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So as to not stray off topic, I am starting a new thread to pick up on a question Mark answered for me (thanks Mark!):

Tony

There were definitely lime green ones from the factory . . .

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Needless to say, I have this fascination with the S1 cars. One thing I have been trying to keep track of is all of the colors they left the factory in. I have seen the charts with the paint codes (I think on LEW) as well as the listing in the parts manual, but just because a color is listed, I'm not going to assume an Esprit actually left the factory in that color.

I have seen S1s with their original gelcoat finishes in the following colours:

White

Red

Yellow

Orange

Blue

Black

and I am now aware that

Lime Green was made, too.

Were there any others?

Were there two shades of yellow? From some photographs, it appears that there is a lighter yellow and a darker yellow, but I can't account for lighting and resprays.

Same thing with reds - where there two shades of red, one being Calypso Red and the other something else?

Again, for this thread, I am only interested in colours that S1s left the factory in. I greatly appreciate your input! :P

Thanks,

Tony

Edited by Tony K

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

I know that the S2 came in a gold color... Not sure if it was an option on the S1..

PC303208.JPG

Shah

edit... or how bout my horrible photoshot of an esprit in early sprint colors. hahaha

TradLotusColors.jpg

Edited by JRTurbo909

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Shah,

I love that gold color -- when I was looking to buy my white S1, the owner of that gold S2 in the photo contacted me, and I considered it. (I asked on the yahoogroup like you did and got a ton of responses.)

After trying gelcoat on the S1s, Lotus reverted to painting on the S2s. One thing I am certain of is that there are no metallic finishes on S1s. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think other metallics on S2s included silver and brown. I have no clue how many different colors S2s had!

S2 factory colors:

White

Black

Red (Calypso?)

Yellow

Silver?

Brown

Gold

Blue - how many different blues?

Others?

- Tony

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As you can see from the avatar my S1 is blue. The official Lotus color is "Lagoon Blue". Depending on the light hitting it there is a hint of green tint to the blue.

Its original factory paint but its pretty badly oxidized.

DomG

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I have seen S1s with their original gelcoat finishes in the following colours:

White

Red

Yellow

Orange

Blue

Black

and I am now aware that

Lime Green  was made, too.

Tony

I love anorak threads like this... :P

I have always found the pics of things like the old Lambo factory really evocative, with all those Miuras on the line in dazzling citrus colours. Way back when we were all on the Yahoo forums I had a chat with a bloke who lived near the factory and used to go to the open day every year as a child with his dad. He recalled getting "lost" and wandering around yards of undelivered S1 and said it was just like that, and he said there were lime ones.

I don't know how long the gelcoat finish lasted as a production method to be honest, the gist in Jeremy Walton's book was it was only the first few cars. I don't suppose this system lent itself to metallics but I have seen a silver S1 advertised quite recently, of course it could have been a repaint.

Mark Blanchard's site has this S1 pic (which I have not seen before) of a production car, albeit on the Ital stand; does this look white or silver? Do I need my eyes tested?

Ital_Stand.jpg

As for S2s there were definitely silver ones ( I saw one at a dealer when they were quite new). There have been some colour swatches on Ebay, this one from Kimbers himself;

S2 swatch

Maybe the best thing to do is get hold of a period brochure?

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This thread is fun :P

Those bright colours were all the rage in the mid60s to the 70s.

The trend was started by Bertone on the Miura.

Think Porsche was next to pick up on this (911)

Then the Yanks, Ford (Grabber colors) AMC (Big Bad colors) Chrysler (Impact Colors)

Ford was the first UK manufacturer to use them (Signal colours)Vista Orange, Sebring Red , Le-Mans Green, Daytona yellow

I was under the impression the first 100 Esprits off the line were gelcoat, but when the complaints started about the finish and panel missmatch, Lotus painted them from then on.

Back in the day, Esprits were very rare in Birmingham and I only remember seeing Red, black and yellow S1 s

These colours were definately a welcome change in Britain, where I remember the most hideous dull Greys, blues. maroons and Blacks when I arrived there in 1964.

Edited by WayneB

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I opened my copy of the 1997 edition of Walton's book, and he discusses the gelcoat process from pages 55-57. The main points:

- process "abandoned after 1977"

- Walton observed the process in Summer of 1977, and

- "at first only applied for white, red, orange, and blue, although experiments were taking place with black when I called" (p.57)

- "Esprit reverted to conventional paint-spraying techniques by the close of the year"

This makes a good deal of sense compared to what I have seen in person on cars; the black (gelcoat) cars I have all seen were late S1s.

I am not totally content, however, with Walton's suggestion of when Lotus stopped the gelcoat process--he himself is not specific (see first and last quote above). Was it necessarily around the end of the year, or could it have been a month or two into the new year? And could a body have been cast in gelcoat in, say, December, but the finished car wear a VIN with a 7801 or 7802 number?

I would like to hear from anyone with an S1 with a build date of 7801 - 7804 (or whenever they ended) that can verify with certainty whether their car originally had gelcoat or paint. I have heard one claim by a learned and enthusiastic owner that his very early S2 has a gelcoat finish. :( I always thought (and still am inclined to believe) that the gelcoat colour did not last into S2 production, but the anorak in me wants to know! :P

Okay, I'm just digging waaaaay too deep into this stuff! :P

- Tony

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As you can see from the avatar my S1 is blue.  The official Lotus color is "Lagoon Blue". 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nice car. The very first Esprit I ever saw was blue, but it was a lighter "powder blue". I don't know if it was an S1 or S2.

-Dave

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Hi,

I'm working on a website and need to nail down all the original S1 colors so I can then determine the RGB equivalents. The list I have is below and I'd appreciate any corrections.

Thanks,

Matt

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ESPRIT S1 COLORS/COLOURS

* = metallic

Black (Can we all agree to call this "Spinal Tap Black"?)

Calypso Red

Colorado Orange

Lagoon Blue*

Lime Green

Lotus Yellow

Monaco White

Oxford Blue

Roman Bronze*

Viper Green*

Edited by Moxie

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Not seen this thread before but as its been revived...

Can confirm silver was an S2 colour - my car was originally silver and this is documented on my provenance certificate form the factory.

There was a silver S1 for sale on ebay recently, obvioulsy I can't confirm if it was the original colour. I seem to remember Scott Walker was the seller, he had three S1's for sale at the same time (including a yellow car up for sale at £40k)

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Hi,

I'm working on a website and need to nail down all the original S1 colors so I can then determine the RGB equivalents. The list I have is below and I'd appreciate any corrections.

Thanks,

Matt

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ESPRIT S1 COLORS/COLOURS

* = metallic

Black (Can we all agree to call this "Spinal Tap Black"?)

Calypso Red

Colorado Orange

Lagoon Blue*

Lime Green

Lotus Yellow

Monaco White

Oxford Blue

Roman Bronze*

Viper Green*

Hey Matt,

I've learned quite a bit since starting this thread! Thanks to SCW's list, some old photocopied pages from Lotus that corroborate parts of SCW's list, and obsessive observations of S1s as they turned up for sale, at car shows, on the internet, etc., here is a better suggestion of colors on S1 Esprits. I offer that this list is nearly complete-ish, going from memory, but does stand to be corrected or further verified:

"Gelcoat" (in-the-mould) colors:

White

Yellow

Orange

Red

Blue (only a couple or few)

Looking at dozens of S1s and corroborating with what the books say, it seems the last gelcoat S1s were 7703 production, or thereabouts. There are exceptions, one notable one, of course, being Lyn Weschler's car, with the story he was told by someone at Lotus being something to the effect that "they must have hid that car for tax purposes . . . they did things like that" -- so his is a 7705 (IIRC) with gelcoat . . . lol :D

Traditional paint finishes:

Monaco White -- example: any white post-gelcoat S1

Carnival Red -- the most common red post-gelcoat (example: my ex 260H and current 437H, most red S1s you see)

Colorado Orange (just a handful) -- example: the two mid-1977 Federal spec S1s (possibly the only two, others might all be gelcoat). One belongs to a forum member.

Regency Red (about half a dozen Federal, several more UK/RoW) -- example: there is a forum member restoring one in California

Black -- 24+ Federal, more UK/Row -- not uncommon, several have turned up on the forum, on eBay, etc.

Lagoon Blue -- a couple dozen between UK, Federal, RoW. Examples: Dominic's car in NY, and ex-Scott Walker car, seen on LEW owners' page

Oxford Blue -- as in my avatar, as well as several forum members. A few dozen between UK, Row, and Federal

One or two other shades of blue (Bahama blue?), UK/RoW only, only a couple/few cars

Mint Green (a few UK, a few Federal -- three of each, maybe? -- not sure if any RoW). The pale green car in the magazine article here (http://www.lotusespritworld.com/images/Buyingguide/PracClassic_01.jpg) is probably Mint green. Would have to check with Lotus if there were actually any L13 Lime/Pistaccio green S1s

Viper Green (one UK car . . . restored and painted white at the moment). Viper Green is a medium metallic green.

Silver (a few cars) -- example: a couple have turned up here in discussion, plus this RoW (J) car: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1178/540621429_8a8c6a04dd.jpg

Gold (a few cars, supposedly. I would love to see one)

Roman Bronze (about 6-8 U.S., several more UK and RoW)

Supposedly two cars in "titanium" or "gunmetal" -- one is 266H. Possibly being confused with silver, but I'm guessing not at the moment.

Yellow (duh, the most common color)

Possibly Signal Red (would love to know of an example)

Possibly another shade of white (supposedly one UK car, according to SCW).

Open to more/additional/better info . . . :)

- Tony

.

.

.

.

:TTIWWP:

.

.

.

Okay, this thread is just BEGGING for pictures, so here are some:

Mint Green (most likely):

PracClassic_01.jpg

Silver:

540621429_8a8c6a04dd.jpg

Regency Red:

3992593176_75d7b44abe.jpg

Black:

blacklateS1.jpg

Red gelcoat:

DSCF1914.jpg

Carnival Red Lacquer:

reds1rearforweb.jpg

(although the lighting doesn't show it, Carnival has that slight tinge of orange like and is nearly identical to the gel coat red)

Orange gelcoat:

DSCF1432.jpg

Orange lacquer:

Contact Alexis, screen name orangeS1 here, for a photo of his all original and very unusual L14 Colorado Orange Federal-spec S1 delivered new in Europe.

Yellow gelcoat:

TNR-149R.jpg

Yellow lacquer:

1977-Lotus-Esprit-No-Sale-at-%2410,100-A-640.jpeg

(Again, the lighting is different, but the yellow lacquer is nearly identical to the gelcoat)

White gelcoat (in dire need of a cleaning and polish):

whiteS1wrinklybumper500.jpg

Monaco White:

simonHouse_S1_01.jpg

Lagoon Blue:

ScottWalker_78_01.jpg

Roman Bronze:

RomanBronzeS1California.jpg

Any more?!?

:cheers:

Tony

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You're a cruel, cruel man putting that orange gelcoat shot in there. I think my cool factor is up just knowing I've stood on that same spot. Ya know, the Speedlines on that red gelcoat might look good on the orange gelcoat :)

As always, you're forged of raw awesomeness, and if you're ever on life support, I'm hiring aliens to download all your Esprit knowledge in to a crystal repository, guarded by Superman at the Fortress of Solitude, and Bibs will be the only person with the password, given only to Full Forum Members.

I've done this before with vintage Fender colors (guitars, not car parts), but basically, I need to narrow this down so I can get small batch samples of each, apply them to a suitable white base, let them dry, and then compare them with standard Pantone and Goe Pantone guides to get the best RGB match.

Regarding the differences between the white, yellow, and red gelcoates and their traditional counterparts, it appears that the former are generally more muted, but barely. At least the white gelcoats looks more creamy than stark white.

I had no idea about Regenecy Red, but that's stunning. Makes me want to kill a bottle of Pinot.

So to simplify things for the purposes of getting color specs for the website I'm working on, safe to cut the list down to the following?…

* = metallic

  • Black
  • Carnival Red
  • Colorado Orange
  • Gold*
  • Lagoon Blue*
  • Lime/Pistachio Green
  • Lotus Yellow
  • Mint Green
  • Monaco White
  • Oxford Blue
  • Regency Red*
  • Roman Bronze*
  • Signal Red?
  • Silver*
  • Viper Green*
Possibles:
  • Bahama Blue?
  • Titanium/Gunmetal?

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As always, you're forged of raw awesomeness, and if you're ever on life support, I'm hiring aliens to download all your Esprit knowledge in to a crystal repository, guarded by Superman at the Fortress of Solitude, and Bibs will be the only person with the password, given only to Full Forum Members.

I'm with you...

I had no idea about Regenecy Red, but that's stunning. Makes me want to kill a bottle of Pinot.

As above.

A week with the S1 guru has grown more of an appreciation of your encyclopaedic knowledge of this model, we need to pickle your brain :D

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Matt --

The white gelcoat is actually almost a pure white; the car in the photograph (erm, mine) happens to really need to be cleaned and polished. Bad Tony. But when I had to refinish the replacement rear valance, I sanded and polished some of the white on the hacked up original valance (in the photo above) for the paint shop guy to scan with his ChromaVision. It came up as very close to a pure white, with very few tints in it. If I'm feeling geeky enough I'll dig up the code . . . but I would imagine that Monaco White and gel coat white are pretty close.

My eye can't really tell the difference between the gel coat yellow and the painted cars; sure there's a different luster and depth to the color; but in terms of tint, anyone who sees a difference has a better eye than I! :detective:

By the way, here are a couple of examples of Colorado Orange:

Saturation turned up in Photoshop? (The parking cones are glowing on my monitor...)

L14_colorado_orange.jpg

In the "golden hour" of evening sunlight:

Lotus%20Elan%201968.JPG

Oh, and look -- here's a Colorado Orange S1! With S2 front spoiler, Matt! :animier:

4823609623_97796b5d3d.jpg

I believe this is Alexis' car that I referenced above. Very unusual car in that it has a mid-1977 VIN number, but IIRC it was recorded to have left the factory and sold new in 1978. It has S2 switches and gauges inside, to go with the S2 front spoiler. Most likely a true "S1.5". (Alexis, if you are reading this, please correct me if I make any errors.) IIRC, this is one of the six orange "H" cars, but it was delivered new in Europe and has been there since.

.

.

.

. . .P.S. Matt -- difficult to see, but this orange car is painted pretty close to the way I was suggesting for your front spoiler . . .

.

.

.

. . .P.P.S. -- good to see he is protecting that nice brown Marcasite from fading! (it fades quickly in the sun like a cheap t-shirt...)

Okay, another post, but it is getting added on to the one above:

So to simplify things for the purposes of getting color specs for the website I'm working on, safe to cut the list down to the following?…

* = metallic

  • Black
  • Carnival Red
  • Colorado Orange
  • Gold*
  • Lagoon Blue*
  • Lime/Pistachio Green
  • Lotus Yellow
  • Mint Green
  • Monaco White
  • Oxford Blue
  • Regency Red*
  • Roman Bronze*
  • Signal Red?
  • Silver*
  • Viper Green*
Possibles:
  • Bahama Blue?
  • Titanium/Gunmetal?

Notes:

- I'd like to see proof from the factory of Lime/Pistacio Green. I think the car in the mag article is Mint Green, as are/were the couple/few U.S. cars. I've heard of one actual light green car in the States, and it was claimed to be Mint Green (haven't seen it, though).

- Regency is non-metallic.

- I'd add Gold to the "Possibles," per SCW list, and the fact that there are so many gold S2s.

- Another possible is one UK car in another white shade, per SCW list.

- Just checked the color codes on LEW. I meant to say Bermuda Blue, not Bahama! D'oh! Again, suggestion per SCW list, and reference made on this forum to someone in the UK having seen a lighter blue S1.

- Signal Red appears to actually be the gelcoat red . . . that makes a lot more sense. I was thinking of Signal Orange in my post above, an L-code, an orange-red color. Again, would love to know if such an S1 ever existed (no evidence I am aware of).

- T

Edited by Tony K

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Again, you're a cruel man for taunting me with these orange S1 pix. All I know is when Mike's done painting mine, I'm going to have a photo taken of me lying on the hood wearing nothing but a Hunting Menzies codpiece.

As usual, your knowledge and detail are rocking legend. I'm going to update all this and put it in a public Google Spreadsheet for easier collaborative editing. I was also thinking I should ask Andy Graham at Lotus if he could comment.

Oh, and look -- here's a Colorado Orange S1! With S2 front spoiler, Matt!

Let the photo wars begin (you started it)...

post-6978-0-63360200-1292258326.jpg

Edited by Moxie

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Hello everyone,

After reading the topic and then discovering the picture of my car, by "popular demand" here is some info on my Colorado Orange S1.

It's the 77050243H in L14 color code.

post-6825-0-18227000-1292262975.jpg

As Tony said, it's what we could call a S1,5 with S2 front spoiler, marcasite interior and S2 gauges.

The color is a bit sun faded though and when lifting the front hood the color is more dense and vivid that the rest of the body, specially the front...

Check the interior pic.

post-6825-0-26051600-1292263005.jpg

Otherwise, I partially painter the spoiler, it creates a more flowing line that the full-black did.

I took off the Fed-rubber bumbers and replaced them with the "normal" ones.

Someday I will try to change it to full S1-spoiler spec.

By the way has anybody done that? Is it complicated?

Here is a side image during a track day close to Reims/France in November

post-6825-0-63331200-1292263084.jpg

And finaly one taken with Leon's S1 this last July during the Le Mans Classic (where the Tony's picture was taken too, very hot day, hence the windshield cover)

Who said the S1s don't travel far?

post-6825-0-78667400-1292263257.jpg

cheers

A.

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Thanks for posting, Alexis! :)

I sense that Matt (Moxie) is about to become very envious upon seeing your reply . . . :D

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I sense that Matt (Moxie) is about to become very envious upon seeing your reply . . .

Indeed. I'm not sure if I'd be better off looking at these pictures with a drool bucket in hand or wearing a condom. Maybe both.

Alexis, thanks for posting these! Very interesting, because my S1, which Tony's restoring and which will be painted Colorado Orange next month, has en entire S2 front end grafted on to it, from the wheel well forward. I've always felt that the bottom line of the S1 front end was critical and Tony suggested we mask off the updraft portion of the S2 spoiler and paint it matte black in an attempt to maintain that visual line, which seems to be what you've done. And we're going with Euro bumpers too. Looks great! Thanks again.

Edited by Moxie

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Silver one.

Owned by Robert Crooks last March and the last UK S1 Esprit, the one mentioned above as sold by Scott Walker

IMG_9827.jpg

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I discovered my S1 started out as Bronze when I got copies of all the original V5's from the DVLA, I never knew it was an S1 colour until then and imagined it to be light bronze but this thread shows it to be like brown, this would match the brown and cream leather interior it came in though. Mine is a 78 car.

Anyone have any more pics of Roman Bronze?

Great thread guys keep up the great work.

Thanks

Dave

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Hi,

My S2.2 must have been a rare gold one (colorcode A04), It must have been resprayed in a non factory dark bluegreen petrol colour.

I would like to find some pictures of an original gold S2 esprit, because I consider spraying it back to its original colour.

Can someone post pictures of a gold one?

thanks

Geert

Edited by gvy

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Hello Geert,

Lotus_Esprit_S2_Gold_Front.jpg

colin_chapman_lotus_esprit_s2sm.jpg?w=460

Also, check out Giorgio, member name ghe67 -- he has an S2.2 that might be gold.

There was a member here a few years ago, John Robertson, screen name eprsplit, who had a gold S2. If you look through his posts, there might be some pictures.

Hope this helps,

Tony

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Ah , of course, The S2 Esprit of Colin Chapman, How could I forget this famous picture.

Thank you Tony :thumbup:

I checked the posts of eprsplit and ghe67 , but no pictures of their cars.

Interesting to see that Giorgio (ghe67) also has a very rare s2.2 in color gold.

I guess, with time , I will respray mine original A04 gold too.

although a bit dated now , It seems a nice color for the giugiaro esprit, and this Colin Chapman S2 Esprit does motivate me to give mine its original color back..

Geert

Colin_Chapman_Lotus_Esprit_S2.jpg

Edited by gvy

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