In 2019, the Forum für Fahrzeuggeschichte F-kubik (Vehicle History Forum) is once again awarding the “Golden Piston” for special achievements in promoting authenticity in vehicle history.
The Forum für Fahrzeuggeschichte (Vehicle History Forum), also known as F-kubik or F3, has presented this award at the Bremen Classic Motorshow since 2006. Each year, it goes to a person who stands out for his or her exceptional achievement in promoting authenticity in the documentation of automotive history. Jürgen Book, Classic Cars Manager at BASF Coatings GmbH, will receive the “Golden Piston 2019” award.
In early February 2019, Jürgen Book will be presented with the “Golden Piston 2019” award at a ceremony at the Bremen Exhibition Centre. Selected guests and media representatives will be present for the awarding of the certificate and a polished piston.
Having initiated the Glasurit Classic Car Colors program in 2007, Book’s contributions to preserving vintage cars include the establishment of the world’s largest color database. The archive of Münster-based paint manufacturer BASF and its Glasurit brand contains thousands of historic sample panels that can be used to reproduce the authentic colors with state-of-the-art, legislation-compliant paint technology. Projects with car manufacturers and clubs that research and reconstruct historic colors serve as additional sources for the database. Under Book’s influence, special refinishing processes have also been developed that use modern paint technology to reproduce or match the old appearance. The development of an international network of specialized body shops is another achievement in this context.
Book, born in 1959 in Münster, started his career in 1975 at the company, called BASF Farben und Fasern AG back then. He initially worked at the lab in the Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions business unit before transferring to technical after-sales service and becoming the group leader for passenger car refinishing there. In the 1980s, Book mainly focused on developing waterborne automotive refinish products. After a short period as a product manager, he was promoted to the head of technical customer service for automotive refinish products in 1997 and was responsible for product and refinish process adjustments and developing value added services with an international team. In 2014, Book became the head of process management for refinish paints.
Through 2017, Book’s work focused on developing training concepts for internal skill training and customer training courses conducted in over 100 training centers worldwide. Book was the technical supervisor for the around 30 technical managers of the EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) countries. Under his leadership, special paint training courses for appraisers were developed for assessing classic vehicles starting in 2014. On June 1, 2017, Glasurit honored Book’s commitment by appointing him as the head of the Classic Cars unit, thereby creating the first full-time position worldwide within the paint industry dedicated to this area.
During his career, Book has been involved in reproducing authentic colors for vintage vehicles. Research carried out in close collaboration with car manufacturers, clubs, museums and private collectors, at times extremely detailed, helped restore the color programs both of makes such as Heinkel, Messerschmitt and Zündapp that have ceased to exist, as well as of active manufacturers such as Opel, Citroen, Jaguar and Porsche. The search for the most authentic color is supported by a high level of commitment on the part of classic car aficionados as well as of Glasurit and in some cases can resemble an archaeological investigation. All available color information is gathered and reproduced. The Glasurit archive contains panels that were no longer cataloged and were not rediscovered until during the research. The detective work carried out by the clubs often brings unexpected things to light. For instance, the Messerschmitt Club gave Glasurit original panels that were coated in 1958 at the Augsburg plant.
In addition, under Book’s leadership, unusual refinish methods were developed for classic cars. Today’s products permit direct-gloss metallic paints to be repaired using smaller areas and with greater color accuracy. The refinishing method for the Porsche 914 Targa in the texture, color and gloss level characteristic of its time was developed at the request of the Porsche Club. For repairing scratches, a solution for cosmetic repair with UV-drying – meaning cold-curing – materials will be available shortly. A refinish method that can be used to reproduce even traces of aging on old paintwork surrounding the repair site is being launched. Artificial aging of new paintwork can also be a solution when complete restoration is carried out. All of these ideas – for which technical limitations have to be kept in mind – emerged during brainstorming sessions with classic car fans.
Getting young people fired up about working in the automotive industry is something that is very dear to Book’s heart. The shortage of skilled workers – especially those specialized in working with classic vehicles – has been noticeable in the automotive refinish sector for some time. New specialists are urgently needed in this area. Book’s expertise as an industry networker is especially valuable. While there are a number of initiatives in place worldwide for recruiting new talent, the critical mass is still lacking. The sector needs to offer attractive and promising career paths, and harnessing the passion for classic cars is one way to get young people on board, including in non-paint-related areas. Keeping an open mind and being willing to adapt to future developments are both important prerequisites.
Book still has a lot on his agenda. The results of a number of ongoing projects have yet to be published. Collaborations with automotive experts and industry partners give rise to solutions that benefit the classic car scene. For Book, proximity to classic car owners and an appetite for unconventional ideas are equally important. For some time now, “paint talk” has been an integral component of classic car meet-ups, so Book is used to fielding questions related to all aspects of paint.
Glasurit, a BASF brand, has been around since 1888, in other words, since just after the invention of the combustion engine car, and is the leading paint manufacturer in Europe. In addition to technological innovation, the company stands for sustainable solutions for automotive refinishing. Since July 1, 2016, Glasurit has cooperated with FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens). Book has played a key role in making Glasurit FIVA’s exclusive global consultant for all paint-related matters of classic cars.
Important elements of his work appear in the Charter of Turin Handbook, for which in collaboration with FIVA he wrote a chapter on paint-related aspects of classic car refinishing. Preserving intact old paintwork is a central focus and – probably surprising for a paint manufacturer – Book also describes situations in which a vehicle should not necessarily be refinished, but its historic substance should rather be preserved.
Book’s connection to the classic car scene is not just job-related, however. Since 1985, he has owned various classic models from the 1950s as well as from more recent decades. His penchant for US classic cars may be due to their larger dimensions, which are better able to accommodate his nearly 6 foot, 9 inch frame. Book’s garage at home is his refuge. His perseverance, generosity and openness make him a real guiding light in the classic car scene.
By honoring Book, the F-kubik group is adding a distinguished automotive-history individual to the list of esteemed Golden Piston recipients. All of the individuals and institutions receiving the distinction have made notable contributions to the German classic car scene and are presented in the list below. Since 2006, the Golden Piston has been presented annually by the F-kubik group unanimously and independently to individuals who have had an exemplary impact on automotive history:
The Golden Piston and its recipients:
The Golden Piston is an award honoring outstanding achievements in the documentation of automotive history and its public recognition.
Since 2006, F-kubik has recognized leading individuals at the Bremen Classic Motorshow.
Günther Krön for reactivating and conducting the historic “2000 km through Germany” rally.
Karl-August Almstadt for his writings and media contributions as a TV moderator and journalist for AutoBild Klassik.
Winfried A. Seidel as the initiator and organizer of the VETERAMA market place and the founder of the Dr. Carl Benz automotive museum in Ladenburg, Germany.
Prof. Peter Kirchberg for his many years of work at the University of Dresden and his documentation on the history of the Auto Union.
Engineer Wolfgang M. Buchta as the editor and editor-in-chief of the Austro-Classic trade journal.
Karl Reese as an expert and one of the first writers to document motorcycle history from a number of different angles.
Michael Graf Wolff Metternich as an interpreter for the history of the Maybach and related documentation and publications.
Erika Kübler for her selfless commitment to preserving the life work of artist and designer Louis L. Lepoix, Baden-Baden.
Ivan Mahy for his tireless efforts to keep a unique car collection in Belgium accessible to the public.
Roger Gloor from Switzerland for his many years of solidly researched presentation of automotive history in the Automobil Revue and the journal auto exclusiv.
Karl Ludvigsen as a manager of automotive industry with the outstanding capacity for systematic research, compilation and publication of automotive-history-related topics.
Johannes Th. Hübner as an automotive expert, writer and designer who is able to share his automotive history expertise to interested readers through exceptional communication skills.
Heiner Rössler for his outstanding commitment embodied by a live presentation and documentation of automotive history in the public sphere and specifically for operating the Melle car history museum.
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