Today, I have become the envy of my colleagues while some of us are gathered in North Yorkshire to test a bunch of electric driver’s cars.

The fun EV that I had hoped to bring was sufficiently new that it couldn’t make it even in early left-hand-drive form, so I’ve had to arrive in something else. Hence the envy.

Now, this isn’t an EV versus ICE car look-at-me smugathon (although it did take quite a long time for one of us to arrive from the south coast in a Honda E). No, instead I’m the envy of my colleagues because I’ve arrived in a Series 1 Lotus Elise. And I’m not alone in thinking it’s fabulous.

This is a fairly early example, from 1998. Although at one point badly damaged, it’s in very good mechanical order, if a bit scruffy around the edges – as a 59,000-mile, 25-year-old car should be.

It belongs to a friend of mine, Simon, owner of independent Lotus specialist Scott-Russell Sports Cars. It barely turned a wheel last year and was taking up space at his workshop, and as somebody who thinks cars are better when used regularly, he asked if I would be able to add a few miles to it. So here I am.

Lotus elise ubg web007

There will be more on these pages in a couple months, but for now, I’m afraid to say that I’ve become obsessed with it. It’s just so good.

As good now as the Elise was when it was launched in 1996 – perhaps even better. Now, when writing tests, referencing new car prices and a car’s value, somebody will always pipe up about used cars.

I recently said that I thought the Citroën C5 X, priced from £28,000, was good value for a big, practical, immensely comfortable family wagon, but matey on the internet said it had nothing on his £12,000, 10-year-old BMW 5 Series. Maybe, but that was £45,000 when it was new, and it’s no good banging on about old cars when you’re testing a new one, otherwise you’re not comparing like with like.