Scott Lear
Scott Lear
2/8/07 10:56 a.m.

This past Sunday we donned our DuPont masks and put some paint on the Spec E30. Tech Editor Per has become quite fond of the ease of use and good results obtained by painting with Nason Fill-In Cans, so we once again headed down the road to Higgs Auto Paint & Body Supplies to order our paint.

We made a very rookie mistake by not checking the name of the color that's printed in big easy-to-read letters on the left front strut tower of every BMW E30. How many greyish colors could there be? The answer is two, a darker looking Delphin Grey and the very bright Salmon Silver. Per and I both could swear up and down than our car must have been the darker hue, so we had Higgs mix up a quart of Delphin Grey and inject four cans of catalyzed paint into the Fill-In spray cans. Naturally, with a 50/50 chance of getting it wrong, we were not surprised when we opened the hood to see "Lachssilber Metallic" (Salmon Silver) printed proudly on the strut tower.

Unwilling to let perfectly good paint go to waste, we decided to attack some trim items first. Our E30 came with a nice set of BBS 3-piece wheels, so we cleaned 'em up and sprayed them in the attracive Delphin Grey, which would nicely compliment the car's lighter silver hue. Our Team Dynamic wheels were an interesting copper color, nice for a white or red car but pretty horrible for silver. So we sprayed those too.

Higgs is closed on Sundays, so we'd have to wait until the week to do the cage, roof, trunk and hood. We then masked off the windows and trim in preparation, then sat down to watch the fumble bowl, expensive commercials and Prince.

On Tuesday we went back to Higgs and got a quart of the proper color mixed and injected into spray cans. When spraying something like a cage in a closed area with no circulation, a good mask is absolutely necessary. Spend 20 bucks on one of the nice dual-cartridge ones.

With the masking work already done, we were able to put a good coat on the cage in very little time. Remvoing the latches for the pop-out rear windows made it easier to get to the tricky spots on the back. The Salmon Silver didn't flow as well as the Delphin Grey for some reason, but we were pretty happy with the end result.

Finally, we still had some Delphin Grey left over, so we decided to make the car faster by adding a racing stripe. We masked off the stripe and ended up with a very handsome end result, reminiscent in some ways of the Lotus Cortina and a few of Per's old Volkswagens.

We'll let the paint dry for a few days and then put down some Lamin-x in high wear areas to protect the paint. Stickers will follow in due time.

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