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Page Overview: BMW Group Classic: Elvis 507 - Paint Removal
Side view of the paint-stripped Elvis BMW 507

Paint removal – getting set for a fresh new look.

Sometimes a new look just won’t work without shedding some of the old foundations first. This is a basic principle of restoration, and there’s no better example than this BMW 507. First of all the old car was expertly dismantled and all parts had their paint removed ready for repainting. This process alone had to be done in four separate stages.

Off with the paint.

When all the parts had arrived at the workshop, small drain holes were drilled in all cavities for the paint remover. The body parts and other steel parts were then immersed in a bath containing an alkaline agent, water and a special acidic paint remover, which was maintained at a temperature of approximately 75 to 90 degrees Celsius. This triggered a chemical process that broke down the paint binder and separated the paint from the metal. The same process also broke down the underseal, filler and the thermal paints that were very popular at one time in the USA. For the aluminium parts, too, the same basic procedure was followed – the only difference being that a milder treatment solution was used. Finally, any remaining paint and dirt was removed from all parts using a high-pressure cleaner.

Winning the battle against rust – past, present and future.

It wasn’t only the paint that had to go – the rust that had built up over the course of nearly 60 years also had to be stripped away. That meant the body now had to take a second dip – this time in a bath containing a phosphoric derusting agent and maintained at a temperature of around 50 degrees. Finally, to ensure that further rust could not attack the newly bared steel parts before the new paint was applied, the parts were protected with a corrosion-proof coating.

Workers pushing gutted Elvis BMW 507 into paint-stripping area

Workers pushing gutted Elvis BMW 507 into paint-stripping area

Side view of Elvis' BMW 507 during paint stripping

Worker in protective gear spraying body parts of Elvis' BMW 507

Detailed view of stripping work conducted on Elvis' BMW 507

Worker in protective gear holding paint-stripped hood of Elvis' BMW 507

Slightly diagonal side view of the paint-stripped BMW 507 belonging to Elvis before black background

Preserving the original foundations wherever possible.

This time-consuming process has an important advantage over conventional processes such as sand-blasting: it preserves as much of the original construction as possible, while any areas that have been degraded beyond repair, for example due to corrosion, can then be painstakingly rebuilt. 

Find out more about Elvis’ BMW 507.

Overview of paint-stripped engine parts of Elvis' BMW 507
Heart Transplant.
Side view of the gutted Elvis BMW 507 in a workshop
Gutting / disassembly.