Without a doubt, it is the very first thing you notice when you look at a classic Corvette. Your eye then jumps about from here to there as you pick up the reflections on the glass, the chrome and the brightwork, but it will come back to the paint once again. This time, though, you've walked closer to the car and are ready to give it your close scrutiny. Nothing on the car will be more judged than the paint, and this single line item will have the deepest impact on the classification of your Corvette; as one of quality, or just a driver.
The Restoration Station will take your Corvette's paint beyond the level you expect, and onto the podium.
Enter This is a land where "best paint", "best in class" and "best color combination" terminology doesn't exist. It's a slightly different language than what is spoken in the mainstream car show circuit - and we speak it well. In fact, it's our first language. Sure, the Corvette restored for NCRS or Bloomington judging specs is also a beautiful, shiny Corvette - but it differs in that this car is an accurate representation of typical factory production. Not of today, but of 1958 for a 1958 Corvette, or 1965 for a 1965 Corvette, or whatever the production year in question. Our restoration of a Corvette to NCRS judging specs starts with techniques and specific order of steps, and ends with an accurate visual representation of the materials used in the day. Some of these materials have not been available for many, many years. Others - never available outside the factory floor. Success in the authentic restoration of a Corvette comes in the form of awards called "Top Flight", "Duntov" and "Gold", and are highly sought-after and coveted. Success in the restoration business comes from producing restorations that win these awards time and time again. The Restoration Station achieves this by designing combinations of today's materials and executing tested techniques that produce the finishes and patina of yesterday - where nitrocellulose lacquer and bake-only acrylic lacquer are distant memories that only we "seasoned" restorers remember.
As we restore a car for this type of judging, we are aware of how each step was accomplished at the factory, which therefore dictates how it should look. Take a quick look at the rear valence area of our '58. When this body left the bake oven after final paint at the factory, areas of the body were lightly sanded, then buffed. The heavy buffer with the 12" wool pad on it never got near a style line or a lower valence, so these areas, among others, shouldn't glow with shine. This '58 has the lacquer look - without the lacquer.
Staying ahead of the curve with today's technology; where today's "lacquer" needs to be put into quotation marks because it is such an abomination - merely a namesake of what it once was. Replicating the original look without the quality lacquer of yesterday is not an illusive goal. It is day-to-day business. Are you insisting that your Corvette is painted with lacquer? We can certainly do that - but first, we need to talk.
Here is a 1954 Corvette - one of only a handful of black '54s ever produced. The shine to most of the upper body is correct, as these cars were sanded and buffed - in certain areas - to a high shine at the factory. But look at the dashboard. The lower dash (Polo White) is not as shiny, more of a semi-gloss. Then the upper dash (Sportsman Red) is even duller yet. The trunk, valences, soft top compartment, wheel lips, gutters, shadow areas and the underside of the panels are the same toned-down gloss, just as this car was when it was new. This is accurate, and it has the correct look of typical factory production for a 1954 Corvette.
The Restoration Station 250 Hiawatha Trail, Springboro, OH. 45066 (937) 743-3007
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