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Correct paint colors for underside of hood & trunk, 1950 Land Cruiser

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  • Paint: Correct paint colors for underside of hood & trunk, 1950 Land Cruiser

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Name:	Studebaker Paint Code Tag .png
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ID:	1962991 Am getting ready to start the re-paint process on our 1950 Regal DeLuxe Land Cruiser. We'll be trying to match the original Dupont paint code for the car exterior found glued to the underside of the glove compartment: " Love this Champ Dupont W.V.C. Aqua Green Enamel W662" (picture attached). My question is what paint or colors should be used on the underside of both the trunk and the hood? Currently, the underside of the trunk is a medium muddy brown color, and the hood underside appears to have been the same green color as the car exterior. The car was reportedly repainted and rust-proofed about 50 years ago , so I'm not sure if the hood and truck insides were retouched at that time or not. I'd like to know how the trunk and hood would have been painted from factory. Click image for larger version  Name:	Studebaker Paint Code Tag.png Views:	0 Size:	27.9 KB ID:	1962989
    Last edited by dbiddle; 10-13-2022, 07:00 AM. Reason: Better photo.

  • #2
    I can't say for sure with the Studebakers, but normally the inside of the trunk lid and the hood were painted the same colors as the exterior of the car. Some car makers went a little further by painting the trunks proper with a product called "Zolatone." It was a "spatter type" paint that was intended for roughly used areas. Different products were used by different makers.

    Originally it was made in a vast array of colors and had different colors of little specs of paint in it. Anyone old enough to remember the inside of the VERY old (50-60 vintage) busses remember the inside of those were normally painted with Zolatone in a pale green or "tomato soup" red-orange color base with black and white flecks in it.

    I used the original Zolatone color on the inside of my (1951) speedboat to duplicate the original coating.

    The color availability has been scaled back about 75% and very few people carry it anymore. And frankly talking to the people who own the NEW Zolatone was a lesson in SEVERE FRUSTRATION as they have shifted to steering the product toward modern interior design rather than industrial applications.

    If you decide to go that route let me know and I can save you a ton of frustration in re-inventing the wheel. Pictures below are of original Zolatone colors, and what the "Gray/Silver" looks like on the inside of my boat. The last picture it's the "gray part." Kind of hard to get a good picture of it as it "fools" the camera lens.
    Last edited by Big Dan; 10-13-2022, 01:14 PM.

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    • #3
      If the Studebaker was built in the Los Angeles plant, the underside of the deck lid is body color. South Bend cars had the underside of the deck lid painted a flat reddish-brown primer-type color.

      The underside of the hoods that I have seen were always so dirty that the color was nondescript, but it was NOT body color.

      My 62 Chevrolet had zolotone inside the trunk body, but not the lid, but that was a General motors type of thing.
      Last edited by RadioRoy; 10-13-2022, 04:28 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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      • #4
        Roy, I'm not that familiar with specific Studebaker body items, so did Studebaker install some fashion of insulation blanket on the underside of their hoods?

        Interesting about GM and the Zolatone. That's probably why it ended up in my boat in 1951 - my dad had a number of transplanted Buick and Olds things on he carried on it. Trailer wheels were 48 Buick Special.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Big Dan View Post
          Roy, I'm not that familiar with specific Studebaker body items, so did Studebaker install some fashion of insulation blanket on the underside of their hoods?
          They did in later years, but not in 1950, at least not in any of the ones I have been looking at since 1972.
          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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          • Big Dan
            Big Dan commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks Very Much!

        • #6
          BTW, @bdiddle, do not paint the engine compartment black below the inner fender line and below the line on the firewall. The firewall is body color all the way down. The inner fenders were body color to the seam of the inner and outer fenders and below that, the body color ran down in runs and over spray over the faint black inner fenders.

          Many folks "restore" Studebaker engine compartments by painting them black below these lines, but it is not correct for Studebaker. The fenders being black below the seam is another GM thing and not a Studebaker thing.
          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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          • #7
            I agree with Roy, with one exception-1960. The inner fenders defiantly were not painted on the production line that year. The inner fenders that year left the factory with only the thin coat of black primer that would later turn to rust. Today it takes the discovery of an extremely well kept original to verify this. I know that we are not discussing 1960, but the way it was stated might leave the impression that the year to year process on the production line was always the same-it was not.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
              ... with one exception-1960. The inner fenders defiantly [definitely] were not painted on the production line that year.
              I may be misunderstanding but, the inner fenders on my '60 convertible were definitely all body color.

              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
                I am pretty sure in those High Production years 1959/1960 that SOME Originals you will find have Dark Gray Primer on the Inner Front fenders, some with a full Body Color Top Coat, and some with Body Color Overspray on the Primer only.
                I have seen many '59-'64's with Body Color about half way down, the lower only Primer.

                It is probably more about WHO did them, a bit more of a perfectionist Guy would have put on a bit more Paint than someone else!
                Also the speed of the line and the Shift, in those times I believe there were THREE Shifts, certainly at least Two.

                In Iffy situations like this, I do them how I want to, which is to make them as good looking as possible.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                SDC Member Since 1967

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                • #10
                  Thanks all for the tips and info. To Radio Roy - our car was produced in South Bend, and does indeed have the rusty brown flat primer color on the underside of the trunk deck. The underside of the hood is very difficult to tell, though it does appear to have a faint green cast amidst the surface rust and oil and dirt. In my attempt to preserve as much of the originality of this car as I can (only 17,000 original miles), I currently plan to paint only the exterior and not the engine bay, which is in reasonable condition with the original body-color paint (Aqua Green). I also don't plan to repaint any of the door-jambs, as they are in remarkable condition in the original color - and some of which still retain oil and service stickers from the '60's. I will need to decide on a type and color of paint for the underside of the hood, as it does need blasted and recoated with something. Tips and suggestions always welcomed. Thanks again to all.

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                  • #11
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Name:	Studebaker Front Grilles.jpg
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ID:	1963190 One last paint color question for my 1950 Land Cruiser project - what would the factory color have been for the oval-shaped grille pieces underneath the bullet-nose chrome? (Photos attached) I haven't gotten them removed yet, but they appear to be unfinished steel grates, but have surely been discolored and faded over the years. They seem to be a light gray, but hard to tell without removing and cleaning them. Not sure if they should be painted or just cleaned and left unfinished. Thanks for the guidance to this point. ​ ​​​​​​​

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                    • #12
                      Because your hood underside is rusted leads me to believe that it never got any body color. As those of us who have been around long enough to remember these before they rusted can attest, there were so many variables with the painting process, that making a one fits all statement is impossible. It sound like the "brown flat primer" in the trunk was likely used on all the parts including the hood. You should be able to make the determination with your inspection.

                      Preservation is often a tough choice. It often means accepting far from perfect original paint. I go back and forth on what to do with several of my original cars, but if I have to think about how to proceed I leave it alone . If the car has been repainted it's an easy choice. Sometimes just painting a single panel is enough to get it where you want it to be. Anyway I appreciate what you are doing and the way you are thinking about doing it. Take you time and get it right-Good Luck!

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                      • #13
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ID:	1965121 I've learned more about the color schemes for my '50 Land Cruiser in the interim. Once removed and cleaned, the pot-metal grilles are in very good shape, and I plan to repaint them in a medium-to-light gray to simulate the original 'aluminum' color gray. I plan to repaint the edges of the trunk deck in the original muddy-brown primer color, though I haven't yet decided on how to treat the underside of the hood. Once it's sandblasted and clean, I'll likely use a darker gray primer color there as well. Re: the wheels, I did learn that for my serial # car that was delivered with wide whitewalls and full unmarked wheel covers, the wheels from South Bend were typically painted black, which I plan to follow. The chrome on the car is exceptional, except for the headlight rim units that are showing a small amount of pitting and are bubbled in the back. After fruitless searches for better or reproduced headlight rims, I'm headed towards re-chroming them before reinstall. Photos are of progress so far.... Click image for larger version

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                        • #14
                          Project update: Once removed, the grilles on our '50 Land Cruiser were dipped and cleaned, and turned out to be in very good shape as is. Will likely spray them in a medium gray which I believe to be original on our serial number car. We've also matched the original DuPont color code by taking paint-color photographs, and the original Studebaker Aqua Green matches very closely with a more current Toyota color code. I've also determined that the wheels on our car were most likely black from factory rather than body color - most South Bend cars of that year with full wheel covers and wide whitewall tires left the factory with black wheels. Hope Click image for larger version

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ID:	1966508 to be spraying within the next couple weeks. Click image for larger version

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ID:	1966506

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