Lotus Elan

Factory correct Frame color on the elan??

PostPost by: Oasis1 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:37 am

As I go thru pictures of restorations and elans on the internet and even this site, I see frames of several colors from black to red and that primer orange-ish color to silver or grey...….So what is the "factory correct" frame color that the elan would have left the factory with? Is there one or did it change throughout the series? Thanks for any help on the subject
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:43 am

I believe the early Cars [S1/2/3) were red oxide but some time around the S4 the red oxide then had black paint over it as well.
Not sure exactly when the Black was applied but most original Sprints I have seen seem to have had the black on top of the red oxide.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:16 am

Brian wrote 'Not sure exactly when the Black was applied but most original Sprints I have seen seem to have had the black on top of the red oxide'

Hmm, not sure about that Mr G. Many of the original Sprints that I have owned :D seemed to have missed the red oxide booth, and were just blown over with black paint, which is why some chassis' lasted barely 3 years, so was a very hit or miss affair back in the day.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:51 am

My original 1968 S4 chassis was just painted black. No sign of any red oxide under the black when I removed it around 1980 which was the first time it had ever come off the body.

I think the standard factory colour is rust red / brown :lol:

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:58 am

512BB wrote:'
Hmm, not sure about that Mr G. Many of the original Sprints that I have owned :D seemed to have missed the red oxide booth, and were just blown over with black paint, which is why some chassis' lasted barely 3 years, so was a very hit or miss affair back in the day.Leslie


Ah yes Leslie, that's because you only buy those cheap knackered old Sprints :lol: :lol:
may be one day you'll make me a decent offer for mine :lol: which btw the body has never been off its original chassis.
Attached a pic of where the black has come off the chassis .........and still NO RUST :mrgreen:
Attachments
sprint-015.jpg and
Last edited by types26/36 on Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:03 pm

This is the original chassis on my '72 Sprint, black something <bitumen?> over Red Oxide
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img_5295.jpg and
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PostPost by: elj221c » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:31 pm

rgh0 wrote: I think the standard factory colour is rust red / brown :lol:

cheers
Rohan


As always, absolutely correct, Rohan!

Here's my original. Maybe a hint of red on the rack mount and by the gear lever area, though....

old-lotus-chassis-82.jpg and
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PostPost by: USA64 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:03 pm

I just redid my '69 S4 and the not-rusty chassis was red with a tar-like coating over it on the backbone part. I washed the black (which I thought had been added later in a poor attempt at undercoating) off with turpentine. The cleaned chassis could be blasted more easily. I had it repainted a similar red. The exposed parts of the frame were clean of black, the only rust was on the bottom horizontal part of the backbone near the rear.
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PostPost by: Oasis1 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:47 pm

I dont know if anyone else has been following "restoration impossible" in Classic Motorsports magazine (and on the web). It is the complete restoration of an elan yanked from a field and broken essentially in two! The goal was to present a concourse elan from a car who everyone said was done and only a parts car (and not many of those!). It is a great story and has several detailed "chapters" on line. The frame in that restoration was sprayed with a rust encapsulator sold in cans on Eastwoods website. It looks great in the pictures on line. Would a sprint have been covered in the same color or black? Let me know what you think. I am trying to figure out what color to paint my frame ! Google.... restoration impossible classic motorsports....its worth the read. Thanks Jim
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:03 pm

Oasis1 wrote:Would a sprint have been covered in the same color or black? Thanks Jim


See above posts.

This is how I have treated my new chassis:
img_7087.jpg and


2 coats of Por-15 & 2 Coats of Por-15 Red Oxide topcoat as Por-15 is not UV proof...
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:28 pm

I don’t think much sunlight will get at it when fitted :D
Painted my stripped Caterham chassis in POR15 system (with no UV protection top coat) 8 years ago and still hard and black.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:15 pm

The chassis on my 1968 Elan was red oxide primer when I bought it in 1979. I bought a Lotus replacement chassis, also in 1979, and this was painted black. The paint was so poorly applied, that it fell off before I used the chassis.

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PostPost by: prezoom » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:07 am

This is way off the target, but it applies. About 40 years ago, I constructed a gate to cross my driveway, made of 1 3/8" galvanized fence tubing. I TIG'd the corners and painted them with an aluminum paint to keep them from rusting. Well, today, I am extending the gate to cover the now required 16' drive by the local government. What floored me was that that aluminum paint that I painted the welds, is not only still there, but none of the welds have rusted, and it is still sticking to the galvanized pipe. I actually found the little half pint tin of paint from years back, part of my hoarder personality, and it is still good. So, I painted the new welds that extended the gate an additional 3', and if they live for another 40 years, out in the weather 7/24/365, I will be a happy camper. I think if I were going to paint a chassis, I would do my best to try to find this aluminum paint, which probably no longer meets any sort of environmental requirements, which I bought at some now defunct home improvement store, Builders Emporium I think. The worst part is, there is no manufacturer listed on the tin. It probably causes blindness in cockroaches, and causes weight gain in termites, or something like that. But will prevent rusting in Lotus chassis that do not have oil leaks.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:27 am

prezoom wrote:This is way off the target, but it applies. About 40 years ago, I constructed a gate to cross my driveway, made of 1 3/8" galvanized fence tubing. I TIG'd the corners and painted them with an aluminum paint to keep them from rusting. Well, today, I am extending the gate to cover the now required 16' drive by the local government. What floored me was that that aluminum paint that I painted the welds, is not only still there, but none of the welds have rusted, and it is still sticking to the galvanized pipe. I actually found the little half pint tin of paint from years back, part of my hoarder personality, and it is still good. So, I painted the new welds that extended the gate an additional 3', and if they live for another 40 years, out in the weather 7/24/365, I will be a happy camper. I think if I were going to paint a chassis, I would do my best to try to find this aluminum paint, which probably no longer meets any sort of environmental requirements, which I bought at some now defunct home improvement store, Builders Emporium I think. The worst part is, there is no manufacturer listed on the tin. It probably causes blindness in cockroaches, and causes weight gain in termites, or something like that. But will prevent rusting in Lotus chassis that do not have oil leaks.


Possibly a zinc chromate primer. Good stuff, but may have chrome6 (hexavalent chromium).

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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:46 pm

I am sorry, but I don't understand... "Lotus that do not have oil leaks..."

Can you please explain?
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