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chrome versus nickel - timeline


tcslr

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When did chrome become the standard finish for exterior trim? what year? how about for internal trim? what year?

I recognize it probably changed depending upon the maker and model so:

How about Packard/Cadillac types

Chrysler/Buick types

Chevrolet/Ford types?

Thanks, just curious.

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Some agree that 1927 was essentially the end of the "Nickel Era", and the Model-A used Chrome, but many makes and models continued to use nickel plating, and some of the more up-scale makes used "German-Silver" from the mid-20s and well beyond. Sorry I can't be more specific, but there was just a tremendous variation.

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In 1930 Ford replaced nickle plated Headlights,cowl lights,gas and rad caps,and grille shell with stainless. The drumshaped tail light was replaced by the stainless teacup shaped units in early 29.Door handles,bumpers,light switch and dash panel(mid 30) became chrome plated in 30. I think the 30/31 hubcaps were stainless but I'm not sure. A few small items stayed nickle plated throughout production but nickle was mostly gone by 1930 and I assume most other cars did the same around that time.

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I know that the VMCCA decided that their "Nickel Tour" could include vehicles thru 1934. Apparently they found enough cars with nickel trim thru 1934 to justify that definition. I'm glad they did because the Nickel Tour is a good one.

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With the Peerless Motor Car Co., chrome started appearing about 1928. Peerless expert Don Bettes, who has been at the Peerless Booth at Hershey the last 4 years, tells me that a '28 could be either nickel or chrome.

I finally found an ad text I had copied from a magazine (Sept. 8, 1927) mentioning nickel.

It says:

"While all mechanical specifications remain unchanged in the Peerless line for 1928, many interesting refinements are noted in the body details.

The 6-80 has new headlamps finished entirely in nickel."

Edited by jeff_a
correction (see edit history)
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As for Cadillac, 1928 341A had nickel plated exterior and interior brightwork. In August 1928 when 1929 341B was introduced, chrome plated exterior brightwork was mentioned in advertising and specified on build sheets however interior parts were still nickel plated. Lincoln automobiles also had exterior chrome plated parts for 1929 but there may have been chrome on some Lincolns in 1928.

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Guest Foggy norm

Your question of "when did chrome become the standard" implies all make's and model, I guess. I was led to believe 1931 was the banner year for chrome affecting all the brand's. As noted, nickel wasn't dead yet as brightwork, and remained the base for the chrome.

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