Elan plus 2 respray cost - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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Elan plus 2 respray cost

Question for those far more experienced in this area than I:

I am thinking about buying an Elan plus 2. Found 3 that I like. One in particular looks like a terrific option but does need some exterior love, name in the form of a respray.
The restoration shop gave me a quote of $14,000. This is for a showroom condition paint job.
This seems high to me.
Wanted to get different points of view.
The answers will help me decide whether to proceed with this vehicle or move to one that does not need a respray.
Thanks.



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 11:29 AM
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Sounds reasonable to me.

When I had my Plus 2 body done I believe it was over 150 or 200 hours by the time they were done. Frankly afraid to look back at the bills. I negotiated a lower shop rate before the job and he used my car as fill in over about 1 1/2 years. The local shop is a well respected 'Vette specialist located in a smaller centre.

1971 Lotus Haler Concepts Ltd.

I removed the body and stripped the interior. I transported it to the shop with a dolly arrangement attached to the jacking holes on the rockers. The rocker beams were solid on mine, having been replaced by the previous owner. We left the door glass in place, but removed front and rear windscreens (they need to be out for headliner anyway).

The body shop stripped the existing blow over paint, sanded the crap out of the car, repaired the inevitable spider cracks, primed and blocked several times, and did the paint. They also installed a NOS Britax / Weathershield sunroof. They hung doors, bumpers; I did bonnet and boot. There was no real bad old body damage uncovered on mine.

I picked the body up with an enclosed trailer and lowered it back on a new frame. I also installed all of the interior sound proofing, wiring, carpeting etc.

Scope control to save hours include...
  • Less fussiness with the engine bay. The fibreglass finish is very rough in stock form and usually painted satin black so imperfections don't show. They did an excellent job on mine, and we painted in body colour. Looks great but a lot of extra work ( and gets marked down in judged concours if you care about that sort of thing).
  • Sunroof addition was a lot of hours because the shop had never done a vintage soft type before. We kind of split the hours on that.
  • I used a common Corvette Bright Red, so there was no big charges for paint matching and blending, odd codes, will the paint work with 'glass, etc.
  • Any car you pick will need new rocker sill rails (if they are not known good and already done). Originals were not galvanized and are probably failed even in mild climates. Do this yourself first to save big dough.
  • Body does not need to be separate from the frame for a good paint job if the frame is known good and you are leaving the engine bay in it's stock satin black. Probably same hours for exterior prep and paint though. Just saves a lot of 'while I have it apart' costs.
  • Remove all of the chrome, lights, etc. your self.
  • Fit the bumpers, chrome, lights, etc. yourself. Big dough to fiddle with the bumpers.
  • I sourced any required parts for the shop, other than the shop supplies, paint, etc. e.g. windshield seals, headliner, etc. Very hard for a non marque specialist to get some of the stuff, but easy in the Elan community suppliers.

HTH They are a really fun vintage car with tons of room for touring. Mine has been to two LOG's and counting. You are looking at it the right way though, because a blow over paint job is not the way to go. I thought my car was a great driver when I bought it. i even drove it across the country to get it home. The paint actually started washing off in a car wash because of crappy prep.

Another thought to evaluate cars that don't need a respray. My paint still looks great about five years later, say 20K miles, occasional track use. I have no knowledge of the detailed prep the shop did, but they obviously know their game and were worth every penny. So if you have a candidate car with some miles and years on it since being painted and it looks OK to you, it will probably stay OK. If it is a recent paint job it is difficult to know how good it was done.

Stu

Stu
Calgary AB
'69 Elan Plus 2
'00 Esprit V8
'87 BMW M6 & '84 BMW R100RT

Last edited by stugilmour; 12-09-2015 at 11:48 AM.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 11:38 AM
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the cost of the material and time to shoot it are "fixed" what you are paying for (paying more or less for) is prep. some questions to undesrtand would be:

how is the finish taken down, and to expose what?
how do you repair cracks, past repairs discovered, how do you deal with spider cracks in the fiberglass?
what about wavy, or creased/bulged areas in the fiberglass?
how do you align the doors, trunks, hood? lights, during prep? and then re-install after paint?
go over what trim/gaskets/glass/lights/bumpers you're taking off?
how and what do you mask?
what parts are going to get overspray? what do you guarantee will not get overspray?
lets discuss prep and paint to the sills, trunk, engine bay....
lets talk about the primer coats, sanding, color coats, sanding, clear coats?

based on all that, what you decide on, then ask to walk the shop and see work being done to the level you are agreeing to. - so you can see the compromises in quality vs what your expectations are.

words like "will look new" "better than factory" mean zero... nothing... thats opinion.

"I really started paying attention to cars was when they came out with the Nissan Z, the first body. Then I seen the Cherokees, the old square ones, and I was like, “Wow, that’s cool.” Then I seen the Isuzu jeeps and I seen the Wranglers."
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 12:19 PM
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I echo Stu. Better to get one with an old paint job that looks OK than a recent paint job of unknown quality. Poor prep will lead to spider cracks showing through the paint over time and micro blistering due to moisture that was trapped in the fiberglass or at the gelcoat primer boundary coming out.

Friend of mine just got his 66 Vette done properly for more than your quote.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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This is why I love this forum.
I have been on for years and whenever I reach out for a question, part, manual, advice, etc., people respond swiftly.
Thank you for all the thorough and thoughtful answers. I appreciate it.

The three options I have are all plus 2's, and all different. None of them is a true project, but each will likely need some kind of work. All seem to be mechanically sound.

If it's ok with you, I may PM you all to see if I can set up some time to chat.

I am in NY. One of the cars is in San Diego. One of you, according to your profile is in SD. Depending on where it is, might you be willing to look at it?
I will PM you.
Thank you again. Very helpful, and greatly appreciated.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 07:43 PM
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Is it this car?

1971 Lotus Elan 2+2 Twincam Coupe.

This car made it on BAT

You should read all the comments. Including several by Stu and myself and other owners. Of course you can't tell if there are spider cracks or micro blisters from photos. I don't like the dash. The stromberg head holds it back a bit. However, this looks to be in great driving shape and at or near this price would seem like a decent buy to me. Its been for sale for a while now.

Cheapest way to get into a vintage twincam Lotus.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roblotus79 View Post
Is it this car?

1971 Lotus Elan 2+2 Twincam Coupe.

This car made it on BAT

You should read all the comments. Including several by Stu and myself and other owners. Of course you can't tell if there are spider cracks or micro blisters from photos. I don't like the dash. The stromberg head holds it back a bit. However, this looks to be in great driving shape and at or near this price would seem like a decent buy to me. Its been for sale for a while now.

Cheapest way to get into a vintage twincam Lotus.
i inspected and drove that car - feel free to contact me for my thoughts....

"I really started paying attention to cars was when they came out with the Nissan Z, the first body. Then I seen the Cherokees, the old square ones, and I was like, “Wow, that’s cool.” Then I seen the Isuzu jeeps and I seen the Wranglers."
-Lotus Cars VP of Global Design
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, again. PMing you now.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 03:51 AM
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When I repainted my +2 20 years ago, I spent hundreds of hours carefully repairing stress cracks, on a car with little real body damage. You can get someone to 'paint' your car for short money. you will regret it.

If that is a quote from a shop that knows hand laid fiberglass cars then it is reasonable.

Good paint[Glasso or Spies] can cost a grand just for the paint.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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The yellow plus two is not the Elan plus two in question. Though I have inquired about that vehicle. It's another example I came across and spoke to the body shop. Single owner, female owned. (received it as a wedding present in 1972.)
Is ill and not able to drive it any more and doesn't want to pay for work on the car.


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2014 Lotus Evora S
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1972 Lotus Elan Plus 2
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