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Thread: 1972 Lotus Europa basketcase, aka The hurricane pontoon.

  1. #1
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    Jul 2015
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    Default 1972 Lotus Europa basketcase, aka The hurricane pontoon.

    Hello again! I figured I would expand on my previous thread's comment about this car. This is the project I am most looking forward to. I found it on craigslist about 1000 miles from me. I was in college when the bug for a mid engined car hit me and naturally I had no money. I was forced to buy the absolute worst one I could find...and I found her! She was abandoned in a field for at least 20 years when the P.O. found her. The car formerly resided in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi (in other words she was a football toss to the Gulf of Mexico) He had the car during Katrina and it was completely submerged ....(Did I mention that I am a masochist? ) It had been hit by a tree, the windshield was missing, every steel piece on the car was corroded....(thank god there was not much steel to begin with!) Over the last two years I have managed to get some progress done on it and I am planning to lay some paint down in the coming month or two. I have the 1966 Chevy pickup to get some painting technique down on, but fiberglass is kind of a different animal.

    I have polyester high build primer that I am going to use. I was thinking about sealing the car with a reduced epoxy before going on to shoot a black urethane and clear. As ever, any advice or criticism is appreciated.

    For those of you unfamiliar with how little this car is, it weighs under 1500lbs fully dressed. I am 5'2'' and it comes up to my waist! At least I wont use much paint!

    Those rusty porous cans are the gas tanks!


    2013-03-02 17.41.48.jpg2013-03-03 12.49.30.jpg2013-04-14 15.04.11.jpg2013-12-01_15-43-08_444.jpg2014-02-28_16-18-11_72.jpg

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Some people find the back end polarizing, but it really grows on you. The last shot is an aluminum gas tank my friend in Connecticut made for me! Coincidentally he is the one who pushed me over the edge when it came to restoring the truck.

    20150622_202205.jpgIMG_1598.jpg

  5. #5
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    Nov 2005
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    Wow, great project! I don't know what high-build primer you're using but that's an excellent way of making a fiberglass car perfectly straight. Depending on the type of high-build you may want to seal it prior to applying top coats.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2005
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    lower Michigan
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    That was my reaction also. WOW ! You certainly aren't afraid of a large project but that is going to be a fantastic car when it's done. The last time I saw a Europa on the road was probably 15 years ago (bright blue, not sure if that was factory color or not).

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys! There was a very lovely lagoon blue that they came in.

    http://www.lotus-europa.com/forsale/chadwick/IMAGE.jpg

    Mine is going to go back to the JPS black and gold color scheme. It is also worth mentioning that the firewall in these cars is made of...MDF! (Lotus were innovators in composite cost cutting technology...) Ask me how I know? Mine was missing because it swelled up and rotted out during its time under water! I have been working with carbon fiber for the past few months and I am going to lay up a CF/kevlar/aluminum honeycomb panel to replace the old MDF firewall. Not exactly the most cost effective way to go, but I felt that the car justified it. 20141016_183826.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
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    Nice job so far. Did you see the 2 episodes of a Lotus rebuild that was done on Overhaulin'? It was interesting to see what they did.

    I'm currently working on a couple of Jensen-Healeys.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2005
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    San Francisco bay area California
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    FRIGGIN AWESOME! You are doing an awesome job!

    Brian
    Touched by an Angel.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2015
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    Thanks man! Not much work on the lotus to date...spending most of my time on the truck in the other forum. Counting the sanding strokes left on the truck til I can get back to this!

  11. #11
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    Jul 2015
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    I Did my first BC/CC the other day....It turned out pretty good!! My main concern is that the following day I felt a little dizzy/disoriented. Nothing horrible, but it was noticeable. I was wearing full tyvek suit, cartridge mask, head cover. The room had a squirrel fan pushing air out. Needless to say I am in the market for a supplied air system. Has anyone experienced similar effects from urethane paint?




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  12. #12
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    Those cartridge masks are a minimum amount of protection, your eyes and skin are exposed and they don't stop you from breathing the poison if you have a beard or a poor fit. We paint a lot and use a hood, suit and gloves. Check out the Hobbyair systems linked below and if you have any questions give us a call at 609-859-3670.


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