Proper protection for the beloved classic: Effective rust protection from the can for Triumph Spitfire parts

Classic cars are enjoying ever-greater popularity - and not just with dyed-in-the wool enthusiasts. Recent years have seen a boom in the number of classic cars on the roads of Germany. Regular care and maintenance are key to preserving the value and function of the historical treasures. This is also confirmed by Peter Messing. For the extensive repair work to his 1974 Triumph Spitfire the classic car fan turns to an innovative rust protection system – a room temperature curing zinc flake coating from the spray can, which recently became available for industrial applications.

Regular maintenance work on the classic vehicle

The Triumph Spitfire from the Californian city of San Francisco is a real find and the pride and joy of Peter Messing. Even after 45 years the bodywork is still free of rust, whilst the interior of the sports car is in top condition.

To maintain the vehicle in a drivable condition the technology specialist - in his day job he is responsible for zinc flake surfaces at Aalberts Surface Treatment, a service provider active in the field worldwide – occasionally carries out repairs, taking the car apart and putting it back together again himself. Recent investments included new axle components, a new transmission and a differential.

Room temperature curing zinc flake system from the spray can

Now more extensive maintenance and conversion work was required, including on the drive shaft and bearings. Peter Messing was looking for suitable surface protection. “I thought about using the original black paint or something that would offer long-term protection against corrosion and also look good.
As I’m familiar with Dörken zinc flake from professional use, I decided to use the new zinc flake coating from the spray can – DELTA-PROTEKT® REPAIR - for the new components. The advantage compared to standard zinc flake systems is ease of use thanks to the curing of DELTA-PROTEKT® REPAIR at room temperature. Standard zinc flake systems need to be annealed at high temperatures.”

Numerous components removed, cleaned, treated and given a new coating

Each individual part was firstly cleaned down to the bare substrate, degreased and then sprayed with the zinc flake base coat. A number of components subsequently received an additional aluminium spray coating - for enhanced robustness and a shiny appearance.

Fixing the manifold proved to be a real challenge. Peter Messing: “The steel tube manifold was not really in bad condition, but it had a few cracks on the welding seams. So I welded it, degreased and ground it before also coating it with the zinc flake spray. Now the transmission, clutch housing, bolts, flywheel, screws and other parts are resplendent with a new shine.”

Successful practical test

After Peter Messing had put everything back together again, it was time for the practical test – he drove the Triumph over 2500 km and was impressed: “I thought that the coating would peel or burn off. I spent a long time looking at surface protection and knew that the critical temperature for zinc lies at 350-500°C. However, the coating is still fully intact and is scratch-resistant and optically almost unchanged after being subjected to the heat.” His verdict: “I’m very satisfied. When it comes to optimal surface protection for the components you cannot beat active cathodic corrosion protection with zinc flake. Powder coating or KTL may look good, but is nowhere near as long lasting.”

Peter Messing

Peter Messing is global Key Account Manager and responsible for zinc flake surfaces at Aalberts Surface Treatment - and a passionate classic car enthusiast. Functional Coatings - not just a job, it‘s a passion!

Further information about the DELTA-PROTEKT® REPAIR spray can be found here: https://www.doerken-mks.de/en/coating-solutions/special-solutions/zinc-flake-spray/