Painting the grill (1940 series 72)

Started by Joe Bento #20081, January 19, 2007, 12:20:04 PM

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Joe Bento #20081


As I prepare to send the front grill of my 1940 series 72 to chrome, I am noticing the there is a fair amount of paint work on it.  It appears that the leading edge only is chrome, and that the flat portion of the grill is painted the body color.

I spoke to one plater, who mentioned that he would fill the pits along where the plating was to be applied, but the painted portions should be filled by the body shop doing the painting (as paint will fill the pits differently and "better" than the plating would.

Since it will cost me a pretty penny to get the repair and plating done, I am a little reluctant/nervous about giving it to the body shop to finish off.  Is it normal for the body to do this type of work?

Doug Houston

If you have a good and reliable painter doing your job, its probably best for him (her) to do it. Yes, you can possibly do it yourself, but itll also be peanuts next to what the job will end up costing.

I just recently had my 41 Convertible coupe painted,and the initial figure was $10.5K. After plating, new stayfast top, new parts made, and a few other things, I now have sunk about $18K in it. Indeed, its below the value of the car, but this is the sort of thing you have to allow for.

By the way, you might want to look into having new stainless brake lines made for it. I bought a set from Inline Tube, here in Michigan, and its one of the things now on the car. Im going to put them on every car I have. I lost brakes on the 38-60S on the way to the South Bend GN, because of a little rusted pinhole in the pipe feeding the rear brakes. I never got the car there, and Im eternally and everlastingly damned if Ill ever have THAT happen again. The Inline tubing set fell into place as though Cadillac had made it when the car was new. Also, recommend that you use silicone brake fluid.

joe Bento #20081

Thanks Doug!

Once again, you are my hero!


Bruce Reynolds # 18992

Gday Joe,

From what I have gathered in the past, the usual process was to chrome plate the Grille, then only polish the parts that are going to have the actual Chrome end up being visible.

Then the areas that are going to be painted are "roughened" up so that the paint primer will adhere, and then the whold unit is painted, and then the paint covering the chrome surface that is to be shown, poilshed away.

This leaves a feathered edge at the ends of the paint, and not a thick edge that can simply get caught and flake off.  

When those "100 mph bugs" hit, they have been known to do more damage than simply splattering ofer the nicely polished finish.   I have come to the conclusion that most times I hit them, they are in "Building" mode, and carrying stuff to build their nests, and it is this "Stuff" that causes the damage, plus they dont trim their claws either.

In a 59 Thinderbird I just completed restoring, the owner had his body man simply fill the grooves between the chrome lines with a body coloured tape and that filled in the pitts that were visible that the plater couldnt remove.

The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV

Joe Bento #20081

Gday Bruce!

The though of my 1940 Series 72 going 100 MPH had me laughing out loud!

Maybe you meant knots (seeing as it is as much a land yacht as anything else I have ever seen)

Cheers for the good laugh mate!

Rhino 21150

He meant 100 KPH, or about 61 MPH. Although I have had my 38 5019 at 87mph. And breathing hard. Both of us! On bias plies! Live fast, die young, leave a pretty corpse. Too late for that...

Bruce Reynolds # 18992

Heck no, I meant Miles Per Hour.

Plus 100 MPH would actually be only 86.89762419 knots and bugs dont really do much damage at those speeds.   Gee, 100 Knots is 115.077944802 MPH and would end up putting you on the roadway to Heaven, or going back a bit looking for the parts that fell off.

But, down here, one can always tell when one has been speeding because there is always the telltale sign of the "100 Mile n Hour Bugs" splattered all over the front.   Good evidence in court too.

The bugs still splatter at speeds above 35 MPH, but at 100 MPH, they stick like Loctite.

The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV

Barry M. Wheeler #2189

Back in ought 58, when I first bought my 1941 Cadillac 6127 coupe, I was going with a slip of a girl that lived north of Indy, the other side of Noblesville. There was a new, seldom traveled two lane highway that I used, and I was progressing back towards Indy late one night, when a 1955 Ford convertible sailed by me flat out.
I decided to give chase, and before sanity finally took hold, I saw I was starting to gain on them, and they WERE trying. The speedometer was tickling the far side of the dial before I slowed down.
Pretty good for an old pre-war car to keep up with a three year old Ford.
Oh, now the road is divided four lane, and usually bumper to bumper at all times of the day or night. Such is progress.

Mike Josephic #3877


A really neat story -- thanks for sharing.  Brought back a
few memories.

baxter culver #17184

I just (last year) had my 39 grille repaired (welded), replated and painted.  The leading edge of the grille bars as well as the side "catwalks" are polished chrome plate, the center vertical section and the side sections are painted body color, and the rear of the grille bars are painted flat black (which is the body color).  That is what was still shown of the original paint when I took it apart.  In my mind there is a question as to the flat color on the rear of the grille bars:  are they supposed to be "flat" body color or "flat" black?  I cant answer the question because my car is black--always has been.  I believe they should be "flat black".  But that isnt based on any real knowledge.  Anyone know?

By the way, when you get your grille and the two side catwalks back from the plater/painter you will find it much easier to walk long distances--what with your VISA card so much lighter!