Lotus Elan

Gold Leaf F1 'Gold'?

PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 10, 2022 1:37 pm

This is a long shot i admit........

But does anyone know what Gold they used on the Gold leaf F1 cars in the period?

I've been searching for the proper Sprint Gold used on Elan bumpers to the degree I've been walking around with a big flake of original paint in my wallet (like you do). Believe it or not i've been in contact with both ICI (now AkzoNobel) and Nexa (Now PPG) and all the codes came back to Talbot Aztec, i can only assume Lotus used a custom variant that has long since been lost in time or just looks different post-1992 when they removed the lead for car paint.

So to cut a long story short, a while ago now i saw Adrian Newey's original 49b and noticed the nose was very similar in colour to my sample....... only problem was no one there knew what the colour they used was and I keep getting told Talbot Aztec by people close to the car. Also, I've seen a couple of Classic Lotus cars that have been rebuilt and they have clearly been painted the Talbot colour.

AN,49B(1).jpg and


Just wondering if anyone is more clued up on it.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 10, 2022 2:24 pm

I think you might get some sort of a sensible answer from Classic Team Lotus. Richard Parramint would probably be a good person to ask in the first instance.

It is really tricky for current paints to match the original gold Sprint bumpers. Once you've seen the original, all others just look slightly different!

I've a letter dated 1977 from the factory telling a Sprint owner to use Pinchin Johnston Code 6170A3130. As I'm sure you are aware, at the time there were two suppliers to the factory, Pinchin, Johnson and ICI. Pinchin, Johnson was taken over by Courtaulds and merged into their paints division when they bought International Paint. ICI was taken over by Nexa Autocolor.

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 10, 2022 3:31 pm

There is a problem with Classic Lotus too, i went to Goodwood and saw a couple of their restored F1 cars and they had used the Talbot colour.
lotus-49-racing-car-formula-one-racing-car-designed-by-colin-chapman-E80KG5.jpg and


as opposed to (not the best picture, the lights make it look redder than it is in the flesh but you get the idea)
Will-Broadhead-Adrian-Newey-Lotus-49B-41-2000x1333.jpg and


I'm sure i come across as crazy but i'm starting to think i should have tinted my own colour for it, then of course, i have the side stripe issue (can see me using the stickers as templates and painting it on).
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 10, 2022 3:46 pm

If you can replicate the colour yourself, you could make some money making and selling it!

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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:42 pm

Note that Classic Team Lotus rebuilt Adrian Neweys type 49, so as Tim suggested, give them a call.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:49 pm

I didn't know that....... When i saw it a while back i was led to believe it had just been recommissioned and wore its original paint. I was told in period Lotus actually changed the Gold on later F1 cars because it didn't look Gold enough on tv for the sponsors (don't know how true that is).

Tim, Catch 22 situation, It wouldn't be rocket science to get the original colour fairly close but from what I've seen it will be way off the modern decal colour. Personally, i'd scan a decal and have a masking template cut, so i'd paint the stripes on (fairly guaranteed they will match then). Unfortunately, unless you have a Mono car that's not going to work for everyone, so you are left having to match the decals gold (probably just a RAL or BS colour anayway).
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:08 pm

Thinking about it...... I'm not sure if he said original paint or original livery.

I will give them a call and see what they say.
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PostPost by: Larry C » Fri Jun 10, 2022 9:14 pm

I just had my Sprint repainted this past winter. Here is a photo. If you like the color, I think I can get the formula.
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PostPost by: Larry C » Fri Jun 10, 2022 10:16 pm

Grizzly,

The color on the bumpers was done by a computer match to the original on the bumper. They had been painted black in 1975 (Don't ask me why. I can't recall my thinking then.), so the original was covered. Of course, that was 49 years after the original paint had been applied! It is a very nice match to the new side stripes that were applied. I bought those from SJ Sportscars in the UK.

The photos of the Lotus 49 does look like a different hue , and it also brings back wonderful memories.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 10, 2022 10:34 pm

The problem is i can't get a good picture of the sample of the original colour and the pictures i have as the car being loaded into the truck were taken at dusk so the Gold looks really green (plus 30 + years of oxidization on the cellulose didn't help).
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PostPost by: smo17003 » Fri Jun 10, 2022 10:36 pm

This may sound a bit daft but when Lotus were painting the GL F1 cars they were matching two colours that already existed i.e. the Gold Leaf tobacco products. So, working backwards, is it possible to find out the RAL/BS codes that Gold Leaf were using? Presumably these were the colours that Lotus had to match their paint codes as close as possible to. Just a thought.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jun 11, 2022 6:49 am

I suspect there was multiple Gold's used, i say this because at one point i collected the period Brochures and on the famous Silver wheel Sprint brochure the FHC and DHC have different colour bumpers on.

Lotus Elan Sprint 003.jpg and

Lotus Elan Sprint 001.jpg and

Lotus Elan Sprint Brochure 1971 EN.jpg and

and they both don't match the stripe. It's a different angle/lighting i grant you.......

The best bit, mine doesn't look like either of them :lol:
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Jun 11, 2022 3:21 pm

Grizzly, I had forgotten, BUT I have my original - now warped - rear bumper that has never been repainted.

However I would need advice as to how to get an accurate sample to you, as I’m in Kent.

Suggestions welcome.

Regards
Richard

Ps the change of Gold on Lotus F1 cars was in the early JPS era - gold leaf was too indistinct and didn’t show up well on TV, so it became more and more yellow.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Jun 13, 2022 1:16 pm

Richard, Thanks for the offer but i think i may have it sorted. Would it be possible to take a picture of your bumper as reference?
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Jun 13, 2022 4:38 pm

Yes of course, give me a day or two.
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