Lotus Elan

Dashboard veneer 'colour'.

PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:53 pm

Were the original Elan dashboards consistently the same colour / shade / wood type, does anyone know?

I presume that a factory specification existed, to record the agreed appearance of the items to be delivered by whichever company supplied them (guessing they were out-sourced, as a fairly specialist item - ?) Is this information known/available?

I took a random picture of my S4 dashboard back in 1975, when I'm pretty sure it had the original dash in place (see attached). The scanning process has somehow given it a rather more 'yellow' tint than the original foto but do people think this is the 'correct' colour?
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:06 pm

Below are two photos of an original S4 SE (1969) dash. One in sunlight, other in shade. Note the difference between the inside of the glovebox (not exposed) vs the rest of the dash. Dash shows much darker, the veneer apparently darkened over time as it was exposed to direct sunlight.

img_8003.jpg and


img_8004.jpg and
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:54 pm

Hi,
My dash was the same colour as yours, albeit very delaminated. Managed to replicate the colour by using teak veneer and spraying with clear lacquer. Applied the lettering prior to the last couple of coats of lacquer. Over the years, it has turned a nice golden colour.
Cheers,
Colin.


mmatthej1 wrote:Were the original Elan dashboards consistently the same colour / shade / wood type, does anyone know?

I presume that a factory specification existed, to record the agreed appearance of the items to be delivered by whichever company supplied them (guessing they were out-sourced, as a fairly specialist item - ?) Is this information known/available?

I took a random picture of my S4 dashboard back in 1975, when I'm pretty sure it had the original dash in place (see attached). The scanning process has somehow given it a rather more 'yellow' tint than the original foto but do people think this is the 'correct' colour?
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image.jpeg and
'68 S4 DHC
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:13 am

My 1968 S4SE had a dash that looks very like the one in the picture of the darker 1969 dash. The picture attached show it in strong sunlight; it usually appeared much darker than this. My 1970 S4SE has a dash colour that matches that of the lighter image posted previously. I would imagine that the dashboards were made in batches of a number at a time and being wood, each batch would vary slightly! But in my experience the earlier S4s (68-69) had darker dashes.

Use of the word "colour" in my post incidentally reminds me that I note our US friends use the word "peddle" rather than "pedal" for clutch, brake and accelerator ("gas"). Whilst "colour" and "color" seem interchangeable, even if some people get hot under the collar about it, in UK English "peddle" means something entirely different :D

Nigel F.
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1968 S4SE dash
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:06 pm

I matched my dash veneer in 1980 by taking some strips of veneer I had taken off the dash and cleaned up to a veneer supplier and going through their stock of teak veneer until I found the closest match. I got a suitable large single sheet and veneered the original ply back panel with a full new sheet and then cut out the instrument holes and glove box panel for the glove box door ( so the grain matched, which it did not in the original)

The dash darkens overtime I think as the clear coat becomes less clear and yellows with time and sunlight.
It is hard to tell what is original timber colour variation and what is aging but the range of teak shades the veneer supplier had suggests there was a significant variation in the original teak veneer colour from car to car

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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:39 pm

nigelrbfurness wrote:Use of the word "colour" in my post incidentally reminds me that I note our US friends use the word "peddle" rather than "pedal" for clutch, brake and accelerator ("gas").


Only if they spell very badly. :!:

In my travels of the Lotus dashes, I have seen both the darker and the lighter versions as original. The original of my '69 S2 Europa is very much like the first picture notably with very fine grain) while the darker one has a pronounced grain. The very light dash photo looks to be white oak, unstained (and I daresay selected to match the steering wheel) They all look quite nice.

I redid mine in Butternut.

You can find the first two variations quite commonly in teak. The pronounced grain is heartwood, which is for some reason easier to find in veneer.

Wood changes in fashion over the years. The fine-grain would likely have been the most desirable in-period due to the uniform coloration and absence of "flaws". In recent years, grain character has become preferred. I recently removed a very dark and consistent cherry stain from my kitchen cabinets (early 70's style) to find far more desirable Birdseye Maple underneath. So goes fashion.
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PostPost by: gus » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:39 pm

Peddle in any English is to sell something, Pedal is pushing with ones foot, or something one does the same too. If someone cannot spell, it has little to do with what side of the pond they reside on

+2 dashes actually get hazy with age. If you peel the cracking finish off is is usually darker walnut beneath, the finish yellowish white semi opaque. Many +2's actually have finish failure, and if you don't let it get too bad you can chip it off and refinish. Mine the glovebox door had delaminated till it broke off before I realized the rest of the wood was in ok shape
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PostPost by: RichC » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:05 am

This is off an early +2 and is much darker
img_0925.jpg and
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PostPost by: rcombs » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:29 pm

I stripped the veneer off my dash and sent a sample to the veneer supply to match. By using the back side of the veneer you should get a good match. From what l have seen there seems to be quite a variation from year to year.

Rick
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PostPost by: gus » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:34 pm

>>>Wood changes in fashion over the years. The fine-grain would likely have been the most desirable in-period due to the uniform coloration and absence of "flaws". In recent years, grain character has become preferred. I recently removed a very dark and consistent cherry stain from my kitchen cabinets (early 70's style) to find far more desirable Birdseye Maple underneath. So goes fashion.<<<

Oh can you imagine

My 1970 house was all dark walnut stained

All the woodwork was old growth redwood and gorgeous
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PostPost by: mmatthej1 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:16 pm

My new dashboard blank is now in process of veneering - will try to post fotos, due back in a couple of weeks.......
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:15 am

gus wrote:+2 dashes actually get hazy with age. If you peel the cracking finish off is is usually darker walnut beneath, the finish yellowish white semi opaque. Many +2's actually have finish failure, and if you don't let it get too bad you can chip it off and refinish.


Or if it's like mine, the glue between the ply and the veneer will be just as bad, having deteriorated into something resembling chalk-dust.
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