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First Manxman

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Greetings from Portland, Oregon!  

I have purchased a 1961 Norton Manxman, which I understand is the first Manxman. It has engine number 18-93601 and Shop number 7.

I've been reading the Manxman threads here and on the AccessNorton forum since learning about this bike and have learned a great deal from you all.  I am grateful for your advice and the terrific information shared.

Here’s a link to the AccessNorton forum thread: https://www.accessnorton.com/NortonCommando/first-manxman.26963/

Also attached are a couple of pictures from today, when my friend and I picked up the bike from the local shipping company.

I'm sure that I will have lots of questions and I'm also hoping to post a video log of the rebuild and stay actively engaged.

As you will see from the pictures, it's going to need some attention, but I'm really looking forward to working on it in the near future.. once I get a couple of friend's bikes out of the garage!

I am looking forward to connecting with other Manxman members

Best wishes

Mike

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Plenty to do!, Before you take the engine out I would get the frame pulled out ,as it has had a good whump up the front and shortened the wheelbase , 

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Interesting Mike - As Robert suggests it looks as though the frame has had interference from head on.  It seems to have bent the headstock downwards.  If you lift up the front wheel you should be able to see if the forks go up and down, throughout their range.  It should make a lovely bike.  What sort of a renovation are you planning ?   Good luck, Howard 

Hi Howard, thanks a lot for your comments.  I feel like I have an obligation to return the bike to a stock configuration.  It will be quite different to the black and gold combinations that I'm used to, but it should brighten up the garage!  Seriously, I will give it a good assessment and then hopefully begin a project to restore it to the polychromatic blue and red seat!  Best wishes, Mike 

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Hello, Robert  first of my status is MS  not married,  

Next Up all online information is mine,   and the NOC  , As I have done years on these Norton Manxman 650 export model  from 2006 to date and  have a world wide contacts  And with some help from  Dave and Joan Catton, for factory records, I was  wondering when this motorcycle would re-appear  again     Now it has And I do hope the New owners  Restores the machine to Stock the hardest parts to find will be the factory exhaust  as there no longer made  and not  been re-produced by the after market,  only the Bracebridge street workshop  that made the originals  and getting new ones made will be hard to as no one has made any  and not many exhaust makers will have ago at it,  only Mike Tiese of Alden's exhausts, now for the paint job  you need  a primer coat P182  Zinc oxide grey, 3 coats then  Gold base coat  then Lotus Pacific Blue met, A68  then Cellulose  lacquer  in thin coats  , I had to learn my self how to spray paint  and with advice from a pro spray painter, and more information you may need, at annajeannette@btinternet.com       Below  photos of first  unearthed  2010     yours  Anna j Dixon 

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Hi Anna

Thank your for your note and postings over the years.  I appreciate all the background and invaluable information regarding this model.  Also, thank you for sending the pictures and color / colour info.  It looks like the bike hasn't changed a bit since 2010, perhaps it's just a little rustier now!

Yes, my intentions are honorable and I'm a true enthusiast.  I came upon this bike completely by chance and I was very surprised to learn that it was the first Manxman made.  My plan is to restore this bike back to it's original look and clearly I'm going to need a lot of help!

So, thank you and the guys in advance for your support with this project.  

Most of all, it should be a lot of fun.  I'm hoping to keep the spirit of this build nice and light and no doubt it will be entertaining!

Just to introduce myself, I have been a huge British bike fan since I was a kid living in Barrow-in-Furness, then West Yorkshire and then Scarborough, before emigrating to the United States in 1997.  

I do have a day job, but my passion is these great old bikes.  I have my own Youtube channel about Brit bikes, including club events, rides, workshop projects, tech sessions, etc.  I'm also the President of the oNe (Oregon Norton Enthusiasts) club here in Portland, Oregon.  We're up in the top left-hand corner of the States.  It's a lot like England in that it rains.. a lot.

We have some fantastic guys in our Norton club and so I'm hoping to learn from their expertise and moral support along the way.

 

My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/MiTyMotorcycles

oNe (Oregon Norton Enthusiasts) website: http://oregonnorton.org/2019/

 

I've read a lot about the silencers / mufflers and it sounds like they and the rear mudguard / fender are going to the most challenging to source or re-manufacture.  There is also a bent frame to deal with, thanks to Robert and Howard above for spotting that.

I will be in touch again soon with more pics, first steps and perhaps a first video of the bike including a look on my face that says "what the heck have I got myself into" haha

Best wishes

Mike

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hello well I had about the same to do with my Manxman  but out of the blue I was sent a Manxman silencer  from Sweden  NOC member  Anders Larrson  He has one too but his was from new way back in June 61  when he became  a Norton Distributor  for Sweden  he as his own little Norton Museum  in Sweden  Valentuna  then I sore another on Ebay and won that  but it needed re-chroming   so I changed the  mounting brack for the right side has this was a left  so a bit of repositioning  was done  and marked up and welded  then off to Quality Chrome Hull the Best Chromer  in the country    but still on a single carb   Amal carbs for these are hard to find  along with the tachometer  rc1300/00   2: 1, and do not forget to fit the inlet cover breather  pipe,  you find  RGM Motors also helpful  As Rodger has one in his kitchen  on a sandstone island he built witch the bike stand on as a display with built-in lights underneath it,  she tied down with anchor wires and going no where  Rodger as never ridden it,  just got it for show  like many more he as  anyway  just tell what you need and  we see if I can get them ,    now good luck and all the best,  have fun yours   Anna J

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Hello mike  now more on your bike   this bike was show to the US consulate at the New York Motorcycle show Feb 1961  and is shown in two books  Steve Wilson  Norton  motorcycles  and What ever happened to the British motorcycle industry   from then we lose track of in but some how then re-surfested some 55 years later  and now you are its owner  luck guy   mike  any way  once you have restored this motorcycle  you see how good they ride  and handle the road like it was on rails  and she be a real head turner  and show stopper  but with twin carburetors you have  to get these as good as new to operate well and so they stay in tune to and setting them up is a job on it own  but you have some of your tech guys that maybe will help out with this, well enjoy the journey  in your restoration  , love to come over and see it along with seeing the big boy 4014 and 844 and any other US steam locomotive   I just love steam traction  a steam driven rotary Norton would be good with a flash boiler  using hydrogen  gas HHO browns gas so you make and use it as you run,  well have fun yours  anna j    

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Hello everyone, Finally getting around to making a first video of the Manxman and the beginnings of a restoration project. Thanks again for your help and I'm sure that I will more questions as I discover what lies beneath the rust and bondo!  Hope you will enjoy it. Cheers Mike

Here's a link to the Youtube video:  Copy and paste this link into your browser

https://youtu.be/TCTitrEkMrk

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The first two Manxman were tested in the UK prior to shipping. I should have a copy of it somewhere. The test was favourable but, sadly indicated that they would not be for the UK market. 

Hi Ashley, 

Thanks a lot for your note.  Oh yes, that would be terrific to see a copy of the test report

Best wishes

Mike

Hello guys,

Well, the disassembly process has finally begun!  I'm having a lot of fun with the bike and had a couple of nice surprises with the speedo and revcounter/tachometer.  

Below is a link to a Youtube playlist of the project and I will add to this hopefully on a regular basis.  

Best wishes

Mike

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgDzKiI-i6nbZN5SMvGkILjvK5OYkDoie

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Hi Mike,

I first picked this up on the Access Norton site and will follow with interest.

I had read that the Manxman silencers were 650ss silencers turned through 90 degrees with a different mount which seemed odd. However looking at Anna's picture of the silencers that is what they are so should be an easy task to modify a set of 650ss silencers.

As regards rear fenders these look to be exactly the same as on the 650ss / Atlas (I think there were minor variations over the year but do not know what / when these occurred - certainly not obvious except to the rivet counters). Although not common they do come up regularly on ebay USA (particularly Atlas ones) and I have sourced two from the USA so even these should not be too difficult. You just need to search for 'fenders' and be aware that quite a number will have been shortened by 6 inches (bobbed) - in the UK I most of them were binned and alloy ones fitted!

Good luck with the project.

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hello  some people will not be told  The 650SS silencers are complete different  design  to the real Manxman silencers  for start off the shape and the two set of baffles in the inside one in side the other  then you have the steel thickness  Manxman 650 silence are around 2mm thick steel  and the end cones are a different shape  and then a mounting bracket witch is a long triangular shape  witch is welded off set  to the frame and the left side has a one inch spacer on the foot rest mounting to stop the silencer end hitting the rear brake plate,  and all the information on these machines as come from 3 places  Dave Catton and Phil Hannah  and Me  Ms  Anna Jeannette Dixon   I am not in a marriage with anyone  and Nor do I have any desire   to do So,   Norton Manxman 650 silencer were made in house at Bracebridge street workshops  and the Norton Manxman 650 was the only Norton to be fitted with these type of silencer  and they do have a musical type of sound coming from them when the engine is running  and no other Norton will sound like them  Now the 650SS was the  cut down sport machine  made for the home market,  and did no have any of the customised part on it , as the Norton Manxman had     even the down pipes have a different part numbers  and are 1.5/8 full bore and the right side shaped to miss the rev counter  drive cable,  and the follow the line of the frame ,  I did ask this club about making silencers  and this was 9 years ago  and Nothing has been done No support yet again ,  and NO interest  as well ,  this club is failing its members  and also Failing in having hard to find parts made,   So to me this Club is Failing its duties as a club  ,there is a hole lot of disappointed   members  with in this club  believe you me,  And is time this club did a survey  at the grass roots of this club  and find out the feeling of the membership  and try to take note of what is being said    and listen  to them  wile we have a club left,  I do feel the older Nortons are being left out in the cold   and much more attention paid on the newer machines,                                  yours  Anna J  

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A 2mm thick pair of silencers would slow you down on those Yorkshire hills! Maybe that's why they stopped making them!

It hardly seems necessary for the club to spend money it will not recover on a pair of silencers for a bike that wasn't even sold in the UK. It isn't as if not having the genuine articles will keep it off the road. This looks (to me)  like one of things you will have to get made specially.

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For those members who enjoy reading the finer details...........there were actually 3 Manxman 650 bikes sold in the UK during its brief existence as a model......ie the all blue version made up to October 1961.

The factory records list the first Norton 650 off the production line as 93601 18 with a dispatch date of 7th November 1960. However this bike and around 300 others were stored until being shipped to the USA in January 1961.

But......., an earlier machine with no identity had been completed on the 30.10.60 and used for road testing by the Bracebridge factory.. After proving the Manxman was a viable product this machine was given a make-over plus a later identity before being sold off to a private owner.

Two other machines from the first batch remained in the UK and were registered for road use.

95181 18  went to the City of London Police for trials in February 1961. This bike was fitted with standard 99 chassis parts and painted all black, in essence making it a non-Manxman.  It was fitted with high output electrics and probably had an enlarged battery box to take twin 6 volt batteries plus a single seat. A second machine was also briefly used as a road-testing by Bracebridge but then sold on to Norton dealer Claude Rye of Fulham.

Plus at least 3 other Manxman bikes were re-imported back from the USA into the UK to private ownership that same year. These ending up in Dorset, Surrey and Kent.

Also 95153  18  shop eng 358 was initially exported to Falkland Islands…..goodness knows why?  There is some speculation that this bike may also have made it back to the UK at a later date.  In recent years around 10 Early Mk 1 Manxman have been registered in the UK. There was a Mk 2 Manxman built but this model was essentially a 650SS painted in the earlier colour schemes of the Mk 1.

hello some of you talk some nonsense  , the weight of a Manxman type silencer is 6lb.7oz and made to last a lifetime  ones I have are the same Chrome on them as  when they left the Norton factory 59 years ago,  Now the only Exhaust maker that will make a small batch its Mike Teise  Alldens exhausts   Lincolnshire    ,but to get these made will need in writing orthisation from the EC   and a set budget  Then I can go take my silencer so Mike can copy them  he can only do them in bare steel   you have to get them chromed yourself   that where Quality chrome  comes in handy  based in Hull  costs of chroming will be around 140 quid each  but the chrome will last you out and many more  you only get the very best chroming job with in the UK    And I back this up  so I would estimate  the hole job at with in the 430 quid mark each including then chroming   as its a one off job small batch  of 20 pairs  there Not a easy silencer to make  but there are at lest 20 customers out there   , the last Originals went to Les Emery  cost him 600 for a pair and shipping on to plus vat  come in around 900 quid  your anna j  

  yours  anna j  

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If you take in consideration the value Anna has placed on a Manxman ($50K) as stated by her on the Access Norton website, then spending £900 on silencers to make the bike correct seems cheap to me?

I think we are in the realms of fantasy again Corporal Jones!

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Nearly 600 of the Mk 1 Manxman 650 model headed off as export models. Most to the USA. Many of these bikes were only ridden for a short while before ending up in long term residence inside barns, garages and sheds. However, more and more derelict Manxman bikes are now being brought back to life so it would not surprise me too much if some enterprising person, in the US,  commissioned a batch of Chinese or Indian made silencers soon.

 

Hi Anna,

How many times do we need to go around this? I have told you a number of times that if you come to me with a costed and quoted offer for making Manxman Silencers then we will look into it.

You know more about these that I do so I have to rely on you to get official quotes, in writing, from suppliers to manufacture and chrome. If you also have a list of potential customers who can provide expressions of interest then that will help to convince me it is worth pursuing.

Regards

Tony (Technical Administrator)

 

hello  now I do know there is at less 20 owners wanting silencers  , And because these type of Manxman silencer as never be made before  by the after market people  we cannot give a Quote , until one as been made  so how long is a peace of string  , And because its NOC cash I need a letter in confirmation before Mike Tiese of allden exhausts   will even look at one,    now thats the Catch 22 were now in        now its up to the EC to solve this   yours  anna j  

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Thanks again for your advice about the bent featherbed frame.  I finally stripped the bike last week and compared the frame with another I have from a '62 Atlas. It's very clear to see the bend.  My friends & I took the frame and parts (forks, triple trees, axles, etc) to a frame straightener's this past Friday and he also spotted a few other problems that he can fix.  I'm feeling very positive that he will do a terrific job and the frame will be as good as new again soon.. possibly straighter ;)

Here's a link to the latest vid:

https://youtu.be/91LCoie_jDQ

Best wishes,

Mike

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Phil,

Most probably a Island police bike, or converted to a sheep farmers work bike. 

As for the silencers, why is it the EC's problem to solve, they are busy enough and have lives that involves riding their bikes like most of the membership. 

What next? could the EC ride my bike to the next International rally as I can't be bothered, members should help members, maybe the EC are seen differently and not like the members they are.

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There is a local company where I live, who I will be taking a pair of genuine Manxman silencers to, and see about getting a quote to make me a pair. They will be made in stainless steel, which can then be chromed. As soon as I can get there the company has informed me that they can give me a quote for their fabrication. I can get a price, and then see what it will cost. The exhaust pipes I shall have to get fabricated on the bike when it is being constructed. Simple really.

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Anthony:

See if they will give you a cost for a one off pair, 6 pairs, 12 pairs, etc.

Perhaps you can get up a subscription program to bring the unit costs down?

Mike

Hi Mike,

I have just watched your latest video, most impressive.

During the video you thought that the left hand stanchion may be bent as it was difficult to remove. Just after removal you rotated the bottom yoke and the bottom covers came into line and did not appear parallel suggesting that the bottom yoke may be twisted, probably at the same time as the frame was bent. certainly worth a check.

Regards

Dick.

hello well the Indian after market makers are still leaning how to make Norton tanks yet,  most are cobbled in back street sweet shops and end up the wrong shape and out of line, And the Chinese are still trying to make good steel. And I will Say this Again  only a highly skilled fabricator, Will be the only one to be able to make Manxman silencers, This  is why some make UK silencer fabricators  have turned down the offer of making a batch has there too hard to make, And you have to make the tooling before you can start making Them,    And you cannot buy them off the shelf  any more,   hence the one off cost are higher,!  ,                         yours  Anna j

 

Hello my mate Russ who owns  Quality chrome tell me too chrome on stainless will peel off in time and go yellow  with the heat  yours anna j

hello ashley  well put mate  but try getting this into the mind set of the EC is another thing,  as the EC members seam not to think like the rest of us members  And when it comes to hellp stand in line and wait ten years or so,  thats if you get any help,   Me I help any one   And been turned down by our beloved EC,  I could of designed you lot some nice T shirts and polo shirt with Norton art from the 50s and 60s  Like the world best roadholders   , and the unapproachable Nortons And my Norton Manxman 650 T shirt  Art add from 1961  Any way you not get them now,   I do my blooming own  ,  Yours  Anna J

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Hi Mike, Looking at your vids it would appear that the PO  slotted your engine plates to allow fast engine removal ,probably the bike has been used for off road  fun which tends to bend featherbeds. Slotted plates do introduce weakness so worth welding them up. Interesting that no signs of blue paint.

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hello mike  Has blue Metallic paint gose I have a 2lt full ready to use  But need your address to send it to you for free  and I will try get a copy done on the Manxman parts manual   for you mate  And as soon has I can get a bit of spare cash  I drive over to deepest lincolnshire To see Mike Tiese  at Alldens exhausts    and let him take a look at my set f silences  to see if he can reproduce a set,  but they only be in bear metal  you have to get them chromed your self   but I think hes the only guy that has the skill set and tooling to reproduce these silences  Has they will not be easy to make,  has they have two baffles one in side of the other  with a half inch space between them then   there a mushroom shaped baffle end cap inside the silence  then you have the two off set triangle mounting brackets  witch must be welded in the right place on the top side of the silences  one left and the other right  handed  and you need an inch spacers for the left hand foot rest  So the the left hand silencers dose not foul the Rear   Brake plate  but think on It take time for me to make some time to do this, So do have a bit of patience  you get some in the end   yours anna j     

Hi Robert, thanks a lot for spotting this.  I will take a good look.  There are a few remaining small traces of blue paint on the frame and swing arm but someone went to a lot of trouble to cover up the polychromatic blue ;) I'm going to lay out all the parts that will require blue paint at some point... or maybe it would be easier to lay out everything that doesn't need to be painted blue!  Best wishes, Mikie

Hi Mike, Looking at your vids it would appear that the PO  slotted your engine plates to allow fast engine removal ,probably the bike has been used for off road  fun which tends to bend featherbeds. Slotted plates do introduce weakness so worth welding them up. Interesting that no signs of blue paint.

Hi Richard

Thank you very much for your advice.  I have taken the front fork assemblies to the frame straightener and he's going to take a good look.  He immediately noticed several problems with the frame and bottom yolk.  He has a very impressive setup.  He's hoping to complete the work in about a month and I hope to capture a recap of his work when I go to collect the frame.  I'm looking forward to seeing what it looks like when it's fixed. Best wishes, Mike

 

Hi Mike,

I have just watched your latest video, most impressive.

During the video you thought that the left hand stanchion may be bent as it was difficult to remove. Just after removal you rotated the bottom yoke and the bottom covers came into line and did not appear parallel suggesting that the bottom yoke may be twisted, probably at the same time as the frame was bent. certainly worth a check.

Regards

Dick.

Thank you Anthony.  Good luck at the shop.  I hope all goes well

Best wishes, Mike

 

There is a local company where I live, who I will be taking a pair of genuine Manxman silencers to, and see about getting a quote to make me a pair. They will be made in stainless steel, which can then be chromed. As soon as I can get there the company has informed me that they can give me a quote for their fabrication. I can get a price, and then see what it will cost. The exhaust pipes I shall have to get fabricated on the bike when it is being constructed. Simple really.

In reply to by anna_jeannette_dixon

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Thank you Anna!  I will send you a private email with my address and a few more details.  Best wishes, Mike

 

hello mike  Has blue Metallic paint gose I have a 2lt full ready to use  But need your address to send it to you for free  and I will try get a copy done on the Manxman parts manual   for you mate  And as soon has I can get a bit of spare cash  I drive over to deepest lincolnshire To see Mike Tiese  at Alldens exhausts    and let him take a look at my set f silences  to see if he can reproduce a set,  but they only be in bear metal  you have to get them chromed your self   but I think hes the only guy that has the skill set and tooling to reproduce these silences  Has they will not be easy to make,  has they have two baffles one in side of the other  with a half inch space between them then   there a mushroom shaped baffle end cap inside the silence  then you have the two off set triangle mounting brackets  witch must be welded in the right place on the top side of the silences  one left and the other right  handed  and you need an inch spacers for the left hand foot rest  So the the left hand silencers dose not foul the Rear   Brake plate  but think on It take time for me to make some time to do this, So do have a bit of patience  you get some in the end   yours anna j     

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I managed to straighten my own bent frame and yokes  (bought as a write off). It needed a bit more attention when it came to fit the engine. Some experts require you to leave the motor in place ,might be worth taking the case ,plates and bolts to try  when collecting the frame. Those strange additions to the forks look like damper rod extenders, which is no bad thing.

Thanks a lot Robert.  It sounds like the guy I took my frame has done lots of featherbed frames and he has some special jigs that fit into the engine mounts to simulate the engine being in the frame.  Thanks for the info about the rod extenders.  Much appreciated

I managed to straighten my own bent frame and yokes  (bought as a write off). It needed a bit more attention when it came to fit the engine. Some experts require you to leave the motor in place ,might be worth taking the case ,plates and bolts to try  when collecting the frame. Those strange additions to the forks look like damper rod extenders, which is no bad thing.

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Hello  Mike  we have a Problem with sending you Cellulose paint to the USA  this paint restricted  the royal mail will not let me send it by post  and I had to remix a batch to the right colour and texture only me knows the formula    so now you have about 2 pints   and plenty to do your job   I have to find a specials courier to send this to you  see what Monday tell me,    where not that good with laptops and computer  we struggle thought tho  if you need to contact me do so via email    yours   anna j  

Hello  Now after doing a lot of digging around on the Internet,  I have found out why I cannot send paint by Royal Mail  As all paints are Classed as Dangerous Goods And since Cellulose paints have been banned in some parts of the world  and have a restricted use in others  But after all this I may of found a Courier  that specialists  in transporting this type of paint  and Now I have to repack it again into two boxes one inside the other  with foam packing and fill out a dangerous good  form , as you not find anyone that can mix this paint  its that difficult  to mix there must be some 1000 blue shades  but only one right blue metallic  for Polychromatic  as there are three colours mix in to one and getting the right amount in every one is vital   to get the right shade for polychromatic blue  So you have to know the Formula   to mix it,  I taken me since 2009 and many thousands of hours mixing paint shades of blue,   the bases of this paint is silver and gold and blue base  mixed in the right quantity  too achieve the right shade of blue and gives you that mid blue silver and gold sparkle  that No other paint will give you,  hence the word polychromatic  meaning three in one   giving a triple sparkle in the paint work  and it works if you get the mix right,  and you only have use a light coating of lacquer , now too much lacquer  will kill the effect  of this sparkle  , and  I will warn you to wear the right clothing and protective  equipment  see the HSE Guidelines  When spraying Auto paints  Safety First,      Yours  Anna J Dixon  East Yorkshire  Branch  

Why don’t you just list specific quantities and colours so it can be mixed especially for the USA where their paint refinishing shops are a cut above U.K.

In reply to by paul_webb

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hello In answer  to Paul  thread  the  paint refinishing shops  would Not know what they where looking  at  as Polychromatic blue is not that easy  to mix It's taken me  years in research to get the right match   you really need to know what your looking for  in this paint to know its right match    yours  anna j 

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Anna would you be able to share your polychromatic paint recipe and application instructions so that we can all benefit, I think we all understand that it will be at our risk,  That is assuming you recorded the quantities of the various colours and don’t just do it by eye?!

cheers

dan

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Polychromatic paint is not rocket science to the professional paint finish companies. With modern spectrometers today any paint colour can be matched. I had Candy Apple red mixed for my P11 matched to a NOS side panel absolutely spot on.

Hello   Yes if I had to send some to Nu-agane paints they could make a batch  if you commissioned them then I send a flask full  But Since I Not a Business  I cannot send any to  the USA  But a Paint Business can  under their  license  I can send Dan a flask full about 1/2 liter  because he lives here in the  UK but anyone outside the UK i cannot send any,  as this paint is classed now as hazardous  but put into  stainless steel flask  its OK    as you can seal it better  But the USA are very funny about this paint, in parts of the country is Banned   and the EU are doing there best to get it banned here too  but cellulose paint we been using for well over 80 years  with no bother  its good paint if you follow the heath and safety  procedures  ,  But as I say again and again its not easy to get the right match  and candy apple red is pritie standard  lacquer  over silver base  un-like Polychromatic its 3 colours in one  and their must be 50 to 60  shades  so thats were the hard bit comes in   getting the right shade  and to do this you need the right formula   I should know I been at this for last 13 years  its only thorough bits of information from many people on the emails  And if Dan wants a batch I send him some, in a Flask  Yours   Anna J    

 

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