The Pursuit of Perfection – The 1987 Mercedes 500SL in Colour

By Craig Ranson
By Craig Ranson

Managing Director – Bridge Classic Cars

The 1987 Mercedes 500SL has been moved from the preparation area at Bridge Classic Cars into the paint shop and then, into our in-house paint booth/oven.

The paint and body team, along with the fabrication shop, have spent a lot of time getting the classic R107 ready for its date with the paint booth making sure each part, panel and piece was perfect before beginning the painting process.

The car is being finished in a classic Mercedes colour, Selenet Grey. Most notably seen on the classic 280SL Pagodas, it was chosen to compliment the beautiful burgundy red interior that the trim team have made for the car.

So, with the car ready it was time for Alan and Nick to go into the booth with the car and lay down the first coat onto the body of the SL. Starting with the engine bay.

Alan began under the transmission tunnel and worked his way up and across the firewall making sure every inch was covered to give each coat an even and flowing look. The inner wheel arches and front core support finished off the first stage. Then, Alan began to work getting the scuttle panel and windscreen surround shot in the dark, deep grey and worked his way back towards the boot on the classic Mercedes.

The rear quarter panels and rocker panels were coloured line by line. Each gently overlapping on the previous to give the consistent and uniform look needed to achieve the flawless finish that comes with Selenet Grey. But with the car having its first coat complete, it was time to let it settle and get the paint mixed for the next round.

The 2nd coat was done in the same order as the first. Alan making sure to get every exposed piece of bodywork coated properly for the uniform look. Again, it was all about consistency and movement in order to achieve the finish on the classic R107. And once the 2nd layer had flashed off, Alan waited for the prescribed time and then shot the 3rd coat to finish off the car.

With that, it was left in the ovens to completely cure and harden. Once it has completely hardened, it will be carefully transferred back to the preparation area in order for polishing and preparation for the next stage.

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