Lotus Elan

colour choice

PostPost by: robcall » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:44 am

This is my FHC in Ford Tawney-quite classy and unusual in monotone.
Unfortunately the paint is starting to bubble-particularly obvious on a warm Australian day.The car had a respray in the early nineties on top of the original coat.
I've decided to remove the paint in entirety and redo.
I quite like the bronze finish.Its also the last known export FHC to leave the factory and am keen to keep as original as possible,however I need to take into consideration the UV index!
Heat can can warp the fibreglass panels and wonder if a lighter colour choice will reduce the chance of sun damage.
Are there any Aussie cars running about in darker colours?
Anything above 30oC i tend to keep my plastic cars undercover anyway.
Opinions please :D
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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:41 am

How about white?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:14 am

Nigel

My opinion is keep it original. If you keep the Lotus' undercover in really hot conditions then all to the good. Furthermoore, as you point out, you have a wee bit of history with that car and Ford Tawny is a rare colour. I rather like it!

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PostPost by: robcall » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:47 am

White is probably the best colour for conditions here-no doubt about it.

My Excel is pearl white-original paint and has survived sitting out in 40oC a few times-the glasswork is also a bit thicker!

Whites/yellows/reds are common colours here for good reason-and they all look good.

I have an image of a montone DHC in colorado orange that looks superb-If anyone has a Monotone FHC image please post!

If viable I plan to keep it original tho'
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:50 am

My vote is to keep it original as well. I?ve never seen a monotone Coupe in Tawny in 30 years of playing with Elans and attending shows. Tawny was introduced in October ?72, so there were only a few weeks of Sprint production left?hence they are so rare.

Colorado Orange was dropped in October ?72 coincidently.

The fact that it?s lasted 15 years or so having been applied over the original paint proves that it?s not being affected too badly by the heat. The early Elites had a big problem in this regard, but that?s been put down to the technology of the resins of the time. I still wouldn?t leave the car out in direct hot sun though, it will kill the paint, and the dash top, seats and most everything else.

Tim, is it a coincidence that the Portuguese Sprint 5 speed on eBay last year (one of the last made) was also Tawny (over white)? Was there a higher number of Tawny cars in the last batch made?

Keep her Tawny :D

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PostPost by: Pastapesto » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:05 am

Nigel

A friend of mine was building an aeroplane in his garage, a little 2 seater from a kit. He did a load of tests on different coloured fibreglass swatches that he left in very strong sunlight in his back garden. What he found was that white (followed by silver) was the very best at keeping the heat off.
I agree that the Tawny is really nice & original, but it would look fantastic in white or Colorado Orange. If you have or can get hold of "Lotus Elan" by Duncan Wherret, there are a few pictures of a excellent FHC Sprint in
Colorado (alas, not monotone), which may help swing your decision.

If it was me, I would probably go for the Orange, but it's your car & it looks real nice. I hope you make the right choice & enjoy it.

I hope that helps a little.

Regards

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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:16 am

Of the last four H export DHC Sprints, two were tawny, including the Portugese one for sale last year.

In the UK there were 30 FHC Sprints that left the factory in Tawny, 8 of them mono colour. Less popular on the DHC, of which there were 18 and only 6 of those were mono.

The last Colorado FHC came off the production line in August 1972, and the last DHC - which was a mono - in July 1972.

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:50 am

Tim, you've been doing some more work. How far have you got with the breakdown of Sprints...dhc vs fhc, colours, markets.

Keep it up!

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PostPost by: robcall » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:39 am

Thanks Mark-I only imported the car 6 months ago.you'd have no complaints from me if it lasts 15 years over here!

Great detective work as always Tim!-keep it up!

Here's the mono colorado orange-Its- gorgeous on the drop head 8)
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:12 am

Hi Nigel

I guess its just another personal choice that you have to make, If the heat is keeping you from enjoying the Elan than a color change may be the way to go. Unlike most changes that are done on our cars, this is one that can be undone (it may be costly but everything is relative). If its been repainted once, she ain't no virgin and what you do is up to you. While white is a very sterile none color, it looks great at night. Coupe's are hot no matter what color (my white DHC S4 was hot in 90 to 95 F) so if you want to use the car more silver or white may be the way to go. Some people don't have to deal with the heat but a couple days a year, and the originality thing is not something that has a lot of merit to my way of thinking. I guess you can tell I like my Elans white and looks good in every environment.

Gary

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PostPost by: cabc26b » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:11 pm

Hi Nigel,

I once painted a set of thin fiiberglass bodywork for a race car with a UV blocking primer that was designed to protect aircraft made of composites - I figured that nothing spends more time in the sun than a plane so it should work.

This might be an answer for you.

As for color - while I think the original color is distinctive and should be kept , you should paint it what ever color pleases you ( I always thought the coupes looked good in orange )

George
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PostPost by: robcall » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:45 pm

Adams posting perked my interest from the aviation side.
I found a study document published by the Australian dept of Civil Aviation on the subject of the temperature effect of colour on fibreglass composite panels.
At an ambient temp of 40oC the readings were:

White 68oC
yellow 72oC
Light Blue/Aluminium 80oC
Light green 84oC
Orange 88oC
Red/Green 100oC
Black 110oC

Heat soak is a very real problem here :shock:


George-do you have some names of these UV blocking primers that I may investigate?
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PostPost by: archigator » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:15 pm

Here's my '71 Sprint FHC a few years ago in white; I've since repainted in Gold Leaf livery. Elans look great no matter what the color.

Gary
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:43 pm

[quote="robcall"]At an ambient temp of 40oC the readings were:

White 68oC
yellow 72oC
Light Blue/Aluminium 80oC
Light green 84oC
Orange 88oC
Red/Green 100oC
Black 110oC

quote]

Nigel

That proves it then, Tawny Brown clearly did not figure in the study because it is so effective at absorbing the heat! Keep it original!

Do I feel an originality v. modern debate coming on? :o

Mark

The answer to your question is that I got a good deal of new information from the factory. The full list of all Sprints has been updated as a result at the link at the bottom of this page: http://www.lotuselansprint.com/index.asp?pageid=41826


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PostPost by: cabc26b » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:38 pm

I used a product called made by a company named PolyFiber the product was/is called " UV smooth prime" I recall getting it through one of the aircraft supply houses here in the sates. You can call aircraftspruce and see if they still have it ( I think they are on the web to) . BTW this is the on of the best places for AN and NAS hardware which is what i like to use when refurbing.
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