England’s prestigious Lotus brand conjures up memories of the famous Elan and Europa sports cars. It began with Colin Chapman, a genius engineer and backyard builder. After taking the world by storm at F1 and other motorsports events, a look at their accomplishments reaffirms they deserve to be compared side-by-side to Ferrari.
After Chapman passed in the early 80’s, the road until today was anything but ordinary for the company. However, Lotus continues to remain at the extreme spectrum for sports car manufacturers.
Released in the late 90’s, the Elise cemented the modern Lotus brand image (All Lotus vehicles historically begin with the letter E). The lightweight mid-ship model with an innovative aluminum monocoque body and unique fiberglass exterior was a true sports car. With racecar-like handling, it was warmly welcomed by driving enthusiasts all over the globe.
Among them, the first generation called Phase 1 or Series 1, used aluminum on the outside of the body structure and was a spartan model without air conditioning and luxury amenities. It displayed impressive performance even with the standard model’s 120 hp.
Series 1 was produced until 2001. It was also produced in Malaysia by Proton between 1999 and 2000.
|Jun Nishikawa’s Highlights!|
The first-generation Elise has a strong image of yellow. However, this particular vehicle is silver. It is just wrapped in yellow vinyl. Once a new owner is found, the wrap will be removed and the original paint will be re-conditioned before delivery. (TBD) As of now, there is an unpainted section of bodywok on the right side of the front cowl (no effect on driving performance) and the vehicle will be delivered after this is repainted.
This is an authentic first-generation Phase 1 manufactured in 1997. The current owner is an Elise enthusiast who drove every generation until Phase 3, but thought that Phase 1 was the most Lotus-like so they decided to repurchase this model.
This car has been modified using factory made performance parts. The engine now uses Weber sports injection while the suspension and exhaust have also been changed. The carbon roof and driver’s seat are aftermarket parts. The battery and radiator were also recently changed. The light covers and factory steering wheel are included.
The Elise was not meant to be stored, but to be enjoyed by driving as much as possible. Even if all the cars in the world became collectible cars, I’d urge you to drive the Elise into the ground. That’s the kind of car it is, so these modifications on the vehicle are most welcome.
The Elise is perhaps known as one of the world’s best handling cars. Please take advantage of this chance to experience the rare first-generation Series 1.
Originally written by Jun Nishikawa
Photo by Hidehiro Tanaka
Published on November 2018
|Year of Purchase|