Lotus Elan

Sprint decals

PostPost by: JimE » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:06 pm

I have a 1973 Sprint (pic below) and the decals/stripes were fitted by the owner on the dividing line between the two colours. The issue is that the stripe at the rear is too high where it follows the join. I have to admit it does bug me and I am tempted to replace and relocate the rear stripe. My worry is that this is an original 'as it left the factory' car with it's cellulose paint (which surprisingly has stood the test of time) and if I try and remove it I might take the paint with it which would be bad news. If I had a go, I would gently heat with a hair dryer and try and carefully peel away. Sounds easy but I suspect it would be stubborn to remove if not impossible without damaging the paintwork. Has anyone done this before with an original paint job. The guy's at Morland Jones (as it then was) advised against attempting to tackle it as they were pretty convinced the paint would come off. Any views/advice much appreciated.
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:40 pm

My very original lagoon and white Sprint has the original "fading" decals. The rear section behind the wheel well were partially pealing off already (see pix), so i did exactly as you proposed and pealed them off. What remains is the paint line between blue/white. I haven't replaced them and just left them like that. a part of me wants to replace the striping, but the other part of me wants to retain the original patina. The below picture shows the very faded rear section of tape before i removed it.
20170926_170453.jpg and
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PostPost by: JimE » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:02 pm

Here is a picture from another angle. I've just had a long chat with Sue Miller and have concluded that I'm going to live with the way they are.

And as a PS, Sue is having the original Elan steel wheels made again. Obviously, she will have to sell in large numbers to recover the tooling costs. There's dedication for you.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:55 pm

3M makes a decal and trim remover that will soften the decal without damaging the paint. Comes in spray cans as well as a can with a spout. Have used it when renewing the bump rubber trim strip on the side of my truck. Commercial product that I find at my paint store.
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PostPost by: Elanman68 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:01 pm

JimE wrote:And as a PS, Sue is having the original Elan steel wheels made again. Obviously, she will have to sell in large numbers to recover the tooling costs. There's dedication for you.


Excellent news! Thanks for sharing.
Last edited by Elanman68 on Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:14 pm

Thanks for that heads up !!

I need a couple.
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PostPost by: Rob P » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:32 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:Thanks for that heads up !!
I need a couple.

I'm sure that Sue will get plenty of orders for those when they become available :D
That really is a piece of good news

As for the original post Jim, Car looks great just the way it is so I would leave well alone and enjoy 8)
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PostPost by: JimE » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:01 pm

Thanks for the responses. As a further PS these mild steel silencers are available from Kelvedon Lotus. Not cheap but it will be nice to get the original sound back on my Elan.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:26 pm

Jim, i wouldn't try to remove that decal...... Even if it does come off without lifting the paint the glue will have discoloured the paint beneath. I agree it doesn't look right but at the same time it isn't that bad you would risk loosing the original paint on the back end for.

Have you heard the new Kelvedon back box? it looks almost identical to the Peco box i have fitted to mine (slightly different tail pipe though) and frankly i'm not a fan as mine is too loud/raspy. I'd be interested in one if they are a little tamer than the 2 seater Peco box.
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PostPost by: JimE » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:33 pm

Chris - once I've fitted (later in the week) I will post some feedback.

When I spoke to Sue M she said that the adhesive from the decal is likely to have marked the paintwork so had I gone ahead and removed it, the residue left behind is likely to look worse. Plus the colour where it has been covered up will look different. You can just imagine if it all went wrong and trying to get hold of a metallic Tawny in cellulose to touch it up - impossible.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:30 pm

Jim, I agree, leave as is.

A car is only original once and that car is as original as the day Bill first drove it brand new (wheels excepted!)

With regard to placement, which was recently bought up on the Elan Facebook page, I have studied many of the Sprint press and road test cars from contemporary photos. There was no definitive factory way in which the rear gold stripe was applied, although towards the end of production, from around mid 1972, there was more consistency about the placement.

These two photos show the earliest application from the factory brochure, early 1971 and the last road test car, from Autosport Feb 73, which demonstrates the point.

I have also posted the Mick Miller Sprint Decal Guide, for information.

Tim
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PostPost by: JimE » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:12 pm

Thanks Tim.
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