Project 2CV: Thinking about paint

Having once had Elly restored to ‘really very nice’ condition, there’s no way I’m doing it again. ‘Really very nice’ is too hard to maintain with a car I use so much, and for so many things. Like off-roading and rallying.

But, do I go the whole hog and ditch the red/white paint scheme that this car has had from new? I think I just might. In fact, given that I’m a bloody hippy, perhaps it’s about time I had a car that looked like a bloody hippy owned it. Psychedelic man!

After all, there was a time when LOTS of 2CVs looked just like this.

Cool man! Not enough 2CVs like this in modern times.

Cool man! Not enough 2CVs like this in modern times.

Just fabulous. And, should a panel get damaged, you haven’t got to worry about a paint match have you? As the Dyane has proved, there’s a lot to be said for clumsy brush painting too. Quite a lot of that car is in superb condition thanks to the protection of extra paint. Brilliant.

2CV Dolly

Would she attract a bigger crowd with ‘artwork’ paint?

The biggest problem is that I’m no artist. Well, I can do quite nice chunky writing, but I’m not really sure how to even get started on the blank canvas that is my 2CV. I don’t know which paint to use either – I welcome all suggestions.

I’ve also got decisions to make about bumpers. Elly has had that tubular front bumper fitted since 2006, but it’s quite rusty and powder coated, so a paint to sort out. Never powder coat anything. It’s bloody horrible stuff and doesn’t protect steel as well as you might hope.

I know some purists might not like my plans, but there really are enough ‘nice’ 2CVs out there. In fact, dare I say it, hand-painted 2CVs have become far too rare of late, and shows tend to have lines of immaculate 2CVs in near-original condition these days. There are some very notable exceptions, and a friend’s hand-painted Charleston has won its class (all disc-brake 2CVs so 1981-1990) so many times it’s now in the Masterclass with some very, very tidy cars.

A friend's delicious hand-painted 2CV in a shiny line up.

A friend’s delicious hand-painted 2CV in a shiny line up.

Simon’s car very neatly demonstrates that hand painted doesn’t have to be shambolic. It looks ace. I especially like how he’s kept the Charleston theme of the car, and perhaps I can keep the Dolly theme of Elly. I’d certainly like to. What I definitely don’t want to do is cultivate a faux rat look. That’s far too common and, generally speaking, always a bit awful. It’s like immaculate beards. Just a bit wrong. I think I need to print out some 2CV outline drawings, dig out the crayons, and get creative. Perhaps I can ask my nephew and niece for help with this one!

All this thought is down to the fact that progress on Elly’s resurrection has stalled for now. The body has been assessed and we’re starting to get the panels together that will be needed for the overhaul to commence. I’ve no firm feel for timescales, but I doubt much will happen for at least a month or so. Plenty of time to get in touch with my inner hippy artist. Peace man.


Peace! Dyane has inspired me to come up with a hand-painted scheme for the 2CV.

7 thoughts on “Project 2CV: Thinking about paint

  1. Can’t agree with your powder coating comment. My front & rear tubular bumpers were powder coated in 1998 and still look like new (and they weren’t new when they were coated). It all depends on the preparation, application and the baking process.

    • And use of vehicle? Elly has had a far harsher life to be fair. The wheels I had done and the bumpers (both ends) have suffered badly though.

  2. vw did herlequin on an olop why go one better and have EVERY panel a different colour all from the 2cv colour pallette

  3. Yo Ian,
    Thanks for the nice comments about the Goatmobile. OK Paint. Rustbuster – – do some terrific 2 pack stuff called Epoxy Mastic, primarily for chassis use, it is the business – can be brush-painted and sticks like no other paint I have ever used. Dries to a steel-hard finish too, but won’t crack off thin steel like Hammerite does. To stop the underside, inside of wings and anywhere which has been welded or regularly gets wet from rusting, a couple of coats of this stuff over the bare metal is a must. Also can be overpainted with anything and works very well as a primer/undercoat.
    For the green bits I used coach enamel from Craftmaster Paints – – as a finish, much cheaper than a spray job, much thicker paint film, any colour available, doesn’t fade like household gloss. Takes a bit of skill to apply, but is worth the effort. I used ultra-cheapo exterior gloss for all the black bits, horrid to use, takes for ever to dry, looks like shite, but boy, is it quick and easy to repair any damage and looks OK from 10 feet away. Next time I will use coach enamel for everything. Hand-painting is the only way to go and saves £1-2.5K on a body-shop job.

  4. The way to go. My Charleston, once a shiny shiny vehicle has unfortunately succumbed to rust and sun damage. So why not transform it with some hand brush painting. I don’t have the facilities for respraying or the spare cash but I’m happy to weild a brush in the open air.

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