Lotus Elan

Elan S3 colours

PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:26 am

Interesting because my certificate for my S3DHC45/6576 shows the body color was "not recorded" so maybe it's just case by case but I do think the general consensus is that the early cars had no record of colors. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:19 pm

Nomad, when I have trouble with colour matching I get the big fan book of colour chips from Glasurit and do a manual colour match with the paint on the car, even if its a tiny bit left from stripping paint under trim, for example. This works much better (IMNSHO) than trying to scan a chip or working from codes, as the colour formulations have changed a lot over the years with the changes in chemistry. BTW with any luck I will be doing a Medici S2 next year (or sometime....) so it should be interesting.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:46 pm

"My 67 S3 Super Safety was painted Carnival Red according to Andy Graham."

Well that computes, since Carnival Red was introduced in mid 1967, alongside the others in the colour card I posted earlier.

Lotus moved up to Norfolk (in one day!) in November 1967 and fairly soon after that record keeping began to get better. This was reinforced when Lotus went public in 1968. So car colours started to get recorded more efficiently from around that period.

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PostPost by: pcarew » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:27 pm

trw99 wrote:I have posted this list of all Elan colours before; you will find the answer to your question therein.


Tim, thanks for posting the Lotus Colour chart previously ( http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotus-elan-f19/elan-colours-t40617-15.html?hilit=colour#p283935)

My question is, given the Paint code manufacturer Ids (PJP,ICI,Nexa PPG etc), are these usable to allow a paint shop to find / mix the correct colour? Are these codes 50 years out of date?

I have no idea how current paint colors are identified/mixed.

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PostPost by: Apx » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:02 pm

Were these vehicles available in primer either as component, or complete?

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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:12 pm

I painted my +2 in carnival red a few years ago and I found the mix/Lotus paint code in Glasurit which I used. Also Glasurit shows "Lotus yellow" for "Lotus 19..-19.." which includes my 67 built Elan S3 and I am using that as there was no paint codes on those early cars. And my 79 built Esprit has the paint code listed in PPG so I think you just have to see which companies are still listing the codes or for the years and then at least in these three instances it certainly seems like the match is excellent to what I found underneath or behind on the car. And for the most part my preference is to go with an identified Lotus paint code rather than what I found on the car although as I've seen it involves switching around with manufactures of the paint but that has not been a problem. And in light of years of deterioration I prefer the identified codes--particularly the Reds never hold their color-- and just personally I always cringe a bit when somebody tells me it's a Pontiac blue they liked Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:26 pm

Neal, some cars did leave the factory unpainted, mostly for the Federal market. Once landed, they were painted by the distributor, or sometimes the selling dealer, to customers order.

I've not come across a domestic car delivered in the nude, since a buyer could ask the factory to provide the car in any colour they wished.

Paul, re current paint codes, I'd refer you to the notes at the base of my spreadsheet. It is tricky though, since modern paint recipes are so different from original colours. The good news is that modern paint scanning allows for reproduction, so if your car has an original colour lurking under the boot lid, for example, that can help.

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:24 pm

Many years ago I used to know the owner of Northern Sports Cars in Scorton, North Yorkshire, they had been a Lotus dealer in the 60's and 70's. The chap told me he would paint a new Lotus that he had in stock to the customers preferred colour rather than order a new car from the factory, apparently the customers back then didn't seem to mind.
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PostPost by: nomad » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:12 pm

knockoffnut wrote:Nomad, when I have trouble with colour matching I get the big fan book of colour chips from Glasurit and do a manual colour match with the paint on the car, even if its a tiny bit left from stripping paint under trim, for example. This works much better (IMNSHO) than trying to scan a chip or working from codes, as the colour formulations have changed a lot over the years with the changes in chemistry. BTW with any luck I will be doing a Medici S2 next year (or sometime....) so it should be interesting.


Tried that as well and guess I have my eyes are to blame. Didn't come out all that close but I did as the supplier advised by matching in the sun light.
George, CABC26B, was kind enough to send me a spray up of the color on his car which I would say is perfect. As of yet I haven't been able to find a local paint supplier that could match it! Other things have gotten in the way so the problem is on hold for now.

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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:56 pm

Mazzini, that was the case at many dealers in North America too. Cars were shipped across the ocean in gelcoat and then painted to order by the dealership based on the colour that the customer wanted to buy.
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:02 pm

Paul, Paint codes are still "valid" but the chemistry of automotive paints has changed so much in the last decades that often when you mix a paint colour based on the original codes, the colour looks quite different when it is mixed with the new paints and tints. With some colours it is less noticeable, but with other colours the difference is rather dramatic. Now days I always mix and spray a sample, to see if the colour is a good match, before spraying a whole car.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:24 pm

[quote="knockoffnut"]Mazzini, that was the case at many dealers in North America too. Cars were shipped across the ocean in gelcoat and then painted to order by the dealership based on the colour that the customer wanted to buy.[/quote]

I believe that Rob was saying something a little different. The UK dealer would offer to respray a new car in the potential new owner's preferred colour.

So if in 1969 I put my loons on and walked into Northern Sports Cars showroom, saw a brand new Elan in Colorado Red, but actually fancied Lotus Yellow, then the dealership would respray that car themselves, thus allowing me to take delivery of the car I wished for.

I'd leave the showroom pretty chipper, straighten my flowery kipper tie and waltz of with a bird on my arm.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:13 pm

trw99 wrote:
knockoffnut wrote:Mazzini, that was the case at many dealers in North America too. Cars were shipped across the ocean in gelcoat and then painted to order by the dealership based on the colour that the customer wanted to buy.


I believe that Rob was saying something a little different. The UK dealer would offer to respray a new car in the potential new owner's preferred colour.

So if in 1969 I put my loons on and walked into Northern Sports Cars showroom, saw a brand new Elan in Colorado Red, but actually fancied Lotus Yellow, then the dealership would respray that car themselves, thus allowing me to take delivery of the car I wished for.

I'd leave the showroom pretty chipper, straighten my flowery kipper tie and waltz of with a bird on my arm.

Tim


The bloke what walks past my garage in Pevensey Bay wiv his cocker spaniels used ter work in a car body shop in livverpool.... calm down, calm down!, it was his job ter sort out the cars from Lotus that got dinged before reaching the docks enroute to the land of milk and honey and make them all pretty. He also used to change colours as required. Pevensey Bay is a strange place, an ex Lotus early employee had a house down the road from me, name of Peter Leen, he worked at a secret location In Edmonton building a secret prototype fibreglass monocoque car, I didn’t believe him when he told me.
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PostPost by: Dieschelan » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:51 pm

Definitely my car was Carmen Red. Has someone a picture of this colour?
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PostPost by: 26alan04 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:39 pm

Sorry to pinch the thread a bit, but here goes...Many years ago I bought a dismantled S2 Elan as a retirement project. Well, I'm now a man of leisure, apart from all those other little jobs that seem to get mentioned, just in passing, and somehow take priority!

Whist I'm fairly settled on what I'm doing with the mechanical bits, the body does pose a bit of a dilemma, or rather its colour does. When first registered in 1965 the log book shows the original colour as Gunmetal, presumably Jaguar Opalescent Gunmetal, as I think it was termed. I have found traces of this colour on the car. Subsequently, there was a colour change to metallic green, and yes, the bumpers were blaze, BRM colours and there were other indicators that the car had been a BRM replica. Least-ways, I don't think it to be an authentic, original BRM. It was changed about 1973(ish), although not a time when replicas were necessarily the thing to do.

Problem is, what colour do I paint it, what's original? Painting is some way off, but I'd like some feedback as to what others think. I'm always concerned about darker colours on smaller road cars, so my personal preference would be Wedgwood Blue. It seems likely that the car was turned out from the factory in Medici Blue, there are traces in the doors, but that's not a favourite of mine and the car never had a formal identity in this colour. Any thoughts appreciated.

Note for Spyder fan: you're right, Pevensey Bay is a strange place. I'm in Hastings, but even here I've met a couple of ex-Lotus employees who have retired to the area.

Best Wishes to all for a wonderful 2018.

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