Lotus Elan

Paint and upholstery work questions

PostPost by: benymazz » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:53 pm

Hello all,

I have a few questions about some work I'm thinking about doing on my '65 S2. The car was fully restored by my dad, but 11 years and 25,000 miles later there are some things that need to be done. I can do mechanical work blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back, but I don't have much experience with some of the more, uh, salient skills of classic car ownership, like interior and paint work.

First, the paint has some defects in it. Some of these have been there since it was restored, like the micro-blisters that were probably from moisture contamination (I can't tell if they're in the clear coat or the base coat, honestly probably both), but there are some others that are starting to annoy me. The paint is orange peeled, and there are also some (5 or 6 total) chips out of the quarter panels and doors from road debris. The chips aren't much larger than about an eight of an inch square, and they go through the clear coat and red paint, so what shows now is the gray primer underneath. My questions here are what are my options, and if I hypothetically had the time, how significant of an undertaking is it to repaint the body? How hard is it to separate the body from the chassis? If the defects were only in the top of base coat, would I have to sand all the way down to primer to do a proper repainting?

The interior was also never done "properly". When my dad restored it the original upholstery/carpet/fabric was replaced with grayish-white carpet left over from when my house was built. It actually didn't look bad at all, but last winter the mice got into it and ate the fibers out in a few spots (let the record show that once I learned of the offending vermin using my Lotus as a hotel, they were purged with dispatch). My questions here are 1) what was the original color of the interior upholstery, and 2) how would one go about getting replacement fabric/carpet?

All help is appreciated.

1965 S2 26/4623
Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.
"I'm never gonna financially recover from this"
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PostPost by: wschaub » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:29 am

For interior bits I would check with:
RD Enterprises - http://rdent.com/
Dave Bean - http://davebean.com/
Famous Franks Lotus Parts - 770-565-2281 (no web site that I know of)

You should call each as they all have many items not listed on the web sites.
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PostPost by: zog » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:27 pm

It's great to see that you are "Finishing the job right". As for the carpeting, there is one other Lotus supplier who gets the original styled rubber carpets made up and that is JAE.


Sounds like the paint job was not done right. Fortunately, there are lots of professional shops that can take it all down and give you a great paint job. All you need is money. If you can do the sanding and prep work yourself, you can save a ton of money by presenting a decently prepared car to a regular auto-body shop. Thats what i do. Let me tell you, the guys who replace fenders on minivans and paint bright green taxi cabs all day are absolutely thrilled to work on a Lotus Elan. They do the absolute best job of their life and are very proud of what they do.

Because of competition and insurance companies driving down the prices, my shop only charges me $50 an hour. Much cheaper than a custom restoration ship.

Where are you located? I'm sure there are some properly restored or original Elans near you that you can view and see how it should be done.

Any questions, you have come to the right place.
Good luck!
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