Graham Man

Black Vinyl Dye

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Graham Man    18

Anybody have good luck with any Vinyl dye?  I used Ditzler (no longer available?) a long time ago and it worked great (came in a quart sprayed it straight, just like paint, no primer).  Just going to black, the color now is brown, doing the top material on my 1929...long story, the width I needed I could only get in brown.

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C Carl    260

Surflex. You will find it by Google  SURFLEX(STANDARD Colors)  Let me see if I have any pics which will show you how my 1924 and 1927 Cadillacs came out.  - Carl

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C Carl    260

Hi Graham' , I think these pics of the  '24 will give you some idea of the finish of Surflex. If you click or tap into hi-res and zoom in , you will see the grain of the old top material is perfectly preserved. This was done shortly after I bought the old Cad almost 30 years ago. One coat. The top is original , so I wanted to keep it and never have to replace it. The previous owner , Ray Pierce of Akron-Canton OH , advised me not to put the top down. I have followed his advice in order to preserve the fragile top. Even the headliner is original. I sure don't have to justify preserving originality to all of us who by our nature are archivists and historians. My initial intention was to keep the top up until it would begin to come apart. At that point I figured it could be folded in a position not quite as low as the original top rests  would have held it. Then to chock , pad , and cover it. But happily it has lasted the 4000 miles I have driven it , with as little exposure to sunlight as possible. The Surflex has not degraded whatsoever. 

 

I could not find any good pics of the top of the '27. These 3 are about the best I have. Sadly , the car is over 1000 miles from me at present , so I am sorry I can not provide any better. Prior to applying Surflex during road preparation about 2 years ago , a good wipe down was done with industrial grade denatured ethyl alcohol. This is also the original top , also a bit delicate. It looks extremely good with the Surflex. This is a fine top dressing , but I have wondered if there is another product which would be like a "membrane". This old top is not totally waterproof , so I keep it out of all rain , and of course limit exposure to sunlight . This can be somewhat challenging on the road trips I enjoy. Plastic sheet and car cover have to be deployed on rare occasions. An overpass came in handy for an hour or so once.

 

I enjoyed your Graham writings immensely ! Your big , original '29 sedan is one of those love at first sight cars , aging so beautifully and gracefully. The delicious aroma of such cars cannot , or has not been replicated. I am happy that most sedans are not as pricey as the open cars. These 2 old Cadillacs are original cars. The '24 was repainted in original colors long before Ray bought it. I desecrated the wheels , as they had already been painted twice. The original painted wheels and drums on the '27 have been stored and preserved in the good shape they were in when I bought it. The original pinstriping on the wheels was replicated on the new ones I had made. But you probably already know about my cars to some degree. 

 

I have also had fun with some of my cars and trucks in movies. Once , with only 18 days to "shoot date" , the schedule was moved up by 10 days !!! I was preparing my 2 large old twin screw custom bodied Gillig 743Ds for a major studio. Just a bit of panic on the part of the transportation coordinator resulted in a rather delicate "dance". They were worried my trucks would not be ready in time. But they did not know me. Sweat and ingenuity had them on set , on time ! I would be very hesitant to put my old Cads in the flicks.     Thanks for the happy writing on your site !  - Carl

 

 

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oldford    25

I have used the vinyl dye that Bill Hirsch sells and had very good results. I used it on brown vinyl seats in a Ford T and it held up for over 30 years.

 

Frank

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C Carl    260

Yes , Bill has excellent products. You can't go wrong there. He used to carry Surflex. He supplied it to me for the '24. When I talked to him re: the '27 , he referred me to the present distributor. I have great confidence in Bill and his products. He always seems to have time to talk and explain things , too. By all means give him a call personally and ask him about the use for your top. Please let us know how you get on with this. Lots of interest in top dressings. Good pics before and after would help others also. I should have done that , particularly these days with digital cameras.  - Carl

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C Carl    260

Frank (oldford) , I am also rather old and certainly slow. I only just now realized that the vinyl dye that Bill Hirsch sold 30 years ago WAS SURFLEX ! Do you recall ? I got my Sureflx from him ALMOST 30 years ago. If you bought your vinyl dye prior to his carrying the Surflex , if it had been something different , Surflex would have superseded it for some reason. Do you recall if you bought Surflex ? Sounds like it was the same ! In any case , it certainly does hold up well. I am still curious if there is a good top dressing that is also a sealer. A problem might be that it would almost certainly alter the grain of the material it would be applied to. Geoff , I am sure you will be quite pleased with Surflex , particularly in that apparently Frank has given a testimonial to it also !  - Carl

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oldford    25

I'm trying to think when I bought the dye. My guess is around 1985 or so. If I remember, the label had only his name on it. It was the paint by brush type, not spray. Great stuff...

 

Frank

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C Carl    260

Right. I used a brush also. Absolutely no brush marks. It is water based. Very easy application.  - Carl

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