Lotus Elan

Any significance to the Gold / Silver Metaflake roof?

PostPost by: JJDraper » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:45 am

I too have a Carnival red +2 with a Gold metalflake roof, but the car left the factory in 1968 in 'Burnt Sand'. Sometime in the early '80s the car was involved in a police chase and ended up a wreck. The new owner rebuilt the car in red with a metalflake roof. I didn't know any of this at the time and spent a long time looking into the origins of metalflake roofs and came up with several stories from people, including the view that it was tried out at the factory at various points in the production run with varying success. The story goes that the in early attempts, the flake was seeded into the gel coat in the moulds and if it looked good it was left, but if it went wrong it was painted over. Later on, metalflake spraying techniques improved and the finish was offered as an option. Now, as always, stories and Lotus history go together like ...two things that go together well. I have no official back up to any of this, and suspect the first story to be just that, but that the later use of metalflake was just because it looked good, rather than any hidden message.

I suspect that many of the current metalflake roof cars may have been changed in the past, but if you have an original one, take great care of it and use a good quality UV protecting wax on it. The type and finish of metalflake varies enormously and even the old style flake is hard to come by now so a chance to see an original roof is a rare thing.

If you want an easy time repainting a car, go for a solid colour!

Jeremy
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PostPost by: KevCam » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:41 pm

Thanks for all the replies, it is certainly interesting to see the various comments.

After having an investigation over the weekend it would appear that it is definately a golf metaflake roof but whether this is original or not would be up to debate - I don't know of any full resprays undertaken (but in a 37 year old car that does not amount to much).

I think that when the time comes for a bit of TLC to the body I will keep her in the current colour scheme :)

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PostPost by: c42 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:47 pm

I am just in the process of removing the paint from my +2. The shell is painted Burgundy but when I started removing the paint it seemed to have a Gold flake on the roof, the flake is in the gel coat and is clearly original but with further paint removal at the base of the roof and top of the wing area where the gel coat has not been exposed to the light/UV the colour is in fact Silver; the rest of the gel coat is White with more than its fair share of cracks!

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John
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:27 am

John, interesting comment on the flake roof. Yes the flake is in the gel coat. May car was lagoon blue/silver but the metalflake has yellowed over the years and it is now quite 'gold'.
Possibly the cars were all silver and the gold effect was achieved by the lacquer coat?

Mike
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PostPost by: andyelan » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:18 pm

Hi Everyone

This discussion has got me thinking.

When a Melalflake finish is applied as normal paint, it's alway sprayed over a solid basecoat. This would usually be silver for silver flake (or gold in the case of gold flake).

My question is, if the flake on the Plus 2 roof is mixed in as part of the gel coat how, and what colour, would a backing coat be. I assume that once the flake gel has been laid into a mould further solid colour gel could have been laid over the top of it, however, I can't imigine this would have been silver and my guess this that this would more than likley been white.

If this was the case, and we want to reproduce the finish today using paint, then flake over a silver base we're never going to get it to look authentic if originally the flake had been applied over a white base

Perhaps John, you could shed some light on this if you're currently stripping the paint from your car

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Andy
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PostPost by: c42 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:13 am

Not sure how big this image will be but it appears to show white gel behind the silver flake.
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John
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:04 am

You're right about reproducing the look and what it would take--I had a boat place do mine, shooting silver metal flake in clear resin on top of basically the primer, which for the roof is white gel coat which was the finish that was worked and smoothed over the original finish and then shot with the metalflake. You could see the white gel coat along the edges before I shot the color myself. (Didn't think I could lay down the dense metalflake consistently having only five cars under my belt so left that to boat folks--it being an unusual car application). Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: innesw » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:41 pm

Correct, I'm just finished sanding down my JPS (the gold roof is original and its not being touched, but the black and the gold sills were in a pretty bad state) the gold metal flake is gold flake in the gel coat with a yellow coat behind it before the rest of the resin and fibre glass matrix. Frank at option1 does the same process of colour behind flake and he's confident he can match new flake on the sills to the old roof which is very good condition.

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