Lotus Elan

Trials and Smiles - +2 rebuild

PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:26 pm

The car will not be ready for Spa? :cry: However, you can?t rush things for the sake of a single event, even one like the Spa Classic. On the paint front, things are moving towards a happy conclusion. The problem was a misunderstanding as to the type of Metalflake finish I wanted. The car had, what I believe in the parlance of the Kustom Kulture, is an ?Old Skool? Gold Metalflake job on the roof. Very late 60?s, early 70?s ? reminiscent of flares, wide collars and Gold medallions ? but we liked it! There has been a lot of discussion about the origin of this finish, which on our car was probably not original, but ?in period? by a few years. The finish produced by Options was just not ?Bling? enough.. too restrained and tasteful. Now, when you are embarking upon a major resto, which will cost a packet, the most important element is to know when to compromise and when not to. I have made some compromises, but most of these can be rectified after completion if it really bugs me ? the paint cannot and is the biggest single item of expenditure. Not least is the opinion of SWMBO, who is an enthusiastic supporter of the project. Her opinion was ?not enough glitter?. The upshot is that Frank at Options has agreed to re-do the roof, but on the basis of sample pieces that he has done, which we can agree on. I attach pictures of the variety of flake on offer; massive differences ? even the original version is strange. Square cut flake and uneven. These pictures emphasise the importance of getting samples made up before hand. The variety is amazing, so you (and your body shop) have to be sure which finish you want.

After a visit to the paint shop, I came away with a broad smile on my face again! The final finish of the roof is close to agreement.. Frank has produced a sample finish which is closer to our requirements and it is clear that he now understands what we want. I cannot over emphasise how helpful Frank at Options 1 has been in this difficult process.

I showed the samples to SWMBO and her colleagues; the verdict was instant and unanimous. The glittery one? This may upset some Lotus owners, but the opinion of SWMBO, daughters and others of her ilk are important in the process of maintaining a partnership with a Lotus. The depth and distribution of flake is pretty much agreed, the last element is the final colour of the flake itself. The colour may require adjustment ? it is difficult for a photo to do any flake justice, as it is so dependant on the ambient light. In some ways this has been the most difficult element of the project to get right, because it was the thing that everyone notices first - Lotus aficionado or not. It is also what helped me to buy the car in the first place..

Lets be clear, this is not an ?Original? Metalflake roof, but it has been on the car for a long time and is part of her identity ? oops! I let that slip? emotional attachment to a car?.

Progress in other areas has been made ? the body is back on the chassis after a heroic lift by five of us, including Frank, Neil and two friends with Ken directing. The transformation from a chassis and wheels plus a bare body, to a car is amazing and only took 5 minutes. I thought I was strong, but lifting the body was a nerve wracking. As I had to lift my corner over the turrets, I felt I would not be able to do it, but the thought of dropping it spurred me on. My muscles ached for a week?

The car is sitting high at the moment, but will be adjusted down as the job progresses. With every thing sitting square, it is now clear that the rear wheel arches are at slightly different heights. No accident damage was seen when the body was stripped, so this is how it left the factory?

Neil is busy fitting the guts of the car, rewiring, and the thousand and one other tasks associated with getting the car back together. Bad news was that the Vacuum pods have not passed muster ? Mattys gets another wedge of cash?.

Jeremy
Attachments
Sample MF.jpg and
The current favourite is the bottom one
MF less dense Close up.jpg and
This is the current finish
MF with original Flake.jpg and
This is close up of the current favourite with a sample of the original roof. This is very close - the whole picture covers around a square inch.
Chassis ready for body.jpg and
Progress 2.jpg and
10 minutes later
Progress 3.jpg and
Now the hard work starts. When the roof finish is agreed the car will go back.
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PostPost by: Bob » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:23 pm

Poor show for Baldrick, will have to rely on the 924, (it has been to Dr Martins for treatment) so should be OK
S4, S2 and a +2 Zetec on the way
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PostPost by: gordonlund » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:54 pm

Very nice but dare you take it out? Options quoted me ?6.5K with me giving them a bare body. Hate to think of your bill if they did the roof twice as well!! Needless to say my spare body is languishing in the back of the garage awaiting the rainy day when wify decides i've nothing better to do.

Hope to see you at the odd shows up and down the country when your on the road.

Best of luck.

Gordon
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:13 pm

The car will not be a shrinking Violet... The roof (when finished) will divide opinions, but you can't miss it!

Cliveyboy's best silicon hoses in place; electrics are going in; freshly chromed bumpers back on; chassis bolted down. Old lights gone back on as they are only a bit 'foxed'.

Neil is cracking on, Frank is being creative with flake - give it another month.

Jeremy
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Shiny Shiny.jpg and
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PostPost by: bengalcharlie » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:43 am

Yes, your car looks great and I actually like the contrast between the red and the bright coloured roof. I noticed that you have a lovely little elite as well?? Nice combo. I still dreaming of an elite one day but I do not think I could give up the plus two. I just love her too much! Might have to sacrify one of the other classics but you become very attached to all of them so time will tell.
All the best with finishing this lovely car.
cheers
Robin
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:54 am

Sorry, not my Elite.... A regular attendee at the daily Lotus gathering at Ken & Neil's workshop.

Jeremy
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:28 am

[quote="gordonlund"]Very nice but dare you take it out? Options quoted me ?6.5K with me giving them a bare body.

Gordon[/quote]

I'll second that,the paintwork at Donington was EXCELLENT....but can you imagine how you would feel on the day a road chip was flicked up by the car in front and chipped the paintwork on the front/bonnet/hood :( :x :oops: :cry:

John :wink:
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:43 pm

Its only paint. There are plenty of other cars on the road worth more than mine will ever be, including the street it will be parked on.. Ordinary Audis, BMWs even Fords...
Their owners don't worry unduly because any chip can be fixed or ignored. A car is for using not just looking at, but it helps if it looks good!

As for the feeling when it gets its first stone chip or scratch, I had a rehearsal when I hit my newly refurbished alloy wheels with a hammer a few years ago - pig sick, but you get used to it... and get one of Sarto's wheel tighteners!

In all seriousness, one of the reasons for the comprehensive body job is that it makes repairs, large and small, much easier, as the paint and codes will be off the shelf, making a match much easier. The bonnet badge has a big chip in it, the lights are past their best - I regard this as patination. The old paint was past the point of no return for any self respecting car... apart from Swampy.

Jeremy
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PostPost by: bengalcharlie » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:11 pm

I agree Jeremy, It is only paint and what is the point of owning any classic you do not use it?. Classics are to be driven an not used as trophies in my opinion. My own car was completely rebuild from sctratch including a very nice paint job in metallic silver with no flaws. It just looked mint. That was 4 years ago and although it still looks great it has some got some stone chips in the nose but you can not avoid that. the first one is the worst, after that it becomes easier!! It is the experiences ( driving the damm thing) that you will remember, not the time that it was parked up in your garage!
I am envious about your trip to Spa, beautifull circuit and it brings back memories there I grew up in Belgium.
Cheers
Robin
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:17 pm

This +2 has less happy memories of Belgium as it blew its head gasket out-dragging a Morgan in Jabbeke a few years ago. Still made it back under its own power, but with Mayo in the sump and red wine in the boot! Did about 50 miles to the pint - of water...

Jeremy

PS Piccie of +2 in Brugge, sandwiched between the enormous Hyundai Atoz and Portly Renault...
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Brugge 2003.jpg and
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:27 am

The final Metal Flake finish has been agreed after a variety of samples from Frank. Not to everyone's taste, but the world would be a boring place if we all liked exactly the same things. The gold colour is slightly more green/yellow than the old gold finish, but it still dazzles in the sunlight. I attach a pic of the final sample and a recap of the old MF finish, before it was removed for the new paint job.

Sigh of relief all round as a decision is made. The project was in danger of losing momentum due to indecision - 'analysis paralysis'. The paint will take weeks, as even with oven baking, the lacquer needs to harden before flatting down and final machine polish.

Order placed with Sue Miller for carpets and parcel shelf clips. She said, "We have had quite a few orders for those clips recently. I don't know why...".

Headlining man booked in for a few weeks hence. Some issues with regard to the new Dash/steering column area to be resolved..

Front grille has proved another one of those 'Oh..' areas. Some PO has removed the top flange of the intake opening, making the open area considerably larger for airflow. This has a knock on effect of depriving the grille of the original top mounting point. The grille had always been fitted with the top brackets folded back and tucked under the bumper lower lip, with the lower ones securely bolted. I always thought that this was quite clever as you only need to undo two bolts to get the grille off, and assumed it was the way they all were.. oh no. No one spotted it until we came to re-fit the grille ..... Another mod that will be retained.

All this gorgeous weather and no Classic :( Mind you, I wonder if we could fit Aircon in the +2 :roll:

Jeremy
Attachments
Sides.jpg and
This was the last look at the old Metal flake finish..
MF Final Choice.jpg and
mmmmm... Sparkly!
Last edited by JJDraper on Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Matt » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:55 pm

Hi Jeremy

I met you and your car at kens/Neils a couple of weeks ago I think your colour combination really suits the car, and its turning out to be a real gem, I can't wait to see it when its all finished !

Best of luck.
Matt
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1970 Elan S4 Sprint
1972 Europa TC
1973 Elan +2 s130/5
1978 Esprit S1
1981 Esprit S2.2
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