Europa Utopia

A Complete Respray for Mr Robert Barrett from Great Leighs

Europa Utopia

Back in March this year we were contacted by a Mr Robert Barrett from Great Leighs in Essex. He told us of his 1971 Lotus Europa S2 which was in bad need of a repaint. A few days later I took a trip to Great Leighs to meet Robert and his Europa. After viewing the car in great detail it was evident that the paint work was in poor condition. Both doors has been removed and there were signs of micro blistering (osmosis) over the whole car. Robert then explained that he wanted a complete respray carried on the car including the inside of all panels, door shuts etc. Mechanically and interior wise the car was very good so this seemed a very worthwhile project to undertake. It was then explained to me that there was another reason for the car to have a fresh coat of paint. Robert’s son Adam was getting married in September and they wanted to take their lovely Europa. Before long a price was agreed and the car was collected and brought to our workshop.

We then set about stripping all the trim off the car and removing bumpers etc. The car was then put on stands so it could be worked on at an agreeable height. We then set about the slow and painstaking job of sanding all the paint off the car. It was agreed that all the paint had to be removed and taken back to the gel coat as we did not want to risk a reoccurrence of osmosis.

A few weeks passed and Robert visited his Europa and brought down some new parts which were needed for his car. He then explained to us that he had contacted Lotus to find out the original colour of his car. It was apparent to us that whilst sanding through the layers of paint that it had been a few colours before, white being the last. Lotus informed him that the original colour of the car was LO7 Lotus yellow so this was to be its new colour. Lotus informed him that the original colour of the car was LO7 Lotus yellow, so this was to be its new colour.

Lotus informed Robert that the original colour of the car was LO7 Lotus yellow, so this was to be its new colour.

Once the car was sanded back to its gel coat some minor repairs were undertaken. Now the car was ready for some paint. The first material we used was a epoxy primer called Gel Shield 200 made by International Paints. This is available from most marine paint suppliers as it is used on boats and yachts to help protect against osmosis. At £74.99 per 2.5L kit, of which we needed three, it is not a cheap option but we found it to be the best. The Gel Shield was then dry sanded using a block and 120 grit paper. Then we applied five coats of Lechler Acrylic 2K primer. This was also dry sanded starting with 320 grit going up to an 800 grit paper. The car was now ready for its top coat.

LO7 Lotus yellow was not formulated in a base coat by ICI so we decided to use the ICI 2K acrylic paint. The Europa was then moved into the Burntwood spray oven and given its final coats of Lotus yellow. More weeks passed and the Europa was patiently reassembled with new badges, rechromed bumpers and new style door hinges to stop the doors from dropping. Finally on 27th June Robert and his wife Iris came to collect the fully restored Europa. We think the pictures speak for themselves! On 13th September Adam Barrett married his fiancé Amy with the final picture showing the bride and groom stealing the limelight from the car.

So remember for all your body shop requirements be it Lotus or non-Lotus, a small local repair or a complete restoration, please contact Mark at Stocks Coachworks on 01245 248143 or send us an email.

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