Lotus Elan

Under restoring?

PostPost by: AHM » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:40 pm

Hi All,

I saw the S2 on fleabay and it is what I am trying to do with my S3 - except for anything that is falling apart ie the centre console.

I now have it mechanically spot on and rebuilt - that may contradict what I have written above but old cars are fragile and unreliable - standing at the edge of the M1 may have been ok in 1967 but I wouldn't fancy it now.

I've kept the Lucas dynamo, starter, and she is still positive earth.

Where do I draw the line? should I paint the engine bay? should I paint the radiator? the bumpers are really rough how do I respray them without making them look new?

Any thoughts?

Simon
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:34 pm

It's tough to match aged patina and once you start to gussy up the pig the lipstick just stands out. It is unfortunately a slippery slope once started. You need to decide what you want and how much you want to spend. The enjoyment of breaking down out weighs those loverly Lucas items you mentioned. I much prefer a reliable rat than a pretty pig. What ever you do you need to live with it just as the rest of us do, To worry what folks here or anywhere you go will drive you nuts as everyone has their own idea of what you should do with your Elan. The only person that really counts is you as you have to live with it.

Gary
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:56 pm

Can't find a single thing to disagree with in what Gary just wrote. The reliable-rat thing is what I hope to aim for with my S4 project car; it's not really been messed about with so far; so why should I change that? The paint is a bit faded, there are some cracks, it looks used; hey, it's 43 years old, just like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez, Rennee Zellweger.....
wrt to reliability, I think electrics are key. Even if everything is old, it must be in good condition in these plastic cars, all circuit joints clean and low-resistance.
My previous owner fitted a brand new dynamo and starter motor plus quite a few other electric bits, however, if he had not done this I would probably look at one of those alternators which fits in a dynamo casing (can't remember the name); one can't have too much power, electrically-speaking.
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PostPost by: DavidLB » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:48 pm

Ive got one of those on my mk14 elite, works really well
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PostPost by: cal44 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:57 pm

you can always go the "new patina" route, that would blend in with the old patina. The hot rod guys paint the item then shoot more paint on the new paint, the color of over rubbed out paint, that was not into the primer.

what the hell did i just write?........let me try this again.

it looks like paint that has been waxed for forty years that went through the top paint into the primer.

i gotta say it looks pretty darn amazing and if they guy didn't tell you, you would bet the paint had been rubbed through.
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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:05 pm

Yes agreed - I did say mechanically spot-on! Maintenance is the key to reliability, and 40 year old cars require lots of maintenance.

To me a modern starter and alternator is like Raybans on the Mona Lisa... why have an old car if you are going to fill it with new bits.

I'm not worried about what folk think, but I am interested in their opinions and ideas.

The car is 1 owner 45k miles and been off the road for 28 years so tired but original - how do I make it look less tired but still original ie the bumpers are shot if I repair them they will need painting I don't want new looking bumpers... (and a powerful alternator/starter/ignition isn't going to help either!)
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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:07 pm

cal44 wrote:it looks like paint that has been waxed for forty years that went through the top paint into the primer.


I've already got that effect with the original paint!
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:25 am

AHM wrote:
cal44 wrote:it looks like paint that has been waxed for forty years that went through the top paint into the primer.


I've already got that effect with the original paint!


I do wish you'd post some photos, I'm BRG with envy :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: RichC » Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:28 pm

Yep have to agree . what I'd call not over-restoring... kinda keeps the soul of the car & is more 'honest .
Of course there are those of a different philosophy & they can live in immaculate modern homes too, or maybe an older house which has been knocked thru and tastefully modernised to latest style ....
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:29 pm

RichC wrote:<snip> ...or maybe an older house which has been knocked thru and tastefully modernised to latest style ....


And then there are those from the "Barry Bucknell" school of "improvements"!

Arghhhhhhh!

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:38 pm

ardee_selby wrote:
RichC wrote:<snip> ...or maybe an older house which has been knocked thru and tastefully modernised to latest style ....


And then there are those from the "Barry Bucknell" school of "improvements"!

Arghhhhhhh!

Cheers - Richard


To be fair to poor old Bazzer,he was pandering to the tastes of the day.

What's better than an oak panel door covered with hardboard? :twisted:
Last edited by nebogipfel on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:48 pm

AHM wrote:......how do I make it look less tired but still original ie the bumpers are shot if I repair them they will need painting I don't want new looking bumpers...


It'd be fairly easy to repair the bumpers and fake patina on them in much the same way as shabby chic is often achieved in the antique/interior design world.

I do wonder what's the point however?

If it is desirable to keep a car original then in my view it's more honest to do the repairs properly as needed and those repairs then become part of the car's history and in another 20 years time those parts will develop their own genuine patina.

Just a thought ..... :wink:
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:54 pm

wellll-----you cant go half way . If you want to drive around in a scruffy ?lan you will draw the attention of the local constabulary or DOT agent who thinks if it looks scruffy than it deserves a closer look and will pull you off the road for some minor and imagined failure , The car reflects your status so lose the lipstick pig and get a decent paint job and tidy the poor thing up a bit --the first time the car lets you down because of the curse of Lucas I have no doubt a Denso starter and alternator will appear on your car over night -- --ed poor spellers of the world untie
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:12 pm

Curiosity got the better of me and I just had to have a look

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1965-LOT ... 519e70d624

Is this the car referred to above? If it is, I'm afraid I fail to see the attraction of what is basically a tired old nail and which I suspect is about as original as I am :shock:

From the pictures it looks like it's covered in sanding scratches so I'd be amazed if the paintwork is original. The chassis is rusty and repaired. The interior with the possible exception of the seats is beyond salvage ......

Which is the attractive bit? Is it the boot carpet which could be used as a template?

Sorry Guys, I don't get it. :)

PS. Looks like a good project :wink:
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:02 am

twincamman wrote:The car reflects your status so lose the lipstick pig and get a decent paint job

I refer to the late Alan Clark - British politician and Classic car columnist who lived in a castle and regarded polishing cars as an ocupation of the middle classes. besided which the S4 has just had a meticulous body restoration and paint job

twincamman wrote:the first time the car lets you down because of the curse of Lucas

Rather the curse of poor maintenance

twincamman wrote: a Denso starter and alternator will appear on your car over night

If I wanted a denso anything I would drive a Toyota .... not a chance!

nebogipfel wrote:.... and in another 20 years time those parts will develop their own genuine patina.

very much so, but I have rather a lot of "new" all at once and I don't want to wait 20 years to get the effect!
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