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1957 Special rear package tray


sean1997

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My '57 Special didn't have a rear deck package tray/shelf when I bought it, not even one to use as a pattern. I think they were made of cardboard and maybe covered with fabric. I've looked around but haven't been able to find any place that sells new ones. So before a make one, I was just wondering if anyone knows of a place that sells them.

Thanks,

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You have to buy painted cowlboard (cardboard) from a place such as Restoration Specialties & Supply in Windber, PA. and cut it the shape you need it to be. No one sells pre-cut ones to my knowledge. It is painted cardboard, no fabric covering. Comes in about a dozen colors It's the same stuff as what the front kick panels are made of.

Unless you are really good with measurement, I recommend making a pattern out of taped together newspaper, and then cutting the cowl board from that pattern. Just did this on a '56 last week.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Sherman, TX.

1948 model 71

1949 model 59

1950 model 76R

1963 Wildcat conv. 4-spd.

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What Pete said. Or they are relatively plentiful in junk yards and guys parts cars for use as a pattern. I beleive Olds's are the same. When I did my olds I just painted the hard board using no special sealers etc. My local trim shop has a supply of board and sold me a couple of them saving me the cost of shipping.......Bob

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Guest Faust

My local trim shop sold me a 4 X 4 sheet for $10.00. They carry it for custom made door panels, I think 4 X 4 is the standard size.

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  • 1 year later...

Just did one myself. I agree the Olds uses the same as the Buick. You can buy one from Fusick Auto Parts if you want one pre cut. I made a pattern from the back shelf and cut the board larger than the pattern to allow for minor adjustments and trimming to fit. The board painted well. The question is what color to paint it? Body color or one of the interior colors? Any help there? Thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

I have a 1954 Buick Special and have a similar question. In CARS Catalog they sell a fabric mesh material (black) for most all Buicks, which they call "Package Shelf Material". Description: "Woven straw material duplicates the texture and appearance of the original. Comes in 18" x 64" roll. It can be applied to hardboard with Spray Adhesive, then trimmed to fit. Paint to match. All models as required. Color is black. $59.00.for the roll.

I bought a roll and was getting ready to glue to a piece of masonite or lightweight plywood, with the idea of painting it black (my car is Gull Grey with Black Top and my interior is black and red waffle material, as original). I previously planned to cover the masonite with black vinyl, but then read in the Buick Judging Manual that there is a 3 point deduction for incorrect package tray.

In the process, I checked my '54 Buick parts car and there was a perfect original piece of the masonite material - smooth on once side and with a fine texture on the other. The textured side looked pretty weathered with water stains, etc. so I felt that was the upper side. The only thing that I could not figure out is that the color of this tray was a tan/brown natural color - appeared to be unpainted. The parts car that it came from was black. I do not feel that the black cardboard material sugggested by others was used originally for this package shelf, as it does not have texture, other than the leather look. I am thinking that the texure of my piece from the parts car is original (textured side up), but it will need painted (black?) to match my interior and go well with the exterior.

Option #1: Glue on the material from CARS to the smooth side of the piece from the parts car (it is pre-cut from factory and fits perfectly) and then paint it a flat black.

Option #2: Provided the textured side of my piece is original, think that using that piece with textured side up (painted flat or semi black) is the way to go. Piece must be painted anyhow, as is full of water marks, fading and some stains.

Does anyone know what was used originally and can the material used be described?

Thanks,

Fred

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Fred, Go with option 2. I am not sure that the CARS material is even correct. As far as I can tell, the rear package shelf was a cardboard material. The color to paint it will be associated with the trim package number that is associated with your car. I could be black, could be red, could be green, could be blue. On a 54, I would think either Mr. Earl or Bob LeBlanc could point you in the right direction to get the color right. The CARS material is not the right thing. Guaranteed.

I would also suggest that you make a pattern of the parts car shelf and keep it somewhere safe. It would be a real help to those who's car may not have that piece, and or if or when yours might get water / sun fading issues. Just a thought.

By the way, saw your pictures on the restoration in your late summer catalog! Man that is looking good! Can't wait to see the car completely finished!

Regards,

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Thanks Jim,

Good idea - I will make a good pattern of this piece, although I previously made a pattern from scratch, as did not have the parts car at that time.

Even though others have said this shelf was cardboard, the same as used in front of the front doors above the carpet, I do not feel that this is the case. Reason: Cardboard is slippery and easily scratched. Also CARS has a reason for recommending their package shelf material, which is a back-door way to make a textured finish.

The masonite piece that I have from my parts car has such a finish (very fine texture) on the one side and I feel that this textured side was facing up, due to all of the water marks and stains (no damage however). The smooth side of this masonite is relatively clean and has no stains, so was undoubtedly facing down. The way that it fits and was cut looks to be a factory job - not done later with a sabre saw.

Hopefully someone will have an original package shelf and describe it. Remember that over the years, this shelf material was probably changed by a trim shop if doing any interior work or even installing seat covers. In that case, probably would have been cardboard or covering the old shelf material with vinyl.

My textured masonite piece had a little warpage, which we took care of by spraying water on the surface and placing it overnight on flat cardboard on the floor, with weights on top to make it level. This same method works when putting a curve in the two sections of cardboard that are in front of each door. (Spray back of cardboard and secure in a curved position overnight to hold the curve - it works every time). I do all of my own carpet and trim work and have picked up a few tricks along the way.

Fred

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Fred,

I am not by far an expert in this. I definitely would try to contact Mr.Earl on this. He is the resident subject matter expert on the 1954 Buick. I do know that the one in my 1957 Special is / was a cardboard material as well as the cowl kick panels. Still have the rather ratty originals in a box. The cardboard does have a very light graining to it. Not sure if the higher end cars (Century, Super or Roadmaster) had a different treatment to the shelf package.

You might want to PM Mr.Earl on this, so you get it right. Thanks for the tips on the cardboard forming. That will come in handy!

Good Luck!

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Fred,

I am not by far an expert in this. I definitely would try to contact Mr.Earl on this. He is the resident subject matter expert on the 1954 Buick. I do know that the one in my 1957 Special is / was a cardboard material as well as the cowl kick panels. Still have the rather ratty originals in a box. The cardboard does have a very light graining to it. Not sure if the higher end cars (Century, Super or Roadmaster) had a different treatment to the shelf package.

You might want to PM Mr.Earl on this, so you get it right. Thanks for the tips on the cardboard forming. That will come in handy!

Good Luck!

Jim,

You're dead on re it being the same cardboard material as the cowl panels. VERY lightly grained and colored the same as the interior. For instance my BlueBirds is blue and Buttercups is green.

And btw, don't matter what I tell Fred, he's treatin this restoration like heart surgery, gets a second opinion no matter what DrEarl says. :D

post-31987-143138761861_thumb.jpg

post-31987-143138761876_thumb.jpg

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Jim,

You're dead on re it being the same cardboard material as the cowl panels. VERY lightly grained and colored the same as the interior. For instance my BlueBirds is blue and Buttercups is green.

And btw, don't matter what I tell Fred, he's treatin this restoration like heart surgery, gets a second opinion no matter what DrEarl says. :D

Thank you Dr. Earl - Half the work (and fun) in doing a restoration is checking out everything in detail and I am big on double-checking just about everything that I do. I sure have had a lot of help, and have met a lot of nice friends on this and the '54 Buick Forum. Once in awhile I get a difference of opinion and that is when our painter (Bob Darney) tells me that different plants sometimes did things differently. Sounds reasonable to me.

However I am still trying to figure out if the masonite section for the shelf package tray that was in my parts car was used as a backer for the cardboard? It definitely had been in the car for a long time, as had stains and water marks.

Thanks again,

Fred

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Sean,

This is my RM's parcel shelf, color-keyed to the kick panel cardboard, which is a match to the blue vinyl.

57_rs_spkr3x.jpg

Larger

The color very much approximates the blue of this all-original Dresden Blue & Dover White

'57 Special seen at Blacksburg last summer, though my interior was done @ 2001.

57_trunk_lining_46r1x.jpg

Larger

The Special's trunk board is the same color as the kick panel and parcel shelf, so I think you

can't go wrong having them all match your car's major vinyl color (whichever that is).

57_trunk_lining_46r2x.jpg

Larger

Hope this helps,

TG

PS, All this recent posting and I see the thread is more than 2 years old.

Hope Sean has his parcel shelf by now. Sheesh! ;)

Edited by TG57Roadmaster (see edit history)
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Thanks for all of the great advice and pictures. I found a full section of black cardboard in my stash at work that has very little grain (black) and should be perfect for both the package tray and the front kick panels. In fact have enough material to make one package tray and enough left over to make four of the kick panels, as sometimes they don't come out perfectly the first time. I will not be using the masonite piece that was in my parts car, as based on help on this forum, do not feel that it belongs.

For the kick panels, Mr. Earl mentioned that they should have some insulation attached to the inside, which I will do. I hope to start on the carpet next week. Things are moving along nicely with a few kinks as expected.

I am in hopes that I can post some pictures. but even though others do not have this problem, am unable to drag the pictures into the area below, as in the past. I can highlight the pictures and they turn blue when checked, but will not load up. I have no problem with posting pictures on the AACA Forum or elsewhere.

Fred

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Fred, it might be that the pictures are too large for loading. I have had that problem. Try to resize them in your photo software and try to reload them. Each picture has to be less than 1MB. Hope this helps.

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Just throwing out an idea for cowl panels and package shelves....

Instead of using cardboard or fibreboard (Masonite or equal) that scuffs, warps, water stains, and deteriorates over time, check out a Home Depot, Lowes, or your favorite big box hardware store's wall paneling department for FIBERGLASS REINFORCED PANELS (FRP). A common brand was called KEMLITE years ago, available smooth on one side and pebble textured on the opposite side, in .09" thickness which is close to 3/32" of an inch thick. The wall panels usually come in 4'x8' or 4'x10' sheets. These panels were commonly used in Restaurant Kitchens, as they were NSF approved meeting sanitary guidelines. I used to have a sheet in my pickup box as a floor liner for years without showing any wear.

There are other brands out there available in various colors. Google FIBERGLASS WALL PANELS for additional brands, colors, and further info.

Al Mack

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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