This project represents a fairly large chapter of my life, and I’m a bit attached to it, so when it came time to pick the shop to look after the prep/paintwork, not just any would do. I wanted somebody who understood the time and dedication invested in the car, that race cars need to be lightweight with minimal filler, and finally, someone who would treat the car with care and respect while it was in their hands. I was very pleased with my initial meeting with Rui at ProStar Collision and knew he was the right guy for the job.
I dropped off the car at ProStar, mounted up on the rotisserie along with all the J’s GT and Spoon aero parts, and the guys immediately got to work. First up, Rui looked after some imperfections in the hood and doors and got those ready to be primed. Because as many of the low spots as possible were worked out before resorting to filler for the final finish, minimal weight was added. Next, the chassis went into the booth, and before any paint was sprayed, the team took the time to mask off the rotisserie, showing that they really do care not just about my car but also the parts within it. Once the chassis was primed up, the center tunnel and rear inner quarter-panels were smoothed with a hint of filler for a nice appearance.
With everything primed, it was time to lay down the exterior finish. A two-stage base/clear in Viper black was chosen. Why Viper black? Well, it happens to be a straightforward, economical black with no metallic or flake, which makes it easy to match following repairs or panel replacements—always good for a race car. And who doesn’t like the sound of Viper black as a paint color? Clearcoat not only provides protection for the base paint but adds great depth and a killer shine. With a skilled painter like Rui working the gun, the end result is a smooth surface without a hint of orange peel. (For those not familiar with the term, orange peel is referred to as a painted surface that has ripple or texture in it that resembles the surface of an orange.)
Next up was the challenge of spraying the interior, ’cage, and all the tough-to-reach areas. This is where the rotisserie was a huge asset; Rui made good use of it, rotating the shell, which allowed him to spray even the most difficult-to-reach places. Again, excellent technique with the gun resulted in minimal runs and a nice even finish of New Ford Grey single-stage paint covering the chassis. While New Ford Grey doesn’t sound as fast as Viper Black, it’s available at the local auto store in rattle can form making for easy touch-up should the need arise. This grey is also easy to keep clean but light enough to see fluid leaks should any occur, and it looks awesome!
Finally it was time to buff and wet-sand/polish the clear. It’s a long, tedious process but a critical one if the surface is to have that super-smooth/deep finish. After seeing the stunning results, I immediately felt like a kid on Christmas morning as I loaded the project S2K into the 20-foot enclosed trailer and headed back to the shop. With the paint finished, I couldn’t help but start bolting on all the parts that have been occupying some serious real estate in my garage. Finally, after all the mocking up and trial fittings, the parts can be bolted in place for good.
Next up you can expect to see all the aero panels finished and fitted along with a trip to Signage Source to have the Yokohama/Advan graphics installed. They will be sponsoring the car, so a livery package is bound to spice up the exterior. Things are really starting to take shape, so don’t miss it.