Paint system used in '73

After nearly 20 years of ownership I’m going to bite the bullet and prepare for a respray. My plan is to de-trim the car and remove all paint over the winter and then ship it out to a paintshop in the spring.

My question concerns the type of paint system used at Browns lane back in 1973…… Is it the dreaded TPA (ThermoPlastic Acrylic) - which others have told me only started with Series 3 cars, or is it likely to be cellulose or something else?
I am fairly sure the paint is original SABLE which is now fairly flat and very thin in places ( showing a red undercoat). All horizontal surfaces have micro-blisters and some assorted stains from bird poo and tree sap which have resisted my attempts over the years to eradicate them.

The reason I would like to know more about the original paint is to decide on the stripping method as I believe TPA cloggs up abrasive paper and melts into stripping wheels. Other owners experiences would be very welcome .

I know some will say just throw a large amount of cash in to a bodyshop to do the whole job but I want to have the satisfaction of at least doing part of the job.

Best regards

1973 DDS Series 1

Mine is a 73, painted Regency red. Yes, the undercoat (which is tenacious and need not necessarily completely removed) is red oxide primer.

The topcoat is not the later thermoplastic. My car was painted with a particular British brand of acrylic enamel called Fadenchalk. I believe that brand featured a UV absorption-enhancing additive.

Your paint, even if not the coveted Fadenchalk brand, should be removable with the usual methylene chloride stripper, preferably the thick “aircraft strength” version. You need to buy that last year or earlier, though. IMHO. :slight_smile:

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There are professional auto painters that advise against a bare metal strip. That is if the prime coat and color coat are sound, other than wear and tear and oxidation. A good sanding to provide cleanliness and “tooth” is a great base.

And very reliant. on what system will be used in the repaint. Early nitro cellulouse, was very penetrating. Not good. Unless a sound sealer preceded it, or if as over an old ntro cellulouse coat.

OTH, big changes have taken place. Water base. A new field.

So, confer with the painter that will shoot the paint. What prep does he choose?

Carl ,

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Now I see what ya did there: my Rover used the same paint system.



maybe this sounds a bit religious, but so far I’ve abstained from all-over paint jobs as - over the surface - you lose an infinite amount of originality (assuming you still have the original paint on the car) and even decade old paint chips, fading or other taints will not be worse than the loss of this originality. Most of us, maybe except David:-) are well over 50 and wouldn’t want our skins to be photoshopped - so why do that to the cars?

OTOH, rust does its work underneath the shiny top side. Decent paint should cover the undercarriage and the cavities, where nobody ever looks at. When Paul swapped engines on the antelope car he totally stripped the engine bay and repainted it. When Aristides did his rear axle he prepped the entire down and rear part of the car, if I remember the pics he posted correctly.

So, maybe better focus on the inside and downside of the car than on its outward appearance; it pays better in the long run.

Whatever you do, things may be tricky. While I don’t think Jaguar used thermoplastic paints a friend has a green cellulose paint on his SII E type. That kind of paint is treated fairly similarly to automatic guns around this part of the world and any professional paint shop will use water based paints instead and complain that they never reach the quality of classic acrylic paints. Maybe one reason more to avoid paint jobs …

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

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As per Jochen, Mike; a proper strip-down will reveal underlying rust - painting on top of rust is waste. As is improper match of paint types. A reputable paintshop knows all this and will do the proper thing - so leaving it to them is a good, but pricy, idea…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

Many thanks for the comments and input. I have searched for further info on “Fadenchalk” but drawn a blank.

Yes I agree ref “Patina” but I’ve been telling myself I like patina when I’ve now decided that I’m going to like a good paint finish even more.

A " preparation wheel" in an angle grinder seems to remove the paint and its red oxide primer/undercoat easily but covers the whole garage with dust so I’m going to invest in some good PPE before getting stuck in.

Thanks again,

1973 Series 1 DDS

You’ll need to search on its English translation - fade and chalk. Especially popular for the red colours :blush:

PS I’ve always associated micro blisters with repaints, not with original paint (which has it’s own set of issues, but not micro blistering). But I could be wrong…