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1951 Starlight paint thoughts

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  • 1951 Starlight paint thoughts

    Now that I have the mechanicals close and it can drive I have turned my attention to the outside. I know that the 51 was not a two tone but I am going to have to go that direction. Before me it had a major headliner fire and took out the paint on the roof and top of doors. The previous owner brushed on some kind of thick black paint(maybe house paint). I am in the process of sanding and stripping it off. There are four layers of paint. I do not want to repaint the entire car, the copper seems to be able to come back(with a lot of elbow grease). So I am going to have to paint the roof, "A" pillars and tops of doors. I will need to paint across the front under the windshield and wipers to make this flow. At this point just trying to get a presentable driver. I am looking for color combinations that might work. I first thought of an off white to match the rims. The interior will be black and grey. I did see a copper colored car that used a darker forest green. Shoot me some color ideas.





    51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
    53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
    62 Volvo PV544 Sport
    59 Renault 4CV




  • #2
    Go with a satin black. Then when the copper doesn't stay shinny because it is dead, you can just blow a coat of satin clear on it to match the top or you can have the whole care repainted and the black will be a good primer/sealer.
    sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

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    • #3
      My 48 Starlight Coupe was a copper color when I got it, and I did not like it. I think this body style looks best in a dark color. But from a practical standpoint, this car is a greenhouse on wheels, and if I lived in Arizona I would paint the top white, unless you have a really powerful and efficient air conditioning system. Also be advised that a light cream or beige color reflects much less sunlight than pure white. There is a good reason all the big jet airliners are painted white on top.

      Back in a previous life I landed at LAX one day and noticed a DC-9 sitting off to one side of the runway, painted black with a bunny on the tail. I asked about this and was told that Douglas tried to talk Hefner into painting the airplane a light color, but he insisted on black. I was told that Douglas refused to offer any warranty on the interior furnishings and certain systems on the airplane.
      Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
      See more of my projects at stilettoman.info

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      • #4
        Why not paint the roof the same color copper as the rest of the car? You can still mask it off the same way you already planned to do and the car will look more "together." Two tones do not work on 47-52 starlight coupes, in my opinion.
        Last edited by RadioRoy; 07-25-2018, 07:36 PM.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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        • #5
          I thought about matching but that is not going to work well. It is semi metallic and a bit faded. I can bring it back some. If I try to match I will still have a two tone. Just did not have interest in sinking a bunch into a paint job right now. No air condition in this car yet. Heck it was only 115 degrees today. I did drive it around the block though.
          51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
          53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
          62 Volvo PV544 Sport
          59 Renault 4CV



          Comment


          • #6
            I love two-toning on 50's cars, which is one reason I have the hardtop and not the starlight. Usually I think white tops look best, but your first picture shows how black would look, and I think it works really well with that copper. Sounds like it would work well with your interior also.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 48skyliner View Post
              My 48 Starlight Coupe was a copper color when I got it, and I did not like it. I think this body style looks best in a dark color. But from a practical standpoint, this car is a greenhouse on wheels, and if I lived in Arizona I would paint the top white, unless you have a really powerful and efficient air conditioning system. Also be advised that a light cream or beige color reflects much less sunlight than pure white. There is a good reason all the big jet airliners are painted white on top.

              Back in a previous life I landed at LAX one day and noticed a DC-9 sitting off to one side of the runway, painted black with a bunny on the tail. I asked about this and was told that Douglas tried to talk Hefner into painting the airplane a light color, but he insisted on black. I was told that Douglas refused to offer any warranty on the interior furnishings and certain systems on the airplane.
              Originally posted by Michidan View Post
              I love two-toning on 50's cars, which is one reason I have the hardtop and not the starlight. Usually I think white tops look best, but your first picture shows how black would look, and I think it works really well with that copper. Sounds like it would work well with your interior also.
              Since you are talking "DRIVER"...and by your progression, you seem to be very practical in your approach (getting the mechanical work done first), I will offer my opinion along with the two quoted above. I believe I heard on the news yesterday that somewhere in Arizona the ambient temperature reached 115F. So my vote would also be for white or a metallic silver to make it bearable as a driver. Anything else and you should probably name the car after the legendary child's toy called "Easy Bake Oven."
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                I agree with Roy. You've got a good looking car and now it looks even better after you've worked on the paint. I think it will look best with all copper.

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                • #9
                  I like the black top and copper lower section of the car. I think it looks great.
                  Joe Roberts
                  '61 R1 Champ
                  '65 Cruiser
                  Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                  • #10
                    Since you asked. I think that it would look better all copper. I never liked the look of the pre 1953, post war cars, in a two tone. Two toning just seems to take away from the unique body lines of these cars.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
                      Since you asked. I think that it would look better all copper. I never liked the look of the pre 1953, post war cars, in a two tone. Two toning just seems to take away from the unique body lines of these cars.
                      Agreed. Other than the '52 hardtop.
                      3H-C5 "The Blue Goose"

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                      • #12
                        Just use epoxy primer. That will seal and have the area ready to scuff and paint. Every time you have a chance to do a little more, do it.. Pretty soon you will have it all one color, and ready to paint when you want to.
                        sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
                        1950 Champion Convertible
                        1950 Champion 4Dr
                        1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
                        1957 Thunderbird

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The engine bay is still Maui blue. I guess I could epoxy prime the area in black. Then see how the rest of the paint comes back.
                          51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                          53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                          62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                          59 Renault 4CV



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Definitely NOT a black roof in Arizona! Either a chocolate to dark chocolate would go well with the copper; but a caramel or light cream would also look good, AND reflect more heat.
                            "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                            Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                            Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                            sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                            • #15
                              Yes I was thinking of a complementary color of some type. Dark copper , caramel, ....
                              51 Studebaker Starlight State Commander Coupe
                              53 Studebaker Starlight Regal Commander Coupe
                              62 Volvo PV544 Sport
                              59 Renault 4CV



                              Comment

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