That guy.... again, in that car... again!

Bonjour all…

Your ever so friendly website owner suggested maybe you’d be keen to receive updates on the life and times of my 2019 Exige 410. I’ve spammed pretty much every other platform with it so why not here I guess!

Bought new my 410 Sport turned Cup is getting on for 30k miles, 55 or so trackdays, a major rebuild and many hours modding and improving… subjective maybe but so much fun and very much part of my life. A total obsession, I think I’d have a problem if this car were to ever leave me. … and it has tried.

It’s like a wife! It spends my money, frustrates me and often has me bent over in the cold…, but in the next breath keeps me warm and feeling totally alive. Hell it even lets me exercise my fingers when our son goes to bed :slight_smile:

Anyways, hello.

If you want to read about it let me know. If you’d rather i thinned out or have already seen it elsewhere I’ll take that lead too.



Welcome aboard, Eddie! Looks awesome - can’t wait to hear about what you’ve done!

Looks great and I think there is a lack of S3 content within so definitely great to learn more :+1:

I did no such thing!

I begged :slight_smile:

Thanks for taking the time to post @ecain63 ! We will be looking forward to more updates on the 4 wheeled wife.

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Welcome. Can’t wait til we get to Boltgate.

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Boltgate?!? I’m hooked! :rofl:


You could have bolted.

See Ya Reaction GIF by Travis

A little background on the car just to set the tone…

In June 2019 I was just coming out of Giulia QF ownership, which to date I’d say was the best allrounder I’ve ever owned. I had it around 2.5 years and it was amazing. It literally did everything brilliantly and never missed a beat. Had it not been for a really rubbish dealer network (the irony of me moving to Lotus eh!) I’d have probably kept that car long term. The plan on that summers day was to pay visit to my local Porsche dealer who had recently taken delivery of a new 911 GTS. It was a cancelled order where the customer had forfeited around £10k on the deal. Had I actually made it to the original destination I’d not be typing this up now.

As I was leaving for Porsche my mate at Hendy (was Westover) Lotus gave me a buzz and asked if I fancied a drive in a motorsport spec Elise 250 Cup and an Exige 350. With plenty of time left in my afternoon the decision was made to head to Porsche via Poole where Alex was waiting with the keys to my fibreglass undoing.

Keeping it brief, the 250 Cup was brilliant but felt tiny and lacked a bit of grunt on the motorway. There was a lot to love about it but having just stepped out of a 500bhp Italian it was always going to be this way. The Exige didn’t even get driven, I knew it was going to be a more potent version of the Elise. Alex shown me a list of about a dozen 350s sat at Hethel, some with weird run-out specs and parts bin anomalies. A few of these factory fresh 350s were quite appetising but something about the Essex Blue 410 sat behind me in the showroom cried out asking me to talk about the important numbers.

It was £86k in the flesh and being straight off the lorry from Lotus there was a bit of motivation to get it gone and make his month better on the books. Could I really sign up to an £86k bathtub without actually driving it? Hell yeah I could!!

I drove home with my receipt, a brochure and a sweaty forehead,…0 then awaited my wife returning from the school run where I knew she was going to ask a very important question…

You see, the GTS has back seats and we had a 5 year old son at the time. The Exige does not have back seats, which is kind of a deal breaker. You don’t need to know the ins and outs of that conversation but it wasn’t a good one.

The spec:
Essex blue. One of I think 4 cars (410s) painted in this specific mix of Essex Blue.
Carbon seats with a red stitch.
Matt / rubberised hard top.
Blue side intakes.
Silver wheels.
Red calipers, AP J-Hooks.
All the usual 410 carbon goodies.
Nitron 3 way suspension.
Pioneeer stereo.

It was a lovely thing :slight_smile:

The run in was done fairly quickly, mainly shortshifting around Goodwood on an EVO trackday a week after collection lol.

Straight after the first service we fitted a 2bular QP track exhaust and headed to Thruxton. It was a whole lot of fun, fast too… so I booked another date with Opentrack for the end of September 2019. This was even faster and to fast track my progress I took instruction for the 3rd session. On lap 3 of session 4 I stacked it mid corner at 120mph! Game over! My fault entirely, I was running before I could comfortably walk.

My track insurance was a life saver. Moris effectively bought me a new one, writing off the old one on paper within only a couple of weeks. I broke my back (didn’t know this for 8 months) and left wrist and had a load of internal bruising / bleeding but did manage to do Spa with Circuit Days at the beginning of November in a stand-in Clio Cup. Shame to waste a perfectly good booking!

My new 410 arrived from factory a week or so after Spa and this was the spec:

Essex Blue… from the same batch as the first car
Carbon seats with silver stitch
Rubberised hard top and side scoops, not blue this time.
Silver mirrors.
Silver wheels.
Carbon, Nitrons etc etc!

Effectively the same as Mk1 bar a couple of colour options. Oh, and no carpets this time.

So that’s the background. I’ll leave it there for now, check back another day for more and better times in Mk2 :slight_smile:

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Welcome Eddie. Good opening posts, that Thruxton photo never fails to give me shudders.

Fair play for getting back on the horse, my biggest fear of my inevitable first trackday prang is never wanting to go do it again!

Followed closely by death

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You did a proper number on mk1.

However , it also shows it’s a pretty solid shell and car over all

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Yes, avoiding death is pretty well up there on the list of things to avoid. Should it happen though, going out backwards in a ball of fire is the way I’d want to go.

I’d like to see the thing that kills me!

Great write up, I was reading it on my phone on the train, scrolling up the page and got to the crash photo and was literally WTF ! Pleased it ends well in as much as your back fit and healthy and car was replaced. 120mph that’s a proper impact.

Thanks for sharing stories

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Nice car Eddie, glad to have you on Exiges.

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Lovely Exige Eddie

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So, where did we get to? Oh yeah, a replacement car…

The new car arrived mid November which meant that there wasn’t much track action going on, but I wanted to get some stuff booked. Great idea… but insurance was a hurdle I needed to get around.

Moris said they didn’t want to touch me for at least 6 months, and would only consider me if I could prove I wasn’t a total melon and had fresh experience without a crash. How do you do that if you can’t get cover? Well, it turns out a lot easier than I first thought.

In Feb 2020, just as Covid was starting to rear its ugly head, I got myself onto the Lotus Driving Academy Gold License. Because time was tight due to work I ignored the advice of the Hethel team and skipped both Bronze and Silver levels. Oh how I wish I’d done those first! lol Although not racing driver levels of training the day did require that you’d got the grasp of some basic skills behind the wheel… which were taught on the Silver day. To make it worse I turned up with a hell of a cold and blocked ears so my axis wasn’t exactly aligned as it was, but I passed… just, and my instructor signed me off advising that I come back to do a top up before attempting the higher level courses that were on offer at the time. I never did though, work vs a long ass drive to Norfolk dictates unfortunately. I must add that the Gold academy was brilliant despite my cold and “blag it on the day” choices. I learned more on that one day than in years of driving solo.

With one day of formal, decent spec tuition in the bag I needed to get my backside back on track. Circuit Days were running a Silverstone National day at the end of Feb which looked like the ideal opportunity. Unfortunately Moris still wouldn’t cover me but Reis agreed to load me on so long as I had an instructor with me throughout. Good thing too, when I rolled through the gates it was absolutely lashing down and I was on stock Cup2s. My instructor didn’t look particularly happy either :rofl:

All I had to do that day was not crash so we just spent the day doing boring laps. Everything overtook us, we aquaplaned, but we didn’t crash :slight_smile:

And then Covid happened :expressionless:


Knowing some of what’s to come from instagram, you’ve got me hooked for the following write ups :+1:t2:

Welcome to the forum @ecain63


I will update this, i promise. Just busy at the mo :crazy_face:

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2020… Covid times!

My Mk2 car came only a few months earlier so when C19 hit I’d done very little track time and had no mods fitted, or even thought about tbh. But now with time on my hands, a couple of grand in the bank left over from the crash transition and nightly alcohol to fuel the searching it didn’t take long to get the ball rolling.

The glorious weather during Covid-1 helped massively with the need to tinker. Every day I was mucking about in the garden, in the shed or on the driveway. It started first with the purchase of some Hexis pinstripe tape :rofl: Early adjustments were made to the carbon areas, but before long I was stickering the car across every one of its many contours. Good? No! Did I care? Hell no!! My boy was 5/6 years old at the time and I let him choose where most of it went :slight_smile:

I’ve still got some of the Hexis stuff on my car, but not as much as during its peak lol.

As covid progressed there were glimmers of light suggesting it could come to an end. I refitted my 2Bular track exhaust ready for Goodwood trackdays, so long as rules allowed. Nobody really knew what was going on though, so much of it was just hope and selfish intent.

Then in late May I bought a new MX2E dash from Imran / Alias23. He got me a cracking deal at the time so was hard to pass up. 30 mins to fit and really easy to use. I know you’re not supposed to data-log or time on trackdays but why on earth would you not fit this item??

With the sun still beating down I then bought a nice new soft top and did the grommet mod on the rear clam. A bit scary drilling holes in a new car, but not exactly a rocket science job compared to other things I’ve done more recently. The soft top is / was cool I guess, but in reality and practice doesn’t really suit my usage :grimacing: :grimacing:

5th of June 2020… we were only bloody allowed out of our houses again!! And I went straight to Goodwood… with the soft top fitted!!

140mph I found is as fast as you can go with a soft top. After that it wants off the ride! Literally driving at over 100mph down Lavant straight with my arm out the window holding the roof on was the only indication I needed that a soft top isn’t ideal for trackdays. So we bagged it back up and it’s sat in my garage ever since. Must dig that out to check it now I think about it.

Trackdays were cheap as chips in 2020, and pretty much empty as many people had to stay home or go to work. My industry was still classed as “non essential” so we were closed for a bit longer. Covid was also expensive for us and all of this was coming out of our savings. Running your own business is brilliant when you are a self employed director and can’t open for business lol… Anyway, we weren’t alone in this so can only moan a small amount.

Like I said, it was a time of cheap TDs. £150 for a 105db morning at Goodwood… or £120 for an evening at Brands. Around £100 for a day at Thruxton. And fuel was something like 1.10 a litre. Take me back!!!

Between 6th June and 1st July I’d done Goodwood twice and Brands & Thruxton once each. I’d have done more if it weren’t for common sense and Track Insurance premiums. But on a positive note, Moris and I were best mates again and I had cover at sensible money thanks to previous efforts at Hethel and Silverstone.



Then I was back at Thruxton mid July with my dad…


Unfortunately we all had to go back to work after that, but having smashed a few trackdays in the UK in short succession it was time to start planning some Euro fun. Covid had stuffed a Euro tour I’d had planned for that summer but by keeping my Chunnel tickets open I was poised to strike as soon as the borders opened :slight_smile:


Awesome write up and further update :+1::sunglasses: