The S15 is (mostly) in primer! [Repaint Pt 2]

I cannot thank the team at Speedy enough for the effort that they are putting into the Silvia; based on the updates Devon has been texting me they seem to have had their work cut out for them with this one, but they’ve been soldiering on and this little nugget is starting to look quite decent! The pretty solid car that was hiding under that ugly exterior is now coming through.

I knew that this would obviously be a long process, so I waited some time before putting up the first post to officially announce the car was getting repainted just so that there would be less time between that entry and any updates. In fact, when the prequel post went live the entire car was already sitting at the shop, ready to be torn down! I had said at that time that I’d coordinated with the team to drop off a few pieces, but hadn’t mentioned that I’d already changed those plans and that the entire car was sitting there too…

It was never going to be a small job to get the car and its panels ready for paint, and sure enough it took the guys many hours to get there. Now though, we can start to get an idea of how this thing will look – how it should look – without the issues it had.

I was fortunately able to come by the shop recently – near the end of the day so that most of the staff would have already left – and not only see it for myself but also grab some photos and video showing how the little coupe is progressing. Since there was no video to go with the post on the car being stripped and dropped off this one serves to cover both that as well as this update, hence a bit of repeating. If you’d like to watch you can click Play above; if you want to see the photos and extra information to accompany it, they’re all below:

S15 repaint 1

Since it was a nice day I took the Focus for a spin to stretch its legs and have some fun. Given the Silvia is the main project this year, I intend to actually keep the Focus in one piece and just enjoy driving it instead of tackling any installs. Let’s see how that goes (I can hear my friends now going “yeah right”. My inner voice is saying the same).

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Walking in, I found the Silvia still masked up with all of the sheets and tape, sitting in a fresh coat of primer and looking considerably better than it had when I last saw it! The panels that were still on it when it was delivered – doors, trunk lid, rear bumper –  had all been removed as well as the rear and side windows. By having the interior mostly stripped upon arrival, the glass guys could get right to removing the windows instead of having to first pull seats and trim, which is part of the reason why I removed as much as I did.

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Sitting behind the car were the hood, fenders, and rear spats, also cleaned up and in primer. This hood was the panel that had originally come with the car, which I had primed and vinyl wrapped. Since I was originally expecting this repaint to be a bit further away than this season I had picked up the second (white) hood to run instead and put this one away into storage for whenever the repaint would happen. Since the paint on the white hood was decent the plan was to merely run it as a temporary panel and then sell it off and get this original one sprayed instead, so that’s exactly what is happening – if a hood had to be painted anyway, it might as well be the one that needed a respray as it’d be harder to sell than one with paint already on it. Funnily enough, that second hood actually ended up going back to its original owner.

S15 repaint 24

I can’t recall if I’d shared or discussed them yet on the site but one of the subtle cosmetic additions the car will be receiving this year are the OEM optional rear spats (sitting here with the fenders) to complement the existing Aero Package side skirts and wing.

iMSS 2019 93

The spats, as shown here on Eric’s car, were a separate option and one my car didn’t come with. Last summer I had mentioned to Reggie that I was after a set and somehow he found a pair in almost no time at all and picked them up for me (seriously, I think he had them in his hands in less than a week)! Then, Levi was able to bring them back for me when he made a Vancouver-Calgary run; a massive thank you goes to the both of them, again, for their help!

S15 repaint 23

The only other exterior modification will be a new front lip, part of which you can see here (the black piece on the shelf). Otherwise the exterior will be staying largely as Nissan intended it to – for now – with the emphasis on restoration over modification at this time. These cars look fantastic with OEM aero anyway so I could forever leave the lip as the only aftermarket component and still be perfectly happy.

S15 repaint 18

As for the fenders themselves, they too have seen a fair bit of work with the driver’s fender being of special note. The front of the driver’s side pinch weld – and the flange on the fender – had been folded over at some point and it was so bad that I literally had to cut the fender off of the car at this spot, after hammering it back (somewhat) into shape. Devon went ahead and remade the now missing part of the flange by hand and the repair is seamless! The remains of that bolt (as well as one from the passenger fender) also had to be removed from the car.

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Both quarter panels needed heavy attention as well, fortunately not due to structural damage but cosmetic damage in the form of the very badly flaking and peeling paint you saw last time. The team took it all back and now everything is perfectly smooth; these quarter panels, with that signature body line, have always been one of my favourite parts of the S15’s design and now I don’t have to be embarrassed about mine. Haha

S15 repaint 20S15 repaint 21

The roof also needed a fair bit of work once the vinyl I’d applied was removed, since it had the stripe of primer down the middle following my own temporary cover-up from last year. Some have asked and no, the car will not be retaining the black roof but instead be going back to a single colour. I had warmed to the black roof but with there being no body line or trim to split the colours along, it always looked a little funny to me.

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Other little issues around the body included some scrape marks under the front bumper, all of which would be hidden by the new lip but they were repaired regardless and the bumper now looks as good as new. The skirts also had a few marks but here are still waiting to be addressed.

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And with that, all of the progress from this visit has been covered! You can see that the rear bumper, wing, and few other little bits on the rack are still waiting for their turn here, as they are still in their pearl white paint, but the vast majority of the jobs have been crossed off the list.

As mentioned at the end of the video the new colour is still a secret but the only clue is that it is an OEM colour, though not from Nissan. It’s one I’ve liked for a long time and have yet to see an S15 painted in it, so here’s hoping that it looks as good in person as it does in the renders! It shouldn’t be too much longer before the car is rolled into the booth and painted, and I will try to get down to the shop as soon as possible following that to grab some photos.

-Bill

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