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1950 Champion Bullet Lettering

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  • Paint: 1950 Champion Bullet Lettering

    I am finding lettering cast into the Bullet Ring, Trunk latch body, Radio Faceplate and a piece of the chrome bar on the dash. I have seen where SI sells a vinyl letters for the bullet and trunk latch assembly. My question is, how was this lettering done at the factory? I assume it was painted. If it was painted was it sprayed or done with a brush?
    Wayne
    "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

    sigpic

  • #2
    The bullet and trunk handle and dash were spray painted flat white using a mask. Remember that this was done in production, so any hand work would make it too expensive.

    You can duplicate the effect by spraying flat white, then cleaning off the excess with acetone on a rag over your gloved finger.

    The radio is much easier to do. You could flow flat white into the letters and then wipe off the excess. But are you sure the radio letters are painted? They are painted on the glass, but are you talking about the "Studebaker stratoline" letters on the chrome bezel? Not sure if I have ever seen that lettering painted.
    Last edited by RadioRoy; 06-30-2017, 02:46 PM.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

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    • #3
      High production spray masking systems were offered by a company that is still in business - Conforming Matrix.

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      • #4
        I just A$$umed that the lettering on the radio bezel would be white like the rest of the lettering. You are "Radio Roy" so if you don't see it painted, I won't paint it.

        Any particular brand or type of flat white paint that sticks to the chrome better? Other than cleaning, is there any prep to do to the letters prior to painting them? I can't think of a way to rough up the surface without potentially scratching the surrounding chrome.
        Wayne
        "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wdills View Post
          I just A$$umed that the lettering on the radio bezel would be white like the rest of the lettering. You are "Radio Roy" so if you don't see it painted, I won't paint it.

          Any particular brand or type of flat white paint that sticks to the chrome better? Other than cleaning, is there any prep to do to the letters prior to painting them? I can't think of a way to rough up the surface without potentially scratching the surrounding chrome.
          For painting the recessed areas in chrome ornaments, I always clean the item thoroughly. I have used the hard white erasers that are made for ink or mechanical pencils in the process. I think the fine abrasive quality of these erasers provide enough microscopic abrading to promote adhesion without cosmetic damage. Even with all this prep, eventually, you will probably have to renew it sometime in the future. Surprisingly, I have found the small paint quantities in hobby modeling paint to be sufficient. I have also been guilty of using Rustoleum and even fingernail polish. Here's an example (lifted from the internet). Don't know who's vehicle this is, but unless kept out of the weather and sun, sooner or later, it will begin to fade & flake.


          Last edited by jclary; 06-20-2017, 05:18 AM.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            If you can find white epoxy primer, it will work well. Clean the area to be painted with laq thinner. The epoxy properties will promote better adhesion to the chrome and the finish will be flat white.
            sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
            1950 Champion Convertible
            1950 Champion 4Dr
            1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
            1957 Thunderbird

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            • #7
              30 years ago I wasn't as creative as Roy. I spent a lot of time sitting at the kitchen table masking off the letters of the dash, trunk and bullet. I used rattle can Rustoleum semi gloss white paint. So far it is holding up well.
              Perry
              \'50 Business Champion
              \'50 Starlight Champion
              \'60 Lark Convertible,
              \'63 GT R1,
              \'67 Triumph TR4A

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              • #8
                Experts may disagree on my madness but, for the trunk handle on my '53 I used two layers of duct tape to protect any new chrome plating, leaving exposed the areas to be painted. I then used the bead-blast cabinet to make two very cursory passes to etch the surface for paint adhesion. Sprayed a semi-gloss black, then hand scuffed the raised letters and brush painted them with a couple coats of a thinned enamel.
                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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                  But are you sure the radio letters are painted? They are painted on the glass, but are you talking about the "stratoline" letters on the chrome bezel? Not sure if I have ever seen that lettering painted.
                  I was just scrapping an S-4927 radio that came in. This is the 7 button early 50 radio, and guess what? The letters "Studebaker Stratoline" on the chrome bezel were painted with a pale, light yellow, probably to match the coloring on the dial letters. So there you go. I learned something new today and you can 'officially' paint your letters light yellow if you like.
                  RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                  10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                  4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                  5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

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                  • #10
                    10 years ago I had a small can of automotive paint mixed up to match surviving red paint from my dash. I applied it with a brush and shoved it into corners with a toothpick. So far it has held up well but the car does not see much weather.



                    I practiced on my wall art bullet nose:


                    Nathan
                    _______________
                    http://stude.vonadatech.com
                    https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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