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1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

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  • 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

    Pop the kettle on, make a cuppa, sit back and relax ... This is the writeup on a classic 1947 Rover P2, an exterior detail carried out by myself and Gordon, and Davy and Alex on day 2 as well to restore the paint finish following damage incurred at a classic car show.

    The paintwork on this car, original from the restoration 26 years ago, had been chemically damaged by the use of an aerosol body spray the a woman near the car was spraying... the damage, as you can see, was heartbreaking. Had it been my car, I'd have been in tears.

    Gordon and myself met John last month to assess the paint finish and a little trial revealed that claying removed the above surface contamination while machine polishing slowly (we'll get to this soon ) using a variety of levels of abrasive was suitable for relevelling the paint surface to remove the majority of the damage while maintaining the paint finish as best as possible - happy with what was achieved, John booked the car in and ever since I have been excitedly awaiting the car's arrival!!


    Fast forward to last weekend, and it was time for the detail. I will admit, I get excited the night before details, given it is something I derive a lot of enjoyment from, its a bit like Christmas! Well, this car certainly was, and a bit like an eight year old, I didn't sleep a wink the night before the detail such was the excitement! :lol:... But with excitement, has to come extreme care and above all - respect. You must respect every car you work on, have the longevity of the finish in mind at all times, respect the owner's wishes and always do your best. But on a car like this you must have massive respect for the fact that the car is not "normal" - 26 year old paint, hand painted during a restoration is enough to make any detailer sit up and pay attention. When you see the thickness readings shortly, you will really see why! This car has been fastidiously cared for, very regularly polished which also poses a challenge for the detailer - regular polishing means regular paint removal so we had to be on our guard the whole time being hyper aware of regions of thin paint. It was always going to be the case that there would be some regions which we just could not correct as fully as we wanted to, or even touch at all with abrasives to ensure that thin regions were not made thinner still. Both the thickness gauge and lights were used to look for thin spots, or regions of concern to guide our correction methods to achieve the results with the minimum risk and the best interests of the car and the finish paramount in our minds.

    So here she is on arrival - Tilly

    You can tell how well cared for she is, the gloss and finish on the car already excellent - you may even be wondering, if you hadn't seen the thread above, why she was being detailed!

    Under the Sun Gun, however, the paintwork was a different story - the damage from the aerosol you can see in the link above clear to see as little pin pricks in the paintwork...

    Claying, using Sonus Ultrafine Green Clay and Meguiars Last Touch as a lube knocked the tops off of these marks and did yield a notable improvement. Alas, the marks were imprinted into the paintwork, as indents so top surface removal would not be sufficient. The paintwork had to be relevelled, at the cost of thickness, to fully shift the marks. Tilly required learning, panel by panel. Being hand painted, every panel was different, every panel has its own challenge - no one technique would be a catch all, so the lightest techniques were assessed and used throughout on each of the panels as we progressed round. It would have been all to easy to hit in with aggressive compound, wet sand, wool mop - but as I always say on any of my tuition days, anyone can remove paint, the skill is in removing the defects at the lowest cost to the paint thickness, and knowing when to exercise restraint and let the last marks go. Far better to have an indent or two, or a scratch or two than be sending a car away for a respray, especially a 26 year old paint job on a car as unique as this.

    Ready for the machine polishing, it was first of all time to assess the paintwork in terms of original thickness, and then assess the hardness through stepping up through the abrasive scale to attain the level of correction required, again with maximum safety to the finish being paramount in our minds here. The first section chosen was the passenger side bonnet top, shown below the before pictures:

    Note in the above, around the light sources, the little pin pricks in the paint surface - this is the damage caused by the aerosol.

    Before continuing, the paint thicknesses (total thickness) were measured across the panel, and recorded... now I dont have a fancy gauge that remembers the readings and plots graphs, but I do have a Gordon and a laptop... (sorry Gordy, couldn't resist :p)

    Readings were taken and then plotted using Excel to give a 3d map of the paint thickness on the panel:

    Numbers along the side shows what colours represent what thickness range - essentially, anything red above is below 100um. This map I kept on the screen at all times when working, so I could see when I was polishing near thinner regions, and also to allow me to spot inconsistencies in pictures so I could know where to polish and where it would be better to go easy...

    Now it was time to assess the hardness of the paint and what would be required for correction. Spot average was taken on a region to be 133.6um of paint at the start.

    We started using Menzerna PO106FA Final Finish on a 3M Blue Waffle pad, applied as follows:
    • Spread at 600rpm
    • Begin working at 1200rpm until polish residue evenly spread
    • Work at 1500 - 1800rpm, monitoring the panel temperatures with steady machine movements and light to medium pressure until residue goes clear
    • Reduce speed to 1200rpm to refine, lighter machine pressure
    • Burnish at 900rpm, couple of slow passes, light pressure

    The results this achieved under traditional Sun Gun held from panel lighting look pretty good...

    Zoom in, focus on the paint surface and you can still see most of the pitting though, indicating this combo was not strong enough...

    Paint thickness on the test spot had now dropped to 130um, a significant drop for a finishing polish. Panel temperature during polishing here ran at a consistent 35.9degC, gently warm to the touch.

    Based on the above findings, it was decided to step the abrasive level up a notch - Menzerna PO85RD3.02 Intensive Polish was applied, using a 3M Yellow Waffle polishing pad, and the same Zenith point technique as above. This resulted in the following results...

    Note the improvement now in the level of pitting that is seen - this method had achieved better correction, but at what cost? Paint thickness had now dropped to 128.8um... a lower drop than for Final Finish which you might think is very strange, but going on recent experience I find this to be quite normal - initial layers of paint seem much softer, perhaps due to UV degredation, leading to a hardness gradient across the paint finish. Panel temperature this time was a consistent 58.6degC during the set, hot to the touch.

    Given the results achieve with the first IP effort, a second set of Intensive Polish was then used, and this led to the following results...

    Less of an improvement now, and as you can see from the thickness of 128.2um, the paint level drop is now very low - we are into harder paint. Panel temp for the second set was lower though, 48.8degC, but with the same methods which point to the harder paint running a bit cooler during machining which in turn may also be affecting the removal rates and overall correction.

    Now, time for careful assessment - two hits of IP get good correction, but still not great... and runs into harder paint, where it begins to struggle. We decided to trial Fast Cut Plus, upping the cut level as assess if there were safe benefits to be had. 3M Fast Cut Plus was applied using a 3M Orange Waffle Pad, drop of Ultrafina to lengthen work time, using a "Correction hit" technique as follows:
    • Spread at 600rpm
    • Begin working at 1200rpm to evenly spread the residue
    • Work at 1800 - 2000rpm with moderate pressure over the head, alternating between slow and fast passes to regulate the panel temperatures (faster passes saw a drop in temp)

    This achieved the following results...

    Definitely getting somewhere now. Thickness drop to 125.6um show not a huge amount of paint removed, but still notable. Panel temp maximum of 60.3degC during the set.

    Given we were on a thicker region of paint, we repeated with another hit of Fast Cut, as above, to achieve:

    Paint thickness of 126.7um (up!!! gauge reading error - see later ), panel temp maximum of 62.5degC.

    FC+ third time (you may be wondering why I didn't move to more aggressive, wool, wet sand - the reason is FC+ was giving an improvement every time but with controlled depth removal, in this case multiple small level removal hits were preferred to one heavy removal hit!)

    Better still... Paint thickness of 125.3, max temp of 61.4degC.

    Fourth FC+ hit, slightly different and more aggressive this time, using an adaptation of the above technique to attain a bit more from the abarsive - slower machine movements with firm head pressure at the working stage and we get the following results...

    Paint thickness was now 122.3um, and a max temp of 74.1degC reflecting the increased aggression of this technique. Now we are seeing much more significant paint losses overall, it was decided that the above level of correction was good and achieved safely but to chase any remaining marks would be beginning to compromise the paintwork itself.

    So we then proceeded with a two stage refinement, first with Intensive Polish applied using the Zenith Point technique above to achieve the following:

    Depth reading of 122.6um, max temp of 54.1degC.

    Final finish refinement carried out using Menzerna PO85RD Final Finish, 3M Blue Waffle pad and the Zenith point method, with extra burnishing passes at 900rpm to ensure the best possible clarity in the finish...

    The final paint readings - 122.5um. Max set temp (consistent over the set) of 46.1degC.

    As you can see, there are still the odd marks in the paint, but a massive improvement and achieved in a safe and controlled manner here. Softly softly (yes, FC+ is softly softly here ) was the name of the game.

    The graph below shows the removal rate, paint readings attained from average spot measurment shown below (vertical bars representing reading error from gauage, which is why when the removal is low, you can see the paint level seem to go up rather than down!):

    This indicates the gradient of hardness across the paint also.

    The 3d map below shows the paint thicknesses after the whole bonnet corrected, thin regions at the front receiving only one hit of FC+ owing to thicknesses...

    You can see the red region has grown and spread, indicating an overall lowering of the paint thickness across the panel - seeing this happen in 3d like this really brings home exactly what your paint correction is actually doing!

    The end results on this section under the Sun Gun for assessment:

    I was loving the depth this paint had in the garage...

    Right - next section!! Driver's side of the bonnet. 3d map of the paint before...

    Already looking good in the befores...

    But you can see the pin pricks under the garage and Sun Gun, a few light swirls as well...

    Correction here was achieved using 3M Fast Cut Plus, one or two hits depending on requirements and paint depths, followed with Intensive Polish to first refine, and Final Finish to burnish. 3d map of thicknesses after the machine polishing, you can again see the overall drop in paint level...

    The end results under the Sun Gun and strip lighting show a massive improvement again to the overall finish with big reductions in the pin pricks...

    Gotta love this bonnet - why dont they make cars like this today??

    Onto the side of the car now, we can see the before pictures on the doors - less in the way of the pin pricks, as the vertical panels seemed largely unaffected... a few swirls and a bit of hazing though:

    Maps of the front and back doors respectively before correction:

    Note - thick regions and thin regions here, the middles of the doors showing much lower readings - care to be taken here.

    Correction this time was Intensive Polish, using a regenerating technique to lengthen its lifetime as follows:
    • Spread at 600rpm
    • Begin working at 1200rpm until residue spread evenly
    • Work at 1800rpm with medium pressure and slow to medium machine movement speeds
    • When residue clear reduce speed to 900rpm, pressure to light for a couple of passes to bring residue back
    • Repeat at 1800rpm for a few more passes, medium to firm pressure until residue clear
    • Reduce speed to 1200rpm, refine the finish with light pressure

    The finish was then refined using Menzerna Final Finish PO85RD, using the Zenith Point method above. The maps of the paint thicknesses after:

    And the after results...

    The passenger side, note the contorsionist efforts from me to get the pics in the reflections - thank you Gordon, for then taking over the holding of the light!!! :lol::lol:

    As an example, here's the paint maps of the back door on this side before, and after:

    Again, you can see the overall lowering of the paint depth. Correction and refining here was the same as other doors, with a spot of Fast Cut used on a couple of stubborn scratches. The afters on this side...

    It was at this stage, around 930pm, Gordon and I decided food would be a good idea :lol: ... Huge thanks here to Liz, Gordon's other half, for making awsome chicken and rice soup! Mmmmm, filling and warm - brilliant! It was then back to the unit, arriving around midnight for a final little bit of machine polishing of the day... The front wings (lovely lovely curves!!) before:

    One region beyond repair was this...

    The muddy river effect, as its known in America, is said to be caused by too thick paint during spraying, the top dries but the base does not, and you get separation cracks which cannot be repaired.

    The rest of the wings could be though - using Intensive Polish with the regenerating methods, followed by Final Finish to refine, giving the following:

    Mmmmmmm, the depth and shine on these curves was lovely to behold in the garage....

    As was the bonnet...

    At 2am - a fitting place to end day 1

    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; .... "

  • #2
    Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint


    Day 2, 930am and back to work This time we were also joined by Davy (badly_dubbed "its got bumpers too"!), and Alex (alx_chung) later in the day too as our team grew a little It was the turn of the back of the car today, with the bootlid top being the worst affected by chemical etching...

    A few more befores from around the back of the car...

    The bootlid top was going to prove a challenge - look at the paint map:

    A large region of thin paint, with readings <70um, yet this was the worst damaged! Intensive Polish was used on the thinnest region, Fast Cut else where to restore the finish and then refine with Final Finish. The paint map after, showing the drop in paint level:

    Worth it though, for these results:

    Goes to show the importance of carefully assessing the paint thicknesses here though!!

    General afters from around the back of the car...

    The painted wheels were in need of some attention as well for swirl marks...

    Centre cleaned with APC...

    Paint polished using Menzerna PO203S to remove the swirls...

    This notably improved the gloss...

    The metal centres were polished by G220, polishing pad, with Briliant #1 Metal Restorer (spread at speed 2, worked at speeds 5 and 6) and then refined using Briliant #2 Aluminium & Stainless Steel polish...



    Alex did a sterling job hand polishing with Briliant #2 all of the stainless, and chrome trim all over the car - and there is a lot of it!!!

    The car paint was cleansed with Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze, applied by hand and then followed with Chemical Guys 50/50 wax at the request of the owner who was looking for an easy to use and good quality wax to maintain his finish.

    Glass was cleaned with Duragloss 751.

    Wheels protected with FK1000P.

    Tyres dressed with a trial tyre dressing from David G which is peforming very well on other test cars, so well that we thought it well deserving of application on this beauty. More details on this will follow.

    After nearly 80 man hours, Tilly was ready - John was called and Tilly sat waiting for him, in the unit...

    After all the hard work it was hugely rewarding to see the car rolled out into the daylight (slightly fading alas...), and see the results of our efforts:


    As an aside here, a little photographic trick - car in a darkened location, with a wall being lit next to it allows deep reflections in the side of the car, these pics following show this photography method being used on this car...

    Gordon at the photography too...

    A couple of beading pics...

    And Gordon's after pics of the detail...


    We hope you enjoyed the read

    I would like to personally thank the following people for their help in this detail coming together....

    Gordon (caledonia)
    Davy (badly_dubbed)
    Alex (alx_chung)
    Liz (Gordon's other half)
    Kara (Davy's other half)
    David G

    and of course,

    John, and Tilly herself
    "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; .... "


    • #3
      Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

      Incredible write-up, Dave, and incredible work! Huzzah!
      Swirls hide in the black molecular depths, only waiting for the right time to emerge and destroy your sanity.
      --Al Kimel


      • #4
        Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

        That is amazing. What a incredible write up and results. Fantastic work everyone.
        quality creates its own demand


        • #5
          Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint


          do u run a school?
          it only takes a little patience and plenty of PASSION!!

          detailing blog



          • #6
            Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

            I always thought it poor taste when someone does a write up on a brand specific forum and doesn't use any / or at least most of that brand in the detail.

            Freedom prospers when Christianity is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged


            • #7
              Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

              Originally posted by Superior Shine View Post
              I always thought it poor taste when someone does a write up on a brand specific forum and doesn't use any / or at least most of that brand in the detail.

              I beg your pardon? I regard your above post the utmost of poor taste personally.

              I would hope that on a detailing related forum, where other products are dicussed, that a post such as this would provide useful information and insight into detailing processes and techniques that would be of interest to the community, brands used or not.

              If the moderators of the board feel that this post is in poor taste simply because it does not use all Meguiars products, then they should feel free to remove it.
              "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; .... "


              • #8
                Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

                Looks like everything tastes bad this morning.

                I maintain my position.
                Freedom prospers when Christianity is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged


                • #9
                  Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

                  We are all entitled to our opinions and to express them in our chosen ways

                  Its a shame however when you and your team put a lot of effort into something only for it to be described as "poor taste", unjustifiably in my opinion - but as above, if the modertors of the board feel this post is poor taste, then they can happily remove it.

                  I bid you good afternoon
                  "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; .... "


                  • #10
                    Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

                    Certainly we are all entitled to our own opinions and as much as we may agree or disagree with each other, we should at least respect those opinions. Joe, we know you are a huge supporter of Meguiar's and MOL and we love you for it - and highly respect the quality of your work and, more importantly, highly respect you as an individual.

                    Dave has a history of doing some highly detailed write ups on some extremely interesting projects, with this '47 Rover being high up on that list. We always find it interesting to see write ups from the other side of the pond, as it were, and we have publicly stated time and again that we have no problem with people posting about other products, using other products, or raving about other products. In fact, we have a strict policy about bashing our competition! Having said that, would we like to see Dave using more of our products? Well of course we would, but we obviously can't force him to do so, nor would we want to - but we don't find his posts to be in bad taste. He has used more Meguiar's products on previous project write ups, but he obviously has an extensive toolbox and, from the looks of things, makes great use of it.

                    We certainly hope both of you will continue to contribute to MOL just as you always have. And, hopefully, you can both amicably agree to disagree.
                    Michael Stoops
                    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

                    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.


                    • #11
                      Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

                      The work performed to the old classic is awesome.

                      Using very little or no Meguiars products and posting it on a Meguiars forum is what I don't like.

                      I am here to share what can and can't be done with Meguiars products. Not other brands.

                      I wouldn't go to a Chevy dealer and tell them how cool my Mustang is.
                      Freedom prospers when Christianity is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged


                      • #12
                        Re: 1947 Rover P2 16hp Sport Saloon - Restoring Classic Paint

                        José, I think Michael Stoops has explained it all perfectly.

                        In addition, I think that if you were aware of Dave's posts and activity (mostly at Detailing World), you'd see that he uses Meguiar's very often and that he's publicly said many times that he really likes Meg's products (I remember reading about how he likes the buffing pads and waxes over the ones made by other manufacturers, for instance).

                        I think it's a good idea to keep the forum open to any brand as long as it's not for bashing nor for advertising. It's enriching for all of us.

                        Great job on that beautiful classic, Dave!

                        Joe, admiro mucho tu trabajo, te envío un saludo.


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