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Need for Speed: How a Video Game Spawned a Love of a Lotus Elise

It’s really hard to get your hands on a 2006 Lotus Elise. I was trying for three weeks but they were all getting snapped up as soon as they were listed. When I found this one, I flew out all the way to Florida to purchase it. Then I drove it 2,621 miles all the way back to California in two days, from Saturday morning until Monday night. I had a buddy with me on the drive, but he only drove about 120-150 miles out of the whole trip. I basically drove the whole way.

The road trip went really smoothly and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona. The first day we got up, picked up the car and didn't stop driving until 2:00 AM. We spent about two hours that night in Louisiana, took a nap, and got out early the next morning. Then we drove all the way through Texas, slept for six hours, and drove the rest of the way home.

This was my childhood dream car. When I was younger I played Need for Speed: Most Wanted which was what first drew my attention to this car. In the game they have different tiers which categorize the cars based on their speed and performance. In Tier 1, you’d have an Audi TT. In Tier 2, you’d have a 911. In Tier 3, there’s a couple of Lamborghinis, and so on. The Lotus Elise was almost universally acknowledged to be the best car in Tier 2 because of its in game performance. You can’t beat its performance in real life, either. I love taking turns in this car especially, because the lower you are in the car the more fun it is with more grip. I didn't think I'd be able to get this car until after I was 25, but I’m 24 now and pretty happy about it.

When I’m out there, people notice it. They take pictures. I let people sit in it if they want to and watch them try to get in and get out of and still look cool. Every single time I drive this car is my favorite day. The only time that I don’t feel that way is when it’s hot or when I’m trying to get in and out of the car itself, because it really is pretty hard to do. On a nice cool day, bumping the music—but not really hearing it because the sound of the exhaust just takes over completely—driving down the freeway with the windows down, and looking around... it’s always the perfect day.

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