Today at a car show we met a man who is anxious to get his late-1940s Mopar painted. We walked down the rows and rows of restored cars and he agreed that most of the paint work on the vehicles was well done and good looking, but he also thought most of the cars had paint that looked a little more “plastic-ky” than the paint that the factory applied in 1948.
Most of the cars fell into one of two categories, as far as paint goes. Some were painted years ago when acrylic lacquer was a popular type of finish. Others were painted in the past few years using basecoat-clearcoat products. These are very shiny and great looking of course, but we had to agree they did not have the same appearance such cars had when they were done in single-stage paint.
It is hard, but not impossible to get single stage paints and other types of vintage OEM finishes through hobby suppliers. However, in many areas there are regulations against commercial shops using such paints. As a result, basecoat-clearcoat finishes have become the rule in the hobby. These paints are more user-friendly than the old paints and they are much easier to make minor repairs with. However, cars finished this way simply don’t look the same as they did it the old days.
Our “Sweet Painted Ladies” are more eye popping than ever before. There are more colors than ever on the palette and they shine like the North Star. They just don’t look like they did in the showroom 20 to 70 years ago. If that bothers you or affects your projects, you’ll need to check around for the companies that still sell the older paint.