Ken Fluhr, his dad Bill, and I just finished an intense week of solid work painting the eS2 track car. It’s the end of a project that was started eleven months ago.
My Audi track car has been in desperate need of a paint job for as long as I have owned it. The before picture says it all. The 15+ year old factory Tornado Red paint was trashed, the car had hail damage, and I knew of at least one major body repair that had been done (we would later find others). The hood was in terrible condition and it was eventually replaced with a fiberglass copy. On the rear passenger quarter panel, most of the clearcoat had peeled off and the B-pillar trim looked like it had been repainted, perhaps with house paint. Finally, I had an RS2 bumper cover and the fiberglass hood, both of which I ran unpainted at a couple of track events, even though it looked embarrassingly ghetto. But enough was enough. It was time to restore some luster to the old Coupe Quattro, though it would soon show us the pain in paint.
After considering many paint schemes (Mrs. Pribble wanted cool silver flames on a red car), I finally settled on a variation of the retro Audi Sport tri-color design from the 80′s. In one configuration or another, these were Audi’s factory racing colors during their Pro Rally, Trans-Am, and IMSA campaigns. Specifically, I would be basing my livery on the back half of an Audi 200 quattro Trans-Am racecar, as can be seen in this factory brochure.
Based on two separate sources, we determined that the original Audi Sport colors were: Alpine White, Gray-Brown, Sandy Beige, and Blood Orange). My variation replaces Blood Orange with my car’s original factory color of Tornado Red. Since I knew there would be parts of the car that we wouldn’t be able to paint for some time (like the engine bay), I wanted the reds to match. Besides, I like the darker, more red Tornado Red better. My variation also specifies that the front of my car be painted only in Alpine White. We would also be deleting the sunroof and replacing the rear windows with Lexan.
The Paint Codes
Here is information about the factory paint we used:
Tornado Red: (VW/Audi factory code: LY3D) – This was my car’s factory color.
Alpine White (VW/Audi factory code: L90E) – This was a very common factory VW/Audi color in the 80′s.
These are the original Audi Sport racing colors:
Grey-Brown (RAL: 8019) – This isn’t a factory color, but rather a color from the European RAL color space system and can be mixed on that basis.
Blood Orange (RAL: 2002) – This is also a color from the RAL system. It is sometimes referred to as Vermillion. On my car, I replaced this color with Tornado Red.
Sandy Beige (DuPont: 8177) – This one was the beast. We spent an uncomfortably long time poring over the factory paint chip books at the paint store, while the employees (guys with tattoos on their necks) watched us trying to find that perfect beige for our race car. We weren’t having any luck and we were running out of time, so I bought two small (expensive) cans of my best guesses at the factory color. I regretted it from the moment I did it. We had nailed three out of the four original Audi Sport colors and I wasn’t prepared to throw it all away with a SWAG. It was bad enough that I was exchanging the reds. That night we spent hours on the Internets, piecing together a clue here and a clue there, before finally finding the correct color. Sandy Beige is a British Motors Corporation color from the 50′s and 60′s! No wonder we couldn’t find it; we had been concentrating on VW/Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes color codes. The factory colors make sense and the RAL colors make sense, but the BMC color doesn’t. It’s my guess that the bloke in the art department who was assigned the task of designing the Audi Sport logo also happened to have an old Sandy Beige MGB or the like for which he needed a free and abundant supply of paint for its restoration. Anyway, BMC assigned it the color code BG-15, which crosses to DuPont 8177. I went back to the paint store and ordered the correct color in a single stage DuPont Centari paint.
With paint finally in hand, it was time to tackle the body.
- eS2: Pain…t (Part 2)
- eS2: Pain…t (Part 3) – Coming Soon!