Ecurie Bertelli, the pre-war Aston Martin specialist, and HMG Paints, a United Kingdom-based 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 a year. After being found in a barn, the iconic car ended up winning the Octane magazine Car of the Year Award. After 50 years of being stored in the barn, the 402, now affectionately known as the “barn-find,” is believed to be one of the most original Aston Martins in the world. Uniquely, owner Tom Wood did not want the car restored but, rather, conserved. He 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, developing a product, and showing us the techniques required to stabilize and conserve this amazing vehicle’s paint work.”
The team at HMG Paints developed a special stabilizing and sealing solution that allowed the Ecurie Bertelli team to seal the worn paintwork and prevent further degradation. This unique approach allows 402 to ensure the vintage charm and character will remain for years to come with the original paintwork.
John Falder, chairman of HMG Paints and vintage Aston Martin enthusiast, was delighted HMG could assist in the project. “Project 402 is really exciting, and 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 colors used when it was built.”
Steve Kennedy of HMG Paints utilized his years of color matching experience to faithfully match and recreate the Le Mans Green color for use behind both rear wheels where the paint was entirely missing. Steve and his Advanced Color Design Centre team are no strangers to developing new colors and recreating classic colors. The team previously worked on a number of projects including the restoration of Emerson Fittipaldi’s iconic 1970 Team Lotus Chassis number 5, and developing the colors for the Aston Martin Racing 2020, 24-Hours of Le Mans winning cars.
After creating the color, the paint was handed over to Glenn Reid, HMG’s 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 stabilizing solution. The solution utilized a thermoplastic resin combined with stabilizing 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 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 on the HMG Paints YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/FzzDZkcHvPA . The video highlights the initial inspection of the car and color identification, the application of the specially matched paint, and the application of the stabilizing and sealing solution, all of which took place at Riverside Works, the home of HMG Paints.