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Lotus 503 Elite Pictures - and questions


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Been going thru this one basically cleaning all original items interior etc all electrics cleaned, /renewed ,Mazda popup headlights retro dab radio. Rebuilt carbs and Mot last year. Every thing works now , electric mirrors pin interior light , glove box light and rear windscreen wiper and wash Deciding whether to have made bonnet grill in mirror stainless as the rest of the finishing is excellent. Unusual double sunroof is excellent as its the roof covering. Have a new waist chrome sourced from America some years back. Fitted running light in spoiler (*phillips) for safety. Colour is lagoon blue and engine bay is fine therefore will be looking for respray of car from roof down. in original colour Not happy about removing bottom windscreen trim so hoping that can be taped. 

Have all parts to restore air conditioning and power steering is fine.

Interior I think fits the car so well in beige and brown velour, whilst most think leatherette/leather is better this seems so fitting for the cars style and age. Also easy to colour with dylon where faded and clean with patience

Car will never be restored to original as I like them to look like a well looked after road car.

Questions

1. Lotus workbook list complicated spraying technics and there is crazing particularly on the bonnet. I am near Exeter any recommendations on respray outfits should it be glass fibre specialised. Is modern methods better than lotus recommended

2. Similarly wheels are as I got the car again will they become shinier is professionally dealt with. Any recomendations what to ask for as a restoration process. Tyres are unusual and look original `I am sure I could not resourse. therefore Is there a close copy. Tread its okay but almost want to save them by not driving on them. Will put up a pic , they have hatchings  rather than lined tread.Goodyear eagle , whats the best alternative

3. Finally I have had access to a ramp occasionally  but would like to use a jack. I  remain concerned re jacking points. Is there a best method. I am thinking of small scissor jacks with wood spreading load then putting under wheels ramps Or if axle stands can be used . If any of these what points should they be under not to cause damage to the galvanised structure or glass fibres body.IMG_0523.thumb.jpg.2063f972156d0b4ec52afcfff4596e25.jpgbest position.

 

 

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Hi Robbie,

Nice looking car!

To answer your questions:

1. You should find a paint shop that can handle fibreglass as it is a different process to spraying tin. They should be able to identify and rectify any damage hidden by the paintwork also.

2. Wheels - I'm not sure of the original finish on these but again if you go to an alloy wheel restorer they will be able to help you. It is probably best to avoid powder coating these wheels if you want to stay close to original. As far as tyres are concerned, you don't have much choice as very few manufacturers make this size any more. I think Nankang do (I've just fitted a pair to mine) and most modern tyres will anyway be better than even the Goodyear originals.

3. The jacking points are immediately behind the front arches and in front of the rear arches. There is a strengthened section of floor and yes, use a wood block or similar. You are right to be cautious about using the chassis - it is only sheet steel.

Good luck with it!

Richard

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The wheels were diamond cut finish. I picked up a spare off eBay that had always been a spare, so never polished by the owners, and the cut marks are still present. Over the years of abrasive polishing the cut marks smooth out.

Personally I would get rid of the red on the bonnet.

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TThanks I’ll take the spare to some yellow pages wheel places and see what they suggest. And same for some specialist paint shops. Yes tempting to jack the chassis glad I never did . Thanks for your time I’m replying

Edited by Robbie
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Grill is a disappointment on such a pretty car plastic can be sprayed any colour . Vannot find any pics of a good upgrade , black sprayed or same as body or rivearia that not much better. Aluminium seems too dull can only think mirror stainless but expensive . Love to set the task of some design genius to come up with a grill of that size , imagine bulges louvred metals etc 

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10 minutes ago, Robbie said:

Grill is a disappointment on such a pretty car plastic can be sprayed any colour . Vannot find any pics of a good upgrade , black sprayed or same as body or rivearia that not much better. Aluminium seems too dull can only think mirror stainless but expensive . Love to set the task of some design genius to come up with a grill of that size , imagine bulges louvred metals etc 

Paint or strip it back to black, as original. The bonnet vent was, I believe, the largest single piece of nylon moulding in its day so it does have significance, although, as with many things, today's stylists have the luxury of many more materials to use. It is also highly functional as it ducts the radiator air out and over the bonnet giving the car excellent cooling characteristics.

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That’s interesting and thank you , now makes sense on such an expensive car of its day as not using everyday plastic but technology leading nylon. Will give it some thought as now have some affection for grill originality already appreciated the interiori is actually a now rare named fabric and I love the originality of that. The elite may not be popular with lotus people but strikes me amazing someone sat down and threw money at the special chtomework , styling, engineering , the fabrics and even nylon grill . Exceptional company car deserves exceptional respect as many models based on it followed. And you still buy one for peanuts even when someone has restored it to perfection. You can buy a reasonably restored Tr6 for 28k  is that a bit of a joke compared to a lotus elite

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