BMW April 2022

When it comes to colour accuracy and colour matching, Standox has outstanding expertise for right first-time results. Michael Plag, project manager at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre in Fellbach, Germany, knows this too. The vintage car specialists rely on the expertise of Standox when it comes to restoring a classic, particularly one where a rare colour has to be found. 

The famous Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing was built between 1954 and 1957; only 1 400 were manufactured. Around 80 percent of them went to the US – including one from 1955 that was restored in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre in Fellbach, Germany. The new owner of the classic car, a collector from Germany, took it to Fellbach to get it assessed. It quickly became clear that the car had been improperly restored and repainted previously. The car’s factory documents from 1955 showed that the silver car had originally been painted in a light-blue metallic.  

“According to our archives, only seven Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs were originally painted in this colour,” says Michael Plag, project manager at the Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Centre. 

After consultation with the owner, it was agreed the gorgeous classic car should be taken back to its original colour. However, since the light blue metallic colour had been mixed for only seven vehicles over 50 years ago, the search was complicated. Added to that complication, it was discovered that the Mercedes-Benz colour designation – DB 353 – had been assigned, at a later date, to a different shade of blue. When it came to creating the colour, the experts at Fellbach did not rely solely on their own know-how. Plag explains, “We asked Standox to develop a suitable mixing formula for us.” 

And the experts in the Wuppertal Colour Lab delivered promptly. They derived the colour according to the archive samples from the Classic Centre in Fellbach, and created a new hybrid formula using modern products. For the paint restoration, which was carried out entirely with Standox products, the painters worked with, among others, Etching Adhesive Primer U3100, VOC Nonstop Primer Surfacer U7580, Standocryl VOC 2K topcoat, Standoblue Basecoat and Standocryl VOC Xtra Clear K9560. 

The Classic Centre and Standox have many years of co-operation behind them. A tangible result of this relationship is a special guide to painting classic Mercedes-Benz that the Classic Centre has developed with StandoxPlag says, “It is really the ultimate gold standard for paint repairs of historic Mercedes-Benz.”  

The history of the relationship between the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre and Standox, as well as the details of the Gullwing restoration, can be found at