Lotus Elan

builders

PostPost by: gary eastham » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:34 pm

hi all,has anyone got any info on the builders of plus 2s the MAN who built mine is billy, well thats the name all over it. would be nice to meet him has anyone else's car been built by him
:D
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:24 pm

You may be able to spot him in this film...a few likely lads in it! :)

http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format ... 1161312791
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PostPost by: innesw » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:36 pm

My 1973 JPS was also built by Billy! :P
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:18 pm

Great video!

Can I get an OBE for restoring a Lotus, a TVR and now a Jaguar?

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PostPost by: J.E.S » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:45 am

Nice video - interesting to see inside late 1960s / early 70s Hethel - a question - several of the cars being assembled appear to have had some something sprayed onto the bodies, presumably to provide some protection against paint damage during assembly - anybody know what this is?
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:22 pm

J.E.S wrote:Nice video - interesting to see inside late 1960s / early 70s Hethel - a question - several of the cars being assembled appear to have had some something sprayed onto the bodies, presumably to provide some protection against paint damage during assembly - anybody know what this is?


Think it's a wax coating used to (as you say) protect paint finish...but from the elements during storage. Maybe "elements" included birds in the factory!
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:36 pm

[quote="ardee_selby"]Think it's a wax coating used to (as you say) protect paint finish...but from the elements during storage. quote]

I think you are correct there, as a apprentice in the 60's at BMC dealer one of my jobs was to "de winterize" the new cars we received from the factory, basically we would wash the cars in paraffin (kerosene) to remove the protective wax that was applied by the factory.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:19 pm

In my youthful summers way back in the dark ages (or maybe those were the golden ages!!) I worked for a local car dealer in the US. The new cars all came in with a dull wax coating and we removed it the same way as part of the dealer prep. Sounds as though you and I, Brian, are from the same era but from opposite sides of The Pond. 8)
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:03 pm

There was an earlier discussion of this film clip and what appears to be several Elan +2 with only partial color coat sprayed on. I doubt very much that Lotus used Cosmoline as this is a rust preventative wax that was sprayed onto most steel-bodied vehicles for transport by ship. Cosmoline is messy stuff and you would not want to spray it on until the vehicle is completely assembled, tested and ready for shipment. It was always entertaining to see new cars arriving at BMC dealerships near me in the 60s and 70s covered with this stuff. If I recall correctly Jay Leno had the Cosmoline removal job at a Rolls Royce dealership here while he was still in school. I should also mention that "Paul" signed the back of the glovebox on my +2S, no other names found.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:10 pm

Cosmoline that is fairly fresh, or that has been hermetically sealed in a plastic bag or shrinkwrap, remains a grease-like viscous fluid, and mostly wipes off with a rag, leaving only a thin film behind. Cosmoline that is older and has had air exposure usually solidifies after a few years, as the volatile hydrocarbon fraction evaporates and leaves behind only the waxy hydrocarbon fraction.

That doesn't seem to be the same stuff that was on new Chevys when I was working at new car dealer prep. I don't recall it being brown and I'm sure it wasn't years old - more like weeks. It wouldn't wipe off with a rag unless the rag was soaked in solvent. I believe what was used on those new cars was to protect the paint and glass rather than as a rust preventative. ...but that's just my opinion and after more than forty-five years I wouldn't bet my life on it!! :shock: 8)
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:28 pm

[quote="Galwaylotus"]That doesn't seem to be the same stuff that was on new Chevys when I was working at new car dealer prep. I don't recall it being brown and I'm sure it wasn't years old - more like weeks. It wouldn't wipe off with a rag unless the rag was soaked in solvent. quote]

Thats the way I remember it as well, it was more clear rather then brown and it also covered the windows, it was like a wax. I dont know about cars shipped overseas as the ones I worked on were supplied/delivered within the UK.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Now that I think about it, I've seen what I believe is cosmoline on bare metal parts and it definitely is not the same stuff that was on the cars I de-waxed. As Brian said above, the cars I worked on were US Chevys built in the US and delivered to US dealers - in my case Connecticut - which probably means they were assembled in New York state.
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PostPost by: J.E.S » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:04 pm

Looking at the video the 'protector' looks distinctly grey - intriguingly its been applied to some cars (plus 2) and not others (Europa and Elan) could this be anything to do with cars for export - quite a mystery.

Getting back to the original question - I have a spare glove box signed 1738L Billy - I suspect the car it comes form no longer exists.
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PostPost by: aratchet » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:14 am

What a great clip. Wishing they had more of the Factory. Interesting to note that there is quite a lack of fender covers protecting the bodywork. Especially slotting in the motor on the Plus 2s and elbows on the Elan.
I wonder which fellow is Billy?
The Plus 2s look like they have a guide coat rather than paint. I spoke with Graham Arnold years ago and he mentioned they would sometimes send out complete cars in primer to be painted as required at the dealer. Don't ask me how they masked off badges, emblems and trim. Reminds me of looking for my first Elan and found a used S2 painted pink......badges color coded to match!
I love the shots of the road testers running by the lined up Lotus. That's a lot of Lotus!
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:03 am

Love the discussion and speculation about builders . . . I may be disassembling my '70 Plus 2 within the year and no doubt will have the same questions.

As for that curious bodywork: if you look at the blue Plus 2 at 58 seconds in, it is a LHD drive car, perhaps Federal (note the position of the wiper motor and presumably the brake vacuum cannisters). Can't really tell for sure about the red one at 1:01, though if the news reel is from 1970 as the website suggests, this car has Webers which means it wasn't Federal (Federal would have meant Zenith Strombergs) (could still be shipping out to Europe somewhere).

Just thinking that it does certainly look like grey paint. Protection for the top coat? Meant to be wet-sanded off and buffed after arriving overseas?
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