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The Cougar and the Lotus: How A Car Family Started From the Love of a Matriarch

This is the 2006 Lotus Elise. Rain or shine, I've been daily driving it for about five and a half years. I got it for a weekend car and once I drove it, I just didn’t want to drive anything else. I often describe it as a super powerful go-kart. When I tell people I daily drive it, they often give me weird looks. People always ask, “Where do you put your groceries?” I love her, so I just make it work.

My car enthusiasm started with my mom.

I've always liked cars that are different. I get bored of seeing the same cars like Mustangs, Camaros, the GTR—you see those every day. People are often attracted to the same thing, but I prefer something out of the ordinary. When I'm on the road, people always stop to take pictures. They give me the thumbs up or other gestures to tell me that they appreciate the car. It definitely turns heads and I love that.

My car enthusiasm started with my mom. We lived in Grand Junction, Colorado where there's a drag strip and she would take us every other night to watch them race down there. I have no idea what sparked her passion for cars, but I do know that it all started with her ‘69 Mercury Cougar. Ever since she saw it, she’s just been in love with classic muscle cars. Growing up she always did her own maintenance and showed us how to do all that stuff.

I have an identical twin brother. He actually has the same car, same year, same color, but he has made a lot of modifications whereas I kept things stock. I have a little brother who is 25 and he's building a twin turbo version of my mom's ‘69 Cougar. She gave the car to him a few years ago and he’s pretty much got it running. He’s just got to tweak it a little bit.

I’ve thought many times about selling it, but I just can’t let it go. Every time I drive something else, I just end up wanting to drive my Lotus. Right now this one checks all the boxes for me. It's not the most comfortable, but it's the most fun.

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