Once every aspect of bringing a classic car's bodywork back to perfect condition, the last and no less important step is to put the finishing touches on this stage of the vehicle's reawakening and prepare it to move smoothly on to the next one.

In a large percentage of restoration projects, the stages rarely go as planned.

A vehicle whose body has been restored may wait a long time before moving on the paint shop while issues with its mechanics and underbody are settled.

If the vehicle being restored is from the early to mid-Fifties or older, this is less of an issue as the body can be separated from the frame- and worked on separately.

In the more likely event that the vehicle is of monocoque design and has a combined chassis and body frame, then it might well have to wait until most of the major issues under the bonnet have been taken care of.

Any vehicle that has had significant work on its body entailing that its metal has been left exposed to the elements and needs to be protected should be given a coat of primer, rust-preventative paint, clear coat or the latest development in body protection- powder coating.

Preventing rust must always be a severe concern needing to be addressed on a more-or-less continuing basis.  

The first option is to apply a clear polyurethane finish, renowned for its ability to protect bare metal and even certain painted surfaces while letting the underlying finish show through.

Easily found in any local hardware store and home improvement centre, the restorer should seek out clear finish polyurethane specifically designed and formulated for automotive or other metal surfaces.

Applying a coat of primer or rust-preventative paint has advantages and disadvantages depending on the condition of each restoration project.

Clear finish polyurethane, primer or rust preventative paint can all be applied either by hand or through a simple spray gun, with the latter option being highly preferable- remembering to spray evenly.

Over the past few years, another finishing option has grown increasingly popular, and that's powder coating.

Unlike spray painting liquid paint, powder coating uses high-voltage electricity, compressed air, and heat to achieve its objective.  

The first step in powder coating is to strip the body down to bare metal level, preferably through media blasting.

At this stage, a  power unit (producing high voltage with low amperage) is connected to the powder coating gun that already has a  cup attached filled with a coloured powder chosen from the vast range available.

A compressed air supply of around 8-10 psi is required to create turbulence in the cup.  The powder in the cup is then fluidised and forced into the gun nozzle, which is electrostatically charged to positive.

The object to be powder coated has to have a ground electrode attached to it to give it a negative charge. This negative charge attracts the positively charged powder coming from the powder coating gun.  

When the part is fully coated, it should be baked in an electric oven (or under ultraviolet lights), ensuring that the powder will flow onto every surface of the unit providing a uniform glossy finish.

The advantagr of power coaring are that the finish is durable, chip-resistant, and good looking.

The advantages of powder coating are that the finish is durable, chip-resistant, and good looking. Acquiring a powder coating system does not require a significant investment that will return itself very rapidly as well as producing a final finish that will justify every penny.

Acquiring a powder coating system does not require a significant investment- yet one that will return itself very rapidly as well as playing a major role in producing a final finish that will justify every penny.

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A guide to acquiring, restoring and maintaining UK or European Classic Cars of the Fifties and Sixties- as well as a recollection of the iconic cars of the era and the visionaries that produced them.