Trending: Lotus Elise S1 – why now’s the time to buy this lightweight track hero
The longest hot summer most of us can recall hasn’t driven everyone to the sanctity of their airconned boxes. It has raised the pulses of fans of fresh air and sunburn, which in turn has sent the values of Lotus Elises soaring on a par with the temperatures.
This is particularly true of the S1 cars, which are increasingly being treasured for their stark driving purity. They may only have 118bhp of mid-engined thrust, but the whole lot weighs barely more than a mid-sized storage box. And with no power steering or brake servo to blunt the ‘man and machine’ clichés, every Elise drive becomes a memorable experience to cherish.
The days when you could chance it with a well-used one for £7000 are long gone. The rough ones have died and the cars that are left and worth climbing into start at £10k minimum, with the best now passing the £20k mark.
But the good news is that if you can afford the entry fee and look after your Elise, they’re only going to keep heading one way. That’s the way it is with originals. The S2 Elise may have been more refined and powerful, but it was also almost 140kg heavier. That’s not going to be the model that the classic world will forever revere.