Lotus Elan

Cam cover colours

PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:01 pm

I think Miles Wilkins is not always correct.
I have a Lotus Elite with a yellow valve cover on the Coventry Climax engine. He insisted that the valve cover should be red for my model, but the car was built new as a kit by my wife's uncle, and the valve cover has never been repainted.
My Series 1 Elan has, to my view, a light blue hammer finish. Here in California, I have seen more than one car with that color. Now my car has a "Lotus Components" I.D. plate, which means it was either sold directly from the racing department, or was a kit. That might be one of the differences that determines color too. I'm not an expert, and the only other Elan I've owned was a very early coupe, with the valve cover changed to the black wrinkle with the block "Lotus" across the timing chain end, which I think is a later model cover. I have two other covers, for various reasons, one is off of a racing engine I had in a Lotus 23, and it has no paint, and was cast without the oil filler, and an early style cover with black wrinkle finish.
Maybe some day, the group should have people send a photo of their valve cover, and the series and model of their cars; that might settle some of the questions, as it seems the valve cover color issue comes up at least once a year.
Regards and Happy New Year,
Tim
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:36 am

Apologies resurrecting an old thread and debste.

Just getting to the final stages of rebuilding the twin cam.
Just wondering if anyone knew the shade of green or the RAL for a 68 SE UK spec?
Wilkins indicated green but I don't see a ref to the shade.

Have had a guru tell me is close to BRG or to use Hammerite smooth green but not sure as pics I have seen it is lighter and poss hammer finish but I guess these may be non original.
Mine is currently devoid of all paint but have the script masked.. Ok with brush or aero..

Any advice or recommendations welcome

Thanks

Mel

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:38 pm

I believe Lotus used two types of green on S3 S/E's, BMC A series green, which can be bought in a spray can and a lighter smooth pale green.

Interesting re-reading this thread, I see mention of a 'teal blue' cam cover on a standard S3, that was the colour of the paint on my first S3 (non-S/E). I bought the car from Mick Miller thirty six years ago, it was a low mileage time warp car.

Has anybody seen the colour Ford promotional film from '63 or '64? It has Chapman peering into the engine bay of a pre-airflow Lotus Cortina, it's been awhile since I saw the film, but I'm sure the cam cover was pale hammertone blue. I can't imagine the engine builders (don't think Lotus has it in house then) had special lines just for Lotus Cortinas and another for Elans.

When Lotus took engine building in house don't think they were too particular about the shade of a paint and they probably changed suppliers a few times too over the years.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:04 pm

Has anybody seen the colour Ford promotional film from '63 or '64? It has Chapman peering into the engine bay of a pre-airflow Lotus Cortina, it's been awhile since I saw the film, but I'm sure the cam cover was pale hammertone blue. I can't imagine the engine builders (don't think Lotus has it in house then) had special lines just for Lotus Cortinas and another for Elans.


Three minutes in .......
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXqeyoJMke8&t=223s
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Mar 14, 2020 4:37 pm

Thanks Roger! Love the music and accent of the presenter. It's a much darker blue than I remembered :shock:
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:13 pm

The Lotus Cortinas used 4 colours:
Dark Hamertone Blue for early cars (up to mid '64)
Light Hamertone Blue for the later cars (Mid '64 to mid '66)
Light Hamertone Green for the S/E cars
Mid-Green for the works rally cars (similar to BMC engine green)

The light Hamertone green doesn't appeal to many folks, and it seems that often the BMC engine green is used instead. And that looks right!

The original Elans I've seen have the same colours, except for the works green of course.

Mark
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6 engine.jpg and
250710 087.jpg and
eng 5.JPG and
30 Lotus Cortina KPU383C Rally 3.JPG and
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:54 pm

Thanks for that!
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:25 pm

Thanks Rob / Mark

Looks like the BMC Engine green may be the way to go then.

No great rush as still loads of other "little" jobs to do yet.

Regards

Mel
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:40 pm

I think that looks the best on the S/E Mel. I've had my S3 S/E for more that 40 years now, and when I first bought it there was a patch on the original hamertone green still on it, and it didn't look good. When Miles Wilkins rebuilt the engine I asked him if it should be painted the original green and he suggested that it should be left in bare aluminium, like the Mk2 Lotus Cortinas and the Twincam Escorts.He didn't like the original colour either! It's been like that a long time now, but I feel the urge for the BMC engine green as well.
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:18 am

Thanks Mark
BMC green or something close it is then. Car is BRG anyway so might be an option to match that. Hammerite smooth dark green may be an option but have also noticed green enamel spray available at wickes which may do the trick.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:31 pm

Mark's first green cover (Eng 5.jpg) is the colour I remember for SE engines. The dark blue Hammerite is almost indistinguishable from my original cover colour (late '64) and the racing engines were supposed to be red. None of the early covers were supposed to be black.

After the design changed it seemed to be a free-for-all!
Meg

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