I nipped over to VRS and got them to make up some paint, I got 2 cans of the colour coat, 1 of isolator primer and one of normal primer, it turns out I will need to get another can of top coat - this is using a lot more than I thought. It's going well though, the main part of the bike is done, the tank now has colour on it, it just needs a very light rub down and then a coat of 2k clear.
the tank had a small dink in it that I filled and rubbed down, I missed another one that I didn't see until the colour was on it. I have no interest in making this concours condition, it's more about preserving the bike and getting the engine working for me. It will look nice, it will all work and it will remain an important piece of motorcycling history without looking over restored. The handlebars, for instance, have a very home made feel about them, Rex Avery describes in his letter how when he was setting the distance record any slight movement from a perfect prone position resulted in revs dropping off. You don't get much torque from a 50, I'm sure the bars helped him enormously in terms of getting his body in the most aerodynamic shape. Dr Joe clearly concentrated on the engine, the contract with Motobecane was to improve the performance of the engine so little else was done to the bike itself - all the brakes and suspension appear to be original. Having said that I think I may have to put on 2 non standard shocks, mine are looking beyond repair and I can't find another pair anywhere. I hope not but if needs must I will put some generic ones on there until a proper pair become available.
The front mudguard was very pitted but intact. I removed the stays, rubbed it down, treated any surface rust and then gave it a good coat of isolator primer. That will be lightly rubbed down before some colour is applied. I will have to nip back to VRS before I can do that - a job for tomorrow.