How do you make a very cool retro car even cooler, paint it black and add some JPS inspired offset gold stripes.
We dont paint a lot of race cars, often we find and rightly so that race car owners would rather spend on the mechanics and upkeep rather then the looks. Previous race cars we have painted come with a client brief stating it only has to look good from 10ft away and how can we keep future crash repair cost down. Doing quick cheap jobs is not our forte but as this was an interesting paintjob that would look great I had to take it on.
This is the bit ware I moan about the quality of fiberglass replacement parts; The biggest problem with this job was purely down to the fibre glass (GRP) panel quality. Painting fiberglass (GRP) is not with out its problems the wings, bonnet and boot were all Fiberglass and a challenge. Fiberglass panels are rarely well produced and are inevitably wavy and contain air pockets. The bonnet and boot lid looked as though they where produced using spray fiber glass strands production techniques which is good for weight loss purposes but the compromise is that they are extremely flexible, being only a couple of mm thick. Also the boot lid being used had a persistent silicon issue suggesting that the airlines used to spray the fiberglass or possibly the release agent used had silicon contamination which had impregnated in to the GRP itself.
We repaired the various fiber glass stresses by chasing the cracks and repairing them in our usual fashion for GRP. GRP epoxy resign and microfiber glass granuals where used to repair the chasing. In contrast to the bonnet and boot the GRP arches where thick and strong but with what appeared to be fractures from expanded trapped air and even actual dents (must have been in the moulds). The final shocker with the GRP parts was that in some corners the spray strands had not contacted the gel coat leaving considerable hollow patched in the panels.
The doors also needed repairing and twisting to match the profile of the GRP rear wings.
Obviously we did not want to put hardly any fillers on the body panels but this time it was due to weight concerns. With the GRP repairs, door repairs and window frame repairs all done we where nearly ready for the Epoxy primer coats (Epoxy is non porus and has great adhesion and strength qualities for GRP and metal parts) Just one last rubdown to try and even our some of the panel waves first.
Once the Epoxy was applied we where away with the final prep and shape adjustments prior to the paint application process.
Although not photographed here we started by painting the interior, rollcage, engine bay, and boot floor black. we then masked these areas off and once we were happy with the body shape we applied a jet black base coat. The body was then reassembled so we could align the masking for the gold racing stripes to ensure that it all ran parallel over all the panels.
Once the gold was applied we removed the bonnet and boot and clear coated the body and then the off panels.