Finally. There are Elise seats in Sharka!!!
(updated with some links for future searchers)
Not bad eh? Soren at rent2race.com made me some kickass brackets. They’re incredibly strong. The rear sides are 3.5mm in thickness, or .137″. That’s thicker than the FiA WRC requirement of .125″ which makes me quite happy. The fronts are 1.8mm in thickness. Basically, the sliders will fail in a wreck before these brackets will. That’s a GOOD thing. Also, they bolt up to the seats easily and sit me pretty darn low.
I was originally planning to use the early NA seatbelt receivers that mount to the transmission tunnel. I have two in amongst my huge stash of spare Miata parts. They didn’t fit too well. They made the belt ride up on my belly rather than down low on the hips, so I went in search of another solution. I discovered that Lotus actually mounts their belt receivers to the seats just like this from the factory. Then I discovered that the late NA Miata seatbelt bolts are the same size and thread pitch as the holes in the sides of the Elise seats! No brainer. I bolted the receivers right up and didn’t look back. They fit great. The lap belt rides right over the hips as it should and there’s no gap anywhere by the leg.
My head is completely covered by the Elise headrest. Before with the stock seat, my head was pretty dead level with the rollbar and NOT supported by the headrest. Now, both me and the seat live below the hoop. Life is good. I feel very safe sitting in this seat.
The seat fits me very well. They seem designed for about a 5’10” body. I just happen to be that height. The Probax padding is amazingly comfortable without being plush at all, and the cloth that Lotus (or rather Nubax) used is very grippy. AND the seats weigh almost nothing! And they’re easy to get in and out of compared to a race seat.
But don’t get me wrong, Elise seats are not any sort of ultimate seat. I understand why so many owners get rid of them fairly quickly. The seats are nothing near as supportive as a real race seat. If I bought an Elise for track day playtime, I’d probably upgrade the seats too. But for around-town driving? Man, are these seats great. They’re staying in Sharka for a long time.