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Classic car restoration: a real beauty in a gleaming shade of orange

 

The workshop at the Swiss paintshop René Sahli has, until very recently, been housing a 1969 bright orange Porsche Targa. The classic car was only brought in for a small rust repair, but in the end a full restoration was in order. For this tricky repaint job, Sahli relied on the expertise and products offered by Standox, a vehicle coatings supplier based in Wuppertal, Germany.

René Sahli is a vehicle painter by nature. “But I have always enjoyed tinkering with classic cars,” he says. He has been leading the now 42-year-old company since 2010. It was founded by his father in 1976 in Aesch, in Switzerland’s Zurich canton. Vehicle paintshop René Sahli, with its four employees, enjoys an outstanding reputation among vintage car owners.

A case for the classic car specialists

Word-of-mouth was what brought the owners of the 1969 Porsche 911 E Targa to Aesch. “He noticed a rust patch on the bodywork, which he asked us to repair,” recalls Sahli. This is not unusual in vehicles from that period, because body-cavity sealing and galvanisation were both largely unheard of. The more they inspected the car, the clearer it became: the Targa needed to be completely restored, including a full refinishing.

  • Compared to later models, the 1969 Targa still had many chrome parts.

  • At the end, the team finished the job with a wax coating.

  • The ‘signal orange’ colour shade only became available from Porsche at the start of the colour-loving 1970s.

  • Sahli made up the colour with Standox 2K coatings and used it to coat all parts of the vehicle.

Porsche Targa, 1969

Compared to later models, the 1969 Targa still had many chrome parts.

Porsche Targa, 1969

At the end, the team finished the job with a wax coating.

Porsche Targa, 1969

The ‘signal orange’ colour shade only became available from Porsche at the start of the colour-loving 1970s.

Sahli made up the colour with Standox 2K coatings and used it to coat all parts of the vehicle.

Sahli made up the colour with Standox 2K coatings and used it to coat all parts of the vehicle.

Rust demands a radical solution

Considering the many rust patches, Sahli opted for a radical solution for removing the paint from the Porsche. In order to restore it, he removed the bumpers, mudguards, the bonnet and the boot, and sent these to a specialist in Stuttgart. There, the paint from each of these parts was individually removed in an immersion tank, the rust was removed in an acid bath and, to finish, each part was re-earthed using cathodes.

Seeking colour expertise

The Targa was originally painted in ‘signal orange’. This shade of orange only became available from Porsche at the start of the colour-loving 1970s. Sahli used the Genius iQ spectrophotometer by Standox to perform colour matching, and was impressed by its modern features, including WLAN connection. In order to reproduce the right shade of colour, he sought help from experienced applications engineers at André Koch AG in Urdorf, Zurich, the Standox distribution partner in Switzerland. For unusual requests, they can also draw on the extensive colour expertise Standox has gained through many years of close relationships with most car manufacturers.

  • René Sahli and his team did everything themselves, even down to the labour-intensive final assembly.

  • Eye-catching even at dusk: the fully restored 911 E Targa.

  • When restoring the paintwork, Sahli was able to draw on original Porsche colour samples from the 70s, but he still made use of a digital spectrophotometer.

  • A summer test drive with the Porsche around Zurich.

  • The project took around one year from the initial inspection to completion.

Porsche Targa, 1969

René Sahli and his team did everything themselves, even down to the labour-intensive final assembly.

Porsche Targa, 1969

Eye-catching even at dusk: the fully restored 911 E Targa.

Porsche Targa, 1969

When restoring the paintwork, Sahli was able to draw on original Porsche colour samples from the 70s, but he still made use of a digital spectrophotometer.

Porsche Targa, 1969

A summer test drive with the Porsche around Zurich.

The project took around one year from the initial inspection to completion.

The project took around one year from the initial inspection to completion.

Complex final assembly

Sahli made up the Porsche ‘signal orange’ colour with Standox 2K coatings and used it to coat all parts of the vehicle. Following the restoration job, the Porsche’s bodywork is back to its former glory. After the assembly work and the final finish using a wax coating, the project was complete. It took about one year from the initial inspection. “The customer was delighted with the result,” says Sahli. “Towards the end, we really had to get a move on. After all, he wanted to be able to drive his Targa in the summer.

Standox has enjoyed an excellent reputation in the restoration of classic cars for many years. The Wuppertal-based premium brand has also covered the classic cars subject area in its how-to series under the title ‘Prestige and Classic Cars’ (download it now at www.standox.com under ‘Service & Training/Standotheken’).


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