Faded red Vauxhall certainly not pretty in pink!

Old red Vauxhalls, like this Corsa which did not have protective lacquer top coats are prone to pain

Old red Vauxhalls, like this Corsa which did not have protective lacquer top coats are prone to paintwork fading. - Credit: Andy Russell

Motoring editor Andy Russell queries why so many older Vauxhalls are in the pink.

Have you noticed how many red Vauxhall cars and vans from the early 2000s have gone from bright red to decidedly dull pink.

Corsas and Astras seem particularly prone to the problem but, while the metal panels fade, plastic parts like the bumpers and fuel filler flap keep their colour.

I had three red cars in the Eighties and Nineties and was warned red was the worst colour for fading so needed regular protection with a good wax polish. Fortunately, cars now have a clear coat lacquer over the paint to better protect it.

It seems red paint is unable to block out the UV rays which causes the pigment to degrade so, like humans, they go pink in the sun. It's not helped by regularly using harsh cleaners.

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My father – not known for washing cars, let alone polishing them – had a red Triumph Dolomite 30-odd years ago which took hours to T-Cut, panel by panel, the dead oxide layer from the paintwork before a good wax polish.

People pay a lot of money now for a matt paint finish because they want their car to stand out and look good. We used to get a matt finish for nothing but it was far from attractive!

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Have you got a dull, faded car or have you polished it back to all its glory. Tell us how you did it and send some before and after pictures to motoring@archant.co.uk

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