Lotus Elan

Painted Lotus yellow/green body badge

PostPost by: tomkar » Sat Jun 20, 2020 1:00 pm

Hi All,
I would like to restore the paint on my Lotus yellow/green nose badge which has become scratched and weathered and wondered if anyone could provide any information on how the badge was painted, what the paint colours (codes?) were and paint type ie cellulose, enamel or polyeurethane etc and how the paint was applied, maybe even who produced these badges over the early years before they were hard enamelled.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:41 pm

The painted nose badges were not the first way it was done. Enameled badges were done first, even back prior to elans. What I've seen from my experience is that there was a batch of painted badges made, probably as a proposed cost savings and this happened during Elan production, especially during pre-airflow coupe production, like 4500 to 5500. My pre-airflow has a painted badge and so does the car one number earlier. How they were finished and with what materials we will probably never know. Mine is faded, but I think at this point, it goes with the car as is.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
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PostPost by: tomkar » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:58 am

Hi Roger,
interesting in that you say the badges were enamelled first, I understood from most of the literature etc that they were initially painted. I wonder if you have any info on the material the painted badges were produced from ie were they die/sand etc cast or fabricated from flat plate and etched prior to paint? Also the chrome finish appears to be a single chrome layer on the substrate ie normally the item would be copper plated, then nickel plated then chrome as a top cosmetic layer. Also the font and logo on the painted badges appears to be much finer/thinner and delicate than the later badges, any comments?
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:39 am

+1 to what Roger said.

I have a Mk 14 Elite, it has an enamel badge which a noted Elite expert (yes Mike, you know who you are :-)) confirmed is correct.

My S2 Elan (pretty much one owner) has the original hand painted badge.
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PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:14 pm

The painted badge is the oldest.
My 1962 Elite S2 has a painted badge, as did my Lotus 23 and 51..
A friend, years ago, had a new Lotus 19, and it had the painted badge.
My 1959 Elite S1 had a painted badge, and my early S3 Elan had a enamel badge.
My S1 Elan has a painted badge.
The enamel badges were later; the painted badge was not a cost savings step, but was the original form.
It is sometimes difficult to be sure as the later enamel badge was often used as a replacement as the painted badge would wear and chip, so people replaced it with the newer badge; particularly years ago when the badges were not that expensive; unlike now.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:58 am

My Eleven S2 LeMans had no badge mounted that I can remember when I bought it in Dec 1985. It was a team B car, the 1100 cc , while the A team was racing 1500 and 2 liter Lotus 15s. My Eleven was owned by Keith Hall, register 4DTN, his 3rd Eleven and part of my research during my restoration was contacting Keith. He was kind enough to loan me the super 8 home movies which i had transferred to tape in the 80's and more recently to digital format. I have some other reasons to dig into Keith's cines, so I'll look for detail and nose badges.

There were three B team Elevens in '57 and '58. Those 3 '58 cars were the only Elevens made with very thin fiberglass nose and tail. Possibly the '58 750cc Eleven for LeMans too, but that is all. Keith's cines show this material in detail. The other B team drivers were Alan Stacey and Peter Ashdown

I've also read some of the oldest history of Lotus and I sorta remember some of the earliest badges were red, but this would have been years prior to Elans or even Elevens and Climax Elites.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
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