Lotus Elan

Got my hands on a +2 at last

PostPost by: richardl46 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Bought this 1972 +2 S 130 at auction 2 weeks ago. A two owner car, pretty sound mechanically on Spyder chassis, with solid half shafts and various engine and interior improvements, for which there is plenty of paperwork.

The paintwork is really bad, with the last coat laid on heavy enough to eat through the previous 4 layers, leaving a dried river bed effect on flat surfaces. Quite a few stress cracks in the usual places. The original colour was Carnival Red (which I may go back to) with Silver roof. The roof has metalflake in the gelcoat and looks original. The rest of the body has been a darker Red, then Bronze before the current flat Brown/Bronze. Does this look like an original Lotus colour?

Unfortunately I've been dragged off to the sun for 3 weeks, but this does give me a chance to read up on how to tackle the paintwork. Unless I find something really nasty under all the paint I am confident this should be a car worth restoring to a good standard.

Anyone able to recommend a reasonably priced bodyshop, with Elan respray experience, within 25 miles of Newark Notts?

Thanks, Richard
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PostPost by: gary eastham » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:14 pm

Looks like a nice car
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PostPost by: RichC » Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:47 am

Paul Mason at SMS autospray Ltd .
they are the best local to you .
it's an awful lot of money for a good job (or a bad job if you choose the wrong person... plenty of scare stories in the archives about garages that disappoint )
I expect you'll have quite a wait on your hands wherever you go so suggest you might want to aim for bodyshop NEXT winter and spend the intervening time getting to know your new love. 8)
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:22 pm

+1 on SMS (Spalding)..
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: richardl46 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:40 pm

Many thanks for the responses.

I've read the archives and understand a respray by the established experts could represent a third of the value of a car. I need to decide how much I can contribute by removing paint, but realise that is no quick or easy task.

Early days, so good advice to have a play with the car before making any expensive decisions.

Will take the boot-lid along to our local paint supplier for him to scan and ID the existing paint. I need to touch in the areas where I've been checking the numerous previous colours.

No doubt I'll be back with more questions in due course.

Thanks again, Richard
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PostPost by: deryck » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:20 pm

Hi

Paul is brilliant but he has now left SMS and works out of spyder cars he still does his own works,
i have been with him today,

let me know if you would like his mobile number,

best regards
Deryck
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PostPost by: richardl46 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:25 pm

Hi Deryck.

I'll send you a PM.

Regards, Richard
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:34 pm

Interior looks tidy, should be a nice car once you have the exterior tidied up :D
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:02 pm

Congrats Richard!

We'll have to take your word about the paint- it looks better in the pics than you describe. Aside from that, it looks like a great car that should be really fun- hope it brings you much enjoyment!
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PostPost by: richardl46 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:07 pm

Thanks for the compliments.
Photo of the boot lid, just to show how bad the paint is. I still don't know if this is supposed to be a Lotus colour?

Richard
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:38 pm

The colour looks like an old Ford bronze colour called Saluki Bronze I think the only official bronze/brown paint colour for Elans was Tawny.

Here’s a mk2 Cortina in Saluki, I think it was quite popular back in the day as well as a darker colour called Roman Bronze

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PostPost by: richardl46 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:48 pm

Thank you Alan that looks very close.
Appreciate the help, Richard
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PostPost by: RichC » Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:32 am

That's called patina ! it's amazing what you can achieve with a bit of 1200 grit and a decent colour matched polish .. i think you could get that to almost disappear ....
when i first picked up my +2 in 2007 the cellulose red paint was oxidised to a matt pink finish all over and it was crazed like this with a dark blue gloss showing thru cracks . I polished and polished.until it gleamed , .. it wasn't until i had a nasty smash i got round to proper respray.
Suggest you spend more time inside the car driving it around so you don't notice it so much..... :D
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PostPost by: richardl46 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:32 pm

That could be sound advice RichC. The cost, complications and timescale of a proper respray are quite daunting. Especially if it involves the body coming off.

Maybe put that task to the bottom of my list for now and get on with the various minor jobs.

Richard
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:50 pm

richardl46 wrote:Many thanks for the responses.

I've read the archives and understand a respray by the established experts could represent a third of the value of a car.


That sounds like a low estimate for a +2, in the ballpark for a Just 2. However, you can save a large amount by (properly) doing the prep to your own satisfaction.

Gary Anderson (sadly no longer present on this site) swore by hand-sanding, and he probably prepped (and finished) more Elans than any other amateur. Based on your photos, you can certainly get away with the heavy grit for the first few inches of paint... :shock:

The "blasting" methods are all reputed (but to varying degrees) to open up pinholes in the gelcoat that were well obscured by the original surfacing agent. Hand sanding leaves the holes filled, or that's the argument anyway.

I personally had good luck un-painting an entire Sunfish in a few hours simply by scraping with a long (and cheap) kitchen knife. The oscillations set up by the vertical scraping caused the finish (in a similar state to yours) to peel and flake off. The surfaces are similar though the Sunfish is a lot thicker. The knife did have a pronounced flat spot when I finished, the Sunfish wasn't much affected beyond shedding paint.
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