Lotus Elan

Dashboard for +2s130/5 from Classical Dash, Stokenchurch

PostPost by: dick+2130/5 » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:27 pm

I have read some negative stuff about Classical Dash and thought I should recount my own good experience.
I collected my dash from Ian Bond at his new premises in Stokenchurch last week. I am delighted with it. The veneer colour, accuracy of cut-outs, lacquer finish, and lettering are all excellent. I took the old dash + instruments + switches to check. Having seen the number of operations and amount of work that goes in I think Ian's prices are reasonable too.
It has all taken a year, with delays on 2 counts. First, the upheaval of relocation to Stokenchurch, and second, my request for a different letter style. I wanted Microgramma Bold Extended 12 point to match my original dash.
Ian put in the extra effort to get this for me and I am very pleased with the result.
Communication: it is a small, very busy, company with everybody, including Ian Bond, out on the shop floor. I made a point of ringing at 9am and usually got through OK.
Conclusion: Great quality, reasonable price, just order EARLY, and expect a long lead time.

Footnote re lettering: The letters are now stylus cut white vinyl (replacing Letraset type) and go under the 5 layers of lacquer. Microgramma Bold Extended is different from Universal and Helvetica Bold Extended in that the "O"s are rounded oblongs - overall it does give a different look. I don't know if Microgramma was used on all +2s or just the final JPS batch which included my car.
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PostPost by: niallf » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:55 pm

I have a Classical Dash in my +2. It's been installed for about 10 years and it's still in fine fettle.
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PostPost by: AdrianSi » Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:19 pm

Funny I should see this post today, having spent all day prepping my Classical Dash ready for installation. All is well with mine bar a few points.

There are no inserts in the main dash fixing points, which means nervously installing them from the old dash as they aren't a regularly available item. Second point is that in my dash (early +2 non 'S') there is an additional to OEM warning lamp position drilled beneath the Handbrake lamp. A little annoying as I now need to find something to fill these holes.

Only other thing to mention is that I've had to fettle a few of the apertures to fit Eye-ball vents.

Quality is great and the finish looks to be very durable.
1970 Elan +2
Factory Federal RHD
B42 Midnight Blue (Esprit S4)
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:55 am

I'm sure you've already determined this, but I would ease open those mounting holes enough so that the metal inserts slip in snuggly with a firm push of the finger but not more than that. Would scare me spitless to apply more pressure than that and risk a finish crack.

Just saying . . . YMMV . . . :mrgreen:

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PostPost by: AdrianSi » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:41 am

Well by trade I'm an engineer, so I made a tool, ground a chamfer on the lacquered side of the dashboard, a small chamfer on the inserts, and then carefully pulled them in :D

To be honest, I would be more worried about trying to open up a hole of that diameter due to the tendancy to snatch. Not sure how well a ream would work with the material. Circular pocketing them out would be the best option, however I don't have a CNC machine in my garage :wink:

Just had to man up to the task in the end!
1970 Elan +2
Factory Federal RHD
B42 Midnight Blue (Esprit S4)
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:45 am

Excellent. Glad it worked out for you.

Agreed, no drill. Way to risky. Being a simple man, I would have simply grabbed a suitable round file . . . :mrgreen:

I've stripped the finish off mine, and finally got the curling bits of veneer glued back down, but honestly I don't know how long the glue will hold. The upper layer of ply is thick enough that the curl is quite stiff and resists staying in place. Guess time will tell . . . :shock:

Interestingly, the actual walnut burl veneer is paper thin. No way to sand it flat at all!

Regards,

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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:58 pm

My non-S has the Microgramma Bold Extended- or did, before I removed all the tatty old original veneer. Some may recall my posts about being dissatisfied with the stick-on labels from Dent, but I've been too busy with other things to make any further progress on finding something better.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: dick+2130/5 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:47 am

The Veg wrote:My non-S has the Microgramma Bold Extended- or did, before I removed all the tatty old original veneer. Some may recall my posts about being dissatisfied with the stick-on labels from Dent, but I've been too busy with other things to make any further progress on finding something better.


A bit late in the day to reply ! My car 1973 +2S 13//5 had Microgramma Bold Extended lettering. I got my new dash from Classical Dash relettered in that font. I took time to get them but apparently not difficult to programme the plastic sheet cutter to alternative font. The lettering is under the lacquer as originally.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:17 pm

Mine was not originally under the lacquer, as I could scrape it off with my fingernail.

Since then I have re-veneered the dashboard and had some dry-transfer labels made which are now under some polyurethane. :D
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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