Tainted Love - 2005 Lotus Elise for $19,500!S

If the Queen ever knighted the Lotus Elise, its title could be Sir Costsalot because even used, it's pretty pricey. Well, today Nice Price or Crack Pipe has an Elise that's on the cheap - and its title is salvage.

The back end of yesterday's yellow Type 3 proved almost as popular as that of Megan Fox as an eager 78% of you opened up Monday with a Nice Price win for the nicely presented Notch. That VW lived in the nether world between all-original and heavily modded, and, as many of you duly noted, its price reflected both its desirability and condition. Today, we have a car that is unquestionably desirable - in fact it's a long-time Jalopnik panty wetter - however the supposition of this one's condition might cause your pique to pass and the fire of your desire to sputter and die.

As described by Bram Stoker, a vampire exists in a mid-state between the living and the dead, and for many years, Lotus in the U.S. seemed to be vampiric in their existence as well, questionably surviving one day to the next. Their cars- whittled down to only the evergreen Esprit as the old century gave way to the new - also seemed to be somewhere between a real production car and, as Top Gear would put it, something a bloke built in his shed.

All that changed with the introduction of Elise, and while the diminutive Toyota-powered two-seater didn't catapult Lotus into the ranks of the cookie-cutter producers, it was a viable option for sports car buyers dollars. This 2005 Elise Touring will set back a sports car buyer less than any other Elise I can find, and the reason may be found in the glove box, that is if these things came with a glovebox. If it did, that's likely where you'd find the pink slip, and the pink slip for this car shows that it has a salvage title. That, to many buyers, is like having your blind date tell you that she's a tranny - it's somewhat off-putting, and second dates are usually out of the question.

That being said, the seller claims the scarlet letter on the salmon slip is the result of some body damage, that has since been repaired. He also claims to have put over 20K on the car since purchasing it, and that it runs "strait and strong" and that the extruded aluminum frame remains unharmed. However, feeling the stigma that the salvage title imbues, he has priced the car at $19,500, well below what an Elise with a clean bill of health goes for these days. For that five benjamins shy of twenty grand you get the Touring package that includes power windows, a stereo upgrade, some extra sound deadening, and approximately 12-lbs to the car. The seller also claims that your Camry-level cash will buy both a recent brake job as well as last week's trip to Jiffy Lube.

So, how likely would you be to dive into a salvage title Elise, even if the jump is less than twenty large? Does that price salvage this Lotus from non-contention? Or, is that still too much for this junk-tag Elise?

You decide!


City of Angels Craigslist, or go here to salvage the ad if it disappears.

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