Pattern For 1937 LaSalle Fender Sergeant Stripes

Started by carlhungness, September 21, 2018, 01:17:48 PM

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Hi: I want to buy or borrow one "Sergeant Stripe Trim Piece" that goes on the front of the 1937 LaSalle fender so I can make the necessary six pieces. I know Bruce Berghoff makes these parts, but as a fabricator/craftsman I want to do the job myself.
   I am also researching materiel that might clone stainless, but can be lighted, so they may be used as turn signals. The latter is an interesting task I don't really anticipate will be successful but since the thought occurs to me I have to put some effort forth to see what I can come up with. I'm not going to sock turn-signals on the car one can see, so the challenge is 'how to hide them'.
    I'm thinking about running a vertical line of LED's on the inside outer edge of the grill on both sides that can't be seen when off, but show well when activated. So, suggestions are solicited.
Carl Hungness
812 273-2472

Steve Passmore

Problem I see there Carl is the direction lights would be very close together, a feature of the 37 LS is the very narrow grill and drivers may not see them so far inboard.  Turn signals in this country have to be a legal distance apart.
On all my cars I have found period style spot lamps and use them for indicators with smaller fog lights for the rear.
Either that or find a way of wiring them up inside the parking lamps.

1937 60 convertible coupe
1941 62 convertible coupe
1941 62 coupe

1936 70 Sport coupe
1937 85 series V12 sedan
1938 60 coupe
1938 50 coupe
1939 60S
1940 62 coupe
1941 62 convertible coupe x2
1941 61 coupe
1941 61 sedan x2
1941 62 sedan x2
1947 62 sedan
1959 62 coupe


 I agree the grill is narrow, but not so narrow as to confuse an oncoming driver as to which direction I am going to turn. It is a simple matter to affix the LED's to the inside of the grille, and if I think they're unsafe I won't use them.
  Alternately, I have also thought about placing some very thin orange plastic under the Sergeant Stripes and lighting them up, three per side. I think there's an outside chance the 'flash' from the stripes might serve as signal enough.
  I'm also thinking about carving a mirror stanchion and trim that would replace the short piece just behind the hood, on the cowl, just before the door, that would hold a mirror. The back side of the mirror could hold the turn signals. I'm not in love with the clip on mirrors I've seen on doors, or the ones that use the door hinge pin. But I've had enough driving experience with the vehicle to know I'd really like to have a couple of mirrors. I could carve the mirror stanchion with just the right curve so I could drill a hole from either end and run wires to the LED's on the back side of the mirror. It's a shame the cars didn't come with outside mirrors originally. Now we have to pretend we're in the GM design studio and ask what they'd do. It is also a shame we hadn't invented proper seat belts back then too. A lap belt isn't going to keep you from slamming into the windshield or steering wheel, and I hate to put a shoulder belt in the car, but I might. I've been in a 35 mph crash previously and know first hand how important a seat belt can be.

gary griffin

Maybe someone will make headlight bulbs with Hi, Low, and amber turn functions ??   They would be able to sell a lot of them to collectors!!
Gary Griffin

1940 LaSalle 5029 4 door convertible sedan
1942 Cadillac 6719 restoration almost complete?
1957 Cadillac 60-special (Needs a little TLC)
2013 Cadillac XTS daily driver


  The idea of installing an additional bulb in the headlight has not already occurred to me, I've done it.
   I have a highly collectible 1954 Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle that had a 6 volt headlight. I found another reflector to fit the housing that would accommodate an H-4 halogen bulb. Now I have a modern headlight beam. In addition I drilled a hole in the reflector at about 5 o'clock, stuffed in a piece of hard rubber that holds a 40 watt bulb and I use it as a back up.
   One night while riding virtually through the forest on my way home from Cincinnatti the main bulb went out and on the fly I switched to the back up bulb which gave surprisingly great results for the ride home.
   Thus I've thought about installing an amber (or even blue) bulb as a turn signal in the LaSalle headlight. I haven't yet researched what reflectors will fit the housing, but after renting a new cargo van last weekend and experiencing the phenomenal headlights it had, I know I want to upgrade far and away higher than my previous desires.
    Many antique motorcycles that have been upgraded with turn signals use those that are merely bolted to the fork tubes, or even the handlebars. I though long and hard on how to hide my signals and came up with a solution so tricky even veteran riders don't see them until they're turned on. The bike has a 1" bar going side to side just ahead of the engine that acts as a prop when it falls over. I milled a slot in the bar and installed LED's. When you look at the front of the bike, your eye doesn't look at the unique crash bar and therefore you don't see the turn-signals.

1937 LaSalle coupe

When I made my chevrons I used .125" plate. You will probably have to make several patterns out of poster paper. Just trial and error. Because you have to bend the chevrons in the middle which will change the angle when installed on the fender. Time consuming making patterns but you get satisfying results. I can not emphasize how important it is to start out with a good pattern, when bent, that fits the fender. Using .125" steel clean and use bluing to coat surface. Trace on the patterns. I had to hand hacksaw chevrons apart. Leave enough to grind and sand down to scribed lines. Forgot to tell you to leave ends maybe .125" longer for final fit up. now once you think you are done, put all 6 chevrons together to make sure you have a tight fit. Now hand file to make sure chevrons can be switched around and all match up... Now for the bending. Make a simple fixture to hold each piece so you and strike with a dull chisel and hit the same spot on the chevron... Trial fit pcs to fender for a good fit. After all is fitted you should be able to stack all 6 pcs together and realize you are close to being done with the hard part. Now grind all the longer ends so everything is equal. Only use 2 screws to attach to fender. Center hole not necessary. I think I used 8-32" flathead screws. 1/2 " long. Counter sink screw hole so flathead screws are a little below flush. Now install screws and tighten up from the back side. I had a friend of mine solder the screws in and file them down flush... Sent them out to Paul's Chrome in PA... He done a wonderful job. At the moment, I don't remember the width of the legs of the chevrons. If you think you are going to do your own I will get that dimension for you. I think I had about $ 3.00 in materials and numerous hours and cost of chrome. But WOW they were worth it... And they are solid steel and not a stamping... Good luck. John C. Lehman... CLC # 26365...


   You are the man I'm looking for. Many thanks for your suggestions and of course I can use any measurements. The thing that would help me the most is if you  could take a sheet of typewriter paper, lay it over one of the stripes and do a "rubbing" with a pencil or dowel, and send it to me, I would have a pattern.
   Bruce Berghoff has made several of these stripes in the past and gets about $80 each for them as he says it takes him a couple of hours to make one. He uses .625 stainless steel which is half the thickness of what you used. The stainless can be polished, and of course you chromed yours.
   I can weld and silver solder so I'll make a jig to position the studs. I'm hoping I can use my bandsaw on slow speed to cut out the blanks.
   My address is: Carl Hungness, P.O. Box 225, Madison, IN 47250.
   As of now I do not have a pattern and that's what I'm looking for. I am putting the stripes on a '37 coupe I drove through college and beyond. I am getting it back. I drove it 110,000 miles and had to replace all the front sheet metal. I stored it in a man's barn and he refused to give it back to me, so I need stripes.
   Thanks in advance.
Carl Hungness
812 273-2472

John Washburn CLC 1067


I have a few original ones but the threaded rods, except the middle one on one, is the only one left. The other two have not threaded rods.

Would one of these help you?

If so PM me.

John Washburn
John Washburn
CLC #1067
1937 LaSalle Coupe
1938 6519F Series Imperial Sedan
1949 62 Series 4 Door
1949 60 Special Fleetwood
1953 Coupe DeVille
1956 Coupe DeVille
1992 Eldorado Touring Coupe America Cup Series


I believe I have one coming from another member next week, so thanks so much for the offer. Bruce Berghoff told me he wasn't installing the center rod on the ones he makes any longer, no need for it. I have not been concerned with the attaching threaded rods as much as I am with the precise shape of the units. I'll take a look at the one I am getting and let you know how I fare. I believe I can buy some .0625 stainless and reproduce them myself with a couple dozen hours labor.