Trade secret blowovers
With reference to the strangely-coloured Morris Minor ( The Way We Were, CCW, 27 January, this could be the result of the type of ‘quick blowover’ that we used to do in the 1970s and 1980s.
We had a contact in the paint trade, and ‘Permobell’ (an oil-based paint) would cover a multitude of sins. Any time we ordered paint, it would be in five-litre quantities, for a quality respray in the correct colour. And that meant we were always left with a lot left over! This paint was then used to spray Ford Transit cabs, small vans, and bangers to tidy up. We ended up with some strange combinations, such as a Ford Cortina MkII in BMC’s Teal Blue, which looked OK. Another one we did was a Ford Anglia in Harvest Gold, another BMC colour – and it has to be said that it looked almost ex-military.
We’d mask-up, give it a quick wipe with thinners, and use our massive pre-war compressor to get the job done. There would be sparks flying around the exposed commutator on the motor, which ended up sizzling away in the corner.
We wore no facemasks or overalls back then, and used an illegal paraffin Salamander heater, left burbling away in the corner. A few pints of Brain’s Dark in the pub later, and you might need to explain why your hair was red, yellow or whatever. The combination of Brains and thinners mist put one in a very happy frame of mind. Happy non H&S days, but we got the job done.
Frank Hart, Roath, Cardiff
And to think the EU had us do away with such safe working practices – what were they thinking? Ed.