Monday, September 10, 2012

Original Lotus factory now a Museum. Wheeled panels vs Plastic

Today, I saw an ebay advert for an old Lotus.

It had a picture of it Chassis and Engine number.

This vehicle was an early Lotus. Built in London. The site has subject of planning permission.

Reference No

: HGY/2006/0203


: Hornsey

Date received

: 25/01/2006 Last amended date:

Drawing number of plans

: 1, 2, 3, 3A, 3B, 4 - 23 incl.


: 7 Tottenham Lane, N8


: Change of use from industrial unit to museum and education centre.

Existing Use

: Builders Yard

Proposed Use

: Museum and Education Centre

: Mr John Scott-Davies

We now have:

In an earlier post, I mentioned that during my apprenticeship with Fords UK I worked on an English wheel
with a very competent panel man named Marvin Ford.We made proto type panels in Aveley. Sadly, that work is now done in Germany.

Previously, Marvin used to work in panel shop that made panels for Lotus on a job and knock basis. Piecework.
I got on great with Marvin. He was a super nice man.

Marvin told me, the panels were formed on the Wheel and laid on eggshell templates.The aluminium Panels were oxy acetelyne welded, often panels were not painted, just clear laquered. No filler or metal finishing!

Here is a picture of an egg shell frame, from a W194 restoration project, borrowed from

I would hazard a guess that when Lotus relocated to Norfolk, the skillset required to produce wheeled panels was lost, hence fibreglass panels on later models. Just conjecture on my part.

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