Axalta announced that it will sponsor the participation of a student car rally team from Honda Technical College Japan in the 2019 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, a world renowned historic car restoration and rally competition. This is the second consecutive year that Axalta is supporting the team.
The team, which entered with a Subaru 1300G car, placed 10th of 184 contestants this year. The competition allows car models from 1955 to 1980 to compete in the classic car rally. In 2019, the Honda Technical College student team will participate with a Triumph Spitfire car, which was first introduced in 1962.
Sponsoring a Honda Technical College student team is part of Axalta’s corporate social responsibility initiatives that supports STEM education worldwide. For this initiative, Axalta will supply its Standox® coatings, provide support to fine-tune the color formula for its classic car, help in auditing the history of the car before restoration, and guide the students to mastering the correct paint application at Axalta’s Refinish Training Center in Utsunomiya.
“We’re pleased to support the student rally team at the Honda Technical College,” said Akira Ueno, Managing Director of Axalta Japan. “Axalta is proud to help the younger generation obtain valuable hands-on technical knowledge and develop a passion for car racing through completing this car restoration challenge and hopefully placing even higher than last year’s team. I am confident that we are up for the challenge!”
With Axalta’s support, the team has fully restored and fine-tuned its Triumph Spitfire rally car with Axalta’s Standox VOC topcoat, an environmentally responsible high solid coating with lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Axalta team introduced the students to classic car repair techniques, showcased its extensive color database as well as its coating repair system, highlighting Standox’s approach to vehicle refinishing as an art.
When the Triumph Spitfire was launched in the marketplace, there was no clear coat applied on the car body, not even during production. In order to reproduce not only its original color but also its original texture, Standox topcoat is ideal technology which is compliant with EU VOC regulation.
To develop the original color of the Triumph Spitfire, Axalta’s color experts in Japan, UK, and Germany leveraged Axalta’s color database to identify three different blue colors available when the Triumph Spitfire was in the market. The student rally team selected “Ice Blue” from the samples Axalta Japan’s color laboratory had prepared. Using Standox technology, the Axalta team retained the original colors for reference and also developed and fine-tuned the “Ice Blue” color formula.
Tsuyoshi Toyoda, an instructor with the Honda Technical College, said: “We are sincerely grateful to Axalta’s support. Students in this project are gaining valuable experiences which cannot be learned in the classroom alone, not to mention the science, technology and practical skills learned.
“For classic vehicles, iron plates corrode after long use, damaging the car body. Since we do not have body and coating classes, Axalta’s experience and expertise are an important asset to tutoring our students. The restored car body now has a wonderful deep gloss without using a clear coat. We are excited about competing in Monte Carlo and we will work the hardest to win,” added Toyoda.
With the Triumph Spitfire beautifully restored, the team is now preparing for the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique at the end of January 2019. Students in the rally team will participate as mechanics and support members to the Triumph Spitfire during the rally.