Lotus Elan

Sprint Colors.

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:50 pm

Yes the change in paint colours continues into the door openings, however the gold stripe just goes slightly round the corner as it is not long enoughto go all the way to the door seal.
The white is Cirrus white.
The white colour was applied in the mould, the other colour was sprayed on when the body was out of the mould, this is why it cost ?15 more for a car in single colour that for a twin colour Sprint, they had to paint the whole shell.
Am I the only person who knows how to look in the archives? No wonder so many old Elan.net folks do not bother to contribute to this forum any more.

Gary- this bad-tempered comment is not aimed at you, it's just that the same questions keep on being raised over and over- which side do the wipers park, why don't my carbs work, arrrghh- search in the archives, it's in therealready, well 99% anyway. End of rant.

Pete (stick off ice, fen dried out, time for a drink).
----- Original Message -----
From: Gary
To: ***@***.***
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 8:13 PM
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Re: Sprint Colors.



The bottom half color on an Elan Sprint is definitely Cirrus White.
(I wrote Lotus a few years back, and they have the bottom as Cirrus
White and the top as Carnival Red.)

Now I have a question... Does the defining line between the top and
bottom colors on an Elan Sprint continue into the door jamb and
around the door itself? (I just dropped my Sprint off at the shop
today to get the same paint job. My painter asked the question.) Can
anyone post a photo of this condition? Thanks!

Gary
'71 Elan Sprint Coupe
Miami, Fl

____________________________________________________________________
--- In ***@***.***, "Tony Vaccaro" <[email protected]> wrote:

" I am looking for the paint code for the WHITE that is on the
bottom of the > Sprint Elans."









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PostPost by: M100 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:57 pm

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 21:02:54 -0000, "nebogipfel2004"
<***@***.***> wrote:

Going back to the question of colour. The problem is that the old
colour mixing formulae have not been updated for modern 2-pack paint
systems. Here in the UK my supplier can mix the old colours in
cellulose but not in 2K. Sometimes, if the paint supplier can be
bothered the manufacturers do have the formula on file but do not
routinely supply it to the outlets.

I have a feeling that all the old (26/36/45) Elan solid colours as a
2K mix are readily available from PPG in the UK - Mick Miller was
just down the road from their HQ (then ICI) and I recall he mentioned
in one of his lectures that he used their 2K paint on restorations.
Carnival Red and Cirrus White have been available in ICI 2K for a good
15 years now as I used them on my Sprint repaint (just don't tell the
solvent police)

Back in 94 when I ordered my M100 S2 the factory said they could
theoretically supply "any colour" via DuPont who used a colour
analyser to match up to samples provided by a customer. The only
example that immediately springs to mind is the shade "Cranberry Red"
that was individually specified in 95 and used on just two cars (an
Esprit S4 and an Elan S2 for a father and son respectively)


Martin
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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:10 pm

"The white colour was applied in the mould"

I am pretty sure my car was original and the white was sprayed on
Cirrus white, almost certainly cellulose?


If we all just search the archive this would be a pretty lifeless
forum.

Also, I have seen quite a bit of info quoted in sources such as forums
and books which is clearly incorrect.

I think it is good to hear new perspectives and I personally enjoy
reading most of it ;)

If Einstein had stuck to the archives we would still be basing
everything on Newtonian physics

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:18 pm

Martin, As I say I can't comment on PPG paints as I have no local
supplier. I did not even realise that there was any connection between
PPG and ICI. In the good old days I used ICI cellulose exclusively. It
was by far the best product at the time ..... but that is many years
ago now.

I do think, as I may have hinted earlier, that often how much success
you may or may not have at a paint supplier is based on how much they
can actually be bothered! If it's not on the computer under their nose
....!

You are right in saying that often if all else fails a formula can be
derived from analysing the original finish (assuming you have one in
good condition).

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:43 pm

"The white colour was applied in the mould"
See Miles Wilkins book, also Ron Hickman confirmed this when I asked him (after his time but he has a Sprint).


I will now retreat into my cave until the next time someone asks about which car the ashtray came from.

Pete.
----- Original Message -----
From: nebogipfel2004
To: ***@***.***
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 10:09 PM
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Re: Sprint Colors.



"The white colour was applied in the mould"

I am pretty sure my car was original and the white was sprayed on
Cirrus white, almost certainly cellulose?


If we all just search the archive this would be a pretty lifeless
forum.

Also, I have seen quite a bit of info quoted in sources such as forums
and books which is clearly incorrect.

I think it is good to hear new perspectives and I personally enjoy
reading most of it ;)

If Einstein had stuck to the archives we would still be basing
everything on Newtonian physics

John








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http://www.escribe.com/automotive/europ ... index.html
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PostPost by: Guest » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:25 pm

Dear all

I must admit not knowing anything about this at all, but I will put my two bobs worth in any way.

I doubt that the gel coat finish straight out of the mould is good enough for any final finish especially for a car that cost what a Spint cost new.

I have rubbed my s3 SS back to gel coat and found lots of air bubble defects in the surface straight out of the mould. I would go for it being paintedno matter what the experts say.

Boy I must be feeling like being whipped again.

Rod

Rodney Stevens
CSIRO Minerals
http://www.minerals.csiro.au

Ph. 61 2 97106701
Fax 61 2 97106789

Personal Home Page
http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rodjohnst ... mepage.htm



-----Original Message-----
From: elansprint71 [mailto:***@***.***
Sent: Tuesday, 22 February 2005 9:45 AM
To: ***@***.***
Subject: Re: [LotusElan.net] Re: Sprint Colors.



"The white colour was applied in the mould"
See Miles Wilkins book, also Ron Hickman confirmed this when I asked him (after his time but he has a Sprint).


I will now retreat into my cave until the next time someone asks about which car the ashtray came from.
Guest
 

PostPost by: mikecauser » Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:06 am

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 22:44:53 -0000 "elansprint71" <***@***.***> wrote:

>"The white colour was applied in the mould"
See Miles Wilkins book, also Ron Hickman confirmed this when I asked
him (after his time but he has a Sprint).

At the time the Sprints were made Miles had no interest in them
whatsoever. He was soley concerned with the earlier Elites. (And yes,
I did know him in person at the time.) OTOH he was a chemist before
getting into the Lotus restoration business, but I'm not at all
convinced he's right about this in-mould idea.

Nor, to pick up another thread, am I happy about the idea that
die-casting tooling was made for the TC head and then abandoned.
Die-casting is a very much more expensive process to tool up for than
sand casting, and I really don't believe that having made the tooling that
anyone would have dropped it easily.


From: nebogipfel2004

Also, I have seen quite a bit of info quoted in sources such as forums
and books which is clearly incorrect.

Too true!


If Einstein had stuck to the archives we would still be basing
everything on Newtonian physics

Einstein accepted Newton and, more or less, pointed out the extreme
cases where Newton's theories no longer worked. Newton simply threw
away the previous 3,000 years of theories and showed how mechanics
really operated within the confines of a solar system. (Caveats:
Kepler, Galileo, Laplace, and who was the mad Dane in the tower...?)


Now, the $64,000 question!

If Einstein & Newton had been able to buy a car in 2000 what would
they each have bought?


I see Einstein as a s/hand Citroen 2CV sort of man, but Newton I can't
decide between a Lexus and an Elise.....


BTW, I have been to Newton's maternal home, and seen some of his
posessions and the bed he was born in. I've also tried to read his
books, but my Latin isn't up to it, even if my physics is :-((


Mike
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PostPost by: M100 » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:00 am

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 22:44:53 -0000, "elansprint71"
<***@***.***> wrote:

>"The white colour was applied in the mould"
See Miles Wilkins book, also Ron Hickman confirmed this when I asked him (after his time but he has a Sprint).

I've had my doubts over this spray the mould idea for years. Like the
mythical Medici Blue did it ever really exist? The factory apparently
considered topcoat in the mould for the 90's Elan - there is a
reference in the Mark Hughes book but dropped it prior to production
when they couldn't get the finish right. Now consider this is around
20 years after the Sprint, using nickel plated moulds, VARI,
Fibreform, and chemical cure paints. I hazard a guess that the
conventional moulds used on the original Elan and the use of 60's
paint technology would mean lots of finish problems.....or perhaps a
lower quality standard (owners of 1990 Calypso Pink M100's might
disagree!)

You have a couple of wildly conflicting requirements if you spray
paint the mould, you need mould release so you need a wax or pva as
your first part of the layup, but you also need the good adhesion of
the (very non thixatropic) topcoat prior to the gelcoat being applied
for which you definitely don't need anything like wax - maybe pva is
better but as a side effect you will end up with a matt surface
finish. Is there a way around this other than lots of compounding -
the process was supposed to save time, if you have to compound you
might as well have painted in the conventional manner.

I would have thought Albert Adams would know this kind of thing more
than Ron though who was in semi retirement by the time the Sprint came
out, and Miles who surely was but a lad in short pants at the time -
but he has probably seen a fair few in his workshop since.

Martin
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PostPost by: LotuSport » Tue Feb 22, 2005 4:50 pm

--- In ***@***.***, Mike Causer <[email protected]> wrote:
On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 22:44:53 -0000 "elansprint71"
<[email protected]> wrote:

I see Einstein as a s/hand Citroen 2CV sort of man, but Newton
I can't decide between a Lexus and an Elise.....

Hi Mike -

Unquestionably an Elise. Anyone who would create something as
marvelously crafted and intellectually innovative as Newton's
Mathematical Bridge would certainly be driving an Elise today.

Best regards,
Bob
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<span style='font-size:9pt;line-height:100%'>Best regards,<br>_<span style='font-size:13pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Times'><i><b>Bob</b></i></span></span><br>______________________<br>[email protected]</span>
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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:53 pm

"The white colour was applied in the mould"


I'm still inclined to say if Lotus relied on Gel colour I'll eat my
virtual hat.

As said in a previous post the hand lay-up was just too hit and miss
it would not have been anywhere near good enough. They may have
experimented with it but I bet they ended up painting them!

Gel colour looks horrible and ages badly too. You only have to look at
some of the kit car output.

Also ...... if they used gel colour why not on all the Elans with
solid colours?

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: tvacc » Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:00 pm

All I can say..is that they took down my car to the gel when they painted
it..and it was not white..



Tony V



_____

From: nebogipfel2004 [mailto:***@***.***
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 12:53 PM
To: ***@***.***
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Re: Sprint Colors.





"The white colour was applied in the mould"


I'm still inclined to say if Lotus relied on Gel colour I'll eat my
virtual hat.

As said in a previous post the hand lay-up was just too hit and miss
it would not have been anywhere near good enough. They may have
experimented with it but I bet they ended up painting them!

Gel colour looks horrible and ages badly too. You only have to look at
some of the kit car output.

Also ...... if they used gel colour why not on all the Elans with
solid colours?

John








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CopyrightC LotusElan.net and the author:





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PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:11 pm

In ***@***.***, "Tony Vaccaro" <[email protected]> wrote:
All I can say..is that they took down my car to the gel when they
painted
it..and it was not white..


Precisely!

I am actually arguing against gel colour Tony :)

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: "Tim Engel" » Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:24 pm

From: "nebogipfel2004" <***@***.***>
To: <***@***.***>
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 11:53 AM
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Re: Sprint Colors.
>"The white colour was applied in the mould"

I'm still inclined to say if Lotus relied on Gel colour
I'll eat my virtual hat.

As said in a previous post the hand lay-up was just too
hit and miss it would not have been anywhere near good
enough. They may have experimented with it but I bet
they ended up painting them!

Gel colour looks horrible and ages badly too. You only
have to look at some of the kit car output.

Also ...... if they used gel colour why not on all the Elans
with solid colours?


Lotus didn't put in-mold "painting" into series production until the
Esprit S1. Then they experienced so many problems with it that they
reverted to conventional post-mold painting. If you ever see an Esprit S1
with it's original paint unmolested, and the pinstripes appear to be inlaid
into the paint rather than applied on top of the paint, that car was built
using in-mold painting. For that, the car would be quite rare.

In an earlier post, someone wrote something about Lotus injecting the
"paint" into the Elan mold. Lotus has never injected color into a mold on
a production basis, either as paint or pre-colored resin.

The VARI molding system (Vacuum Assisted Resin Injection) was introduced
with the 907 powered cars and was never used for production Elans or
Europas. With VARI, matched male-female molds are used instead of the
open molds used previously for cars like the Elite Mk 14, Elan and Europa.
The mold was laid up with dry fiberglass matte & pre-forms, and closed. A
vacuum was drawn on the mold, and then polyester resin was injected...
filling the mold and saturating the matte from a central point. Multiple
points on larger molds. The molds were then held heated to accelerate the
cure process. The result was a part with a finished surface on both sides.

When Lotus did attempt production in-mold painting of the Esprit, paint was
not injected into the molds. The mold was spray painted using conventional
methods prior to lay-up. The challenge Lotus had to over-come was finding
a catalyzed paint that would "cure" quickly (rather than "dry") to avoid
extending the molding cycle time unacceptably, and then be chemically
resistant to the aggressive solvents normally associated with polyester
resin. Epoxy resins would have been more paint-friendly, but Lotus never
made that leap. The matte lay-up and resin injection did not take place
until after the paint was cured.


Lotus did have a track record of using pre-colored gel-coat on production
parts. I don't recall the Elan Sprint specifically, but the roof panels
of Elan +2's were silver metallic, and that was gel-coat. No matter what
body color was ordered, the roof was silver metallic gel-coat and the body
was painted below the greenhouse.

"IF" Elan Sprints were colored in-mold, it was colored gel-coat, not
paint. I say that with some conviction not because I know what Lotus did,
but because there were no automotive paints in production use at the time
that would stand up to subsequent lamination with wet polyester resin. The
resin would eat the paint in the mold. Any Lotus body panels of the
Elan-Europa era that "may have been" in-mold colored were most likely
colored gel-coat.

John asked, "... if they used gel colour why not on all the Elans with
solid colours?"

Again, I don't "know" what Lotus did or why. However marketplace
standards for automotive finish were higher than gel-coat would deliver.
Even in the 60's - 70's, Lotus would have to paint the majority of the body
surface achieve a market-acceptable finish... "at least" on the surfaces
that readily meet the eye. However, it would be reasonable to use
gel-coat below the beltline where the finish isn't as closely scrutinized
and where it's often assaulted with road grime and grit. There it would be
more aesthetically acceptable, and it would be much more chip and scratch
resistant than paint.

With the Sprint, Lotus wanted to do a two-tone color scheme, and that was
normally more expensive to execute. Also, during that period Lotus was in
a perpetual death-fight with cost. So, a painted upper body over a Cirrus
White gel-coat lower body would make great sense as a typical stroke of
Chapman genius.

Lotus' fiberglass technology of the day was gel-coated polyester lay-up.
Ya gotta use gel-coat anyway, and pre-colored gel-coat was well developed
and common in the marine industry. Coincidentally, Chapman's other
interest was boats (Moonraker Marine was another Chapman company).
Applying white gel-coat to all bodies regardless of paint color simplified
production. It used an already necessary step to provide the color for the
lower half of the body (to marine standards), and simultaneously allowed
body painting to be "reduced" to just the upper half. A cost savings in
both materials and labor. A two-tone paint scheme that costs less than a
normal one-color paint job, but can be marketed as a step-up from standard.
Not a bad scheme.

I didn't come up with that flight of fantasy all by myself. I don't recall
sources, I can't quote contemporaries, I can't say with authority that is
exactly what happened. However, I was a rabid Lotus fan through that
period and I fed on every scrap of information I could get. The scenario I
"painted" above is founded upon, and consistent with the stories I recall
reading at the time.

Later,
Tim Engel
Lotus Owners Oftha North
"Tim Engel"
 

PostPost by: "nebogipfel2004" » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:05 pm

Tim,

A very comprehensive and authorative answer. Thankyou

I've seen quite a few Elans stripped to the glass and stripped a few
myself over the years and have never seen coloured gel-coat. That
doesn't mean it never happened of course. :)

I know Lotus did it later when they moved away from hand lay-up
laminating but my enthusiasm with Lotus ended in 1974 with the end of
Elan production and I no longer followed Lotus development with any
interest. Most of the later stuff is just horrible! It's hard to
imagine how the company who produced the original Elite, and Elan/+2
family could have produced what followed? (That comment should fan a
few flames :)

John
"nebogipfel2004"
 

PostPost by: "cfp" » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:20 pm

Sorry I've joined this thread late but I've been away.

I've had my sprint from new and I repainted it in 1991. The car was painted
completely in Colorado orange with the white applied over the orange. The
gel coat, to which it was all stripped back, was clear.

Lotus, in original Chapman fashion, charged ?15 for not spraying the bottom
Cirrus white.

I also have a S/130/5 with a silver metalflake roof. The metalflake was
sprayed into the gel coat during lay-up. This was the only time with the
original Elans that Lotus dabbled with the gel coat. Funnily enough I had
that resprayed in 1985 by TVR when I was living in Blackpool.

I also made a pair of fibreglass bumpers for a friend's S130/5 and sprayed
silver metalfake into the gel coat. They looked absolutely awful on the car!

Carl Peters

1972 Sprint
1973 S130/5

My metalflake roof was resprayed in 1984
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Vaccaro" <***@***.***>
To: <***@***.***>
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 5:58 PM
Subject: RE: [LotusElan.net] Re: Sprint Colors.



All I can say..is that they took down my car to the gel when they painted
it..and it was not white..



Tony V
"cfp"
 
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