By Frederica McCauley, Axalta Marketing Communications Specialist
As loyal Cromax® customers for nearly 20 years, the team at Goldmark Body Works in Queensland, Australia trusted no other brand when they restored Mick Freestone’s rare 1923 Bugatti Type 13 – a 50-year family heirloom.
|The Type 13’s lightweight design and remarkable craftsmanship left all naysayers speechless when it took the top four places at the Voiturette Grand Prix in Brescia, Italy, in 1921.|
Nearly three decades after its last coat of paint, selecting the perfect blue proved to be difficult, explained Goldmark owner, Scott Millington. Historically, Bugatti’s were painted in honor of the French national racing color – but the official color is unknown, because it was matched to the cigarette packet favored by inventor Ettore Bugatti’s wife. “The blue changed over the years, depending on the color on the packaging,” said Millington. “But we could have matched it if we had the right packet.”
|Bugatti’s were painted in honor of the French national racing color – but the official color is unknown.|
Instead, Millington color-matched a photo of a European Bugatti. After stripping the car to bare metal, the Goldmark crew used the Cromax 840R VOC Epoxy Primer-Surfacer and the LE2004 high build primer to prepare the surface for the blue basecoat.
Attaining an authentic vintage finish also presented a challenge. Modern paints are glossier than the finishes available in the Bugatti’s racing days, so Millington experimented matting out the gloss by mixing the Cromax 3050S clear coat with AU175 flattening binder. “We did quite a few spray outs to make sure Mick was happy,” said Scott. “We were able to work with him to give him exactly what he wanted, and how he wanted it done.”
With the Bugatti reassembled and ready to return home, Millington is happy that in the hands of his experienced crew, Axalta’s Cromax paint delivered an impeccable and authentic finish for his customer. “It was a privilege to work on a vehicle of that calibre,” said Scott. “And the finish is beautiful, as we expected.”
Mick is also thrilled with the results. “Being a very old and unusual car, the finish of the paint was important. I couldn’t be happier with the result. It’s authentic, and still looks like a top restoration project.”
We think you’ll agree that this car is a brilliant blue success story.
Fast Facts About the Type 13
Totally unique in its design, the Type 13 surprised the world of racing when it took second place at its French Grand Prix debut at Les Mans in 1911.
Created by Italian-born Ettore Bugatti, the distinctive Type 13 bucked all the popular trends for appearance, and was one of the first race cars to feature four valves per cylinder instead of two.
The Type 13’s lightweight design and remarkable craftsmanship left all naysayers speechless when it took the top four places at the Voiturette Grand Prix in Brescia, Italy, in 1921.