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52 Starliner gold trim.....?

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  • 52 Starliner gold trim.....?

    Ive been cleaning up my latest project and have come across something that has me a bit befuddled. The grill teeth and the twin bars that hold them appear to have been treated with a gold lacquer much like what you would have seen on smaller bits of automotive ornamentation or say a trumpet. The "V" on the nose has the same treatment as do the headlight doors, though that finish is all but gone. Has anyone see this before? Its been done very nicely and it appears to have been done during assembly and not just rattle canned - Here is a link to some photos I took.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    What you have is Korean war era chrome. A thin layer of copper was covered with a thin layer of chromium; no nickel in between. Your chrome is worn off. Fortunately, no noticeable pits. Good candidates for re-chroming.
    Brad Johnson,
    SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
    '56 Sky Hawk in process


    • #3
      True enough, however this "gold" is on top of the chrome...with a good rub that gold finish comes off and leave nice shiny chrome beneath. It doesn't appear to be a grunge film as its very even. I added other photos which show it off in unexposed areas. I though it might have something to do with Studes centennial, but I haven't been able to find anything related to any special celebratory models.


      • #4
        What you're probably seeing is the discolored clear laquer that they sprayed over the very thin chrome plating to get it past the warranty period. On most of these cars, 52 and 53 for Stude, the chrome went a long time ago and the copper layer has turned a dark reddish brown color.


        • #5
          That makes sense to me,, it is very "paint" like......would have been neat though to see those gnarly teeth in gold wrapped in chromium for the 100th!


          • #6
            As other have said, It's just the clear lacquer that has "yellowed" from age. I had mine replated at Librandi's Plating in Pa. Great job, but, not cheap!

            "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

            We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!

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            As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
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            • #7
              I agree with what the others have said, but you question got me to thinking.... You'd have thought - 1952 being Studebaker's centennial year - they might've used a daub of gold here and there to commemorate. They DID doll up the '55 President and 56 Presidents a bit with such.
              No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.


              • #8
                That gold stuff looks exactly like what was on my nos rear fender spears that I was finally able to find,
                It comes off with really hot water and some elbow grease.
                Under that I think you will find nos chrome.

                Lucky dog,


                How did I mis this thread ?


                • #9
                  A yellowed clear coat is correct. When I put the NOS stuff on Old Spot years ago I left the teeth gold. I got grief at the next meet for the non stock gold color. The color went away over time. I also found later that my headlight doors had a clear coat. After the coating began to peel the parts corroded soon.
                  "In the heart of Arkansas."
                  Searcy, Arkansas
                  1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                  1952 2R pickup