Research is one of my favorite things when it comes to developing new projects. So when the idea of an automotive blog for ladies came up, I began to scroll the internet to find out who are the coolest feminine voices from the industry. This is how I discovered Elisa, the young lady who inspired the name of a supercar:THE LOTUS ELISE.
How cool is to be linked to this? Let’s find out from Elisa herself:)
Hi Elisa! Tell us something about you that we can’t find on Google!
Most information about myself is Elise related so I can take the opportunity to write a short bio about my life.
I was born in Italy (Bolzano – super location close to the mountain passes) I have 2 brothers and one sister and of course, I am the oldest one or probably the Elise would have another name today.
When my grandfather bought Lotus we moved to England where I spent 3 years of my life but I never wanted to go to kindergarten because I didn’t speak any English so I spent a lot of time watching Teletubbies with my family.
My grandfather used to take me to the factory sometimes and since he wanted me to become a car passionate he got me an electric car to drive in the garden.
Since that wasn’t enough, he decided to name a car after me just to be sure to imprint his car passion in my DNA (after the automotive enthusiasm didn’t really attach to his daughters).
When he had to sell Lotus we came back to Italy where my life was not the one of a little star anymore. I finished high school and I made my mother freak out when I told her I am going to move to Vienna to study architecture.
After an Erasmus in Madrid and an Internship in Berlin, I am now working in Munich in an architecture studio.
A car is named after you… The stunning Lotus Elise. How is that making you feel?
What else can I say than proud and lucky? The same as I was when it had been unveiled. If you look at the video below (the Elise inside story) you can see the moment I stood up holding onto the steering wheel – for me it was really moving – I wanted everybody to see my t-shirt on which it was written: I am Elise.
Please share with us your most beautiful memories with the Lotus Elise! I know you met each other when you were just a little girl.
My Elise was born in 1997, and since back then I was 4 years old I grew up with her. That is why my Elise is not just a car. She means a lot more to me.
Since I couldn’t drive the car until I got my drivers license, I remember how happy I was when my grandfather once took me for a ride. I was little but I have that day imprinted in my mind.
Another nice moment I want to share with you happened when I was in high school and had a really bad day. I arrived home depressed and instead of walking in the house, I decided to go into the garage. I took the cover off from the Elise and I just stayed there looking at her. And I smiled. It was a contagious smile. I remember thinking: I can’t ask for more. My Elise is always there for me and I enjoy every single ride with her. I hope she can say the same about me 😉
Did having a car named after you influence your life?
Of course, it did. Starting from the presentation day, in September 1995 in Frankfurt, I became part of the automotive history. Back then I wasn’t aware, but that day I inherited a legacy together with a big responsibility.
In 2015, for the 20th anniversary, I decided to share my memories and create an Instagram profile: iamlotuselise.
From that moment everything changed. My life changed after I published the first post. I finally got to meet people that share my same passion.
I met people that today are my best friends. I met people that taught me a lot of things.
Sometimes I wonder if it was a good idea to create the iamlotuselise Instagram account because I invest a lot of time and energy in it and since being also a full-time architect it isn’t always easy to deal with both projects. But I only need to take a glimpse back at my life and see all I have accomplished until now and since most of my best memories are correlated with the Elise I know everything is worth it.
You are currently driving a Lotus Elise. Tell us more about it and about the experience, many of us may never get the chance to drive or even be in a Lotus car
I would suggest everybody who has the opportunity to test drive an Elise to do it! At the time it was presented it was a pioneer in the automotive revolution, therefore it was an inspiration for many other cars.
The best thing about my Elise is the concept of lightness – this makes her a truly fun car. She is also sincere, and that’s another thing I love about her. My Elise is really straightforward and I think that everybody who drives it tastes a little bit from the feeling race drivers have while on the circuit.
Do you think there is misogyny in traffic?
I don’t think so because it is really difficult to tell from the outside of a car if it is a woman or a man driving. I never felt discriminated behind the wheels.
What do you like most about driving?
I love driving. That is the point. It just makes me happy and the feeling of freedom is priceless. When I think about driving in my mind appear three things: take the car, travel and only focus on driving.
Name 3 cars that you think are suitable for women. Please tell us why.
I don’t believe there are specific male or female cars, I think it’s a personal choice. Somebody who lives in the city may not choose the same car as somebody who lives in the mountains.
High heels or flat shoes behind the wheel?
Even if I love high heels… always flat shoes when I drive the Elise.
Many women are afraid to drive. Do you have your own fears when it comes to driving? If yes, which are they?
Personally, I feel comfortable while driving but my first ride with the Elise was really stressful. I felt so much pressure and I was so nervous that I was literally shaking. Nevertheless, after my first driving experience behind the wheel of my Elise, everything went very smooth and now I never want to get out of the car!
What shouldn’t miss from a woman’s car?
I know that many women’s cars look like Mary Poppins bag – all necessary stuff is inside. But this is not how my car looks like.
In my Elise, you will always find an engine oil bottle, some coolant liquid, sun protection and of course some melted lipsticks.
Why do you think women should take their drivers’ license?
Well, I cannot imagine my life without it. Maybe I can, that would be me driving illegally – unfortunately, with the Elise it wouldn’t work out for long because I often get pulled over just for a control of the documents since the car is a truly eye catcher.
Driving makes you independent. Nevertheless having a drivers license can make your life easier in many situations.
How would you encourage a woman who is afraid to drive?
New things can sometimes be scary but after a while, when we look back in time we admit that it was the best decision to challenge ourselves to achieve something.
Who are your favorite automotive influencers?
To be honest I don’t have favorite influencers. For, me the true influencers are the people I got to meet through my „blog“. People that became my friends and which have amazing stories to tell, which share my same passion and who have taught me a lot.
Imagination exercise: if you wouldn’t have the Lotus Elise, what car would you choose to drive day by day?
For me the Elise is more than a car, therefore I can never imagine my life without it. Anyway, I don’t use the Elise on a daily basis because I prefer to maintain the special feeling I have when I’m behind its steering wheel. You know, it’s like the feeling you have when you are so happy to see someone special after you haven’t seen him/her in a while. Like a good Italian, most of the time I use a Vespa. Also because I think it’s much more practical to find parking and to move in the busy city center.
Let’s end our interview with some motivation for our readers 🙂 Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
Somebody really smart once commented under one of my picture ”The best things in life have curves: Girls, Cars, Roads.”