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 22,550,000USD. And with approximately 30,000American classic cars shipped into Europe in 2018 this buoyant market needs an expert in the field. This is where Standox comes in.
Standox, the paint brand manufactured in Wuppertal, Germany,has a long-standing reputation of offering professional advice to bodyshops specialising 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 forprofessional 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.
Corrosion: The main foe of the vintage car
The biggest differencebetweenrepairing paint on a classic car and carrying that out 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.
Harald Klöckner, Standox Training and Technical Service Leader for EMEA,says, “It goes without saying thatgetting a comprehensive cost for the entire restoration project is vital.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 theputty.If not, the putty acts like a dry sponge that absorbs water and passes it on tothe metal.”
Standox recommends a three-stage build-up consisting of an acid primer and a VOCfiller.After the appropriate pre-treatment the bare metal should be insulated with a Standox acid primer, for exampleEtching Adhesion PrimerU3100 and a VOC filler, such asVOC Xtra Filler U7560, in accordance with the specifications ofthe respective Standox repairsystem. The VOC Filler isolates sanding marks and pores and helps to even out the surface, making it the ideal foundation forthe topcoat.
An eye for perfect colour-matching
As with the paint repair of new cars, digitalisation of the colour management process has made the colour matching process for classic cars infinitely easier and more accurate. Refinishers can use the Standox digital colour management tools such as theGenius iQ spectrophotometer and the StandowiniQ software to achieve the perfect match and toreproduce the original shade and effect of a vintage colour.
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.
Klöcknerexplains, “With the advanced technology of the Genius iQ spectrophotometer and the Standowin iQ software, bodyshops have access to more than 200,000 constantly updated colour formulas that provide a precise colour match every time and can be transmitted digitally to the wireless mixing scale.”
Technical resources and support
Klöckneradds, “In addition to the practical support that we offer to our customers, we also have a series of helpful, technical resources readily available online to help professional refinishers fine tune their skills.”
Standopedia is the online guide from Standox where refinishers can find technical information as well as valuable expertise on specialist topics related to the refinish process, such as the repair of special colours or the application of new products. In addition, Standox offers a series of technical information journals, the Standothekguides, with helpful information for refinishers looking to update their skillson the restoration of classic cars.
Adamekconcludes, “Owners of classic cars tend to be very passionate about their vehicles and if a classic car repair is done well, the vehicle owner is likely to bring his othervehicles in for paint repairs as well. Bodyshops who offer a highly personalised and committed servicewill gain customer loyalty, a strong reputation in the market and grow their business as a result.”
For information from Standopedia, pleasevisit the Service & Training menu on the Standox homepage or at www.standox.com/standopedia. The classic car area in Standox’sStandothekcan be found under Prestige and Classic Carsand can be downloaded at www.standox.com/standothek.