Jesse James and his Austin-based shop, West Coast Choppers, brought a 1951 Mercury to the 2019 SEMA Show for the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes booth (No. 10839 in the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center). The custom coupe, from his personal collection and never before on the show circuit, is newly refinished in Sherwin-Williams’ waterborne basecoat system – Ultra 9K. The Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System, introduced last year at the same venue, returns this year on an iconic vehicle by one of the industry’s most iconic customizers and artists.
When a customer’s project – also a late-model Mercury – fell through, James presented his own 1951 coupe as a SEMA build to the team at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.
“There was zero hesitation to the idea,” says Rob Mowson, vice president, Marketing, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes Division. “We trust Jesse and his team and knew the car would be unbelievable from every perspective, and I’m referring to details that go well beyond the new paint job.”
With Sherwin-Williams on board, James and team got to work on his “Merc” and discovered the vehicle needed more than just paint.
“We found a few flaws and ended up disassembling it,” said James. “It’s what we do.”
West Coast Choppers’ painters Jesse Flores and Darren Wenzel kept somewhat to the vehicle’s original color, only lightening the deep blue a shade or two at James’ direction and updating graphics.
James and his painters are no strangers to waterborne systems as both he and Flores are from California.
“I’ve always beat the train to the station,” said James, referring to the switch to water years ago from solvent. “I’ve always been like, learn the system now, and honestly, with Ultra 9K there’s no difference. There’s not any kind of transition, we just paint it. It’s just paint now.”
In fact, ease-of-use was a driving force behind the design of the Ultra 9K system, which consists of only 68 toners and one single reducer yet still accomplishes all of the colors required, even for OEM standards.
“We did the research,” said Mowson. “Body shops, even custom garages like West Coast Choppers, want a user-friendly system that gives them everything they need, and we did just that. Ultra 9K has everything from speed primers to concentrated basecoat colors and glamour clears. We delivered a true game-changer to the industry and topped if off with premium value-added service and direct access to our branches.”
James references this service as a reason he switched to Sherwin-Williams.
“It’s the old-school style of customer service that I value, along with the relationship we have with our local store and their team,” said James. “They’re here to make sure we have everything we need to keep going.”
James also switched to Sherwin-Williams for its most premium line, adding, “If we use something, it’s going to be the best. It’s better quality. It sprays easier. It lays down nice and has enough body that you can cut and polish it.”
Other features and benefits of the Ultra 9K system include:
- Compliance in both national rule- and VOC-regulated areas
- Access to color software and camera
- Superior hiding and blendability
- True wet-on-wet application
- Innovative shake-and-pour packaging system