Lotus Elan

The restoration of the 71 Elan has begun

PostPost by: MartijnElanS4 » Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:42 pm

Hi everybody,

We finally started on the Lotus Elan.

Just as a background of this particular car:
My uncle was studying in London around 1971 and went to the Motor Show at the time. There he saw the Elan and fell in love with it. He wanted it and talked to the representatives at the Show.

He liked the car but not in the Orange livery. So he asked if they could paint it in Blue. They said it could be done but would take some time. The deal was done.
After 3 months he picked it up from the factory and drove it in England on English registration for 6 months.
Then he took it to the Netherlands and kept it ever since.
Nice detail: it was in good company with his father's cars: a white Rover P6 3500S and a white Jaguar XJC 5,3L also bought new.

My brother was able to buy the Jaguar a few years ago and I recently bought the Lotus. When you are wondering: The Rover P6 is in posession of the mecanic who worked on it for many years. That car is still in perfect condition and enjoying the Portuguese Sun.

Back to the Elan:
Although garage kept it needed attention. I never really liked the blue paint and wasn't quite finished as it should have been done so back to original color spec (Colorado Orange) was my intention.
I really wanted it in Sprint Livery to give it the maximum seventies look. But I was doubting it: I generally don't like to transform a car into one that isn't one. It isn't right to the car and maybe has an influence on price.
In the end my plan was to paint it totally in Orange and have the lower part wrapped in white with the Sprint decals on top. So underneath original and able to take the white wrap of.

When we started to disassemble the car we started to see a White line. I wondered if it could have been a Sprint. It had the Big Valve engine cover but not the Black wheels with the Spinners. However: I started to gently sand the bumper and struck Gold. I called my uncle and asked: "Uncle, is it possible that your Elan was a Sprint?' Yes it was. I only wanted a Sprint but not in Orange over White. Great news for me as we are now legitably returning it to Sprint livery.

Last week I asked my uncle about the English registration. He answered that he should have the original registration plates some where as well as the Workshop Manual. And another great suprise: he found them.

Questions I have:
I read that the underside was always white being white painted before going in the mold. Should I paint the car in Orange completly first and then the underside White or ..?

Is the underside of the Sprint Cirrus White?

Does anyone have a tutorial or something to where the body color goes and the white begins?

Is the chassis matt black over red? Does anybody know what colorcode is the red?


Hope you enjoy this journey I started.

Best Regards,

Martijn


21 februari:
Update on progress:
- car is being sanded.
- we high pressure washed the frame with the engine and gearbox in
- tonight we take the engine and gearbox out and will disassemble everything from the frame
Attachments
7f71bf84-3bf2-45a5-84f2-4b588168ca6f.jpeg and
79326e4e-0393-46ba-882a-0f5904ce9215.jpeg and
12165b6e-a0b9-4f48-9003-e3642c494d1f.jpg and
86938374-5dc2-436d-ad5f-b4bdde9ee73f.jpg and
7d683b61-1af5-4ec2-85af-13eb50774b73.jpg and
dbeb4903-feab-4ab3-b7f6-eb6027850e00.jpg and
9cd10359-b011-48e5-ac96-5512f73a93ee.jpg and
WhatsApp Image 2024-02-14 at 14.20.51.jpeg and
11ed7df2-e168-4cf0-98b6-d5237deef7bd.jpg and
Last edited by MartijnElanS4 on Wed Feb 21, 2024 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Wed Feb 14, 2024 3:34 pm

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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Feb 14, 2024 4:16 pm

Hi Martijn and welcome. Nice to see another Sprint getting back on the road.

I am interested in that your understanding is your car was on display at the 1971 London Motor Show. As an aside, Lotus also had a stand at the 1971 Amsterdam motor show, but the Sprint on that stand was a red over white FHC. I only have two photos of the 71 London show, from the Alamy repository, which I attach below. The DHC car shown looks as if too would have been red over white, so clearly not yours. I have never got the back story about who the Lothario driving it is or what he was doing with three birds in tow! For all I know, it may have been a promotion by another company, using a Sprint.

Anyway, I would be most interested to know the VIN of your car (please PM me). It all adds to the Elan records we are attempting to rebuild; many Sprint records were destroyed by a flood at Hethel in the late 70s. The registration number was issued by Norwich licensing office in around Sep or Oct 1971.

The chassis would have left the factory with a coat of red oxide (there is no colour code for that) with a top coat of black underseal. The lower half of all Sprints in duo colour tone is Lotus Code LO4 Cirrus White. Colorado Orange was Lotus Code LO14. You can find more on my Sprint website, below. The best way to see where the colours meet is to study contemporary photos or cars with known original paint, such as my own, photo below. All the photos on my website are period.

Please feel free to ask away, we are all happy to help. Good luck with the resto.

Tim
Attachments
1971 models-are-driven-to-their-stand-at-the-1971-earls-court-motor-show-elan-sprint.jpg and
1971 general-scenes-from-the-1971-earls-court-motor-show-19th-october-1971-elan-sprint.jpg and
Clean Aug 23 5.jpg and
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Feb 14, 2024 5:45 pm

Martijn,
I belief this leaflet was available from the late Mick Miller for fitting the decals but there does appears to be a discrepancy, it says the decal is 3” wide but on my Sprint it is only 2” wide.
This could be a just be a typo error when the leaflet was printed but worth pointing out.
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mick-miller fitting-sprint-decals- (2).jpg and
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PostPost by: MartijnElanS4 » Fri Feb 16, 2024 6:08 am

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your reply.

I think I suggested accidently that this Lotus was an actual Motor Show Display car. Sorry for that. What I meant to say was that my uncle was interested in the Elan Sprint but not in the Sprint colors.
So they took a Sprint, not one the Show cars, and repainted it. I found out it is a 1971 Sprint, original lhd with export wheels so not the Spinners but center nut wheels. I will send you the VIN.

What I have to check with my uncle is if the wheels were originally black or grey. Because it had grey wheels I never thought it was a Sprint.

Today I am dropping of the body for repaint (it fits in our old trusty VW LT bus) so excited about it.

Have a nice day,

Martijn





quote="trw99"]Hi Martijn and welcome. Nice to see another Sprint getting back on the road.

I am interested in that your understanding is your car was on display at the 1971 London Motor Show. As an aside, Lotus also had a stand at the 1971 Amsterdam motor show, but the Sprint on that stand was a red over white FHC. I only have two photos of the 71 London show, from the Alamy repository, which I attach below. The DHC car shown looks as if too would have been red over white, so clearly not yours. I have never got the back story about who the Lothario driving it is or what he was doing with three birds in tow! For all I know, it may have been a promotion by another company, using a Sprint.

Anyway, I would be most interested to know the VIN of your car (please PM me). It all adds to the Elan records we are attempting to rebuild; many Sprint records were destroyed by a flood at Hethel in the late 70s. The registration number was issued by Norwich licensing office in around Sep or Oct 1971.

The chassis would have left the factory with a coat of red oxide (there is no colour code for that) with a top coat of black underseal. The lower half of all Sprints in duo colour tone is Lotus Code LO4 Cirrus White. Colorado Orange was Lotus Code LO14. You can find more on my Sprint website, below. The best way to see where the colours meet is to study contemporary photos or cars with known original paint, such as my own, photo below. All the photos on my website are period.

Please feel free to ask away, we are all happy to help. Good luck with the resto.

Tim[/quote]
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PostPost by: MartijnElanS4 » Fri Feb 16, 2024 6:16 am

Thank you!

All help is welcome. I am composing a total list of parts I need and am in mail contact with Sue Miller about that. So all rubber bushings, all engine/gearbox gaskets, new CV joints, Sprint decals, maybe shock absorbers and a whole new wiring loom.

So my plan is to get all the parts ready and go over to England to pick up the parts. I want to pick up the parts because I would like a new dashboard.

Best Regards,

Martijn





quote="types26/36"]Martijn,
I belief this leaflet was available from the late Mick Miller for fitting the decals but there does appears to be a discrepancy, it says the decal is 3” wide but on my Sprint it is only 2” wide.
This could be a just be a typo error when the leaflet was printed but worth pointing out.[/quote]
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Feb 18, 2024 8:53 am

Good to have another Sprint coming back to life Martijn, it will be interesting to follow your progress.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Feb 19, 2024 7:09 am

Hi Martin,
I just had my 1972 Sprint painted here in Morbihan Brittany France in Lagoon blue.
The "Elan Sprint" band has been painted no stick-on band for me 100%.
A shame you live so far away.
Alan
Alan.b Brittany 1972 elan sprint fhc Lagoon Blue 0460E
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PostPost by: MartijnElanS4 » Wed Feb 21, 2024 8:37 am

Hi Alan,

That is very nice. I didn’t think about painting it on rather than the sticker. Was it originally painted or with a sticker?

I am a bit afraid about the sharpness of the lettering if ‘my painter’ here would do it but obviously I prefer that a lot as well.

Could you send some photos?


I want to do road trips with the Elan so maybe Brittany is an option at some point. Went to Brittany a lot with my wife’s family having properties in Plougrescant.

Martijn
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Feb 21, 2024 9:20 am

1000010698.jpg and

here's photo of door all painted no stick on band. originals were stick on band
Car paint order is White first then Gold and after Blue
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1000010722.jpg and
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PostPost by: MartijnElanS4 » Wed Feb 21, 2024 12:02 pm

Hi Alan,

That looks amazing!

Thanks
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Feb 21, 2024 12:39 pm

The cirrus white letters are the cirrus white from underneath. The gold painted ontop the cirrus white using stencil. The whole car had 2 coats of varnish so no steps between paint coats.
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PostPost by: MartijnElanS4 » Wed Feb 21, 2024 1:30 pm

Hi Alan,

I presume originally the car didn’t get a varnish or clear coat over the paint?!

A clear coat preserves the paint much better however I would want to keep an original look albeight not to modern. What is your view on it?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Feb 21, 2024 2:05 pm

Well pleased and better than stick on band that can peal off and is fragile..
Original Lotus finish was with clear coat.
Info in workshop manuel with paint process.
The added bonus is the bumpers and band are a perfect colour match which the original were not.
There was no way the original stick on matched the aztec gold bumpers.
Alan
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PostPost by: MartijnElanS4 » Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:41 pm

Hi Alan,

Your arguments are valid and makes me seriously consider to do the same. Do you have the measurements to make the stencils?

Thanks,

Martijn
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