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Glasurit – Paint expertise dating back to 1888

Glasurit’s company history and paint expertise date back to the beginning of the automobile age, when Bertha Benz undertook the world’s first long-distance trip in a car powered by a combustion engine. This makes Glasurit one of the world’s oldest paint manufacturers. Founded in 1888 in Hamburg, Germany, Glasurit today is a successful global company that has been a premium refinishing paint brand of BASF since 1965.

Glasurit – Global Partner of FIVA

Our paint expertise and commitment to maintaining the value of classic cars were major factors in FIVA’s 2016 decision to appoint Glasurit as its official and worldwide exclusive partner for any and all paint questions.

As an ‘Global Partner’ of FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens), Glasurit is clearly following the guidelines of the Charter of Turin, a FIVA initiative that aims to persuade governments worldwide to recognise historic automobiles as cultural artefacts. Glasurit will be reporting on different topics, historical research and cooperative partnerships on the FIVA website. You can find Glasurit contacts in your own country under; plus, you will soon be able to find additional information on colours.

Glasurit Classic Car Colors – Our service for classic car owners

Glasurit Classic Car Colors is a service tailored to meet the particular needs of classic car owners. It offers professional support, ranging from our paint expertise, through selecting the right colour in our comprehensive colour library, to our network of specialised body shops.

The Classic Car Colors page answers the questions most frequently asked by classic car owners:

  1. Where can I find the right colour for my classic car?
  2. Where can I find a suitable body shop?
  3. Where can I obtain the original paint?


Question: Where can I find the right colour for my classic car?

Answer: In the Glasurit colour library or at a Glasurit body shop.

In the course of its 130-year history, Glasurit has built up the world’s largest colour library with more than 250,000 colours for passenger cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles from around the world. We update not only current mass-produced and special colours in the database, we are also working on researching and entering colour information for classic cars – and developing paint-mixing formulas for them.

Throughout the history of the automobile – and especially prior to 1950 – a great deal of colour information was either lost or insufficiently documented. To revive these colours, Glasurit has conducted research projects with car manufacturers, clubs and museums. Model projects were carried out with Opel, Citroën, Jaguar and Porsche, among others, but also with classic car clubs for marques from the past, such as Heinkel, Borgward and Zündapp. Museum projects included the Monteverdi Collection in Basel, Switzerland, and the Schlumpf Collection at the Cité de l’Automobile  in Mulhouse, France.

Under, any vehicle owner can search for a classic car colour according to manufacturer, vehicle model, year of manufacture and colour group. Here, the owner can find out whether Glasurit knows the correct colour – and whether it has a paint-mixing formula for the desired shade. In the restoration of a classic car, it’s important to identify the correct period colour since this is nowadays an important factor in assessing the car’s value.

The colours can then be mixed at a Glasurit body shop or by a Glasurit dealer. Glasurit highly recommends first testing the paint, as occasionally the chosen shade doesn’t meet the expectations or wishes of the owner.

Question: Where can I find a suitable body shop?

Answer: You can undertake your own search or look in the Glasurit network for specialised body shops.

When it comes to painting classic cars, requirements are considerably more complex than touching up the paint on a new car. Not every body shop specialises in painting ‘old-timers’. As a rule, suitable body shops include those that specialise in classic cars, have customer testimonials on their website and enjoy a good reputation on the scene as a specialist in this segment.

In some countries, Glasurit has already built up a network of body shops that specialise in painting classics. These shops have extensive experience and are suitable specialists. You can also find these shops listed on the Glasurit website.

Contacts for owners are the recommended body shops, Glasurit dealers or local Glasurit service centres.

Question: Where can I obtain the original paint?

Answer: In short, you probably can’t… and almost certainly wouldn’t want to. But there is a solution.

The baking enamels used in mass production (at 140-160°C) can’t be used for vehicle body repair work. Once thermo-plastic acrylics (TPA) and synthetic resin baking enamels were introduced around the 1930s, paints used in mass production were no longer technologically identical to refinishing paints and, for various reasons (environmental factors and legislation, low demand, technological advances, etc.), refinishing paint technologies from the past are no longer available universally. This is why we produce modern paints for this segment that are available everywhere.

The period colours can be replicated using a paint-mixing machine with approx. 70 base colours. Modern paint technology is used, including 2-component polyurethane paint for direct-gloss solid coat or basecoat on water base or solvent base with clearcoats on 2-component polyurethane base. This ensures that the respective colour can be replicated in any Glasurit body shop worldwide.

The requirements for repair work and complete restoration projects are different.

For repair work, the refinishing paint must be modified to match the paint’s aging marks (patina) to remain unnoticeable. In addition, the technicians must assess whether the old paintwork can handle another paint coat.

For a complete restoration project, it’s usually desirable to return the vehicle to its exact visual condition when originally delivered. Replicating the authentic colour generally helps to maximise the vehicle’s value. Ultimately, however, the individual wishes of the car owner are the final deciding factor.

Preserving the value of classic cars is important to Glasurit, and it’s hoped that the information provided will be of help. For additional useful information, access to the Glasurit colour library and our network of specialised body shops, please go to and click on the Classic Car Color link. We would be happy to help you


Glasuritstraße 1
48165 Münster

Phone: +49 2501 14-0
Fax: +49 2501 14-3373
Glasurit website