Category Archives: Lotus

Sold the Elise

I sold my Elise S Club racer today. Short story was I went into Lotus Sydney (SSC) 2 weekends ago as the centre Lotus logo fell out of the wheel centre. As they were popping a new one in, I mentioned I was thinking of selling it as I don’t get enough use out of it now with baby Zara and a lot more family time.

Before I knew it, the following Monday Lotus Sydney (SSC) said they had 3 interested parties if I was willing to sell.

Test drives and deal was done in under a week! Lotus Sydney (SSC) were great and offered me a very good deal and the process was simple and painless.

So, the car was dropped off today ready for its transfer to new owner.

Just wanted to say two things as I exit the building:

  • Thank you to Lee and his Lotus Sydney (SSC) team for a great sales process 2 years ago when I bought the car new, and to a great service again when it came to finding a buyer so quickly, just when I mentioned I could be interested in selling it,
  • Thank you to all the guys on Aussie Elise’s for the fun and great memories over the past 2 years, the breaky runs, the weekend trip to the Snowy mountains (wow what a great drive following Doc up the mountain!!) and thank you to those I drove on track with the past 2 years.

After owning 3 Lotus’ now, I’m sure I will be back in the future at some point as their handling is just simply infectious.

Sanna and I both took Zara for separate drives.

Zara’s first and last time in the Lotus, she was funny when I accelerated hard, her arms went out sideways and then she gripped the sides of her baby seat to hold on 🙂

 

Last time I saw the Lotus as I dropped it off.

Bye for now.

 

BMW & Lotus

 

BMWandLotusMy friend Easton just bought a lovely new BMW M240i in Blue, my favourite car colour of course. We took it for a first country drive along with my Lotus and Brendon’s Black BMW Z4M Coupe.

Easton took this photo from his ‘DJI Mavic’ drone quickly, it produces such a great professional look with very little fiddling with the settings. As with all the photos on my blog, dont forget you can click them to load them up in full quality, full screen.

Lotus drive Nov 2016

I organised another Lotus drive this Sunday, I like organising them as its a good excuse to share the Lotus driving experience with others and meet new people. Mines the bright Blue one if you didn’t know.

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It was good fun driving with the guys today. A bit of rain scared off a few people last minute but a group size of 6 cars and 8 people made it an easy to keep together group.

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Moooooooooooo! 🙂

 

20161127_120126_resizedA vehicle of some kind dropping oil on Macquarie pass and the local council putting sand over it, meant some fun with the traction control and the back end fishtailing about, all good fun at low speeds.

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Interesting centrifugal supercharger design going on in one of the cars, must keep an eye on that interesting subject, maybe the legendary Neil Trama engineering can lend a hand as he looked interested.

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Peering out over Woolongong on a cloudy day.20161127_121351_resized

I had a good days drive and visited friends in the area afterwards and ended up at a pub and didn’t get home till 8pm, a fun day, that’s what Sundays are all about. 🙂

Mars bar and cheese twisty aerodynamic efficiency testing

On Sunday Brendon, Josh and myself decided to test the aerodynamic efficiency of a mars bar and cheese twisty on the roof of the Exige. We felt it compromised high speed stability slightly and reduced the power-to-weight output of the car also slightly, but we noticed if we breathed out for long periods we could counteract this but then began to loose vision.

We did run into the risk that several hungry men in taller vehicles (basically anything on the road) were temped to reach out and grab our test food products when we stopped at Red lights.

The Snakata cheddar flavour on the central roof section didn’t last long, we ate them.

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Thanks to the assistance of Brendon’s dog for applying the scientific Blue tape.

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From Elise to Exige – a sad story, a happy ending and a road trip in-between

There have been a few emotional speed bumps to my Lotus ownership experience over the past 6 months, here’s how it all came about, so if you’re sitting comfortably I’ll begin.

Back in December 2009 me and friend Ash swapped cars for a short afternoons drive. His was a 2 week old new BMW M3 and mine the recently supercharged and one of the quickest series 2 Elise’s in the country. We took the cars to crystal car wash to get waxed and buffed and enjoyed a quick beer in the pub next door.

What we didn’t know was the lovely Indians at crystal car wash gave a good liberal serving of ‘back to black’ tyre shine to the rear wheels of the Elise. Ash had only jumped in the car for a 2nd time and made 100metres from the car wash before the back of the Elise lost traction, skidded along 3 parked cars on the left side of the road, before doing a 180 and stopping in the lane of oncoming traffic.

It could of been a lot worse but the conditions were good for other drivers to see the wreck. After much damage accessing by the experts, the chassis had a small crack in the front left suspension area and the little Elise which was my pride and joy for 2.5 years was a write-off.

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Sad sad graveyard for the ‘Little Loti’

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Chassis cracked (unrepairable) near join to front left lower wishbone

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Rest of damage to car was superficial and repairable (with deep enough pockets)

So insurance paid up in full, and I hunted for my next car. I knew it had to be another Lotus, there just hasn’t been another car I’ve driven as rewarding to drive that didn’t have a $200,000+ price tag attached to it.

I didn’t want another Elise, that itch had already been scratched and to be honest I didn’t  want to replace what a perfect owning experience I’d had with a Elise already. So the logical step was an Exige, essentially the slightly harder slightly more track focused version of the Elise.  I knew I also wanted something the same age if not newer than my 2007 Elise.

So the hunt started, phone calls to ad’s and recommendation from friends all came and gone until I found this Black Exige S in Melbourne by a seller named Blair. He wanted close to $90k which was too much but the spec of the car Sports pack & Super sports packs was a perfect match of the rawer edged car I wanted.

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The original advert on Carsales.com.au

I did have a mid bargaining fling with a slightly older and much higher km’s car that I even went to auction and bid for. In chrome orange and at my max limit of $55k it was a bargain, but I stuck to my set limit and I was outbid and so it just wasn’t to be for me.

Back to the Black Exige S in Melbourne and after 4 months we came to a good deal! Over the weekly emails back and forth with Blaire, we built up a bit of a relationship and it was agreed to seal the deal, 2 bottles of Penfolds Grange wine at a cost of $1100 we in order. Fine by me as it was still a deal even with that inclusion and anyhow, how many car sales have been done with bottles of Penfolds Grange exchanging hands, arguably some of THE best wine in the world!

Over email the deal was done, so good friend Brendon agreed to join me for the trip to Melbourne and if I didn’t buy the car after the test drive, he would pay for the flights back for both of us “but that’s not going to happen is it!” he said 🙂

Down to Melbourne on a 6:30am flight (I don’t do early mornings well) and we met Blair in the Airport as he was returning from visiting a mate in NZ. We got to his beautiful house in Richmond and took the car straight out for a test drive in the wet wet rainy cold Melbourne weather. The car was a perfect example Exige S, only 14,000km’s and very tight and solid, it honestly felt like new.

All the paperwork and insurance was done and the Penfolds Grange  was handed over in a ceremony (ok not really) which was accompanied with a Penfolds book I was given when purchasing the wine.

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The two beautiful bottles of Penfolds Grange 

I wrote a short note to Blair in the book:

To Blair,

The title of this book (The Rewards of Patience) couldn’t describe our negotiation for the sale of the Lotus any better! It will be going to a good home and I hope you enjoy your Grange in the many years to come. Keep in touch.

Best Regards Mark Bedford

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The handing over ceremony! (ok just handing over the cheque) 

The air was a bit emotional as Blair kind of air kissed the car away as we drove his old baby away.

We had plotted a recommended route via the snowy mountains thanks to Robs son Alex to take in some great driving roads and a night was booked in Thredbo in Robs shared ski lodge there. If you have driven through the snowy mountains before you will know there are a LOT of stones on the alpine roads, so Brendon intelligently brought some Blue tape to protect the nose and sides of the car.

Well that was what we started to do, but we got a little carried away being egged on by the local car wash guys who came to watch and offer advice like ‘you should do that bit’ ‘and that bit’ ‘don’t forget to do the wiper!’.

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You can never have too much Blue tape on your car! 

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Paying attention to Blue striping the details 

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To just Blue strip the car is amateur, you have to blue stripe the drivers too! 

Leaving Melbourne in the pouring rain and the tape was holding up at motorway speeds ‘just’ and proved to entertain passersby 🙂

Getting closer to the mountains and the NSW border on a long clear motorway and Vic police decided to ping me as I slightly ventured over the 110kph limit whilst checking our location on the map. I was only just over the limit but Brendon straight away said ‘Vic police have zero tolerance, they’ll book you for sure’ and sure enough they did.

Wasn’t a bad experience though, the copper, a older guy, was professional and to the point. We did have a giggle out of it though when he asked ‘what’s with all the Blue tape’ well I said ‘well there’s a lot of stones between here and Sydney’. With that I saw him eyeing up the bits of Blue tape on the roof and said ‘not that bit, that’s just for show’ which resulted in him smiling and a laugh, we left on happy terms.

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Victoria Police do not like Blue tape 🙁

The weather for the whole drive was just ABYSMAL. We left the last town before the snowy mountains ski resort of Thredbo very late with a young girl we bought some supplies from telling us in few words we were CRAZY to drive to Thredbo this late and in this weather. If she knew we were doing it in a Supercharged Exige with semi-slick tyres that run like butter in any standing water, well she would have phoned for the ‘men in White coats’ I’m sure.

We did get to Thredbo safe and sound around 9:30pm, about 4 hours after dark. Highlights of that part of the drive were a short ‘Blare witch project’ style video we made during a stop in the middle of nowhere and when 4 deer were spotted on the verge just as we were on them with me nearly browning my pants.

Thredbo was COLD minus degrees through the night and as it was summer in a ski resort, everything was closed, dinner was 2 packets of crisps, a chocolate bar and a bottle of Shiraz wine to share.

In the morning the car started perfectly from the cold and amazingly all the Blue tape was still there! Still raining hard we took a bit of footage on the video camera and soldiered on towards Sydney.

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Blue Tape ‘just’ about holding up after 500km’s + in heavy rain

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Even sitting out in the rain near freezing all night
the car started beautifully in the morning

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The driver wasn’t starting so beautifully though
in the damp cold alpine morning air

Driving home the car performed flawlessly and it was nice to have the Lotus traction control there to catch the wheels when you pull away with a couple of cm’s of rain on the road.

After arriving to Brendon’s home just south of Sydney, we pepped ourselves up with a hot coffee at his local favourite coffee shop and pulled off all the Blue tape for the last 80km’s back to mine, our thinking was to allow the rain to blast off some of the tapes glue residue. 

Arriving back at mine in central Sydney and the cars trip counter had passed the 1000 km mark and gone back to 45km. What a great drive and eventful trip we had, the conditions were not suited to test the cars driving dynamics out, but we tested it in many other ways in some terrible weather conditions. Thanks Brendon for sharing the experience with me.

iPhone Pictures 0018 Washing the grime off after a long 1045km drive

Next up is to personalise the car a little as my own, no that doesn’t involve me leaving my scent in there! Maybe some stripes, some carbon fibre body panels, maybe a supercharger upgrade could be some of the options on the menu, I’m sure you’ll find out.

Cheers Beddy aka ‘Beddo’

2009 Lotus xmas Party/Concours – The Video

At the recent Lotus Australia xmas Party/concours I whipped out my video camera and did the rounds of filming, well after a few evenings on the computer here’s the video.

"A short movie of the Club Lotus Australia 2009 xmas Party/Concours at the Lovely Shakey Tables Restaurant in the Hunter Valley. It was such a windy day we picked up so much wind noise on the microphone, hence the lovely christmasy music. Enjoy! "

Cheers and HAPPY CHRISTMAS Beddy.

Lotus Evora – A Dentists infiltration!

I had to disguise myself as a qualified dentist along the same lines as my dentist and friend Angelo to sneak my way past the dealer and into the driver’s seat of the new Evora.

Why do you say? well he got a very lucky drive of the car just last week as just one of the select chosen few as the car isn’t even shipping to customers in Australia yet.

Would you believe it, the $2 disguise worked, it was that good and I managed to get a good 45mins drive of the Evora around the eastern suburbs twisty roads.

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‘intelligent’ glasses and ‘Qualified Dentist’ stick on post-it note disguise

Ok so what did I think? Well you can really feel the Lotus DNA from the Elise/Exige/Europa shining through in spades. I can best describe the ride and chassis feel like an Elise/Exige with a bit more weight which allows the imperfections in the roads to be soaked up better, akin to a more German chassis setup.

What does that mean? Well there is all of the mechanical grip and feeling like you get from an Elise/Exige, but with none of the crashing when you drive over potholes or large joins in the road.

Outward visibility, I noticed the rear view is obstructed quite heavily by the plastic engine cover shroud. Although the side mirrors are much larger than on the Elise/Exige, and more than make up for the lack of view from the center mirror.

Steering is precise and communicative like in the Elise/Exige, if a little more weighted in feel, great.

The gear action is similar to the Elise R/SC/Exige’s 6-speed but with a slightly less ‘notchy’ feel which suits the cars character better. The pedals are perfectly spaced like on the Elise/Exige for heel and toeing although I found the engine doesn’t respond as quickly as the 4-cyliinders when carrying out a heel & toe change.

The 6 cylinder engine idles and plays out its song much more beautifully than the 4 cylinders we are used to in our cars. Its vocals over around 3000 rpm sound lovely, not throaty or raw, but rich and warm, defiantly nicer to listen to over the Elise/Exiges standard exhausts sound.

The performance, well I think I’m spoilt a little coming from a 4 seconds flat supercharged car but it was a little lacking for me in a straight line. There is more show of torque when flattening your foot in a high gear on a hill, but for me where the perfections of all other areas of the car excelled, it desperately needed more power.

Don’t get me wrong though, as I said I’m a bit spoilt so if you came from a naturally aspirated Elise/Exige you would be happy with the performance until inevitably an official or 3rd party supercharger kit will come out for the car and you’ll be laughing all the way to the track. =)

Little Loti update

Have covered 600+ km’s and 1 track day at Oran Park Raceway so far after the supercharger install and I’m still very impressed with the VF Stage 1 kit.

On the straights at track days, pre-supercharger I would be level with the likes of BMW M3’s, and modified EVO’s would pull away slowly, now it is just pulling hard right past everything on the track right up to 210kph in 5th, where I eased off at the end of Oran Park’s straight. Sanna now says ‘Little Loti has big balls’

I look forwards to getting to a track day soon where there are some exotic supercars, if I can stay level with them on the straight I’ll be more than happy as I’ll get them on the twisty bits 🙂

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Friend Brenden from the Lotus club has also fitted a fire doodah for an extra insurance policy using one of his great brackets (highly recommended if you don’t want to drill into your metal floor).

Looks just like it could have been a factory fitted option, just what I was looking for, thanks heaps Brenden.

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