Ecurie Bertelli, the pre-war Aston Martin specialist, and HMG Paints, the UK’s leading independent paint manufacturer, have combined their market leading knowledge for a one-of-a-kind project conserving a 1934 Aston Martin MKII.
The 1934 Aston Martin MKII chassis number 402 has had quite the 12 months, which saw it being found in a barn to winning the Octane magazine Car of the Year Award. After 50 years of being stored in a barn the 402 now affectionately known as the “barnfind” is believed to be one of the most original Aston Martins in the world. Uniquely, owner Tom Wood, didn’t want the car to be restored but conserved, and entrusted the team at Ecurie Bertelli to lead the project who then called upon HMG’s unique skills.
“This is a remarkably rare opportunity, there are probably no pre-war Aston Martins in this condition, very original yet still in good enough condition to be preserved” commented Robert Blakemore of Ecurie Bertelli. “We’re thankful to HMG for helping us on this project and developing a product and showing us the techniques required to stabilise and conserve this amazing vehicle’s paint work.”
The team at HMG Paints developed a special stabilising and sealing solution that allowed the Ecurie Bertelli team to seal the worn paint work and prevent further degradation. This unique approach allows 402 to ensure its vintage charm and character will remain for years to come with its original paint work.
John Falder, Chairman of HMG Paints and Vintage Aston Martin enthusiast was delighted HMG could assist in the project. “Project 402 is really exciting, discovering all the finer nuances of the paintwork has been an enthralling process. We were excited to delve into our historic formulation books to faithfully recreate the resin systems and colours used when it was built.”
Steve Kennedy of HMG Paints utilised his years of colour matching experience to faithfully match and recreate the Le Mans Green colour for use behind both rear wheels where the paint was entirely missing. Steve and his Advanced Colour Design Centre team are no stranger to developing new colours and recreating classic colours. The team have previously worked on a number of projects including the restoration of Emerson Fittipaldi’s iconic 1970 Team Lotus Chassis number 5, and also developing the colours for the Aston Martin Racing 2020, 24 Hours of Le Mans winning cars.
Once the colour was created the paint was handed over to Glenn Reid, HMGs in house Classic Car expert, who worked with Simon Boreham and Callum Staff from Ecurie Bertelli to apply the coating and create a seamless blend between the new and old paintwork.
After applying the new paint, the team set about applying the uniquely formulated stabilising solution. The solution utilised a thermoplastic resin combined with stabilising lacquer to produce the ultra-thin protective coating. The product allows Tom to drive 402 without any worry of further paint degradation, the first test of which was an 800-mile round trip to Le Mans Classic.
You can see a video of the work undertaken by HMG Paints and Ecurie Bertelli below. The video showcases the initial inspection of the car and colour identification, to the application of the specially matched paint and application of the stabilising and sealing solution, all of which took place at Riverside Works, the home of HMG Paints.
Read more of our People & Skills articles here