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Making the most of classic car restorations
The classic car market has enjoyed phenomenal success over the past decade. A new world-record was set in August 2017 when a 1950s Aston Martin DBR1 sold at auction for $22,550,000. And with approximately 30,000 American classic cars shipped into Europe in 2018, this buoyant market needs an expert in the field. This is where Standox comes in.
In classic car restorations, and in times of economic uncertainty, people look to invest their money in something tangible. Over the past decade, investments in cars have outperformed coins, diamonds and vintage wine by some considerable margin. This trend presents an opportunity for bodyshops to perfect their classic car restoration skills and grow this particular segment of the market.
The Standox Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Olaf Adamek, explains, “Classic car restoration requires a high level of both technological know-how and skilled labour, but it can be a lucrative market for bodyshops. The customer base is strong, close-knit and resilient to shifts in the economy. They are often knowledgeable about classic car restoration in general but they look to bodyshops for professional advice on the paint process. They need to feel that their prized possession is in safe hands.”
It’s important to pay attention to detail when determining the best path for the restoration of a classic car. Sometimes what starts out as a small rust repair turns into a full restoration project with a complete refinishing job, so having access to professional support and the right type of products is key.
The biggest difference between repairing paint on a classic car and on a modern car is corrosion protection. Until the 1980s, vehicle bodies were mostly built from sheet metal, which is badly affected by moisture and humidity.
“Getting a comprehensive cost for the entire restoration project is vital,” says Harald Klöckner, Standox Training and Technical Service Leader for EMEA. “Once that has been made and agreed with the owner, the refinisher’s number one priority should be to protect the historical vehicle effectively against corrosion. It’s crucial to avoid contact between the putty and the bare metal and to counter the risk of corrosion when preparing the substrate. A thin insulation layer should always be applied between the bare metal and the putty. If not, the putty acts like a dry sponge that absorbs water and passes it on to the metal.”
Standox recommends a three-stage build-up consisting of an acid primer and a VOC filler. After the appropriate pre-treatment, the bare metal should be insulated with an acid primer and a VOC filler. The VOC filler isolates sanding marks and pores and helps to even out the surface, making it the ideal foundation for the topcoat.
An eye for perfect colour-matching
Digitalisation of the colour management process has made the colour matching process for classic cars infinitely easier and more accurate.
When classic cars have very little original paint left due to heavy damage, when the car has been repainted and the original colour is long lost under layers of different paint, or if the colour code is simply not known, Standox supports the bodyshop through the entire colour-matching process and draws on its long-standing classic car restoration experience to identify the right colour.