Lotus Elan

Any significance to the Gold / Silver Metaflake roof?

PostPost by: KevCam » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Hi,

I have been learning loads from the forum over the last few years (thanks to all out there on the invaluable tips:)) but have not yet submitted a thread until today but here goes...

This is probably a bit of a silly question but does anyone know the significance of the gold and silver metaflake roofs? My +2 is Carnival Red with a Gold Metaflake roof and I have always been curious about this.

I have heard that the silver was a celebration of the championship wins and gold was just a customer option replacing the silver. Does anyone know anything about this?

Cheers

Kev
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PostPost by: peterako » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:49 pm

I Think it's for the S (Sprint) or 130 versions to signify the difference from the 'ordinary' +2.

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PostPost by: andyelan » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:02 pm

Hi Kev

The silver metalflake roof denotes that the car is an S130 fitted with the big valve engine. The gold roof was applied to a supposed limited edition of black and gold cars and was to celebrate the '72 GP World Championships of th "John Player Specials" racing cars (as was the more attractive black and gold finish applied to the Europa Specials). I beleive however that in all cases customers could specify a single colour if they so wished.

If your car was originally a red Plus 2S 130 then the roof should be silver, are you sure this is not the case ? Originally the flake was applied in the fiberglass gel coat and over the years this goes yellow, this is what's happened to my car so today the roof looks more gold than silver. Have a look at area that are shaded from sunlight around the cabin vents or in the door shuts

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PostPost by: KevCam » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:28 pm

Hi Andy,

Thanks for that, very interesting, I will have a much closer look at the weekend to double check. The car has been off the road and garage stored since 1985 (it was previously my Uncles) so it has not seen much sun in the last 25 years but a close look will (hopefully) reveal more information.

I did email Chris Brown at Lotus a few years ago and all that they have in the records is that the original body colour noted was red so unfortunately no clues there!

Will report back over the weekend :)

Kev
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PostPost by: innesw » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:18 pm

The JPS special addition as well as having a gold metal flake roof also has gold metal flake sills from below the sill chrome strip downwards, a gold coach line from the sidelight to the rear light passing through the door handle and all the opptional extras. They were produced to celebrate lotus's 50th G.P. win in 1973 and come with a badge saying this, originally 50 were said to be made but the number is apparalently closer to ~87 with the last few having the gold painted over to black as the metal flake "went out of fashion" :lol:

I've also seen a number of S130's with metal flake roof's, gold metal flake was used on Carnival red cars as it suits it much more than silver, maybe customer choice.

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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:38 pm

For the last few months (possibley 12?) of production the metal flake roof was deleted and the cars were single colour. As said previously, the silver flake was introduced with the S130, a tradition that started with the Elite..

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PostPost by: peterako » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:11 pm

My S130 was originally Tawny (L016) with Gold Roof (or maybe....as it is a 73 car it could have been Tawny...with after market gold roof :? )

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PostPost by: Gray » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:22 pm

Hi

Silver metaflake roof was for the S130 and Gold for the JPS editions, I had a very early plus 2 that someone had sprayed also a metaflake roof on. Mike Spence also used to do complete metaflake paint jobs. I think throughout S130 and S130/5 production you could delete the metaflake roof as I can remember a number of L & M registered cars that were a single colour. Another option done by some dealers was a vinyl roof, I'm fairly sure SGT offered this at the time, they certainly did on Scimitar GTEs. One of the last plus 2s that SGT had from Lotus was Monaco White, without metaflake roof, with Black interior, most later ones were oatmeal, and I think it had steel wheels, most late cars had alloys, the car had been used by Lotus, but was I believe one of the last produced, useing up old stock components?

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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:58 am

That's a good point about discoloration--my silver was very golden from sun exposure. The gold roofs are really golden with gold flake and yes looking somewhere unexposed could help determine. Also, I've seen a couple silver roofed Elites and they are unlike the silver-metal-flake-in-clear resin as on +2S130--they are painted, not done in the mold as on +2S130, I believe. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:46 am

I seem to recall a comment by Tony Rudd that one reason for the Metalflake roofs was to hide poor quality finish on the shells.

Similar reason for the creamy white two-tone paint jobs on the bottom half of the shells on Sprints

Obviously Graham Arnold would say that the colur schemes were all the the idea of the marketing department !

As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in-between. It doesn't really matter - when done well, they all look good.

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Richard
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PostPost by: peterako » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:43 am

richardcox_lotus wrote:I seem to recall a comment by Tony Rudd that one reason for the Metalflake roofs was to hide poor quality finish on the shells.

.....


Having recently had my car resprayed all the one colour the above is a very plausable explanation.....
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PostPost by: davidj » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:55 am

There is a yellow +2 (1972 K reg) near me with a gold metalflake roof, which I think are the original colours. There is also a similar colour car of the same age on the back of the one of the workshop manuals (cannot remember the publisher, autopart?). Consequently it must have been an option, although why anyone would want a yellow and gold car.........

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PostPost by: DavidLB » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:33 pm

Hi I was a dealer during the 70's and the only option with all colours was silver metalflake the JPS was black and gold metalflake with no single colour option, somewhere I have some original price lists and colour charts
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:36 pm

Wow, that would be a find, could you post one/some--anything to separate out alot of this lore! Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: theelanman » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:21 pm

davidj wrote:There is a yellow +2 (1972 K reg) near me with a gold metalflake roof, which I think are the original colours.
although why anyone would want a yellow and gold car.........


I looked at a late S130/4 in yellow when I was looking for my +2 and it too had the factory gold metaflake roof..........
I quite liked it..... :D .....I also liked the lagoon blue with silver........
I did see a couple of red with gold which I decided I didnt like......
ended up with an early car in carnival red......

I suppose the thing with lotus is that you could specify what you wanted within reason...so provided it was one of the colours offered you could order it....how about colorado orange with a gold roof.....erm may be not :D

the joys of buying a hand built car in the 60's/70's I guess :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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