I have a Lotus Elite with a yellow valve cover on the Coventry Climax engine. He insisted that the valve cover should be red for my model, but the car was built new as a kit by my wife's uncle, and the valve cover has never been repainted.
My Series 1 Elan has, to my view, a light blue hammer finish. Here in California, I have seen more than one car with that color. Now my car has a "Lotus Components" I.D. plate, which means it was either sold directly from the racing department, or was a kit. That might be one of the differences that determines color too. I'm not an expert, and the only other Elan I've owned was a very early coupe, with the valve cover changed to the black wrinkle with the block "Lotus" across the timing chain end, which I think is a later model cover. I have two other covers, for various reasons, one is off of a racing engine I had in a Lotus 23, and it has no paint, and was cast without the oil filler, and an early style cover with black wrinkle finish.
Maybe some day, the group should have people send a photo of their valve cover, and the series and model of their cars; that might settle some of the questions, as it seems the valve cover color issue comes up at least once a year.
Regards and Happy New Year,
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