Crapwagon Outtake: Sacrilege?

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
crapwagon outtake sacrilege

Another red ragtop? What is this guy thinking? I promise. I’m not a hairdresser, or whatever BS-esque image you might have of me.

I just dig small, unusual, cheap cars that are fun to drive on the street.

Today, we look at the M100 Elan. Seriously overshadowed by the Miata–which aped the OG Elan–this turbo-Isuzu-engined roadster was largely derided in contemporary reports, primarily because it was Lotus’ first car with front wheel drive. Most people I’ve known who’ve driven these tell me that it drives beautifully–a little torque steer, but nothing too bad. Some have even compared it to the Integra Type-R–well known as one of the best FWD handlers around.

This particular Elan has less than thirteen thousand miles on the GM parts-bin odometer. Seems a shame that this car has only had a couple tanks of fuel run through it every year. The ad claims the car has fresh tires, but is otherwise original. Could this be a future collectible? Or, at nearly $22k, will this continue to sit on the lot?

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6 of 61 comments
  • Stevelovescars Stevelovescars on Apr 08, 2015

    I find it particularly annoying when dealers don't bother to QC the data input into their ads. The car is listed as having a tan interior but it clearly does not. This is right up there with automatic-equipped cars being listed as manuals. Just lazy. Though, I am far less likely to be limiting my search on interior color than on transmission this is still an annoyance. I like this car and would love to drive it but at this price there are many other cars I'd rather have. A nice S2000 also came to mind as a car that has a lot more upside AND would be likely to be a much nicer car to live with.

  • Ron B. Ron B. on Apr 08, 2015

    Were these built in Indonesia by Proton?

    • See 1 previous
    • Ben Ben on Apr 10, 2015

      Proton is Malaysian, not from Indonesia. If you've ever seen Lotus Élan in the flesh, there is no way you'd mistake it for a Capri. Far more beautiful with nice proportions.

  • Theonewhogotaway Theonewhogotaway on Apr 08, 2015

    About as collectible as a Mercury Capri (and they look like twins, btw) or a 914.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Apr 09, 2015

    22k is a bit pricy for one of these. Recently I saw one listed for 15k. These do remind me of the late 90's Alfa Spider, basically a roadster version of the GTV and 164. Very few were imported here or they arrived via grey market Canada since Alfa left the U.S market in 1995. They were FWD which is the anthisis of the "real" Spyder and had the wonderfully throaty 3.0 V6. The Capri is a bargain if you want a inexpensive weekend roadster. Just avoid the automatic transmission version which is troublesome.