With a lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros on the hood, Etienne Dutoit is heading to the finals of the Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships in Frankfurt. On September 21, 2019, the painter was named the national winner in South Africa with a car hood displaying an impressive interpretation of the South African flag. Voting for the people’s choice award remains open until 2 October 2019.

For Etienne Dutoit this means one thing: he’s going to Frankfurt! The professional painter won the second round of the international Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships, which took place in South Africa. The competition was supported by SATA, Kansai Plascon, Launch Technologies and Kapatal Brands. Dutoit and his competitors all chose the South African flag as their motif, yet their different interpretations and approaches to the subject matter gave rise to three unique car hoods. Whereas Hannes Trollip played with various textures, Thomas Holder focused on a flag with gentle transitions on a black background. The winner’s design was notable for its creativity, symbolism and precision. In addition to the ‘big five’, Dutoit integrated a variety of elements into each color zone of the flag in order to emphasize the significance of each – from the country’s beauty and cultural diversity to its dark past. Dutoit poured approximately 135 hours into his creation.

Etienne Dutoit, who works for Plascon, explains: “I wanted to create something that illustrates South Africa’s diversity and its history. You rarely get the chance to create something like this in your daily work. Designing this car hood was a time-consuming and nerve-racking process, but I wanted to do it right, and to create something that I could be proud of. I gave it my all.”

The hoods were evaluated by a panel of experts according to criteria that include the uniqueness of the design, its relevance to the theme, harmonious colours, the use of environmentally friendly products, the operational safety and management of the workshop, the type and configuration of the spray guns used, and much else besides. The panel comprised Wolfgang Auer, Editor-in-Chief of FML and co-founder of the international Automechanika Body & Paint World Championships, Michel Malik, CEO of BodyShop News International, Ian Groat, publisher of Automotive Refinisher South Africa, and Joshua Low, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt South Africa.

Dutoit’s remaining competitors at the finals in 2020 will be chosen in the months ahead. Great Britain’s national winner was selected back in June, and the participants from China, Mexico, Dubai and Germany will be determined in the upcoming rounds. The next round will take place from 3 to 6 December 2019 at Automechanika Shanghai.

Multifaceted design

With his car hood, the national winner from Johannesburg has succeeded in telling a piece of South Africa’s history. To do so, Dutoit used a variety of techniques and created elaborate templates. The blue area of the flag, with ornaments and white accents, symbolizes the sky and the sea. Various shades of grey illustrate the beauty of South Africa’s forests, yellow depicts the sun and the country’s rich trove of natural resources, and when the black area of the flag is viewed from a certain angle, a silhouette of South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela can be seen. To create his shade of red, Dutoit mixed a variety of reds and integrated water-droplet effects. Dutoit: “This symbolizes the blood and tears that were shed during South Africa’s struggles on the road to freedom.” The hood also depicts South Africa’s ‘big five’ animals, spread out over the outline of the African continent: the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros.

Help select the winner of the people’s choice award

While the panel has already chosen a winner, voting is still ongoing for the people’s choice award. Hundreds of trade visitors to Automechanika Johannesburg seized their chance to view the hoods and vote for their favorites. Now other interested individuals and paintwork fans can vote for their own favorites online – voting is open until 2 October 2019. The participant with the most votes will receive the people’s choice award, as well as a surprise package from SATA valued at approx. 700 euros. At Automechanika Birmingham, Kevin Lewis emerged as the winner of the people’s choice award with his Union Jack motif.

Vote for your favorite at www.automechanika.com/vote.

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