Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pininfarina Perfect: Getting expert help to restore the body badge

One of the hallmarks of most Ferrari's is the badge that denotes that car as having been designed by the famed Italian styling house Pininfarina. It is a favorite detail of mine and one that was not going to get anything less than 100% attention.

Our badge was tired and our initial thought was to buy a new one as they are readily available and not very expensive. As we looked though it became clear that, while new production badges look great, they differ slightly from the original ones. This was unacceptable so we embarked on the path of exact restoration.

The first step was to remove the printed plate from the cast aluminum backing. This backing was anodized aluminum so the anodizing had to first be stripped chemically. Once stripped Paul set to work with tiny sanding blocks and endless patience to remove some 40 years of mechanical damage. The base was then polished by hand to the correct luster and sent to anodizing to re-create the original coating (a process that took two tries to get right)

With the base done we turned our attention to the badge itself. Here we scanned the plate and pixel by pixel created print artwork. This artwork was taken a few doors down where our trophy making specialist Joe was eager to assist. Joe found a base metal with exactly the same brush pattern as original and then proceeded to print our artwork via a heated dye sublimation process exactly replicating the original plate. The final step was a detail trim and it was off to final assembly.

Yes it was a hundred times more work than just buying a new one but it was another original and notable part kept with the car.

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