1998 Lotus Elise

62,000 mi
118 BHP


• A lovely example of the original Lotus lightweight British sports car
• Low mileage
• Restored and mechanically refreshed over the last five years
• Retrimmed interior
• Replacement roof which has yet to see any rain
With the Elise now over 3 years out of production and its electric replacement shaping up to be an inevitably quite different proposition, it’s easy to look back fondly on the original incarnation, which retrospectively became known as the series 1. With a low kerb weight enabled by its bonded aluminium chassis and a peppy 1.8 litre K-series engine that didn’t need to be super powerful to deliver useful performance, for many it was the perfect modern sports car.
Subsequent revisions added a little more sophistication to the penalty of some extra weight but the essential recipe was maintained throughout the car’s 25 year life span. The classic status of the series 1 is already assured though and here we have a lovely example.
Finished in Titanium Grey, it’s been the subject of a great deal of attention over the last five years both mechanically and cosmetically. A retrimmed interior and new roof that has yet to see rain mean that it presents very smartly while a full refresh of the suspension carried out in 2020, including Nitron Clubsport coilovers means that it handles just as it should. For those awaiting news of the K-series engine, yes the head gasket has been replaced.
In all it looks to be very well sorted and although there’s a couple of minor cosmetic items that could be attended to, in all likelihood you’d probably enjoy driving it too much to really notice them. So if you want a Series 1 Elise to experience the joy of this modern classic British sports car, then this one should fit the bill just nicely.
𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗼𝗰𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
• Registered 21 May 1998
• Main dealer services logged in the service book as follows: Jul 1998 @603 miles, Apr 2000 @5,360 miles, May 2001 @12,870 miles, June 2002 @18,780 miles, October 2003 @27,610 miles,
• Records show the following services from independent garages, though are likely far from exhaustive: May 2019 @60,227 miles, Oct 2021 @60,810 miles, Sep 2022 @61,682 miles
• There’s a huge folder of receipts, highlights of which are as follows: timing belt and head gasket replacement in 2019 @60377 miles, invoices from Allon White totalling nearly £2,000, and three services in the last 3,000 miles
• The car received a lot of restorative attention over the period 2019-2022 which saw the interior retrimmed, the roof replaced and even minor items such as the interior mirror and hazard warning lights switch switched out for fresh items
• A full recommissioning was reportedly carried out during 2020, which included a full suspension refresh with new ball joints, bushes, damper mounts, Nitron Clubsport coilovers, and anti-roll bars, as well as a new radiator, remote thermostat, handbrake cable, headlamps and seals, and door pins
• On acquiring the car in 2021, the seller details that he carried out further work, including new MMC brake pads, a brake calliper refurbishment, new brake fluid, replacement aerial gasket and gear shift linkage, as well as new tyres, headlight covers, fuel cap gasket, and acquiring new spare keys
• The most recent service was carried out in September 2022 by the seller, which consisted of oil and filters, spark plugs and brake fluid
• A short shifter was installed in 2020 and the wheels refurbed in 2022
• Four-wheel alignment was carried out in March 2023
• The vendor tells is that stainless steel items were used to replace all the nuts, bolts and washers which were removed
• The full document pack is provided, together with 2 keys, brochures and the original bill of sale
• Currently on SORN, it’s started every couple of weeks and will be supplied with a fresh MOT
• HPI clear
• An Elise interior is spartan by design, to the benefit of low weight, but this one looks very smart, thanks to a retrim by a Lotus specialist in 2021
• The seats, door cards, steering wheel pad, side pods and Elise-branded floor mats look almost as-new, while the rest of the cabin shows only minor wear
• White-faced Stack instruments on the dashboard show no warning lights
• Behind the engine, the luggage compartment is clean and tidy
• In all, it presents very well for the age of the car
• To our eyes, the design of the Series 1 Elise has aged really well and, finished in Titanium Grey, this one looks great
• A brand-new replacement soft top with reconditioned cant rails was installed in 2019 which means that it looks as good with the roof on as without
• The paintwork is said to be in good overall condition; on closer inspection, there are a few minor stone chips to the front and some minor cracks appearing around a repair to a car parking accident which reportedly occurred in the early 2000’s
• There’s also a minor dent on the aluminium engine cover, some osmosis on the sills and at the top of the driver’s door and a patch of delamination on the lower part of the windscreen
• None of these is really noticeable unless you’re looking really closely though
• The wheels all look to be unmarked following their refurbishment
• Overall, while there’s a couple of areas that could be improved, it could still be enjoyed as-is
• 1.8-litre DOHC K-Series inline-four, rated at 116hp which, given its low weight, is good enough for 5.5 seconds to 60mph
• Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox
• The car rides on Nitron Clubsport coilovers and has uprated rear toe-links
• An aftermarket stainless steel exhaust has been installed
• The Cobra alarm siren has been removed, though will be included in the sale
• Given all the attention it’s received in recent years, it should be good to go
A well sorted Series 1 Elise still sets the standards to which others aspire and this example has seen work in all the right places to bring it up to scratch. Sure, there’s a couple of minor cosmetic issues but they could be sorted at your leisure and in the meantime you can just enjoy getting out and driving.
To arrange a viewing, please request this in the Q&A section. You can click through to the seller's profile and use the 'Email Me' function to arrange a viewing privately. This seller is located in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
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