12 Tourer Light Restoration

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12 Tourer Light Restoration

Post by TonyG » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:08 am

It’s over six years since I began the restoration and rebuild of TL 6200 but, even so, it’s very disappointing that the paintwork has not held up as well as the rest of the car. While the finish was excellent for a number of years it has deteriorated badly over the last two and I have taken the heartbreaking decision to strip the car down and have it repainted.

Back in the 70s and 80s I successfully re sprayed a number of cars with cellulose paint so, when it came to painting my Tourer, I set to and did it myself. The same paint supplier, Gramic of Colchester, I had used all those years ago was still in business and they managed to mix the colour from a small patch of the paint that had been applied over 60 years before. With a new spray gun and a powerful compressor, painting the panels was the most joyful part of the restoration.

My original intention was to prepare the panels and have them painted inside and out in 2 pack at a professional body shop. However, after touring around a number of local painters, it became clear they really didn’t want the bother of spraying a car in bits when they had plenty of modern cars to repair. As such, I looked at doing it myself but, without the necessary facilities or breathing equipment for 2 pack, I opted for cellulose.

In hindsight this was a mistake and I should have sought out a specialist restorer to undertake the job. At the time, the car had been in pieces for over 30 years and I had no idea how successful the rebuild would be. This made it difficult to justify spending up to £10k on the painting. What I didn’t know though is just how poor modern cellulose is. Subsequent investigation reveals that during the past 25 years cellulose paint has been modified to meet modern content requirements to the extent that it no longer provides a long lasting and durable finish. In short, the lead has been removed! The result is that the paint doesn’t harden quickly like it used to and, as a result, tends to shrink over time revealing the preparation marks beneath the primer filler coat. This can be mitigated by waiting some weeks or months between primer and top coat to aid the hardening but I didn’t know this at the time and I wanted to get the car done. Very annoying but we live and learn!

So, with a heavy heart, I sought the opinion of a local specialist painter, Deal of Kelvedon. They are certainly not cheap but they are a family firm and once a BL/ Austin Rover main dealer. Also, the owner’s daughter keeps her horse at the livery yard I manage and I know they are people I can trust with my precious car. They have determined what needs doing and have agreed to undertake a re spray in 2 pack, matching the colour so that the inside panel areas and bulkhead don’t need to be done again. This is a great help as I most certainly don’t want to remove the engine and wiring to allow access. However, stripping off all the bright work and removing all the interior trim is still proving to be quite a task! The past week has seen most of this done and I estimate I will have completed this phase in another week on the car.

Taking the car apart is the easy bit. Putting it back together is the hard part; getting all the alignment right and ensuring everything works but the opportunity to address any bits I wasn’t totally happy with before will, hopefully, make up for that. I will let you know how I get on....

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Tony Gilbert

P1 12 Tourer
P2 12 6 Light Saloon
Discovery 3
Discovery Sport

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Re: 12 Tourer Light Restoration

Post by luli » Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:35 pm

To my eyes it steel looks beautiful... wish you successful project, Tony.
Rover 10 1946 RHD
Rover 10 1947 LHD
Rover 12 1947 tourer LHD

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