March 2nd, 2012

If this Elise looks familiar, it’s probably because it was featured as a PH Carpool only recently. and it seems that it went down reasonably well, because Editor Trent has offered it a spot on the PH Fleet. and I’ve accepted, although that was before reading about Dan’s joyride in Julian Perry’s stunning 964RS. I haven’t read the small print of my contract, but I do remember a casual “you should try my Eunos”, to which I responded with a friendly “well, of course you can have a spin in the Elise”. yes, I actually used the word spin.

But, back to the present, and there are, apparently, more than a few of you out there interested in 15-year old British sports cars among Pistonheads’ incredibly diverse demographic.

Specifically, I’ve narrowed down my target audience. they are the ex-hot-hatch-owners-running-a-RWD-sportscar-on-a-shoestring-that’s-not-an-MX-5. if I can’t engage with them I’m in serious jeopardy, and I’ll just have to resort to mentioning Mazdas in every paragraph. Apparently this is recommended for ‘search engine optimisation’ purposes anyway.

Now I can’t match Dale and his project RX-(sub)8 when it comes to a long-term goal for my Lotus, but I do have a few plans for the coming months. all of these are catalogued on my L-O-T-U-S list. that stands for Laughably Optimistic Trackday and Upgrade Schedule. Top of the list, and booked in for next week, is a big treat for all the tucked away bits that you can’t see. I’ve dubbed it the suspension vajazzle.

first up, the rusty old wishbones are coming off. all the bushings and balljoints are going in the bin, and then a lovely set of freshly stripped and plated wishbones slotted in. Finally, new bushings, balljoints and Nitron’s gorgeous NTR Fast Road shocks will be installed and the whole thing given a geo.

I’ve got to say I’m very excited about the whole thing. Fitting those new one-way adjustable dampers, in place of the 30,000-mile Bilsteins, would be considered a substantial upgrade on their own, but refreshing all these teenage components together should add up to something really significant. and with so much of the undercarriage cleaned up and looking spanky at the end of it, I’ll no longer think of my Elise as a bit of an armadillo.

Last month saw the other major constituent of the handling equation finally sorted out. having scoured the classifieds, I found a set of Yokohama Advan Neova LTS (that’s the designation for a Lotus-specific tyre) in S1 Sizes for

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