Red and Maroon forensics

We discussed some of the evidence for cherry red here.

Frank Curry’s 1934 Nippy is presently having restoration work done – a car which he has owned for nearly 60 years.

Looking at the stripped body today, it was interesting to see the forensic evidence for colours on the metal. This bright colour has been on the car since he first knew it, but it has a grey primer underneath which looks suspiciously un-thirties. We thus cannot trust this red as we do not know its origin.2019-09-25 15.19.16

Chris Gould suggested looking at the metal backing for the dash, and this image shows where the grey primer has been scratched through to reveal a darker red, overlying black base primer. This echoes Nick Boorman’s experience, with the location for his 65’s paint research.2019-09-25 15.29.08

The rear body under the wings also provided pigment which looked original – more darker paint with no grey primer underneath.2019-09-25 15.27.09

So it looks like the darker red is original, but is it cherry, or is it maroon? This is a rare 1936 Belco swatch pack and you can see maroons just in front of the dual beige, in the centre of the swatch. The brighter red one to the right is not a good example of cherry – it has come out artificially bright.

1936 colour cards

Craftmaster Paints have optically matched all the 1936 colours and Cherry is shown as:

whereas maroon is shown as:

This is a brochure selection from 1935. You can see how deficient printed media is in comparison:

1935 Oct full range

However, a recent conversation with restorer David Wall says that on two 1935-7 Austin 7s, a Nippy and a Ruby, very original cherry paint was found which was a very good match for BMC late 1950s Cherry Red paint, code RD4. The Craftmaster sample shown below:

How similar does this seem to the 1932 sample of Mitcham Red (below) we saw in the other discussion post?

Again, you can see the deficiencies of the photograph in combination with the screen, but here is the colour on a1959-ish Mini; it looks very similar to the printed image for Nippy poster further below.

 Here is another useful comparison with the colour matched original Maroon Nippy of Chris Gould (right), with the Cherry red 65 of Nick Boorman (left), using a best match found, the Rover colour, Brigade Red 69-72. Does this post chime with your own findings? And what primer colour have you found under original paint?

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