Lotus Elan

S3 wheel well color

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Nov 17, 2023 1:01 am

My S3 SE (#7286) has had a repaint and they've painted the inside of the wheel well the same color
as the body. What is period correct for this car: body color, black (probably flat) or gel coat (gray?)?
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PostPost by: smo17003 » Fri Nov 17, 2023 1:45 am

Hi Greg,

I have 7271. It started life painted white, then quite soon, I believe, it was painted metalic blue. After a few more repaints, finally red. The blue repaint must have been properly done i.e. glass out, body off etc. There is however no sign of white, or black, paint anywhere in the wheel wells, just metalic blue. It must have been body off because there's metalic blue behind the chassis uprights. The blue has gone straight on to the grey gelcoat, there's no sign of any primer. Therefore, it flakes off quite easily, except where the later repaints did manage to get some primer and then red on top. There is perhaps some evidence of underseal in places, but who knows when that was applied? So, as far as 7271 is concerned, I believe that it left the factory more or less with no paint having been applied in the wheel wells.

Cheers

Mike
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Fri Nov 17, 2023 5:28 am

Greg,

FWIW,

Miles Wilkins book recommends that the wheel arches (at least the front) are painted with some form of compliant underseal to avoid the stones being thrown up from the wheels damaging the GRP which can cause 'starbursts' on the paint finish above.

Option 1 (body restorers with a good reputation in the UK) suggested in conversation that part of the cause of moisture bubbles that can appear on paintwork are from moisture leaching through from the underside of the GRP through the mat / resin matrix, and that it is important to seal the underside of the GRP.

I plan to paint and underseal my wheel arches on my never-ending restoration.

Andy.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Fri Nov 17, 2023 5:42 am

Andy8421 wrote:Greg,

FWIW,

Miles Wilkins book recommends that the wheel arches (at least the front) are painted with some form of compliant underseal to avoid the stones being thrown up from the wheels damaging the GRP which can cause 'starbursts' on the paint finish above.
I plan to paint and underseal my wheel arches on my never-ending restoration.

Andy.


Hi Andy !
When I did my body off resto 30 years ago I glued some standard old, everyday, bubble wrap up under the wheel arches.
Then glassed over it with some f/glass cloth.
It added maybe 6-7 mm to the thickness of the arch.
I also added the usual gloopy black underseal, but suspect it isn't that useful as it wasn't in the past.
Have yet to have even a single stone chip appear, and some of the roads out here are un-sealed, and pretty dodgy.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:42 pm

So, it sounds like they were unpainted from the factory, with whatever overspray happens there. I think
there is some undercoating there now so I'll probably beef that up.
Thanks guys.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Fri Nov 17, 2023 3:43 pm

Hi Greg,

Both of my series 3 cars were painted body color in the wheel wells. I've taken the original paint down to glass, sprayed rocker schutz in the wheel wells and the body color over that. I have no idea what the original color was on my S3/ 26R. It was white when crashed in 1975, but there was BRG and a light blue under the white

Look at the red FHC road test from Sports Car Graphic, June 1966. There is a copy of it on this web site if you don't have an original and that car shows off its matching red knickers.

Roger
Last edited by Elan45 on Sat Nov 18, 2023 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Nov 17, 2023 5:01 pm

Thanks Roger!
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Nov 27, 2023 11:40 am

Plus 2 but I finished mine with multiple coats of Gravitex Plus, which is a high build quick drying stonechip, then a few top coats of satin black paint.

Not sure about the Elan but the way Lotus finihsed off the wheel arch areas was abysmal - so lots of matting and paste to tidy things up first and fill the grot traps.

some before and afters
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 12:44 pm

^^^This the way I'll most likely finish mine off.. Thanks
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 2:36 pm

Every Lotus period press photo of brand new cars shows that Elans left the factory with body coloured wheel wells.

However, as often as not, the majority of owners would have had their dealer spray some form of protection under there. Back in the 1960s and into the early 1970s dealers tended to provide many extras (for obvious reasons), unlike today where manufacturers offer a panoply of options to increase their own margins. So things like underseal/underbody protection, wing mirrors, sun roofs, radios etc were offered to owners of new cars and fitted prior to their collection. Even component cars would first go through the dealers hands to have options fitted.

Here is a colour photo of a brand new component Series 4 DHC being collected by the dealer from Hethel.

Tim
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 3:53 pm

trw99 wrote: Here is a colour photo of a brand new component Series 4 DHC being collected by the dealer from Hethel. Tim

Hard to tell but is that a S3 boot handle? .....and wonder if that Morris Minor Van was fitted with a Twincam motor :lol: :lol:
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PostPost by: smo17003 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 5:19 pm

types26/36 wrote:
trw99 wrote: Here is a colour photo of a brand new component Series 4 DHC being collected by the dealer from Hethel. Tim

Hard to tell but is that a S3 boot handle? .....and wonder if that Morris Minor Van was fitted with a Twincam motor :lol: :lol:


Early S4's did have the S3 boot handle.

Judging by the bare trees I would guess November/December '68.

What caught my eye is the apparent tyre mismatch on the Minor van :D
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Mon Nov 27, 2023 6:08 pm

I enjoy the safety standards, like the rope with no knot at the end to finish the main knot
Just a single loop lol

Looks like the delivery truck has seen some use, knobby tyres for traction at the rear, closed shoulder front for a smooth, comfortable and long lasting.
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PostPost by: alanr » Wed Nov 29, 2023 10:06 am

smo17003 wrote:
types26/36 wrote:
trw99 wrote: Here is a colour photo of a brand new component Series 4 DHC being collected by the dealer from Hethel. Tim

Hard to tell but is that a S3 boot handle? .....and wonder if that Morris Minor Van was fitted with a Twincam motor :lol: :lol:


Early S4's did have the S3 boot handle.

Judging by the bare trees I would guess November/December '68.

What caught my eye is the apparent tyre mismatch on the Minor van :D


Those are what we used to call 'Town & Country' tyres and were a heavy duty knobbly type crossply tyre often fitted on the rear of cars and vans in that time for extra grip on soft ground.

Alan.
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