Lotus Elan

Should I change the colour of my S3 s/e dhc?

PostPost by: Kevinjlowe » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:10 am

Heeeeelp. My 30+ year wait finally came to an end 2 weeks ago when I bought my 1st Elan. It?s a bit of a project, however I can?t wait to get started. My question is should I change the original colour from citrus white? When I first saw the car I disliked the colour however I was sold on the originality and provenance; it was a no brainer. (1) If I was to change the colour to a period and more popular colour, would this affect the value if I sold the car in the future? (2) in your option what colour is most sort after? :?
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PostPost by: gherlt » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:02 am

Did you check with Andy Graham if the white IS the original colour ?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:12 am

Andy is not able to give original colours on the earlier Elans.

However, if Cirrus White was the original colour my personal decision would be to stay with it. Increasingly originality is valued more for classics.

Having said that it is your car and, whilst in your ownership, you can do what you wish with it.

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PostPost by: deryck » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:19 am


My S3 DHC elan is being painted at the moment in its original colour
Cirrus white.
You are welcome to see the car when it is painted /finished

i would always stay with the original colour,

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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:48 am

Hi Kevin and welcome to the forum. What car and model is it? Does it have a paint code in the bottom right corner of the chassis plate? Eg L04

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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:33 pm

my guess is the paint code is NOT etched or noted on the Elan chassis plate. I have yet to find any color codes on an Elan chassis plate. They seem to be noted on Europas, but not Elans. I'm usually a big supporter of being original and IF, and only if, the color code is noted, than stick to that color for originality sake and resale value. However is not noted, then paint any color (of the original offerings) you wish! :)
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PostPost by: elansprint » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:12 pm

Kevin i have to say there was an S3 fhc at the NEC in Cirrus white and it looked lovely
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PostPost by: shaun » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:58 pm

Have it painted in what colour suits you , it?s one of the biggest outlays of money you have to spend , no point in having it origin if you don?t like it
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:00 am

Kevin, does it really need to be painted?

You mention that the thing that appealed to you about the car was the originality and the provenance. If the paintwork just has a few faults it can be enhanced to look even better whilst retaining it's originality. If it's re-painted / restored, then that's all gone.

I've made the mistake of restoring a few cars to perfection over the years, and then not using them or not wanting to park them in public places for fear of ruining the perfection!

I've just spent the last couple of weeks getting my S3 running properly again after a few years being laid up. I'm now cleaning the paintwork and admiring the chip and cracks that the car has accumulated in my 42 year ownership, and whilst I have planned to get it repainted many times over that period, I'm now happy that the car actually has a bit more character the way it is.

I'll get the wheels and and the bumpers repainted, and maybe touch-up a few of the larger chips, but I won't mind parking it in the pub car park when it does go back on the road!!

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PostPost by: mwhitaker » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:45 am


I would offer one more observation/experience which may assist you in deciding to stay with or change your color. My Dad's Elan S4FHC was lotus yellow which I loved in the 70s but I noted over the years that Cirrus White looked fantastic , especially on a FHC, such a vintage period color that really suited the car's lines. Also, with a bit of patina it looked better than tired red, faded yellow and other colors over time. Admittedly, I love the look of my current French Blue S4 DHC, but Cirrus White is a close 2nd for me. Just saying that the color holds up well over time and given the expense of changing, it might be better to use your funds elsewhere. In any event, enjoy your car-they are such a treat.

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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:40 am

IMNSHO I think that other colours show off the lines of the body better than Cirrus White. Many Elans left the factory in gelcoat and were painted to order by the dealer, or re-painted before delivery in order to sell them to the first owner, so original paint colours are not so important on an Elan as, for example, on a GTO. I agree with Mark, I have restored cars, only to be afraid to park them, and I prefer a bit of patina, and more usability, if it the existing finish is serviceable and your plan is to use it then keeping it as is may be well worth considering.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:27 am

The late great Frank Righetti, the previous owner of my S3, painted the car Ford Windsor white in 1974, not an 'original' colour, but then Lotus, for a fee, would paint the car any colour you wanted.
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PostPost by: Kevinjlowe » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:12 pm

Thanks for your feedback gents. :D
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PostPost by: jk952 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:02 pm

Colours for thought... :).

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PostPost by: Chrispy » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:48 pm

Paint it the colour that makes you happy! I don't think I would stray away from one of the original Lotus colours though.
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