I still had the blues.

I still had the blues.
"In this Special Series, I document my complete paint & body restoration along with the exterior upgrades to CSL specifications. 

In this entry, I skip the flafla and give it to you straight: we're seeing blue."

My teenage dream was always to find an E60 M5 in Interlagos Blue.

When searching for my M5 V10, I found IB cars were unfortunately Clapper Specs. The Interlagos Blue was often matched with White interiors - it attracted a fly-by-a-summer crowd that didn't care for them, at-least up North. 

My original plan was to purchase the Sepang Bronze M5 to have it color changed. I didn't care much for the color at first, but it has grown on me tremendously for 2 reasons. 

I've found an appreciation for its pearlescent effect with varying hues into different shades of light. 

It's inconspicuous to most people: it's just another big body BMW. 

I still had the blues.

As documented in the previous entry, The Phoenix was thus my prime candidate to get my fix. 

A local friend and owner has an E92 M3 in Santorini Blue: an extremely rare occurrence. He's OCD about detailing, his car is one of the best spec E92s I've seen first hand. 

Whenever we come across each other at C&Cs, I experience bewildering blues.

Which blue? It had to stay in the family. 

BMW M has formulate the best blue shades of all time:

Laguna Seca.
Marina Bay.
Long Beach. 

These stir emotional responses to M owners who've had the opportunity to own one of these. 

My last final 2 choices.

It's only fitting I picked an Individual paint option for The Phoenix. I had to keep it in the family. 

I isolated my final 2 choices to Marina Bay Blue (C1K) and San Marino (WB51).

Both were formulated for M car under the Individual paint program. They're also both metallic paints with pearlescent properties. They shift hue in different lightning conditions, just like Sepang Bronze. 


C1K was introduced with the G90 M5. It's a stunning color fitting of a big body M car, echoing my Interlagos Blue teenage dreams for my E60 M5. 

Photo credits: Don Cheng for CanadianAutoReview


WB51 was introduced on the BMW M4 CS. I vividly remember first seeing an M4 CS in the flesh at my local dealership. The changing hues are difficult to catch on camera. 

It's a fitting color to a more complex, contoured body. This is arguably the best representation. 

Uncorking the dilemma: test sprays. 

The paint room. 

Welcome to the paint room: often cramped spaces next to a paint booth. You'll find a wide variety of expensive paint compounds used to mix your final color. 

We used R-M clearcoats, a premium paint brand from BASF, German for Baden Aniline and Soda Factory. They are Germany's largest chemical company. 

Paint manufacturers have had to keep up with ever changing environmental regulations. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds: a measurement of toxicity. Some compounds are exempts in automotive paint formulations such as Acetone.

It isn't a perfect metric, but it reduces harmful compounds that have affected many people's lives. 

We started with the OEM formulations.

Paint shops have manufacturer provided paint codes and formulations to achieve color matches for repairs.

It is up to the painter's skills to adjust the formulations to match the UV degradation that happens over time on your current paint. Fortunately, we don't have that challenge on a complete color change. 

MBB's formula has quite a few compounds. 

SMB's formula has even more compounds in its formulation. 

Paint compounds and colors all have different gravities: they have varying weights. Each compound is poured to its exact weight. It's precision work. 

This shows all the components making up one of these blue shades. 

Into the gun.

The paint gets mixed and poured into one time use PPS paint cups from 3M. They are disposable: it saves time, money and use of harmful chemicals that were used to wash the previously used metal cups. 

Think of them like tools, we all have our own preferred brands. It's up to the artists and craftsman to make good use of them. 

Onto speed shapes.

We sprayed our first color test onto a speed shape. This is commonly used by painters in custom paint & body. It allows to showcase the full spectrum of the color rapidly. 

We sprayed a specific preparation cleaner to mimic to allures of clear coat. 

From a bright blue to a darker blue: lighting matters. 


We mixed Marina Bay and didn't even bother spraying it.

There was no doubt in our minds: the Phoenix would wear the M4 CS signature shade[...] and it already does.

Things are moving fast.

Up next: we get into the engine bay spray session, we go bald and start stripping it down to metal. 

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I source what I document.