Lotus Elan

Original Paint Colo(u)r or not?

PostPost by: Tahoe » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:22 pm

I suspect I know what the general answer will be, but will ask it anyway.

My car new was Medici Blue. Because it will never be a 100% number matching car with a stock frame or the correct block or head will the paint color really make that much difference if and when the car is sold someday?

I see 4 scenarios (maybe you have another):

1) Paint the car the original Medici Blue even though the car is never going to be number matching, because at least I've attempted to keep as much original as possible.

2) Because it's not numbers matching car, paint it another color available when S2's were produced, because it represents an original color available when produced.

3) Paint the car any color available through the Elan and Elan +2 production.

4) Don't worry about a Lotus color and paint it anything I want.

I know it's my car and I can do anything I want, but if you were buying my car and you were okay with no numbers matching, would you be concerned about the color?
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PostPost by: delle » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:01 pm

Got the same problem! My S4 was just transported to the blast job and will be ready for new paint next week. First color was yellow, after that it had lagoon blue, white and 3 other variations of yellow paint.

My fav would be a dark color, black, blue or green.
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:16 pm

The real questions is what colour do you like? Do you like the Medici Blue? Do you really like any of the standard colours?

I think it always nice to keep the original colour but if you don't like it or lots of people won't then paint it a different colour. If there a Lotus colour you really like use it. If not go for a colour you really like. The key is to pick a colour you like and other people will like, then it is unlikely to effect the value and you'll enjoy it.

My +2 has been (badly) changed to red in the past from lagoon blue. I love white's on the +2 but plan to go back to lagoon blue as its the orginal colour, looks nearly as good as white and will be more popular colour for purchasers.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: john1180 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:18 pm

I'd stick with the Medici Blue (if you like it), its a great color on an elan. I'd stay away from darker colors as the seem to telegraph any previous repair work (ask me how I know!) much more than a light to medium color.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:35 pm

Russ,
Your car may not be numbers matching, but it has a twink and it looks period correct. That would probably be my guide.
Dan
PS. I really like medici blue with silver bumpers, top and mirrors.
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PostPost by: dunno » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:46 pm

Russ

Great post as I have a similar dilemma. Mine is a matching number +2 original colour was yellow.

Does anyone have a picture of roman purple with a glitter roof!

Not to everyone's taste but I think it would be stunning!

Comments?

Cheers
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:19 pm

Pete
It's not got a glitterball roof as it's also a late car, but here's one in Roman Purple...

Mark
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L21a Roman Purple.jpg and
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PostPost by: dunno » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:40 pm

Thanks Mark,

I did a search on related posts and saw one which referenced the Europa site.

Was the +2 ever painted indigo blue as the Europa was?

Looks an even nicer colour!!!

If you go to Dropbox.com and search Larry the lotussmall.jpg is that roman/silver?

Cheers
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:09 pm

collins_dan wrote:Russ,
Your car may not be numbers matching, but it has a twink and it looks period correct. That would probably be my guide.
Dan
PS. I really like medici blue with silver bumpers, top and mirrors.


Dan,

It's a hard decision. I too like the look of Medici Blue with a Silver top, bumpers, wheels, etc., however to be honest it's not my favorite color. It is not my least favorite either, so if I felt the color I choose has no affect on value I would not choose Medici. If however it does make a difference then Medici it is. Because the cars are becoming more valuable and collectable then it can make a big difference to potential buyers in the future. I think I'll wait and see what the trend shows down the road, and then make a decision. It's much more important to me to enjoy driving the car as intended then having it 100% correct at this point, but as I get closer to painting the car it will be a big decision.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:43 pm

Russ,
Maybe I have been watching too many car auctions and episodes of Chasing Classic Cars, but it seems to me that period correct is fine. It doesn't have to be the original color. I can't remember how many times really expensive Ferrari's have come up and they note the original color and that it was re-painted years ago into the current, period correct color and the hammer goes to for enough money to buy all of ours combined!
So the question is, what's your favorite period correct color?
Good Luck,
Dan
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:48 pm

I went through those agonies a couple of years ago. In the end I kept it the original colour - partly because I liked it, and partly because I couldn't really decide on something I liked MORE.....

My car is actually pretty original except for the engine block, which I plan to sell with the car if I ever move it on, so matching numbers are a moot point.

Regards
Richard
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:34 pm

The whole matching numbers thing appears to have come out of the USA where "special" versions of base cars such as Shelby Mustangs are easily "created". Matching numbers to the orignal build numbers of genuine cars is how you tell you have a genuine original car.

This is pretty meaningless for an Elan except perhaps for a 26R and no one knows the "numbers" of the 26R's anyhow. Lotus was making up a lot of of the numbers for the normal cars also much of the time. :lol:

In my opinion for an Elan the value is in the condition, the period correct "appearance" ( including a period colour) and the invisible modifications that make it a more usable and reliable car in todays environment (e.g. CV drive shafts). Unless the car is a museum time capsule I dont see much value in things like original paint colour, and engine block numbers (and these are easily forged anyhow). I was talking last night to a guy who is a big restorer and seller of Austin Healeys here in Melbourne and he said the same thing applies to the cars he does. He is casting up now alloy blocks ( capable of going out to 4.4 litres) and special alloy heads for the big Healeys that look original but perform very differently as that is where the demand is and not show room original restorations.

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PostPost by: ensign42 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:43 am

Just my two cents/pence as the case may be. If you are concerned for originality, just because you take pride in the fact that you have been able to make it as original as possible, great. That is something you enjoy and love as a hobby. If you want to paint it royal blue, just because you love royal blue, then do it because that is what you enjoy. If you make investment choices on an elan, it has to be full mod or complete NOS. Everything else is going to be a car someone has restored, loved, and hopefully passed on to a new care taker.

What your main question should be is a quality question. Are you properly prepping, are you putting good quality materials into the jobs you have done? Will any choice you make list you as a DPO? Quality work and materials will outshine and outsell a car restored to 'factory' spec by a hack.

Invest in what you love, if the market goes south, you will be 'stuck' in a car you love. If you want to make mistakes based on market values, I can introduce you to a guy who still owns a 100 point MGA in a hideous Alamo Beige paint. He has been trying to sell it for 15 years, and I suspect in another 15 years the market may actually support his last known asking price.
-Will
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:08 am

I pretty much have always done what I like. Having owned approx. 100 cars, and the majority being somewhat collectable I always made my own personal choices. Having grown older and maybe less wiser I started thinking too much about originality and correctness, something I never cared about when younger. I love driving my Elan right now. It doesn't look pretty up close, but drives great, and a lot of that is because of upgrades or downgrades as the purists would say. Most if not all the mods are reversible so who cares, but the paint is very personal. I love several colors on Elans and to be honest haven't seen a bad color. Today I would probably paint the car Royal Blue or Fly Yellow. Several other colors are a close second. My biggest thing is I know I will only paint the car once so I better like it a lot. What ever I decide, it will have silver bumpers, silver hardtop, silver wheels, and a silver of chrome mirror. I want to keep everything as simple as I can, but period correct, and not try too hard. Bottom line, I know it's what I like, but really wanted to hear what others feel. There is no wrong answer.
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:13 pm

What Rohan said +1.

When I last painted my own S2 (20 years ago) & stripped the finish back to the gel coat, I found that the original colour had been "French Blue", over which a "BRG" type colour had been painted, over which a "Lotus Yellow" type colour had been painted (I called this "Powder Yellow" as when you rubbed it hard with a hand a powdery type yellow substance came off the surface!)

The "French Blue" is not nice imo, "BRG" is ok but very common on many 60's "classic" cars. "Lotus Yellow" is nice but all inevitable gel cracks on a car that is used pretty hard will show up. I chose a "Carnival Red" type colour (in fact I used a Peugeot red paint) with silver bumpers / wheels / hard top.

As has been said, no right or wrong answer. Forget the matching numbers etc thing & choose a colour that you really, really like.

Dave M.
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