So as most of you know I recently parted company with the Clio to start another project. It was a hard decision as the Clio was going to be a hard act to follow but the Lotus itch just wouldn't go away. I decided to look for an early S2 with the K-series engine. Reasons for this was two fold: Firstly the K-Series models with the absence of TC, Airbags and electronic luxuries is significantly lighter. The second reason was as most of the parts on the car would be replaced it would be pointless paying a premium for an Exige. It didn't take long to find the right car. The long term itch was always to have a full carbon bodied lotus so when a car with light front and rear clam damage came up I had to take a look. It was way over priced but I thought I could haggle a good deal so had to have a look. On inspection it was clear that the car needed fiberglass repair to the front an rear, a new exhaust system, diffuser, paint and a general TLC. The car had a full lotus service history prior to the accident and mechanically it was sound, straight chassis, straight suspension and a healthy engine. The only issues were the obvious damage, a blowing flexi and a sticking throttle cable. Armed with a bag full of cash I ended up driving away with a massive discount which made it cheaper than an early 197. So the transformation begins: The damage was caused by a low speed traffic queue shut. Not to difficult to repair, .also filled in the holes where the original plastic grilles located as mesh will be going in when it arrives. She was also treated to the following to get stated: EBC yellowstuff pads all round Hose Tecknik Red braided lines Throttle cable and uprated linkage kit Short shift kit & uprated gear linkage bushes Stainless downpipe Decat pipe Full service Then the goodies started to arrive: A 3 element diffuser with panel delete kit A custom made 2Bular Titanium single exit exhaust which is quite frankly a work of art and sound nuts. This was fitted with a decat pipe and new downpipe. Unfortunately Jim ran out of Titanium so for now its go a stainless tip on it until the new ones arrives. The plan is to eventually have full carbon clams but These take time so the decision was made to Platidip the whole car. After a bit of research, a few quotes and lengthy discussions with @Robo_#1 I decided to buy kit and paint it with Rob, (his MX5 is the next to get done). After a lot of looking around and trawling the internet for inspiration I decided to go with a custom dark matte red for the main body of the car with a red cherry metal flake for the last two coats. The engine cover, roll bar cover and access panels were to be done in matte black. So last Saturday with Rob and our lovely ladies began the process of preparation. We wanted to do the job properly and include the inner doors and door shuts so we removed all the doorcards, lights, engine cover, access panels and roll bar cover. The worst bit was removing the old amourfend from the front of the car. this was a complete ball ache and took all morning. Id already took half off on Friday afternoon but took the skin of most finger tips and the rest were just blisters so struggled with the rest. Once we had snow foamed and washed the car we then set about masking it up and giving it a final wipe with some tack rags to remove dust and then a wipe over with IPA. Once it was masked up properly we turned out attention to the other bits. Id previously removed all the plastic trim from the engine cover and replaced it with some black mesh. EliseParts wanted £99 for the kit so I purchased a sheet of £12 black mesh from eBay and did it myself. We sprayed one light dust coat of the black and left it 20 minutes. Then a further 6 wet coats, the Plastidip needs a number of layers otherwise it will not peel. Its very forgiving, a one point a put too much on and had a run but it levelled itself out, not like paint at all. The finish is pretty good So that was Saturday over with. The next day was car spray day. Because of the blue and the repaired patches we decided the best course of action to get the red I wanted was to have a white base. Again we gave the car a couple of light dustings of the white before going for 4 layers of white. Once this had half hour and after I had cleaned the gun and paint container we started on the red. Again we started with a few light dusting and then 5 thicker wet coats. The last 2 coats had a cherry metal flake added, the flake was 400 microns and we added 45g to 3 litres of red. The finish is slightly rough to the touch but nothing that detracts from the car. Its different shades of red in different lighting conditions and is obviously a matte finish but in sunlight it sparkles too. I'll put another post up later showing the progress with the "carbon interior' The front end was finished off with some LED halo headlights and a black Lotus badge. I think Rob has a lot more pictures to post but until then I'll let these ones do the talking.