Metalflake

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The XPAK 400, a Barris Kustoms built air car, made it's debut at the 1959 New York World's Fair featuring 35 coats of Metalflake paint by the Bobeckmun Company, a Division of the Dow Chemical Company. The particles were precision cut, coated aluminum foil that gave a metallic finish, and it was supposedly the first time the product was available for commercial use. A trial was offered to George Barris for the XPAK 400 since it was going to be displayed at the National Car Show in Detroit.
Dick Scritchfield's 1932 Ford roadster is known as the first car to receive a Metalflake paint job. Dick painted the car at a friends body shop in Eagle Rock, California toward the end of 1960.
Jim and George Bernardo's 1957 Plymouth convertible of Milford, Connecticut. Jim and George ran Bernardo Auto Body in Milford. Their Plymouth was completed early in 1961, featuring a Silver Metalflake paint job. The car made its debut at the 1961 Hartford Autorama in February.
An ad for Bernardo Auto Body from the 1961 Hartford Autorama Souvenir Pictorial. The Milford, Connecticut custom body shop advertised themselves as specialist in unique finishes such as Metallic, Candy, Pearl and Metalflake.
An ad for Metalflake from the 1961 Hartford Autorama Souvenir Pictorial. The new custom paint was sold and advertised by Daniel P. Falvey of Haverhill, Massachusetts.
The introduction of Metalflake was a cover story in Hot Rod Magazine February 1961. The story featured Dick Scritchfield's 1932 Ford roadster.
In 1961 George Cerny gave Tom McMullen's 1932 Ford roadster a metalflake paint job. George used large flakes and had trouble getting the clear deep enough to cover the flake, so it didn't come out well according to Dick Scritchfield.[1] It was fellow L.A. Roadsters smember and Hot Rod Magazine staffer Tex Smith who persuaded Tom to paint his roadster in metalflake.[2] Photo by ANdy Southard, Jr., courtesy of Street Rodder Magazine.
George Barris' 1927 Ford Model T Roadster, the Twister T, was shown at the 1962 Grand National Roadster Show featuring a greem Metalflake paint job. George won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award at the show with the car.]
Gary Heliker's 1926 Ford Model-T roadster of Lawndale, California. Gary's roadster was supposedly raced as a modified at the dry lakes in the 1940s. This is how it appeared in 1962. By then it had received a Kandy Burgundy Metalflake.
Bob Nordskog's 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, The Asteroid, was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1963 featuring a Copper Metalflake paint job.
Lars Erik Ljungkvist's 1932 Ford Roadster, of Huddinge in Stockholm, Sweden, was completed in 1963. In 1964 the roadster was repainted Marigold Metalflake.
Bengt Wennergren's 1949 Ford of Enskedefältet in Stockholm, Sweden. When Bengt bought the Ford, the rear end was already restyled by Leif "Grillkorven" Rose. The build was completed in 1963 featuring a Blue Metalflake paint job.
The Reactor is an aluminum show-car built by Gene Winfield of Winfield's Custom Shop in 1965. The first version of the Reactor was painted in a green and gold Metalflake.
Bo Sandberg's 1923 Ford Model T Roadster, Purple Passion, of Stockholm, Sweden. The build was completed around 1965 featuring a Burgundy Candy paint over silver Metalflake.
Howard Gribble's 1961 Ford Starliner of Torrance, California was restyled by Carl Darling and Howard Gribble. The build was completed early in 1966 a green metalflake paint job
Bo Sandberg's Cool Cat. The Cool Cat was a customized Jaguar E-Type built by Bo Sandberg of of Yanke Customs in Älvesjö, Stockholm, Sweden. The build was completed in 1967, featuring a a red and pink Metalflake paint job.
Jim Robertson's 1961 Ford of Simi Valley, California was originally restyled in 1969. In 1970 it received a panel paint job by the Animal of Canoga Park. The top on this version featured multicolored Metalflake.
Henrik Forss' Bucket T of Stockholm, Sweden. The second version of Henrik's T Bucket, featuring a Gold metalflake paint job, was completed late in 2001.
Tom Røine's 1963 Buick of Oslo, Norway. Tom is a member of the Coupe Devils car club, and his Buick received a gold metalflake paint job in May of 2014.
Adam Woodhams' 1959 Buick LeSabre of San Jose, California. The build, known as "the Lone Wolf", was completed in 2015, featuring a metalflake paint job by Gargeworks.


In 1959 Barris Kustoms debuted their futuristic air car, the XPAK 400 at the New York World's Fair. The XPAK 400 featured 35 coats of nitro cellulose lacquer, that according to a press release by Barris Kustoms, contained a million particles of chromed aluminum called "Metalflake". The press release could further state, that Metalflake was a revolutionary new development by the Bobeckmun Company, a Division of the Dow Chemical Company. The particles were precision cut, coated aluminum foil that gave a metallic finish, and it was supposedly the first time the product was available for commercial use. A trial was offered to George Barris for the XPAK 400 since it was going to be displayed at the National Car Show in Detroit. George used plain silver flake for the body. The overall reflection quality of the flake was softened by the addition of a small amount of pearl. "George’s early experience with the flake proved that it would be a wild wild finish, subtle and velvet soft in the indirect lighting, yet extremely lively where the strong light is directed". The fins featured 30 coats of imported Swedish pearl of essence which was made of crushed fish scales and crushed diamond dust. It was also painted in Kandy translucent red, white and blue.[3]


Dick Scritchfield's 1932 Ford roadster is known as the first car to ever receive a Metalflake paint job. Dick painted the car at a friends body shop in Eagle Rock, California toward the end of 1960. He used two toners to arrive at the exact color he wanted. Rather than using gold Metalflake as base for the Candy Apple Red, Dick used silver Metalflake, with the final color coming closer to magenta or cherry red. After Dick had painted the car, his buddy Tex Smith thought it would be a good idea to drive it down to Dean Jeffries for a photo shoot. The Metalflaked version of Dick's roadster, that Tex shot, was featured in Hot Rod Magazine February 1961 in a cover story about Metalflake paint. As the photo shoot was done at Jeffries' shop, many thought it was Jeffries that applied the Metalflake on the car. The article did also discuss that an "older car was painted at Dean Jeffries", which made it sound like it was Dick's roadster. In 2013 Dick told Kustomrama that "Dean was a great guy, and he could have painted it, but he didn't. It was at a time where I was learning and doing most of the work myself, since money was tight in those days." The older car mentioned in the story was actually Tex Smith's Buick, not Dick's roadster. The Buick paint did not make it to "show" or even "street" quality, and Dick can't remember how Tex got rid of it. Dick always enjoyed Tex's saying that the roadster looked "quite distinctive on Hollywood Boulevard." According to himself, "it was really bad (and I don't mean good) by today's meaning. Barris' came out much better. The large flakes were a bit "gaudy" for my tastes, so I opted for the smaller, less intrusive which the Bobeckmun Company provided. They were the original manufacturers and gave me pointers on spraying the flake. All the details were in the magazine article. With the new gravity feed guns, it would be much easier to apply. It really takes lots of clear coats, especially if using the large flake."[1]


Metalflaked Cars

Bo Sandberg's 1923 Ford Model T Roadster - Purple Passion
Gary Heliker's 1926 Ford Model-T Roadster
George Barris' 1927 Ford Model T Roadster - The Twister T
Henrik Forss' Bucket T
Lars Erik Ljungkvist's 1932 Ford Roadster
Bengt Wennergren's 1949 Ford
Jim and George Bernardo's 1957 Plymouth Convertible
Adam Woodhams' 1959 Buick LeSabre - The Lone Wolf
Howard Gribble's 1961 Ford Starliner
Jim Robertson's 1961 Ford
Tom Røine's 1963 Buick
Bob Nordskog's 1963 Chevrolet Corvette - The Asteroid
Bo Sandberg's Cool Cat
The Reactor
The XPAK 400


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dick Scritchfield
  2. www.streetrodderweb.com
  3. Barris Kustoms


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