Lotus Elise at Deanza Autocross

Martin Smith's 510 Garage <510garage@sbcglobal.net>

Elise Ownership: April and May 2005

I still drive the car whenever possible. The kids, boys 12 and 14, asked for rides to school in the Elise. Since they go to different schools nearby, I need to take one, go back to get the other, and take him. As expected, the car gets a lot of attention from the other students. I try to drive the car daily, even if it is just a local errand to get parts or pick up groceries.

I continue to acquire things for the car that will eventually get installed. So far I have an air horn, stainless steel welded wire mesh, a smaller rear view mirror, and new rear tires. The tires were installed at 8,000 miles. I have installed two different mirrors several times, looking for the right solution.

Lotus Elies autocross from rear

Progress on removing all the black plastic fins or grilles is slow. I have removed the rear taillight grilles and like the look. Should I ever paint the entire car, I will fill the openings further, much like the Exige.

Lotus Elise at Duel at Deanza

I had a chance to play with the car. The Duel at Deanza is a local autocross sponsored by the Deanza Junior College auto tech class as a fun raiser. It is an annual event and I have often received first place in the 20+ years that I have entered, not due to expert driving but because I was one of the few well prepared Sevens entered. It was cancelled two years ago because of construction and was resurected this year. It is an interesting event, attracting every kind of car and driver imaginable. Young kids, in their teens or early twenties, enter whatever they can afford. National champions bring their award winning cars. There is even an audience as a crowd forms to see what all the noise is about. I had the only Elise entered and we even got our picture in the school newspaper!

I did not do well. In previous years, the course did not change. I could do the old course in my sleep. This year they changed it! I walked the course twice and noticed some similarities and figured it would not be a problem. Unfortunately it constantly confused me and I kept being surprised. It was also the first course I have autocrossed where I can stay in first gear. All that power! I was not smooth and did not place well.

Lotus Elise at the Duel at Deanza

My thanks to Martin Smith's 510 Garage <510garage@sbcglobal.net> for taking the pictures and letting me host them here.