From: Ian2 <removed to protect against spam>
Date: February 5, 2004 11:57:10 AM PST
Subject: An Elise S3 - I'm pleased for you !

Hi Michael,

I am very pleased for you - the S3 finally, undoubtably your efforts have helped to make it real.

As an owner of an S1 (Feb 2000), I have long felt the Elise should have been available in the USA, particularly California.

I've always found your site excellent and a source of original accurate data, before and after I bought, thank you for your efforts.

I word of wisdom for your future owning experience - people here in Europe refer to Lotus as 'Lotarse' its entirely appropriate, while they do (did) contain a font of engineering design genius, their manufacturing QA and management stank, it still does as far as I know.

Do not expect Porsche or BMW quality or Ferrari customer service, think Moskavitch or MG. By way of illustration of the ethos, you will find the door trim is held in place with a 2cent plastic screw which disintegrates after its first removal instead of an ali equivalent which might cost 50cents.

I've seen grown men weep with frustration at the Lotarse approach to customer and dealer support, this company should have been the UK equivalent to Ferrari, instead it staggers from crisis to survival.

They source all parts from someone else's OEM supplier, if you ever wish to by spares NEVER repeat NEVER buy the official lotus part from a Lotus Dealer. The original source will be 25% of the price and identical. Use the resource of experience in the UK and Europe on

I'm sure you're aware of this site, apply a filter, but there is hard won experience in spades thereon.

I have no idea how the importation of your vehicle will be handled by Lotus USA, but I'd be tempted to fly over to the factory and travel back with the car in its container.

Surprisingly, my experience of the factory 'people' is that they do entertain personal visits and if you time it right you may be able to watch your car going down the line.

You could combine your visit with a driver training session with Alistair McQueen, on the test track at Hethel, adjacent to the factory, its a very worthwhile day. No thats an understatement he's the very best and its the best form of insurance you can have - being shown the limit by the boss.

"She's like a Gazelle, laddie !"

Perhaps you could get a group of prospective new owners together from the US and make a trip of it ! You never know Lotus marketing may even realise its a good idea.....

Good Luck, stay alive,

Ian Wheeler (IanW(fr).)