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A guide to two-tone your classic

Setting the right tone Published: 6th Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
A guide to two-tone your classic
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Want to put a bit of colour into the life of your classic car? then two tone it! we show why the benefits are more than simply skin deep

Remember the days when cars didn’t wear the one single colour and when a contrasting shade gave that crafty optical illusion of a lower, sleeker and even classier car? ‘Two toning’ it was called back then and it’s worth doing now because apart from making a classic more distinctive, it can also save you a fortune on a full respray - if you do it right. A complete repaint costs thousands of pounds these days, especially if it’s a bare metal job, and for many the sheer cost can outweigh the real world value of the car. On the other hand a money saving part respray can make the car look like a Dalmatian. The cleverest and most cost effective solution is to two tone the body with a contrasting colour along the flanks or roof. Don’t sneer - it can really work well. Actually many classic owners may own a two-tone car and not even realise it. Take most classic sports cars for example; they usually sport a black hood or hardtop and somehow they never look quite right colour keyed, do they? Virtually any car made up to the 1970s can wear more than one colour comfortably and still look authentic and tasteful; it depends how you do it. The secret is in the design and thanks to modern computer technology that you probably already have at home, you can easily re-colour your car safely at the click of a mouse before deciding whether to do it for real.

Dress code

Rather like the clothes that you wear, your can really cock your classic up by mismatching colours and styles. A different coloured roof was the most simple and popular trick years ago and really still is (witness the new MINI) as it can make any car look lower and sportier. But a contrasting shade down the sides has a similar effect too and can tidy up a dull looking car no end. Take the Triumph TR7 as an example - a curious mix of lumps and bumps if ever there was one. Yet by simply painting the lower panels under that odd swage line a different shade, the car can be made to look almost attractive! There are loads of saloons around where a subtle two toning under a side trim strip or swage line can work wonders by breaking up that large slab of panel work - just look at a colour coordinated Silver Shadow if you don’t believe us.

Paint your wagon

Ever considered brush painting? Don’t sneer – in days of yore coach painting was the accepted finish before the speed of car production demanded something swifter. Special coach paints are still available (don’t try household gloss) but one of the most popular on the high street is Re-Paint. Now exclusively sold by Halfords, Re-Paint has been around since the early 1970s and is available in a variety of standard colours plus Land Rover and British Racing Green shades. Costing under £8 per tin, we’ve tried it… and so long as you take your time (painting a car is incredibly boring to do!) using quality brushes and prepare it as if you were carrying out a pro respray, it can provide an impressive finish - mixing with the original and transform a tired classic - all for under £50!

That racing touch

Another trick worth remembering is to repaint your car, perhaps in the theme of a replica competition version. For example, Ford Escorts and Capris looked the part in their official blue and white shades - and don’t forget the red/gold colours used by Lotus and Ford (Alan Mann) during the 1960s - or BMC works colours either. Matt back can be used successfully to replicate that competition look too; study old pictures of the car in its motorsport heydays (your owners club should be able to help here) before deciding.

Picture this…

Before you rush out and do your Rolf Harris bit, have a play to see what will suit your car best. Take some pictures of your car from various angles and have them produced on A4 size paper or larger if possible. Steal your kid’s pencils or felt pens and carefully colour away before hanging them around the house, shed or garage for a while to see if you like the look. Of course, most of us have home computers and there’s a good chance that the software includes colouring programmes. Take some digitals of your car, download them on to the computer and you’re away. Failing this, then a local design studio or colour house can provide some designs at a reasonable cost - but it’s more fun doing it yourself! And don’t forget, that 70s style statement the vinyl roof is making a comeback and this can also have the same, desired effect for-£200-£300. So why not try a touch of two tone? Look at some ideas we’ve come up with and see if it suits you sir!



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