Since collisions shops need to do high-quality work expeditiously, they generally have efficient, state-of-the-art equipment and can perform all the necessary functions in-house, no matter what they find under the paint. Additionally, the employees of these shops tend to keep up on the latest refinishing products and techniques available, and can apply that knowledge to yield a paintjob that not only looks good, but lasts a long time as well. The body fillers and other products used by collision shops like JD's are typically the best available-in fact, they're likely the very same ones used by those expensive resto facilities. JD recommended BASF Diamont paint products for a show-quality finish on our car, and given our positive experiences with the Diamont basecoat/clearcoat system in the past, we decided to follow his recommendation. With our body shop and paint products chosen, it was finally time to pick the correct color and paint scheme for C3 Triple-Ex.
If we were restoring this Stingray, we would simply refinish the car in the original hue of Brands Hatch Green, obviating any color-selection dilemma. But since this car is and will remain far from stock, our color and graphic options were wide open. While we did briefly consider a '70s tribute theme of wild candies, lace inlays, and an airbrushed wizard riding a Siberian tiger on the hood, we resisted this temptation and moved on to ponder more-traditional schemes. Loving the clean, basic lines of the early C3, we decided not to add any fancy spoilers, louvers, or air dams-we even deleted the rear luggage rack. For purposes of simplicity, we also decided to keep the aftermarket front end on our car for now, thus buying ourselves some time to find all the necessary parts for a future restoration to factory-style pieces. Envisioning a color combination for our Stingray was difficult not so much because we're picky, but because this body style looks great in so many colors. But while the sinister-looking black paint that came with the car certainly grew on us in the months after our purchase, we wanted to do something a little more adventurous than the typical monochromatic approach. Another paint scheme we particularly liked was the black-on-red Baldwin Motion treatment featured on one of the tuner's more famous early Stingrays. Then, while driving to work one day, we fell in behind an '09 Z06 finished in stunning Cyber Gray, and it was that sighting that inspired our paint-scheme decision: Since our '71 will reflect the best of both old and new automotive technologies, we decided to embrace this dichotomy by painting the car Cyber Gray with a black stripe around the tail panel and down the middle, similar to the early Baldwin cars.
So, without further ado, let's make some progress toward making Project C3 Triple-Ex more aesthetically appealing. While we won't finish the car this month, we'll show you how bodywork is properly performed, and get our project ready for paint and reassembly in next month's issue.