View Full Version : Restoration questions and opinions

05-31-2017, 12:07 AM
So I am finally to the point of paint, carpet, door panels, and seats. I wanted to go back to "original", but I am not exactly sure what that would be. My PO and the tag hanging under the dash both call for surf grey as the paint color. I am fairly certain the car has been repainted. The paint is really thick and almost a pale blue. (I'll attach pics)

i will I'll probably go back with the surf grey color and the dark red wheels. I remember seeing that was a paired color somewhere and was more than likely the correct color on this one since the wheels are that color now. One question I had was to the body color. Even the waffle grills are painted in that blue color. Should they be painted or should they be chrome or black?

As for the interior, I have a LOT of questions. I would also like opinions.

1) The metal in the car, (doors, dash, pillars, etc.), is almost a pewter color. Was it normal for these vehicles to have differing colors on the outside and inside? Or should I match them when painting?

2) I have seen other 50 Champs that have a pleated door panel. Mine are solid material up to about 3/4 height and then a chrome strip with a fake vinyl like material above. All topped with raw metal of the door itself. This is easy enough to rebuild, but is this correct or has it possibly been redone? (This was supposed to be a low mileage original when I got it)

3) The seats are all cloth and no vinyl. It's also an interesting material with flecks of blue and red in it. Is this a factory cloth and should I go back or does that really take anything away? I know ultimately, I should, and will, build it to my liking, I am simply curious and would also like opinions.

4) The carpet is almost a camel tan. While this matches the current interior with the pewter paint dash and the seats, if I color match the dash and go with a stone/gray/black interior, it wouldn't look right in my opinion.

I know now there isn't really a way to get any more information on these production details minus the PO. (Which really doesn't give a lot anyway) that's why I am reaching for the good members here for memories and gathered combined knowledge. ;)

Thanks guys!

Here is my seat color:

Here is the carpet color:

This is what my panels look like:

The dash ash is the same color as the metal you see at the top of the door.

The exterior is as so:

05-31-2017, 01:40 AM
Looks like you have the 5 trim level, while my 50 has the 3 trim level, so mine doesn't have the stainless lower door trim, outside window trim, and a few other changes. That "pewter" looking interior color is correct, and I'd like to match it so I could repaint my ash tray front. My car was restored in the early 90's, and I'm glad the guy did everything correct to original details, including the pinstriped seat upholstery material. I wonder if that is still available?

Sine you have the top trim, while mine is the middle trim line, the seat material might be different. Also mine being a 2 door, and your's a 4 door, might make the seat material different. I sure like my surf grey, but it's too bad he used lacquer, and it needs a better paint job. Your carpet and door panels look correct to me.

05-31-2017, 10:42 AM
The carpet looks like the correct short pile. I'm not so sure about the color.

05-31-2017, 10:52 AM
So the interior and the exterior were actually different colors then. That is interesting. I would have thought they would have matched the colors. You mentioned a 3 and a 5 trim level. Is there anywhere that can be referenced so I can find out more?


05-31-2017, 01:01 PM
So the interior and the exterior were actually different colors then. That is interesting. I would have thought they would have matched the colors. You mentioned a 3 and a 5 trim level. Is there anywhere that can be referenced so I can find out more?


The body tag on the engine side of the cowl gives that information. Post the information here and we will tell you more. The information should also be on your production order.
A Regal Deluxe has a different/better interior than a Deluxe.

05-31-2017, 01:58 PM
That really looks like an original interior in your car, and in very good shape, too. The carpet has faded, but the rest looks just right. It's a rarity here in the sun belt, but more common in the rust belt. If you redo the interior, you should try to match what you already have and not make it "look better" to your modern eye.

If you change the interior colors, it will look like those crappy "interior re-dos" that people did in the late 60's and early 70's to temporarily freshen up a junky, off brand, old car. Those things do not age gracefully. A car that is restored to original/stock appearance will never go out of style.

Studebaker did not start making bright, coordinated interior colors different until 1954. Before that time, there were generally only one color per trim level, although the 53's had three or so different vinyl interiors.

The grilles in your car should be painted body color, not black, not silver, not some other color. Originally, the grilles were chrome plated and the leading edges were unpainted to about a 1/16" in. The rest was body color. The original 50 grilles were chrome plated and the headlight rings were body color. Some time in the production cycle, Studebaker went to chrome headlight rings and left the grilles un-plated. With the un-plated grilles, I do not know if the leading edges were exposed pot metal, or if the entire grilles were body color.

The rubber biscuits between the front sheet metal and the bumper bracket tubes should be black. The rear fender welting where the fenders attach to the body should be painted body color, not left black. Fords leave the welting black and there are so many Fords out there that everybody thinks Studebaker welting should be black also. Not so.

Your car looks like a nice original with the exception of a repaint. I sure hope you don't change the colors and textures of everything to suit today's short term tastes.

05-31-2017, 04:03 PM
Thanks Roy. I don't plan to. I just want to make sure what I replace is correct.

Do you know of any sources for original materials? I am lucky that this vehicle sat inside of a barn for years, however, the seats are torn and have some mice holes. I can take other pics if that helps.

I have been looking for cut pile carpets. I have found one that seems close here: http://www.automotiveinteriors.com/carpet/cutnsewn/amcutpile.htm

I am debating the AM-851 Biscuit


Also, does anyone know what that Pewter color is? Code or mix pattern?

05-31-2017, 04:18 PM
Hey Gary. I think this is the plate you are referring to. If not, let me know. I also am adding a few other pics of the bumper stand-offs, headlight rings, and dash color.


Grills and Bumper SO:

Headlamp Rings:


Purchase Order:

05-31-2017, 04:22 PM
The "pewter" color is what everyone in the Studebaker world calls "greige." It is different from 50 to 51, to 52. If the inside of the glove box door is not faded, you can take that in to a paint shop and they can mix it for you. Or you can search all of the previous threads to see if anyone has come up with a match.

For original materials, there is:
- SMS upholstery
- whatever Renee' Harger's new business is called
- and Le Baron Bonney.

Google them and see what you find.

Look under the seats to see what color the carpet was originally. The front seat bottom will come up by lifting the front edge straight up. There should be a little carpet piece/edge that spent all the years covered or crimped under the seat bracket and did not fade. For some reason, the carpet seems to fade before other parts of the interior.

You should be getting an envelope in the mail soon with lots of radio information in it.

05-31-2017, 04:29 PM
Just got it today! I was going to send you a thank you. I'm excited to get that radio in now! Thank you so much.

05-31-2017, 06:43 PM
Just read your post
I have a 1950 five passenger starlight coup and I am also looking for interior fabric (Original). I called SMS auto fabrics and sent them samples ,they only had headliner material.If you find a fabric shop that has material that will match please let me know . Good luck with your project . Dan email dndinc@sbcglobal.net gminer

05-31-2017, 07:05 PM
Hey Dan. Definitely will. Searched most of the day. I looked through SMS, but according to 3 restoration shops I know people at, I was told to steer clear of doing business with them. Hopefully you have a better experience than what they have had. They are fairly large, higher end shops, (that I can't afford. Lol), and they refuse to consider them. However, if they had the material by the yard, I would probably order the raw material.

05-31-2017, 07:31 PM
The oval inserts either side of the bullet nose should be painted body color.
On the firewall plates, "9G" stands for 1950 Champion, "W" stands for 4 door sedan, and "5" is the top trim level.
I have other 1950 Champions and Commanders that also need upholstery, so I've been looking for correct material, but so far can't find it.

05-31-2017, 07:41 PM
BTW, I've also wondered about the different ways I've seen the grill finished and painted. I was working on a 1950 Business Coupe with bottom trim line today, and his grill was bare diecast with no paint nor chrome.

05-31-2017, 07:46 PM
BTW, I've also wondered about the different ways I've seen the grill finished and painted. I was working on a 1950 Business Coupe with bottom trim line today, and his grill was bare diecast with no paint nor chrome.

I have seen bare grilles, too. My thought has always been that the paint did not stick to the diecast and so it fell off. I know that the early chrome grills were painted up to within 1/16' of the front edge as I have had early cars with original (never repainted) paint jobs. But I have never inspected a later, non-chrome grill car with an original/factory paint job.

05-31-2017, 07:51 PM
... looking for interior fabric (Original).I suspect you will only find it at ReneƩ Harger's Southeast Studebaker, if he still has it. He periodically has a run of new fabric milled for orders he has received and those he anticipates so, it will depend on how close you are to the beginning or end of the run. But impeccably perfect original. www.southeaststudebaker.com

05-31-2017, 08:52 PM
I have Rene (Southeast Studebaker) working on the interior of Dad's 50 Champion Starlight now. When I placed my order he had at least enough material to do Dad's car. I suggest you get your order in early because Rene stays backed up with orders.

05-31-2017, 09:44 PM
Does he order the material in or have it made for him to use only? I was just wanting to order it by the yard if I could find this style.

05-31-2017, 10:05 PM
You have a very late in the model year (8/29/50) 1950 Champion Regal Deluxe four door sedan assembled in South Bend with a rare, first year (of this type) automatic transmission.

1950 Champion sedans came in three trim levels, 1.3 & 5. You have the top level (5) Regal Deluxe.

05-31-2017, 10:59 PM
In the 1940's and EARLY 1950's you did not see Cars with Pretty, Bright Colors on the inside or similar to outside Colors.
That change at Studebaker happened in 1955 and on to 1966.

Today, it is "Back to Future" at the Car Mfg's. all you get is Tan or Gray, very limited just like the 1940's to mid 1950's Cars. :eek: