I digress, however, and back to the elephant in the room; my neglected Elise. The problem is, I just don't have time to drive it. Because it's such an impractical device, such a pure indulgence, for me at least, there is no excuse to drive it, other than to drive it. And when those opportunities arise, I'm always reaching for my bike rather than the keys to the Elise. It leaves me guilt-ridden, particularly when I go into the shed to get my bike and see the Lotus calendar hanging on the wall.
Something with a boot, or even a proper roof, on the other hand would open up the possibilities immensely. So I've been trawling the classifieds trying to come up with something that might fit the bill. My list of requirements is not long, but the resulting list of options is depressingly short: fun, affordable to run, preferably rear-wheel drive, room to carry a bike, preferably in the boot. Given these criteria, a Toyota GT86 or Subaru BRZ would be the obvious solution. I even took a GT86 for a spin, and although it wasn't love at first drive, I could see myself falling for it over time. But at £20K for the cheapest secondhand model they're way over budget unless I go the finance route.
less than £15K there's no doubt it's the best value Porker around, but fitting a bike inside would be a game of Tetris that could well become tiresome. In addition, and more critically, while it's relatively affordable to buy, I can see the cost of ownership being a different matter.
Of course there are many other options, but nothing sticks out like the Cayman or Toyobaru. In fact, the next most appealing alternative would probably be to go back to something hatchback-shaped. Something from the Renaultsport back catalogue, perhaps a Clio 200 or Megane R26.
It's at this point that my train of thought comes full circle and the other half of me begins pointing out that I'd be mad to get rid of it. After all, it isn't depreciating and it's a lovely example of the S1's most acclaimed editions. So, keep it or flog it and move on?
Car: 1998 Lotus Elise Sport 135
Run by: Danny Milner
Bought: October 2010
Purchase price: £9,500
This month at a glance: Breezes through MOT, but faces the uncomfortable truth that it might not be compatible with current lifestyle.