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FULL S1 RESORATION FINALLY BEGINS...... - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


FULL S1 RESORATION FINALLY BEGINS......


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So here's the start of things. I bought this car of ebay 2 years ago and has been sat in the garage waiting for motivation and of course money.........

Heres a few pictures so far.......

Picture224.jpg

Picture256.jpg

Picture261.jpg

I'll probably be stated by the purists because it will be gelcoated white, but I want to try and keep things as authentic as possible as to how a white S1 should look. I'm not a fan of tartan, anyone know if any of the original white S1's had a black leather interior?

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I'm in Plymouth, Devon. Thanks for the offer Tony but your'e on the wrong side of the pond. I'll have some more pictures after the weekend but here's another to keep things going... My firs

Kris,

You have a very rare and desirable color S1. IIRC, there were 18 RHD cars, 4 Federal, and 2 RoW Esprit S1s in Orange gel coat (plus two more orange federal cars that were produced later, so I'm pretty sure they were painted).

The ritual of someone in the UK digging up an S1 of any color and changing it to white is getting pretty tired. Pretty soon, white S1s will be as ubiquitous in the UK as red Ferrari 308s are in the US.

The super hard original finish on early S1s is special and for all practical purposes irreplaceable/unrepeatable, and IMHO should be held on to.

If you must have a white car, there is an early white RHD UK model S1 in the states on Long Island (New York). It's missing the engine and trans and about half the interior, but the frame is in good condition. I'd be happy to acquire this car and trade bodies with you, (or you might consider rescuing the entire car yourself). I'd kill for an orange S1, and judging by the prices that the few known ones have sold for, so would other people; they command the same (if not greater) premium as original white S1s do.

Just my .02, but the suggestion of a swap is genuine. :wine:

- Tony K.

EDIT: I started writing before Simon had posted. I second his comment about orange being stunning and rare! :hrhr:

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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I'm torn between the orange or white. I've always wanted a white one & I have taken the shell to a friend who is a marine yacht laminator who will be gelcoating. My head says get an orange colour matched gelcoat my heart says white. I still have a few weeks to have a good think about things before we attack the shell.

Thanks for the detailed reply Tony, very much appreciated, some fair points you've made. I need to do some "soul searching".

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Thanks, Kris . . .

. . . . by the way: http://longisland.craigslist.org/cto/1330395814.html

:wine:

p.s., Regarding interiors, early S1s were either Tartan or brown/beige marcasite. I'm pretty sure black marcasite was available at some point, as evidenced by the parts manual and this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cblu3svcuVk. I'm not aware of leather being an option on S1s, but I think Scott Walker once made a comment about it becoming available on very late S1s, so you might want to check with him.

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Kris

I am in the same boat to you and fairly new to this as well. I have to agree in this case i would never mess with a S1. I am far from a purist but when a car is so rare i would leave it original. Where bouts are you based by the way. More pictures please.

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I'm in Plymouth, Devon. Thanks for the offer Tony but your'e on the wrong side of the pond.

I'll have some more pictures after the weekend but here's another to keep things going...

My first goal is to get everything stripped from the chassis & all the rust off. I want to get paint on this Sunday.

Its going to be a long day.....

Picture293.jpg

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I would have to agree with the others, I would definitely leave it orange. Orange is a real 70s colour and in my humble opinion looks good with tartan. Does it have a tartan interior at the moment? What chassis number is it?

Paul.

Edited by Paul Coleman

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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Hi Paul

It is 166G the interior was tartan but I have ditched it. All interior cloth was completely rotten

some fool had put a nasty 70s sun roof in which looked like it had leaked for many years.

Orange? maybe......

I would have to agree with the others, I would definitely leave it orange. Orange is a real 70s colour and in my humble opinion looks good with tartan. Does it have a tartan interior at the moment? What chassis number is it?

Paul.

Cheers for the orange pictures Mat, the colour doesn't do alot for me although that s1 looks in great condition.

Some of you may have seen this project before, it has been featured in Practical Performance Cars a couple of times a few years ago.

Edited by smokingkills
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The super hard original finish on early S1s is special and for all practical purposes irreplaceable/unrepeatable, and IMHO should be held on to.

If I were you I would consider doing all the mechanical work, thats going to set you back a fair amount of time and money. Then replace the body and polish and clean it even get a detailer to work on it. Then live with the car for a year or two. If its not for you, you can then have the car painted white.

All Im saying is dont be too rash in losing the orginal finish. Oh I am a purist BTW, where possible!

Good luck with the car

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Nice pics Harry. I see that one has got the turbo louvres on. I have never seen them added to an S1, although some people with the turbos want to replace them with the glass more like the S1. Grass is always greener on the other side I guess?? lol

Orange is the new white...which is the new black

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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I must admit the louvered orange car looks OK. I will take time to think about you guys comments, but for the last 2 years the plan was white.

Back to the build, the prep work was a little more advance than the previous pictures. 2 litres of POR and 3 litres of smoothrite later......

DSC00494.jpg

DSC00488.jpg

loads of paint on so should cut back well.

Edited by smokingkills
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loads of paint on so should cut back well.

I dont think you need to T cut the chasis!! That would be serious over kill....

Good progress so far though. :wine:

Buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Here's anotherone in orange. Stunning.

http://www.lotus-forum.de/phpForum/topic.p...ght=&page=1

cheers,

Harry Martens

WOW!!! :wine:

That's the other orange RoW car. I forget the chassis number, but the first orange RoW car (I believe it's either 100J or 101J) is, IIRC in Spain and being restored and . . . from what I heard . . . being repainted red. . . .

Edited by Tony K

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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i say keep it orange.

i always wanted a white esprit -a bond thing.

i bought a black one ,which is the original colour and at least the register will show it as the colour.

i would suggest that you get the guys to mix the orange in basecoat ,perhaps with a dash of pearlescent ,circa lamborgini colour, followed by clearcoat.

you at least retain originality in colour but modernise the colour.

furthermore i would do the seats in black leather - would look really nice.

cheers

richard

Technically sound ...Theoretically poked !

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I know but humour me. I'll be there with the t cut in 3 weeks or so. I have much more time than money :)

I dont think you need to T cut the chasis!! That would be serious over kill....

Good progress so far though. :lol:

Buddsy

I am seriously considering orange, either way the colour will be applied in gelcoat. There is a local store that can mix gelcoat pigment. Anyone know the colour code for the gelcoat?

i say keep it orange.

i always wanted a white esprit -a bond thing.

i bought a black one ,which is the original colour and at least the register will show it as the colour.

i would suggest that you get the guys to mix the orange in basecoat ,perhaps with a dash of pearlescent ,circa lamborgini colour, followed by clearcoat.

you at least retain originality in colour but modernise the colour.

furthermore i would do the seats in black leather - would look really nice.

cheers

richard

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I am seriously considering orange, either way the colour will be applied in gelcoat. There is a local store that can mix gelcoat pigment. Anyone know the colour code for the gelcoat?

IIRC, the code is long lost. I remember reading about Wyn Edwards' S1 and that they had to match the color to a part that was preserved.

For what it's worth, a bit of polishing is all that it should take to bring that orange back to it's full glory.

Take a look at 134H below -- a good detail brought back all of the radiance of the color, and it has not a trace of a scratch or swirl mark:

DSCF2188.jpg

Like new!

If the rest of the car is good, I'd just fix the roof and match it to the rest of the car . . . however, I must say that I commend you if you do restore the whole body in gelcoat, and I think that should set the standard for restoring early S1s . . .

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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remember that most paint finishes last longer than gel coats ,particularly when the are in basecoat/clearcoat.

use a good paint and you will get 20-25 years out of it.

richard

Hi Richard,

FWIW, the original S1 "gel coat" (close, but not exactly) finishes are super hard, super deep, and retain their color super well. They are practically immune to stone chips, and the only time they really "need" to be repainted is when damaged from cracking (like all S1s do, regardless of finish), accidents, or when someone molests the car like putting a sunroof in it, etc.

Many people repaint them when they are dull from oxidation, but that is because they don't know what they have, and don't know that all they need to do is wet sand and polish (or just polish most of the time) and it will look literally new again.

Once you paint one of these cars, it becomes subject to road rash and scratches like all other painted cars. IMHO, I'd rather live with a few (typically hard to see) gel coat cracks and have a bulletproof finish than go through all the trouble to paint it just to have the lower rear quarter panels chipped up after 10k miles. For this reason, and for the sake of preserving the uniqueness of early S1s, I think it's great that he intends to use gel coat. :lol:

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Absolutely correct Tony K, you can beat the super hard gelcoat finish.

Sadly my car was butchered in the 70s/80s to make it look like the s2 with the addition of the cooling engine bay "ears" as well as a nasty sun roof. There's some cracking/crazing to repair also. I will endevour to get a blimish free finish with the new gel coat. You guys have talked sense into me & the car will be gelcoated ORANGE..

However, I'm not so sure I could live wth the interior being restored to green & tartan & I really want to use a modern black leather. How do you guys think this will effect the value of an S1?

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Can I make a suggestion,

If you want a white car but you want to keep the originality of the car with the orange then have it re gelocoated in orange and then once its done have it Wrapped (all over car sticker) in white. By doing this you have the best of both worlds.

Its what all these guys with the chrome lambo and R8's and the camouflage rolls royces do.

When your bored with white or want to sell in orange you just peel it off and polish.

also this would mean that the finish you apply would stay perfect.

Just a suggestion.

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