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.
“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.
LOTUS ELISE S1
Why you should: The original Elise in all its purity
Why you shouldn't: Pricey
See the original advert here.