best remember being nailed by Richard Burns with the line, “Where’s the power?!”

    “Coming in about 12 years," was the answer.

    My Elise holy grail is a completely standard, early car, with sports exhaust and aluminium brakes. That includes the standard plastic window winders and the normal gear knob. Plain vanilla, as it left the factory. Hellish in the wet, riddled with problems, but in the sunshine a car you will never forget.

    [Source]


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    Re: Chris Harris - You Know You Want To: Lotus Elise S1

    He has a point, I'd love to have one in my ideal collection. A Sport 160 ideally. wink


    Re: Chris Harris - You Know You Want To: Lotus Elise S1

    Funny,

    I found the original Elise to miss some edge in its (her) design. I found the 2nd generation to be styled far more appropriate for the character of the car. Maybe that lack of aggressiveness on the 1st generation is what Chris particularly appreciates, I find it a bit misleading.


    Re: Chris Harris - You Know You Want To: Lotus Elise S1

    Ferdie:

    Funny,

    I found the original Elise to miss some edge in its (her) design. I found the 2nd generation to be styled far more appropriate for the character of the car. Maybe that lack of aggressiveness on the 1st generation is what Chris particularly appreciates, I find it a bit misleading.

    I'm with you, Ferdie. I always found the original Elise too cartoonish-looking.

    @Porker, The Sport 160 is difficult to get registered outside of the UK.


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