I Hate That Blue Paint

It was time to collect the Enfield from Webster Race Engineering and begin stripping the bodyshell of 30-odd years of paint, filler and primer. Webster had finished everything bar the front brakes. 

They’d fitted new hard brake lines, fabricated a new master cylinder reservoir and plumbed in a Moroso line-lock. The latter is for gripping the front wheels when you want to warm the rear rubber. A big naughty smoky poetic burnout.

The paint and bodywork was going to be taken care of Tim at Roadhouse Retro (www.roadhouseretro.com) in Stamford. He’s a good mate and is not only immensely talented, but also has such an infectious passion for the history behind each old car that passes through his workshop. The craftsmanship he did on my ’73 Ford Taunus coupe and ’68 Charger were second to none.

The Flux Cap was put on a dolly, as the back axle still hadn’t returned from the powdercoaters. This was a blessing, as it’ll be easier to paint the newly fabricated rear suspension and chassis mods.

With the weather baking hot, we decided to crack on with paint removal. As opposed to using solvent based chemicals, I decided to try stripping using a soda blaster. Borrowed from FROST  (www.frost.co.uk) the blaster connects to a compressor and basically fires out bicarbonate of soda powder from a nozzle.

It’s no harm to lungs or the environment, which is why I was happy to blast away outdoors. Although breathing apparatus and a cap for your head is recommended. Once I got in the zone, the soda blaster seemed perfect at bringing back the bodyshell to its pure bare aluminium skin, especially in the creases where a conventional sander couldn’t reach.

You can see from the pics that I’m doing the gutters and panel creases first. Because the whole bodyshell was hand made from aluminium we’re finding where all the joins and rivets are. There’s a fair wad of filler in places, and I’ve unearthed some holes in the sill but we’re hoping that the big strip goes smoothly. The sooner that NHS blue paint disappears the better! 

Hell, even that (totally obsolete and totally priceless. Probably) windscreen came out without drama.