Lotus Elan

Cam cover colours

PostPost by: billwill » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:51 pm

My cam cover has been various colours at different periods, currently I painted it blue, which I seem to recall was its original 105 BHP colour.

Is there an 'official' list of what the colours stood for?
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:33 pm

Here's mine.
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PostPost by: paddy » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:52 pm

Yes, in the Wilkins engine book, pg 181-183 - as definitive as you can get, apart from reality itself, I suppose. I'm sure there will be lots of reports of the reality being different.

Refer to the book for all of the detail.

To summarise:

Green:
Elan, S/E, Weber

Dark blue:
Elan, standard (B cam), Weber, Domestic and Export

Silver, then black:
Cortina and Escort, S/E, Weber, Domestic and Export

Red:
+2, S/E, Weber
Elan and +2, standard, Stromberg, Federal
Elan, Super S/E, Weber, Domestic
Elan, Europa and +2, S/E, Stromberg, Domestic
Elan, Europa and +2S, Big Valve, Stromberg, Federal
Europa, S/E, Dellorto, Domestic

Red, ribbed:
Elan Sprint, +2S130 and Europa Special, Big Valve, Dellorto, European

Black:
Elan, standard, Stromberg, Domestic
Europa, S/E, Dellorto, European

Black, ribbed:
Elan Sprint and +2S130, Big Valve, Weber, Domestic
Europa Special, Big Valve, Dellorto, Domestic

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PostPost by: mac5777 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:20 am

My 66 Elan S3 coupe, weber USA delivered car had this color and was suppose to be original. It looked more like teal-blue rather than green. I was about to have the cover powder costed with the teal-blue color it came with. But now I have questions of what the real color should be. I painted it silver when I restored the car.
So, has anyone seen this color before?

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:40 am

Anyone know when the word LOTUS moved from both cam covers to the front over the timing chain housing?

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PostPost by: paddy » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:05 am

Sarto,

What is the head identification stamp on your engine? The table in the Wilkins book correlates this also with the cam spec and the cover colour.

From what you've said it's not S/E spec and therefore from the list it should be "dark blue", yes?

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:52 am

oldelanman wrote:Anyone know when the word LOTUS moved from both cam covers to the front over the timing chain housing? Regards,


The story I heard was that when the mk2 Cortina Lotus was introduced in 1967 Lotus changed the cam cover because the name "LOTUS" could not be read due to the new type air cleaner that went across the top of the engine, the Twin Cam Escort also had this type air cleaner but I believe the TC Escort only appeared in 1968.
I would think that Lotus dropped the original cam cover with the introduction of the MK2 Cortina and fitted the new one to all engines as it would be pointless to make two versions.
I also think the Elan got this cover at the same time although there are bound to be some "67" cars with the original cover as with all things Lotus nothing is written in stone and I'm sure all the old style cam covers were used up.
The Ribbed Big Valve Cover was the only other cam cover Lotus made as far as I am aware and was fitted on the later unrated engines.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:42 am

Thanks Brian, that does make sense. There were also two versions of the later cover casting as the Stromberg equipped engines needed an extra boss on the top of the RHS to accommodate the throttle cable bracket - maybe useful to know if anyone is sourcing a replacement.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:08 pm

Plus versions for twin cam europas with cam shaft pulley shaft cutout. Plus the special big valve versions with the lettering reversed for motor shows.

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jun 18, 2010 2:00 pm

Mine is a 1967 S3 with the original style camcover.
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:01 pm

Paddy, the engine # is LP 5971 and came with 36/5785 ID from the factory. I think it would be too early to be a S/E. I'll try to see if there is a color under the teal blue paint before I powder coat.
Thanks for the response Paddy.

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PostPost by: cabc26b » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:04 pm

It was my understanding that the original blue was a hammertone and not "dark" there are some contemporary engine bay shots to support this. I have also had mk1 engines with remnants of the this medium blue hammertone paint on the covers.
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PostPost by: AussieJohn » Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:36 pm

Had an early cosworth cover in the light blue hammer finish; it was the only colour on it and although I tried to remove the paint with stripper and leaving overnight in Carbsolve it would not budge. I wonder what paint they used?
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PostPost by: elans3 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:14 pm

I believe the originals were stove enamelled, very difficult to remove,
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:45 am

Hi guys,
I stopped by the powder coating shop and they have any color I might want. I think I want to use the original cover color and it sounds like, blue. i thought I saw a picture of a blue cam cover but can not find it now. I believe it depends on the year, what carbs etc. was the determining color. Mine was an early coupe and had a smooth finish, so I don't think it was ever crackle finish on cars that early in production. If someone has a picture, let me know what year etc. of the Elan. The cam cover has raised letter with a blocked imprint around the letters as if it should have been painted a back ground color. If you look close, you can see it on Galwaylotus's green 67. His cover is the same as mine except mine is a year earlier -- June 1966. The blue may have faded to teal blue over the 44 years

Thanks for any help,
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