Author Topic: Gold plating vees '53  (Read 536 times)

Offline G Pennington

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Gold plating vees '53
« on: January 04, 2018, 10:42:37 PM »
I decided to restore the hood and trunk vees and shields.  The vees are some kind of cast metal (pot metal? aluminum? ...a magnet sticks weakly).  I believe the were originally gold anodized.  The surface is still smooth (no pitting or corrosion), but the gold colors has faded to the point they look almost grey.
I was thinking about plating them with 24kt gold.  Has anyone tried this?  Do I need to remove what's left of the old coating?  Do I need to plate them with something else (copper?, cadmium?) first?
Or is there a service out there who can re-anodize them?
Any advice appreciated.
Gary Pennington
Gary Pennington
   1953 6267X CC
   1941 6267D CC

Offline johnregrus

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 01:37:42 AM »
King of Trim in California does a perfect job in restoring with the correct shade of gold anodizing. Website: kingoftrim.com
1958 Series 62
1956 Eldorado Biarritz

Offline Ralph Messina CLC 4937

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 03:00:37 PM »
Gary,

I believe the '53 "V"s are real gold plate. I believe the bonding and filler layer is copper. I would find a reputable plater and have them use whatever standard process they recommend.
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Offline walt chomosh #23510

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 03:23:31 PM »
Gary,
  I had my 1955 "V" done by a plating shop in Dallas. At the time, I did some homework and found them. I was pleased with the price and quality of their work. The 55 "V"s are brass....walt...tulsa,ok

Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 04:39:09 PM »
Yes, the Vs in this era are solid brass and plated with real gold. If the gold has worn away completely, one low-budget option is to polish the brass and clear coat it.  It will look pretty good.
Art Gardner


1955 S60 Fleetwood sedan

Offline bullet bob

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 07:20:37 PM »
I powder-coated mine. Color was 'nugget gold' I believe. Did the crests at the same time. Was a great match for the gold that is in the crest, possibly of a duck?  Had all 4 pieces done for $35.
Honda Goldwing 1800  "I don't need no stinkin' map, I've still got gas"

Offline G Pennington

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2018, 03:07:35 AM »
Are the crest bases also brass castings?  They look to be plated with real gold also.
Gary Pennington
   1953 6267X CC
   1941 6267D CC

Offline Quentin Hall

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 03:31:49 AM »
They are NOT brass. They are diecast pit metal err pot metal.
I think the plating process is as stated, copper coat, Gold plating.
Perhaps 56 but definitely 57 the substrate was aluminium and the coating was anodising.
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Offline G Pennington

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 05:08:59 PM »
Well if the crest bases are pot metal I would be concerned about going the powdercoat  route due to the high temperatures required to cure the powdercoat.  Pot metal has a fairly low melting point.
Gary Pennington
   1953 6267X CC
   1941 6267D CC

Offline Tpicks55

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 10:48:25 AM »
Look at amazon for their kits on plating.  You might get away with gold leaf and clear coat as well.
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Offline Dan LeBlanc

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 12:27:37 PM »
Pot metal melting point - 786F
Powder coat curing temperature - 400F

Lots of wiggle room to powder coat.
Dan LeBlanc - CLC # 27657
1970 DeVille Convertible
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Offline srk1941

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2018, 02:00:17 PM »
I've seen the gold crests and "V's" stamped "Dirilyte," which is an alloy with bronze, giving it the gold tone throughout the metal. We have a set of Dirilyte flatware, it's a warm gold, which has to be polished. They also had sets of Dirilyte that were bonded with a clearcoat, I always thought the Cadillac "Vs" were cast Dirilyte that were clearcoated.
Steven Keylon
1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe
CLC# 16658

Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 02:32:46 PM »
I thought that they were brass, but what do I know?  I have polished them after the gold luster is gone and gotten a good shine that looked like gold or brass.  Several times I have clear coated them after polishing, but with less than great results (probably due to insufficient/improper cleaning after polishing -- paints require absolutely pristine surfaces for best results).

Now that someone has mentioned it, I think I have seen the Dirilyte name on the back of at least some of them.  I have drilled into them to remove broken studs and they don't seem to be pot metal -- instead, the insides look like brass or bronze.  So yeah, the Dirilyte bronze composition might well be it.  So maybe they weren't gold plated after all.  Maybe just polished Dirilyte with some sort of durable clear finish to maintain the shine and luster.

I thought I knew, but I guess not...
Art Gardner


1955 S60 Fleetwood sedan

Offline bullet bob

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 03:02:52 PM »
I tried to post a pic. of front of the car, showing powder-coated emblems, but I can't attach it. But trust me, it looks purdy!
Honda Goldwing 1800  "I don't need no stinkin' map, I've still got gas"

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2018, 05:24:47 PM »
Dirilyte is what the V's were in 1955 and I believe from 1953-56.
In 1957 they changed to anodized aluminum.

Dirilyte, as one poster mentioned, is a bronze alloy.  It is not pot
metal which is diecast zinc.

They were polished and clearcoated from the factory, however the
clearcoat they used back then didn't hold up well.  Many restorers
(including myself on my '55 Eldo) instead sent them out for a 24k
gold plating which looks much better and is more durable.

Mike
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
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Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2018, 08:08:27 AM »
I love this thread!  I always thought that they were gold plated when  new.  I am happy to learn something new...
Art Gardner


1955 S60 Fleetwood sedan

Offline G Pennington

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2018, 09:16:19 AM »
Neither of my vees has the Dirilyte name or their cloverleaf logo on it anywhere.  Only the GM part number.  But they definitely were gold plated because traces of the gold plating show up on the inside surfaces.  They could have been plated by a PO but I doubt it because I've owned the car for 40 years.
Gary Pennington
   1953 6267X CC
   1941 6267D CC

Offline srk1941

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2018, 11:35:12 AM »
The clover mark was only used to about 1935, when the company was named Dirigold. After they changed their name to Dirilyte, the clover logo was removed.
Steven Keylon
1941 Cadillac Convertible Coupe
CLC# 16658

Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2018, 12:47:08 PM »
I love this thread!  I always thought that they were gold plated when  new.  I am happy to learn something new...


Now I am back to square one.  Not sure what was original -- and i have had about 10 cars between 1954 and 1956!!!
Art Gardner


1955 S60 Fleetwood sedan

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: Gold plating vees '53
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2018, 03:29:53 PM »
Neither of my vees has the Dirilyte name or their cloverleaf logo on it anywhere.  Only the GM part number.  But they definitely were gold plated because traces of the gold plating show up on the inside surfaces.  They could have been plated by a PO but I doubt it because I've owned the car for 40 years.

www.dirilyte.com/company-history/

The "V's" on my 1955 do say Dirilyte on the back.
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region