Biba Restorations



This might well be as exciting reading about watching paint dry. Except perhaps for those legs...

Hopefully you've not cheated and skipped the Body Repair articles. Biba Restorations has strong views as how best to achieve the majority of client's expectations. Admittedly this is based primarily on Alfa Romeos, their relatively low resale value, yet often complex body problems.

BR especially enjoys working with those rare individuals possessing soul, who love their car, and want it restored to the point it has an exciting presence.

Our priorities reside with the exterior, interior, and engine bay. Of course all mechanical items are checked and rebuilt as required.

Even then you will find the engine bay merely very, very nice. BR feels 'working parts' shouldn't be restored to the equivalent of Dresden china, nor should one be tempted or allowed to eat from them.

What BR does do is meticulous final finishing of the body, then using very high quality materials (DuPont ChromaOne Urethane), applying three coats, sanding, then two or three more coats. This is followed up in no sooner than two weeks by color sanding followed by buffing using 3M's foam polishing system.

All panels are removed before painting,. The trunk, interior, engine bay, are painted then masked before the exterior is painted.

Wheel rims get the same attention, including steel ones.


While somewhat arbitrary:

(a) Cheap paint job: $300 to 900. Cheap enamel, just enough applied to cover, about 3 to 6 hours spent.

(b) Fairly cheap paint job: $900 to 1,800. Enamel, better coverage. About 6 to 15 hours spent.

(c) Good paint job: $1,800 to $2,500. Either enamel or urethane. Good coverage. About 18 to 30 hours spent.

(d) Excellent paint job: $2,500 to $10,000: Urethane with outstanding coverage. From 40 to 140 hours spent.

(c) Show car paint job: $10,000 to 100,000. Urethane with whatever coverage is required. 140 to 500 hours spent.

Biba Restorations falls under (d), though not at the bottom.

Next Column


BR finds the primary need for 'exact' paint matching is from owners of older, perhaps more valuable, cars.

Quite frankly we are not concerned with matching existing paint so as to repaint only a panel. It's not what we do.

It is, however, extremely important the final applied paint and finish fulfills the expectations of the owner.

Using techniques used in graphic design, we need to know where and when you want your car to be at its very best.

This might sound strange to someone who merely wants a 'nice' paint job on their car.

Is your car to be used primarily in the daytime, perhaps for even an occasional concours (see below)? Or is it going to be your 'evening' car?

Questions: What is the average daytime lighting condition where this car will be located? What lighting does your particular city use?

Going back to the graphic design concept: 5,000 kelvin is considered the benchmark for the 'brightest' light. It is used as the basis of what exterior noon day lighting is considered to be.

View paint samples under the 'conditions' that are most important to you - then adjust the 'mixture' as required.

An example is a silver Alfa GTV6 (see above). They look nice in the daytime. Unfortunately the dark plastic cladding looks like, well, dark plastic cladding. However, at twilight with the sun having just set, the dark areas serve to beautifully outline and accentuate the sharp creases while the car's silver skin glows in the warm colors of sunset.

Biba Restorations wants your finished automobile to look exactly how you want and when and where it is most important for you to have it look its best.

'60 Spider Veloce

BR client's '69 Spider as it appears on page 42 of Chris Rees' book, 'Original Alfa Romeo Spider'
Photography by James Mann

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