Friday, 17 May 2013


I removed the final few bits and pieces from the car and it was ready for cleaning. The yellow paint coating the car appeared to be a single stage acrylic that was either applied by an amateur, or a dealer looking to give the car a cheap once over for a sale. 

In any case it was a poor job; there's overspray everywhere and preparation around the door shuts etc was woeful. If I was ever to achieve a decent end result it all needed to come off 

Mechanical methods are too time consuming and really only used where the bodywork is very fragile or extremely precious. I was left with a straight choice; blast cleaning or dipping. The latter involves dropping the shell into a foul caustic concoction that will remove anything that isn't metal; underseal, seam sealer, rust, paint all disappears leaving clean, fresh metal behind inside and out. The shell is then rinsed, and once any repairs are completed. is dipped again in a rust proofing base coat. 

Im sure there are companies out there doing this very well, the problems arise when the capillary action takes the acid up into seams and between panels deep in the structure of the car. There it lurks, and often doesn't reappear until much, much later when your freshly restored car starts weeping rust from the seams.

Blasting on the other hand also has disadvantages. Obviously it won't touch the inside of any box sections, and a heat generated by heavy handed operator can distort panels, easily wrecking a shell. The media - generally a dry, fine sand - gets everywhere too. 

In the end I decided to use a blast cleaner recommended by a DDK mate; De-Corrosion Services in Chertsey, West London.  They've done a couple of old 911s - in fact they'd already cleaned the panels I'd taken off the car earlier. Their offer to collect and deliver the shell sealed it - finding someone to move wheel-less old cars isn't easy. So one sunny day in April the shell on its dolly was strapped onto a trailer and taken away. 

It would very different the next time I saw it.


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