Best Elise/Exige to "invest" in?

Best Elise/Exige to "invest" in?

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5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Tuesday 28th August 2018
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Hi all.

I'm currently considering my first Lotus purchase. I'm constantly in the classifieds but I'm starting to get more confused with all the different editions and I'm going a bit advert blind...

I'd like to put my money somewhere safer than I have previously. Ideally I'd like what we'd all like - the holy grail of not losing much, if any value, and maybe even creeping up the other way. At the very least, I'm after glacial depreciation.

I've read that a good S2 SC Exige should be a sound investment, but which S1 Elise variants should be a good bet? I don't really have a particular budget in mind, and I'm open to any/all variants of S1 and S2 Elise/Exige.

Is there a mileage point where depreciation starts/accelerates? Are there "undesirable" variants that simply won't hold value? Is there even such a thing as a depreciation-proof Elise/Exige? I'm not going to park it up and never use it, but I won't do many miles per year.

Apologies if this has been done to death, but any help or pointers appreciated. Thanks.

HocusPocus

48 posts

39 months

Tuesday 28th August 2018
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First up, buy a performance car for pleasure as they are rarely financially sound investments.

My Lotus is a S1 50th anniversary limited edition. It has always been lavished with care from the same spanner man, and driven with enthusiasm for 27k miles on Isle of Man's derestricted roads since 1999. Smiles every time.

Probably now worth more than I paid for it new, but I have no intention ever to sell. The fun and memories are more valuable. My recommendation is to drive several cars to get a feel for your preferences, but avoid cars stored in damp conditions or with patchy service history. Lots of posters can offer technical advice. Try to get a Lotus spanner to check it before you part with cash, and keep enough aside for regular maintenance.

I have enjoyed my Lotus for nearly 20 years, and wish you similar fun.

renmure

2,798 posts

162 months

Tuesday 28th August 2018
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I'd go for one of the later edition S2 Exiges. The Type 72 or RGB cars. As far as Lotus Limited Editions they are very nice (I'm biased, I had a Type 72) and you get a better looking rear wing.

It's hard to comment about the S1 Exige. In financial terms I guess I wish I'd kept mine but I genuinely can't see the value in them at some of the current asking prices.


giveitfish

3,140 posts

152 months

Tuesday 28th August 2018
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Elise S1 values are going bananas this year and can be wonderful to drive, win-win on the face of it!

I had an Elise S1 “Millennium Edition” for 5 years/20k miles and I kept detailed records of my spending.

Absolutely loved that car but be aware that they are old cars now and need lots of love. Sold mine for £4K more than I bought it for - a 50% rise over the purchase price....but it also cost me £4K in maintenance and renovation/repairs.

Low mileage cars can be just as bad too, anything rubber will need replacing and low miles cars often have niggles that can be ignored by the owner who barely uses it.

R77C

66 posts

129 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
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I think if you're looking for an Elise as an investment proposition you won't go far wrong with a S1 Sport 160. They are only getting rarer and more molested/modified. Find an original one, keep her for a few years and you'll definitely be in profit!
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5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
quotequote all
Thank you all for the replies and advice.

I appreciate that cars aren't sound investments, but if I'm going to change again then I might as well try to change into something that's going to be a good choice financially. I always seem to lose loads of money or sell at the bottom of a curve (E36 M3 [and to an extent the E46 M3], DC2) so I'm trying to reduce or eliminate that this time around.

I've no doubt that whichever Lotus I go for, driving pleasure will be a given anyway. I'm yet to drive one of any kind, so I certainly need to try to do that.


An RGB is firmly on my radar. The example for sale at 4 Star Classics seems like a good one, though the missing service is a shame. I'm sure that mechanically it's not caused an issue, but I wonder if it would put people off. It's also lacking the LSD, but I'm assured these cars don't really need them. There are a couple of others currently for sale, too.

I guess 2-3k miles a year on one of those wouldn't hurt value too much?

I'll have a look onto the S1 Sport 160 too.




All food for thought, thanks chaps.


Any other comments and views welcome and appreciated.

J__D

153 posts

128 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
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R77C said:
I think if you're looking for an Elise as an investment proposition you won't go far wrong with a S1 Sport 160. They are only getting rarer and more molested/modified. Find an original one, keep her for a few years and you'll definitely be in profit!
Agreed a sport 160 would be a good investment. The values of these constantly seem to rise, especially in recent years. I assume due to rarity / demand they'll only go one way! thumbup

Tickle

3,015 posts

142 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
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J__D said:
Agreed a sport 160 would be a good investment. The values of these constantly seem to rise, especially in recent years. I assume due to rarity / demand they'll only go one way! thumbup
I think Jon Seal sold one for circa £35k earlier in the summer. If you can find one, go for it. Please use it though, it's a crime not to.

5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
quotequote all
There is this one for sale:

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...

Looks an absolute beauty!

I'm an hour and a bit from Jon Seal, so I might pop down and have a look at what's on offer there. There's a decent mixture of older and newer stuff there so it'd be a good place to start.

Tickle

3,015 posts

142 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
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This got posted on SELOC in a recent thread, very desirable colour/spec

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...


5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Wednesday 29th August 2018
quotequote all
Tickle said:
This got posted on SELOC in a recent thread, very desirable colour/spec

https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...
Yep, been looking at that. It's bloody brilliant.

I know it sounds daft seeing as it's only at 58k, which is nothing.... but should I be aiming for a lower mileage car? Given the rarity of the model, the want for static/increasing value, etc?

GTRene

11,210 posts

162 months

Thursday 30th August 2018
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here they speak about the sport 135 and or sort 190 and more, maybe interesting.

https://www.evo.co.uk/lotus/elise/13380/lotus-elis...

I remember there were also a few with different interiors from some design house? forgot the name, but maybe a handful made?


GTRene

11,210 posts

162 months

Thursday 30th August 2018
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ah, the list, a lot with buildnumbers, I mean how many made, comes in handy :-)

https://wiki.seloc.org/a/Elise_model_history

5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Thursday 30th August 2018
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Thanks very much GTRene, I'll have a look at those later.

Darryl247W

290 posts

61 months

Thursday 30th August 2018
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I've been a bit more focused on 111S prices as that's what I have, but prices of good 111S are getting silly. The S1 hit the bottom and bounced back, and IMO the Rover-engined S2 was likely to be next. I'm not saying the Rover is better than Toyota, but the rawness of the early cars seems a draw as all cars get more complicated.

Next gen Toyota 111R / R are on the up too.
Whether Rover or Toyota, it seems true of even-well used cars.

Special editions are likely to be more investable when well-cared for, dare I say 'garage queens', but that defeats the purpose of owning a Lotus.
Avoid the 1.6 smile

Edited by Darryl247W on Thursday 30th August 19:05

5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Friday 31st August 2018
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Thanks Darryl. Appreciate the input.

fridaypassion

4,329 posts

166 months

Friday 31st August 2018
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When you say "invest" are you talking serious investment? You have to be a bit careful as if you want to buy something and use it the investment return factoring in ongoing repairs and all other costs you'll do well to break even. Lotus cars do as always remain a relatively good place to have your car money for sure. We did sell the green 160 I'll save the blushes of the owner by not stating the exact figure but it went for a healthy figure within the 30-35k guide I gave it. Important things that separated that particular car out were the colour (Scandal green) The exceptionally low mileage and its pristine condition. I think that car will return it's new owner a respectable figure in a few years if it's sold again.

I also sold a 240R Exige earlier this year that I think will return the owner a decent figure if and when that's sold again. I still think people haven't grasped how important the 240R is to the Lotus story I do like cars like that.

One thing to be wary of is overpricing and there's a lot of that going on in the Lotus market currently. Look at dealer prices. We have to have things at sensible prices as we need to sell cars not just look at them. Private sellers have often this year been overpricing and there have been many many unsold cars pushed back in the garage. There was the mystical 60k S1 Exige that's never happened although real pricing has set at about 45k which is still very healthy I think for what it actually is. 190 S2 Exiges are always overpriced. I think they top out at 22/23 for real saless but have seen those advertised and not selling at 24/25/26. Supercharged S2 Exiges are hot at the moment I'm investing heavily in these cars and plan to buy as many as I can lay my hands on. Seeing some very healthy sales on these with 35k and up for nice low mileage cars pretty easy and I think they still have headroom. Truly exceptional car and one you can see becoming a proper classic in the future.

VX220s are something only we seem to have cottoned onto over the last few years we have done some terrific business on these and had some lovely cars through the doors. If you can find an unmolested example of any type of VX220 these are good long term bets although this year has been a we bit of a soft year on these cars in terms of pricing and sales.

My advise to you would be to pick a variant that you like and then find the best car of that type you can within your budget. Don't fret too much on the value and try to enjoy it. Keep it garaged over winter as well!


5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Friday 31st August 2018
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Ah... I've spent some time on your site recently!

Shame the green 160 is sold, it's an absolute corker. Would have loved a look round it.


Thanks for your input. I shall be popping over to you at some point very soon for a chat. You're not too far from me (an hour and a half tops).


5er

Original Poster:

3,233 posts

113 months

Monday 3rd September 2018
quotequote all
Would the missing service on this car bother anyone? And would it be a genuine negative come resale time?

http://www.4starclassics.com/for-sale/lotus-exige-...

Composite Guru

1,708 posts

141 months

Monday 3rd September 2018
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5er said:
Would the missing service on this car bother anyone? And would it be a genuine negative come resale time?

http://www.4starclassics.com/for-sale/lotus-exige-...
That's a lot of money for an Exige S. The 240's normally go for that money.
After deciding I didn't want to pay £32k for a 10 year old car I bought a 2016 Elise 220 Cup for £37k. I haven't looked back since buying it.