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FULL S1 RESORATION FINALLY BEGINS...... - Page 2 - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


FULL S1 RESORATION FINALLY BEGINS......


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Re your trim Kris;

Fashions, standards and expectations change really rapidly with Classic Cars. What was an acceptable modification can soon be classed as near heresy. It was not that long ago (8 years-ish?) that a restored white S1 graced the cover of Classic Cars magazine, the inside text proclaiming something along the lines of "thank god the owner ditched the crappy tartan and chose sensible black leather". (edit: found it Classic Cars)

The original tartan may take a little getting used to, and it is hideously expensive, but just think about it. You are doing an otherwise full restoration. For the first time in 30 years it is possible to get a retrim done by the original guy, in the original materials, to world class standards. I seriously think the value of the car would increase by at least the cost of the retrim, if that sort of thing bothers you (maybe you'll keep it forever). From what I can tell the guy who does them is in his 60s and the material supplies limited, ie this opportunity can't go on forever. My guess is you'll kick yourself one day if you don't go for it now. Put it this way, if I had an S1 I'd be selling the kids to white slavers to get it done.

At the end of the day it's your car, if you get in it when it's done and it doesn't feel that way then there's no point. By the way not all S1s had tartan trim, if it really makes you feel nausious there was always the famous "mouse fur" trim. Below is the S1 interior of the gorgeous original orange car above owned by Jeff Ippoliti;

Edited by LooseCannon

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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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

I've seen how this is done on the discovery channel with a camper van lol

Seriously tho, I might consider this on my Impreza but never on the S1. Pretty expensive too.

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.

Cheers Mark,

Who is this craftsman? What would you call a ball park figure for hideously expensive?

For the first time in 30 years it is possible to get a retrim done by the original guy, in the original materials, to world class standards. I seriously think the value of the car would increase by at least the cost of the retrim, if that sort of thing bothers you (maybe you'll keep it forever). From what I can tell the guy who does them is in his 60s and the material supplies limited, ie this opportunity can't go on forever. My guess is you'll kick yourself one day if you don't go for it now. Put it this way, if I had an S1 I'd be selling the kids to white slavers to get it done.

At the end of the day it's your car, if you get in it when it's done and it doesn't feel that way then there's no point. By the way not all S1s had tartan trim, if it really makes you feel nausious there was always the famous "mouse fur" trim. Below is the S1 interior of the gorgeous original orange car above owned by Jeff Ippoliti;

Now I have come to terms with sacrificing what would have been my white S1 I think that I should at least consider building it how Lotus intended. I want to try and get things right first time

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Kris, the guy to talk to is Nick Fulcher LINK, he gets on here occasionally. Prices you'd have to ask him for a quote as from what has been shown on this forum the "retrims" he takes on encompass metalwork/woodwork/fabrication/wiring etc. I have heard figures bandied around of several thousands, however the end result is utter perfection. If you don't fancy tartan I'm sure it was mentioned somewhere that a decent substitute for the brown marcasite above had been sourced. Some of the S1 guys on here should really chip in at this point as I don't know what I'm talking about really. Several owners on here have used his services.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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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 . . .

how does one restore a whole body in gelcoat without the molds??

it been awhile since i layed up body work. but i recall gel coat is the first layer of matrix on top of the mold release agent?

even if you can re-gelcoat the body how can you ever match the colors of the old gelcoat without painting?

great look S1 by the way...

cheers

pp

Edited by pyropolymer
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how does one restore a whole body in gelcoat without the molds??

it been awhile since i layed up body work. but i recall gel coat is the first layer of matrix on top of the mold release agent?

even if you can re-gelcoat the body how can you ever match the colors of the old gelcoat without painting?

great look S1 by the way...

cheers

pp

I'm no expert on this but the chap that will be doing it makes luxury yachts for a living. The whole car will be coated. My understanding (I will be labouring for my laminator mate) is that we key up the whole body, then he will brush coat the gelcoat on, flat back & polish. Sounds simple but there is a whole load of work involved.

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Kris, the guy to talk to is Nick Fulcher LINK, he gets on here occasionally. Prices you'd have to ask him for a quote as from what has been shown on this forum the "retrims" he takes on encompass metalwork/woodwork/fabrication/wiring etc. I have heard figures bandied around of several thousands, however the end result is utter perfection. If you don't fancy tartan I'm sure it was mentioned somewhere that a decent substitute for the brown marcasite above had been sourced. Some of the S1 guys on here should really chip in at this point as I don't know what I'm talking about really. Several owners on here have used his services.

Here is a close-up of of Nick's perfection (again, Jeff's car) -- not a stitch out of place! :evil:

(the skewed colors are my camera)

DSCF2203.jpg

Regarding the substitute for Marcasite, check out this thread: http://www.lotusespritforum.com/forums/ind...showtopic=24137

I left off waiting to hear what Nick thinks of it after seeing it in person, but I will soon need to be ordering fabric to re-trim a couple of S1 interiors, and I am ready to accept Krypton as the closest thing to Marcasite and go ahead and use it. I'll be ordering enough to do several cars soon, but I'd suggest anyone in the UK try obtaining it through Nick if he offers it. :yes:

I've seen several things close to the beige "mole" cloth while looking for a marcasite substitute; will need to spend some more time with that . . .

Edited by Tony K

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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I'm all for keeping S1 Esprits original, I also think Nick Fulcher is a master craftsman and his work is just utter perfection !

But as for the tartan S1 interior well in my eyes it's just damn ugly. I've even been asked to print out pictures of S1's with tartan interior so my mates can laugh at in in my local pub

I felt I was lucky my S1 never was made with the tartan trim so I never felt obliged to keep it ... phew

As for the colour, orange is a nice colour for an S1 and rare, but at the end of the day if your restoring the car for you to keep, also think what colour car you would buy if you had the choice of them all.

My car was the only bright metallic green S1 ever made and I'm so pleased it's now white, if it had been orange I would have kept it the original orange

Hope this helps

Matt

1976 Esprit S1 123G Red Tartan, 1976 Esprit S1 170G Orange Tartan, 1976 Esprit S1 192G White Tartan, 1976 Esprit S1 228G Yellow, 1977 Esprit S1 564H Blue, 1978 Esprit S1 329G Now White, 1978 Esprit S1 336G Blue, 1978 Esprit S1 728H Development car , 1978 Esprit S1  378G Silver,  1981 Esprit S2.2 0991 Blue, 1997 Elise S1 Blue. Trying not to buy any more...

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To each their own I guess.

Personally I think the Tartan interior is the most desirable interior finish of all for a S1. I would have never paid the kind of money I paid for my S1 if it hadn't had the tartan interior (amongst other things).

Lets face it, how many sports cars have a black leather interior? wait... All of them :evil:

The same thing can't be said about tartan interior and for me that's what the S1 is all about : exclusivity.

The way I see it if it had a tartan interior it must be tartan.

If it had marcasite interior it must be marcasite (or something close) and so on...

Just my two euros. :yes:

Hey whats wrong with this wreck? We`re getting gas back here.

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If it was mine I'd keep it Orange, I think it really suits the car and is correct for its age. If it was Tartan and I could afford it I'd have that, it's a 70's car and they look great in it.

I like White S1's but to be honest there all bloody white now!!

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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HI,mine was in crapresite brown or was that shatresite brown it was cracked to feck and had gone green the beige seats had worn out and had stretched and ripped all after six years with only 25 k on the clock.I was in the same dilemma .Do I restore it to original, never drive it ,if so only on dull days and then have it detiroirate again or should I go for beautiful magnolia leather.No contest.My opinion is the outside is for show ,the inside is where I spend most of the time enjoying the driving .No contest really.(Oh by the way ,50,000 miles later and my leather int still looks real goood!)

Edited by espritmania
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I'm a fan of the tartan personally and I'd go for originality. You have to remember that the S1 is a car from the 70s and not the 90s.

Paul.

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

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I'm no expert on this but the chap that will be doing it makes luxury yachts for a living. The whole car will be coated. My understanding (I will be labouring for my laminator mate) is that we key up the whole body, then he will brush coat the gelcoat on, flat back & polish. Sounds simple but there is a whole load of work involved.

i thought the whole appeal of the "colored gelcoat" process was to eliminate tradition painting of the body by using the gelcoat as the colored surface. so if you are going to brush on flat black and polish, that will be the color of the final finish you want? sounds like your still going to painted conventionally to the color you want in the end.

im still not clear on how you guys will be preserving the original gelcoat color.

after a handfull early cars, lotus abandon that process for a reason.

respectfully

pp

PS... i love the tartan and Marcasite a close 2nd. you cant go wrong with both. leather most likely the practical choice but is just a little conventional for me for the stunning S1

Edited by pyropolymer
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I'm all for keeping S1 Esprits original, I also think Nick Fulcher is a master craftsman and his work is just utter perfection !

But as for the tartan S1 interior well in my eyes it's just damn ugly. I've even been asked to print out pictures of S1's with tartan interior so my mates can laugh at in in my local pub

I felt I was lucky my S1 never was made with the tartan trim so I never felt obliged to keep it ... phew

As for the colour, orange is a nice colour for an S1 and rare, but at the end of the day if your restoring the car for you to keep, also think what colour car you would buy if you had the choice of them all.

My car was the only bright metallic green S1 ever made and I'm so pleased it's now white, if it had been orange I would have kept it the original orange

Hope this helps

Matt

I spoke with the oracle (Nick Fulcher) this evening who talked me through some things, it was an education 45 minutes yapping felt like 5 minutes. Thanks again for your time if you are reading this and thanks for asking if I was sitting down lol.

The car will stay orange, that much now I am sure of.

i thought the whole appeal of the "colored gelcoat" process was to eliminate tradition painting of the body by using the gelcoat as the colored surface. so if you are going to brush on flat black and polish, that will be the color of the final finish you want? sounds like your still going to painted conventionally to the color you want in the end.

im still not clear on how you guys will be preserving the original gelcoat color.

after a handfull early cars, lotus abandon that process for a reason.

Watch this space......

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after a handfull early cars, lotus abandon that process for a reason.

My understanding is that they abandoned the in-the-mould process because they had difficulty getting consistency with the colors and/or getting them to match (i.e. doors and bonnets not matching the bodies), and wound up painting portions of some of the cars ex-mould.

Apparently they could only get the process to work with certain colors, as nearly all of the gelcoat cars are yellow/red/white, only a small number of orange, and somewhere between one and a few are blue.

In an interview (I think in Walton's book), a Lotus exec talked about why they dropped the process, and said that they might revisit it some day if it proved to be economical and practical in production. (Although I doubt it at this point)

But as far as durability and longevity go (not to mention uniqueness), the gelcoat cars are fantastic. :evil:

- T

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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My understanding is that they abandoned the in-the-mould process because they had difficulty getting consistency with the colors and/or getting them to match (i.e. doors and bonnets not matching the bodies), and wound up painting portions of some of the cars ex-mould.

Apparently they could only get the process to work with certain colors, as nearly all of the gelcoat cars are yellow/red/white, only a small number of orange, and somewhere between one and a few are blue.

In an interview (I think in Walton's book), a Lotus exec talked about why they dropped the process, and said that they might revisit it some day if it proved to be economical and practical in production. (Although I doubt it at this point)

But as far as durability and longevity go (not to mention uniqueness), the gelcoat cars are fantastic. :)

- T

tony

interesting

i reckon they where having difficulty with the required level of finish. in the end they must of had to match paint the other mismatch panels so the original concept of eliminating the paint process when out the door.

the colors u mention are typically what u call high

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Kris -- great photos -- can't wait to see it restored to full beauty! :)

PP -- take a look at your paint code on the ID tag inside the front compartment. If it starts with L, then it's nitrocellulose lacquer; A and it's acrylic enamel. Typically the lacquer finishes are the single stage, and the acrylics are the metal flake/clear coat finishes.

- T

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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. i believe my S3 esprit is lacquer painted? I recall it behaves the same when buffing.

PP

ps kris does your early S1 came with the cool center chrome ashtray?

I can't find the ashtray?? There are no holes/recess in the "sill covers" either?? Is it possible that it was made without?? (I can't see a recess in the arm rest either).

Kris -- great photos -- can't wait to see it restored to full beauty! :)

PP -- take a look at your paint code on the ID tag inside the front compartment. If it starts with L, then it's nitrocellulose lacquer; A and it's acrylic enamel. Typically the lacquer finishes are the single stage, and the acrylics are the metal flake/clear coat finishes.

- T

My code looks like 150 but the "1" is probably an "L", & the "5" could be a "3" the engraver had an off day by the looks.

DSC00Paintcode.jpg

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Hi Kris,

I'm not sure what the "1" stamped there is, but your paint code looks like/most likely is S04, which is the code for gel coat orange. Looks like the left portion of a "4" above the rivet at about 10 o'clock - 11 o'clock, with the rest of the "4" corroded away . . .

The other two orange colors from the period are Colorado orange and signal orange; I think Colorado orange is a little too brown/not as bright compared to the gelcoat orange (think Europa orange), and signal orange is more red, IIRC... Both of them are lacquer colors, paint code starts with L. That S on your plate looks like a 5, but so have many (maybe all?) of the ones on the gelcoat cars I've seen in person; I think whoever at Lotus engraved those things just made "S"es that looked that way! :)

I'm not sure if there were any Signal or Colorado Orange S1s at all; those were earlier colors. I'm fairly certain that either all of the orange S1s or all but two of the orange S1s were gelcoat cars. There were a couple of orange S1s constructed or completed in May or June of 1977, which was for the most part past the time Lotus were using the gelcoat process, but I've never known or seen the paint codes on those cars to verify.

- T

Edited by Tony K

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Hi my advise is, its going to take time, money and pain and your only going to do it once, unless your a very sick person. So go with what you want, I like the orange but there was only going to be one colour white for me. The interior's black. yes hemlock like all the rest, I would like to have the original tartan. Maybe one when ive got a few spare grand lying around but until then its black leather.

A few pics to help you choose.

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