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Au naturel car finish

No paint, just polish and clearcoat
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

All modern conventional automobile body panels have one or more layers of colored paint, and one or more layers of clear paint on top of that.

I propose instead to polish the steel to an aesthetically pleasing sheen, then apply one or more layers of rust preventing clear paint on top of that.

This provides a finish that's less costly than stainless steel, chrome plate, and certain silver paints, while still being clearly metallic.

If color is desired, the steel could be dyed (machinist's blue, for example), chemically treated (acid pickling?), electroplated, etc, before it's given it's clear coat. I know that fasteners of grade 8 hardened steel have a yellow color, with green and pink highlights; I think it might be cool to have a car with this (plus the clear coat) as the finish.

If electroplated with aluminum, the body panel could be further colored by anodizing and dyeing; if electroplated with titanium, anodizing alone would suffice to provide a wide range of aesthetically pleasing colors.

The only minus I can think of, aside perhaps cost, would be the difficulty of repairing body panels after an accident, without it being obvious.

goldbb, Jun 02 2010

Back to the Past http://www.newsgrou...09/12/delorean1.jpg
[swimswim, Jun 02 2010]

Pur Sang http://www.bugatti....news.html?newsId=61
Show off that carbon fiber! [DIYMatt, Jun 03 2010]

The Silver Arrow http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Silver_Arrows
No clear coating, but legend has it that exposed metal panels began the legend of the Silver Arrow. [DMc, Jun 07 2010]

[link]






       I have also wondered why this isn't common [+]*. I had a bike like this once, and it was so cool that it got stolen. (Also, see link)   

       * waiting for someone to come along and say "isn't this just another flavor of x?"
swimswim, Jun 02 2010
  

       I think the minus might be that it would show off just how many panels were non-metallic.
lurch, Jun 03 2010
  

       Bugatti Veyron "Pur Sang" - see link.
DIYMatt, Jun 03 2010
  

       Before the Veyron came the DeLorean, with an uncoated stainless steel body. Before the DeLorean came unpainted wooden carts. Before wooden carts came unpainted horses. Before horses, people got around on their unpainted legs.   

       I'd argue that through most of the history of makind, we've achieved locomotion without the need for decorative coatings.   

       Very baked.
Twizz, Jun 03 2010
  

       //we've achieved locomotion without the need for decorative coatings.//   

       Put your trousers on, [Twizz].
pertinax, Jun 03 2010
  

       To the best of my knowledge my car has exactly two panels that are metal. The hood and the trunk. (I'm not sure about the roof, but I don't think it is)   

       It's an extreme example, admittedly, but I think very few newer cars have metal door panels.   

       Oh and bare structural metal is pretty much all silver/gray depending on polish (Ti is an exception in some alloys, admittedly). About the only coating that changes this and isn't purely aesthetic is zinc (yellow/orange) or a couple of oxide finishes. Anodizing produces the exact same thing unless you specify a color, which is a purely aesthetic decision.
MechE, Jun 03 2010
  

       //Au naturel car finish//   

       That would be gold plating, shirley?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 05 2010
  

       [+] from me... 100% steel through and through except inside the passenger compartment which is pretty solid plastic mostly. There's also the blindingly obvious, advantage of being able to see any rust developing, at least on the outside of the panels.
FlyingToaster, Jun 05 2010
  

       actually from the Summary, the idea *is* to clearcoat.
FlyingToaster, Jun 06 2010
  

       while driving a car that looks like a mirror may be somewhat unsafe because of glare and loss of depth perception, fixing it would be extremely easy since the area could be banged out and uniformly saded and polished to match the rest of the panel.
Arcanus, Jun 07 2010
  

       well no, actually it would be impossible to hide any bodywork, but steel panels are completely recycleable. And since I'm currently in the process of excavating my ride's panels in a rust removal effort, I can appreciate knowing where the rust is starting when it starts.   

       [+] for bringing it to mass-produced cars for good reasons.
FlyingToaster, Jun 07 2010
  

       Could the panels be COR-TEN steel, without even a clear coat? I'm sure there would be a price to pay in terms of cost, weight, perhaps other considerations, but it might be worth it for the esthetics [sic].
mouseposture, Jun 08 2010
  

       Isn't this just another flavor of x?
swimswim, Jun 08 2010
  

       You couldn't wait could you? I was just goi...and then y...and I...ugh   

       Naked metal shows every scuff, every weld, every polishing. There is no way a regular high-volume production car could be finished to anything like the standard you'd need to make this anything other than ugly.   

       Moreover, repairs would be a nightmare. Moreoverer, I think many protective coatings rely on non-transparent substances (use to be red oxide, probably isn't any more), and therefore couldn't be used. Moreoverest, the seams of modern cars tend to be filled and glued with some kind of gunk which would look hideous.   

       Paint hides a multitude of sins, which is why (as far as I know) only expensive, hand-finished cars ever have clear coats.   

       On the other hand, I did see a de Lorean the other day which looked kinda nice.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 08 2010
  
      
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