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My Owners Diary December 1999

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8th December 1999

Well I've used my car nearly every day for the last three weeks, and the weathers been rubbish. It's been continual rain or sleet and I've been really surprised at how usable and practical the Elise has been. Despite the weather it's always been fun to drive. It's always stayed warm and dry and although I initially thought the rear end was a bit skittish in the wet, compared to the Vi everything is telegraphed. Yes, you can drift the back end out on a wet roundabout and the odd diesel spill or patch of wet leaves can add a degree of uncertainty but what do you expect in winter.

At near freezing temperatures I did start to question the logic of an aluminium gear knob but it is conducive to quick gear changes. The wiper needed a slight adjustment to keep the screen clear and I've noticed that the headlights need regular attention to keep them clean and bright enough for those evening country lane runs. But, it is mid-winter and I'm still doing them and still enjoying the experience.

14th December 1999

Completely out of the blue my wife asked me if I still get a buzz out of my car. She thought it might have worn off by now. I still get a buzz from opening the garage door, never mind getting into the car and going for a drive.

There was a hard frost this evening and the benefit of having a vertical rear screen is that it doesn't frost over. The front screen is another story. Ned some more anit-freeze in the screen wash because it set solid as it hit the screen. Would have thought it was quite easy to heat this water with the radiatior being so close.

15th December 1999

Woke up to ½" of snow this morning which made driving to work interesting. My time spent on the skid pan was well spent. Fortunately the Elise has enough torque to drive around in a higher gear avoiding wheel spin. It is easy to provoke the rear end in lower gears though and I had a quick play in the work carpark before it got too busy. You really do have to react quickly and turn into potential spins much harder than you would expect if you are going to stand any chance of catching the rear end. On the road the car is very communicative so it's easy to tell what the rear end is thinking of doing and driving accordingly. You can feel the tyres twitching nervously over the ice long before they really start to let go.

The Elise production line is going to be shutdown for three months very soon, to allow the Elise 340R production to start. A friend of mine will take delivery in January (chassis no. 16). The final weight is going to be 670kg which is alot more than originally quoted. Not sure what impact this will have on new and used Elise prices but I've heard that some dealers have been stocking up to allow for this. Just don't expect to be able to specify the car you want in much detail.

31st December 1999

Not been in the car since the 22nd, since I've been away in Somerset. It started first time. Booked the Elise in for the door and pheasant repair work early next year.

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