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I have emerged from my winter hibernation - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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Paul Coleman

I have emerged from my winter hibernation

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Well it's been a long while since I posted any progress on my S1 restoration. I had a period of 6 months where I had no enthusiasm for it at all and literally didn't touch it in all that time. I even considered selling it more than once but decided it would be worth very little in its present condition i.e. in a thousand bits. Well I've finally emerged from my winter hibernation and my enthusiasm is back.

I spent a long time last year trying to get my bonnet to fit without any real success. The problem was that the profile of the front edge of the bonnet (where it meets the car) was completely different to the shape of the body. The bonnet didn't have enough of a bow in it. The other problem was that the area where the hinges go was badly damaged. So I bit the bullet and I removed the whole bottom section of my bonnet including the hinge fixings. I then made a mould from scratch using photos of what the area should look like as mine was missing when I got the car. I then made a new section from my mould and fibreglassed it to the bonnet whilst holding it all in a jig which I'd made from wood which put the correct bow in the bonnet. This is what it looked like today before I primed it. You can see the new strip which is green in the following photo...


The bonnet now fits properly but because it has more of a bow in it, it scrapes on the bodywork when you open it. So I've had to modify the bodywork to allow it to clear - I don't want my new paint scraped off the first time I open the bonnet!! This job was completed last year and I think it took so long that I kind of lost enthusiasm because by the time I'd finished it I was sick to death of the thing - it took hours.

Anyway, if you were following my progress last year I was trying to decide whether to do the underside or just paint down to the sills and forget the underside. Well after much deliberating I decided that although you can't normally see the underside I know it's there and therefore it had to be done. So the other week we had a family party and there were half a dozen strong lads here and we turned her upsidedown on my wooden trolley. I think my next door neighbours think I'm building a boat.

I then spent may an unpleasant hour cleaning the black gorilla snot off the underside. A warning for you here... I used wire brush on my angle grinder on the stuff and it went everywhere. Although the outside hardens off the inner is still liquid tar and I got covered in it - I looked like I'd been down a coal mine. I washed my hair twice with shampoo in the bath but when I dried it the towel was brown. In the end I had to wash my hair three times with washing up liquid to get it out and for the next week I walked round with a strange shine to my hair!!


I've now painted the bottom of the car with paintable stone chip which is about like spraying concrete if you've ever tried it. I also painted the radiator housing with the stone chip to try and protect it a bit. The housing looks okay now but what you see has had 20 or more hours of work because when I first got it you could see daylight through about 20% of it!!


Here's a close-up of the stone chip area, as you can see it gives a rippled effect and has a rubber texture. I'm hoping this will also deaden the sound a bit...


Next up is sprayable polyester on most of the panels and in particular around the engine bay as this has had some major surgery, which included rebuilding most of it after the previous owner cut 2ft long sections out when he fitted a V8 to it. After that it will block sanding to the area flat and scar free. Then the same for the other panels and then a few coats of two pack high build primer followed by more blocking. I'm aiming to get the underside painted up to the centre trim line whilst it's upside down before I turn her back over.

Another picture of the area I've applied stone chip to...


That's all folks!

Edited by Paul Coleman

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Here are a couple of shots of my bonnet all primed up...



It's difficult to tell that it's had major surgery :)


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Well for someone who lost their enthusiasm and was going to sell their car you certainly have been working hard. In fact for someone who is a wildly-enthusiastic perfectionist, you have been working real hard. Great work, Paul.

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