In 1,000 years when this Lada has rotted away, there will be a clear shell around its remains.

Once upon a time, cars were painted in two basic steps. Shoot it with some primer, then lay down some colour and you were done. It was a simpler process, but such finishes required a bit more elbow grease to keep a glowing shine, and they didn’t hold up to the elements quite as well as modern clear coat exteriors. Aside from being rather amusing, this crazy 35-layer Lada clear coat video shows how that invisible barrier does more than simply make the car shine.

Our adventure begins once again with Garage 54 on YouTube. We’ve seen these guys do everything from build a motorized shed to dunking entire cars into boiling water, and the subject of these experiments is usually a hapless Lada. This glossy experiment in extreme painting is no different, save for the fact that instead of getting mutilated, the old hatchback ends up looking like a concours-ready show car. Well, almost.

Gallery: Lada With 35 Layers Of Clearcoat

Spraying 35 layers of clear coat isn’t just a simple case of shooting the car in a paint booth. It could be, but the result wouldn’t necessarily be 35 layers since the clear would run like crazy. Only so much can be applied at once for it to stick and lay down properly, so the Lada’s first session in the booth only saw 15 layers go down. That’s still far more than a typical car would receive, and actually, it made the crusty runabout look pretty darned good.

To give this experiment the best possible chance for success, the Lada was left alone for a week following that first session to give the clear coat time to cure. The final 20 layers were then applied – including on the taillights, bumpers, and license plates – and even taking precautions, the clear still ran like melting ice cream at the beach. Honestly, the clear coat icicles hanging from the wheel wells are a fun touch, but there’s no denying the deep shine afforded from roughly two millimeters of clear.

There’s also no denying just how protected the actual paint is beneath all that coverage, and even on video, the finish looks ready to absorb small arms fire. Such protection doesn’t come cheap, however, as the video claims the cost of the clear coat was actually more than the car. Still, it’s a small price to pay for a Lada that could weather a sandstorm on Mars.  

Source: Garage 54 via YouTube