View Full Version : gauge covers or decals

vegas paul
05-22-2007, 10:43 AM
This might sound almost sacreligious, but bear with me... Other older marques (F*rd, Ch*vy, etc.) have available (through aftermarket vendors) various cosmetic covers that can be put over deteriorated instruments & gauges. In other words, if you disassemble your instrument cluster and can't clean or remove rust, corrosion, blemishes from the painted metal, you can overlay a decal or "false front" that looks original. Basically this is an alternative to repainting (with a very fine brush) all the details and lettering.

Does any vendor have these available for Studes? My instruments can't be cleaned up any more than I have already done without becoming an artist and trying to repaint the original details.

Las Vegas, NV
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434

05-22-2007, 12:12 PM
I remember reading an article in a Petersen's resto book years ago about decal gauge restoration. What these folks would do is create camera-ready artwork using what was left of the original gauge art, cleaning it up and printing custom decals.

Today, you could probably do this using Illustrator, a digital cam, some printable decal paper and a high-quality color printer. Alternatively, I'm sure that companies like these guys


could do it.


Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard

05-22-2007, 01:00 PM
Don't overlook local sign/graphics companies.

A few years ago I needed "Levis" decals for a 70's Jeep CJ-5 I was restoring. A local shop did them in a day and charges something like $6 apiece for them. Now they're available aftermarket.

I had another firm make a replica 1914 New Mexico license plate for display use (I provided the correct size metal blank).

With scanners and computers it would not be very hard or expensive for them to do it.

63 Avanti R1 2788
1914 Stutz Bearcat
(George Barris replica)

Washington State

05-22-2007, 03:36 PM
Paul, maybe the reason there are no gauge overlays available for Studes. is that brand new NOS gauges are easily available for under $50.00!

Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

vegas paul
05-22-2007, 03:46 PM
StudeRich - I am not only interested in the gauges, but also the "background" for my 51 Champion, which the gauges fit into. This is painted black with some lined artwork that matches the gauges. Here's one on e-bay that is in better shape than mine, but still not new quality.

Any suggestions on restoring the original black color and "hi-def" to the lines/letters?

Las Vegas, NV
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434

05-23-2007, 07:56 PM
I made some false front gauge faces for a 1923 and 1924 Studebaker with Nagel gas gauges. The old one was mostly obscured, but there was enough left for me to scan and re-draw it in Adobe Illustrator. I used the artwork to laser engrave the pattern into some Rowmark "LaserLights" material. This is thin aluminum with a peel-and-stick backing. The material is available in black-on-white, white-on-black, red/white, silver/black, and gold/black. Even a fairly low-power laser can etch the pattern, then use increased power to cut openings and cut out the shape itself. The material will adhere well to flat surfaces or cylinders but can't be formed to surfaces dished in 3D. It works, but be prepared to spend money. Here are two gauge faces I had made with this process. The one on the left shows the round face still attached to the back adhesive sheet but with the foil cut through. Original is on right.


I've also made water-slide decals for my M5 truck instruments. These are pretty easy to make in ALMOST any color. Unfortunately, white letters on a black background are extremely difficult to do at home since most printers (except ALPS) don't have "white" ink/toner.
See http://www.studegarage.com/instruments.htm

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, Mass.
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard
web site at http://www.studegarage.com

05-24-2007, 12:28 AM