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ReggieFoote
09-23-2014, 09:10 AM
Hi,

I'm a new Studebaker owner. I bought a 1950 Champion Starlight Coupe.

My question concerns the front grills and upper "scoops" on the bullet nose.

A previous owner painted both the large lower "honeycomb" grills and the small upper scoops the same color as the body.

As I want to restore the car to original colors and schemes, can someone tell me what, if any colors or finishes the grills and scoops should be or is body color acceptable??

Thanks, Reggie Venice, FL

warrlaw1
09-23-2014, 10:52 AM
Welcome to the forum. I've been watching a 50 Champion go back on the road, locally, but I don't think originality was a concern for him. Members with original 50 Champions will be able to post pictures for you. Good luck and thanks for keeping another one on the road.

Commander Eddie
09-23-2014, 12:02 PM
The grills were always painted the same color as the car I believe. I cannot recall ever seeing anything different that came out of the factory.

rockne10
09-23-2014, 03:31 PM
The one I most recently recollect had body color on both.

tbredehoft
09-23-2014, 04:42 PM
I don't know about Champions, but when I painted my '50 Land Cruiser, the chrome on the pot metal grill was bad so I painted it body color. This was in 1956. The "eyebrows" (propeller blades) were chrome.

rockne10
09-23-2014, 10:06 PM
The "eyebrows" (propeller blades) were chrome.Tom, I believe all the "eyebrows" were chromed. There is a surface panel on the upper edge of the grill panel just below the "eyebrows". I've never seen those other than body color.

The 1950 Chassis Body Catalog (which I don't have) would indicate those parts with a suffix "P" for primed, "W" for chrome plated and "WP" for chromed and painted. The '50 I most recently saw had chromed grills that had been painted body color, apparently a factory item.

RadioRoy
09-24-2014, 01:41 PM
The early cars had chromed egg crate grilles. The factory used a mask to leave the leading edges chrome to about 1/8" back, and the deeper part of the egg crate was painted body color.

The later cars left the chrome plating off of the egg crate grilles, when they started chrome plating the headlight doors. I assume those grilles were painted completely body color, but have never seen an original unmolested one.

So, if your grilles are chromed, you have a masking job to do. If they are not chromed, you can probably paint them body color.

All the sheet metal around and above the grilles is always body color.

The 50 convertible that is owned by the Studebaker national museum is painted incorrectly in this respect.

studegary
09-24-2014, 02:35 PM
The early cars had chromed egg crate grilles. The factory used a mask to leave the leading edges chrome to about 1/8" back, and the deeper part of the egg crate was painted body color.

The later cars left the chrome plating off of the egg crate grilles, when they started chrome plating the headlight doors. I assume those grilles were painted completely body color, but have never seen an original unmolested one.

So, if your grilles are chromed, you have a masking job to do. If they are not chromed, you can probably paint them body color.

All the sheet metal around and above the grilles is always body color.



Thank you! That is what I remembered as correct. I didn't post because I did not locate anything to back up my memory on this.
Probably the Fox Feature Article on 1950s in TW would be a good reference for this and other things on these cars.
Since the headlight doors are so easy to change, many 1950 models now have the incorrect ones.

rockne10
09-24-2014, 07:47 PM
The factory used a mask to leave the leading edges chrome to about 1/8" back, and the deeper part of the egg crate was painted body color.
My recollection as well, Roy. These would be the part numbers designated with the "WP" suffix.

ReggieFoote
09-25-2014, 08:33 AM
Thanks all who responded to my inquiry. The 1950 Starlight Coupe I bought has body colored/painted honeycomb grills and inlet "scoops", but I've seen others with either chromed or just cast metal. I'm satisfied to leave them as is due the expert input. Thanks again for assisting this "Newbie".

Reggie

Lothar
09-25-2014, 02:01 PM
My 1950 Champion 2 door parts car has unchromed, pot metal (I would even say galvanized, but DEFINITELY NOT chromed) front grilles that I'm sure are original.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc126/lotharhp/DSCN4983-1.jpg (http://s213.photobucket.com/user/lotharhp/media/DSCN4983-1.jpg.html)



I have a reproduction photo of 1950 Champions and Commanders on the assembly line that appears to show the same thing (hard to tell with a black-and-white photo of light colored cars). My driver has body color lower grilles. I'm not sure whether trim level or production date determines which car got what.
The eyebrows were always chromed, but the lower intakes were body color.

Dwain G.
09-26-2014, 06:52 PM
At the start of production, the front edges of the grills were chromed and the rest of the grill was painted body color. Roy already told us this.
At Champion serial number G581464 (South Bend) the grills were no longer chromed, and were all painted a no-gloss aluminum color. This is documented in the chassis parts catalog.