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32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster


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Excellent work, what a nice car this will be when finished.  I would never put a top on a roadster or touring without it being on frame and bolted down, but you're correct, this is a much more rigid top assembly and that should not be an issue.

 

L-B will be missed, they had a great selection of fabric, and the kits were reasonably priced considering the cost of labor these days.  Still can't believe they went out of business......

 

 

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2 hours ago, trimacar said:

Excellent work, what a nice car this will be when finished.  I would never put a top on a roadster or touring without it being on frame and bolted down, but you're correct, this is a much more rigid top assembly and that should not be an issue.

 

L-B will be missed, they had a great selection of fabric, and the kits were reasonably priced considering the cost of labor these days.  Still can't believe they went out of business......

 

 

Looks to me like it IS bolted to a small frame section.

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51 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Looks to me like it IS bolted to a small frame section.

It is mounted on a 32’ Olds frame that had rotted just in front of the cowl that I was able to purchase. I finished removing the front of the chassis and the rear arms after I stripped it of all mechanicals. Nothing better than a original frame to rebuild a body on.

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3 hours ago, trimacar said:

 

 

L-B will be missed, they had a great selection of fabric, and the kits were reasonably priced considering the cost of labor these days.  Still can't believe they went out of business......

 

 

I was just talking about this last night with my buddy Joe who’s currently installing a LB interior kit in his 32’ Olds sport coupe. While the installation instructions are often ambiguous, the quality of the fabrics, hardware, windlace, and stitching is first rate. About the only difference I’ve found in workmanship quality from earlier kits to the recent ones were the glued corners on the back of the panels. Years back, the corner material was cut correctly so that it would lay completely flat on the back. In the recent kits, I found I had to go and cut material away at each corner for it to be correct. They probably had a newer person doing that part and they most likely hadn’t been taught properly. My interior and roof kit is extremely nice and I hope another upholstery company buys the inventory as a whole and continues with it.

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I've put in a few L-B kits and always thought the material and workmanship was excellent.  I've never put a kit in, however, that didn't need some tweaking to fit just right.  Has anyone seen talk of an auction or sale of the facility?

 

Didn't realize that was on a part of a frame, that would sure help.  The slightest twist in a body can throw a top way off, with resultant wrinkles....

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Got some more work done on the roof tonight. Started on it late, finished it late. Got both sides of the bow pads done. Not sure if I went a little overboard but I hand sewed the top covers of the pads closed for a nice neat look and I caught the padding with the needle and thread so the pads shouldn’t shift at all. Was real careful to keep all tight and smooth so there’s no wrinkles to see on the inside. This is the first Cabriolet roof I’ve done so I stop and think each process out. Of course I have a good staple puller and I pulled my fair share of them out tonight. I realized I didn’t have the bow pad at the right height on the mid bow until I started on the other side. Luckily I had only tacked it in place and hadn’t started the padding step. I figured out that the pad edge goes up to a step in the bow and had it about an inch away from that step on the first side I did. Well, it’s a learning process and anyone who says they never had to pull Staples is full of it!

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A few more pictures. After all the pads were finished, I folded the roof down just to test operation. It went down and back up as it should with everything nice and snug as I installed it.

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Well, it happened again. Had another snafu. As I mentioned before, this is the first GM Cabriolet roof I’ve attempted to install. Also mentioned about the LB instructions and those instructions, or lack of instructions, came back to bite me. I questioned some of the items in the roof kit that had no listing in those instructions. One of those items was a 40’, yes, 40’ of 3.5” wide webbing. Doing some research and speaking with a former LB installation technician, I learned that the webbing should be installed across the bows and down to the belt rail INSIDE the bow pads. So, out came the staple puller and the razor to cut all my stitching out. 4 hours of work out the window. The plus side is I’m getting pretty fast at hand stitching though! Finished the redo last night into early this morning. I was pretty mad at myself to say the least. I also learned that I had stapled the bow pads originally in the wrong location. I stapled the pads in the groove in the rear bow. Turns out that the pads with the Webb actually get tacked and stapled to each side of the center groove on the angled or quarter section of the bow so I would have had to open the pads and removed all the staples anyway. They are correct now and I’m done with the pads. 

     Tonight I started to layout the roof on the bows. It’s presenting its own problems with the landau posts and the location of the hemmed edges around the door openings. I need to get my doors back, then assemble them and mount them on the car. With the doors on and windows rolled up, I will see just how much clearance I have in relation to the sewn hem clearing the window frame. The doors will show me just how much I can pull the roof down on each side and still clear the widows when the doors are opened.

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Assembled my two doors and hung them on the body. With the window cranked all the way up, I’m able to see how much clearance I’ll have to open the door and not have the top of the window frame hit or drag on the roofs edge bead. I realized that I could bring the roof down more than what I had it and knowing it will shrink some, set it to just above the window frames. This allowed me to bring the vertical sides of the door opening material down and even with the bottom of the mid bow wood. Coming down that 1/4” on each side got rid of the looseness I had in the top over the mid bow and that is what I was hoping to accomplish. With the roof sides where they should be, I’m leaving the final fastening of the roof edges until the body is on the frame. The doors are in the middle of fine sanding and buffing so that is why they look the way they do. The middle picture shows the roof side pulled down even with the bottom of the bow as it should be.

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Ted, installing  the doors and windows on the car made a big difference on how the top fits. Great job as always. Just got back from the Eastern Meet from Parsippany, New Jersey. There was a beautiful 1932 Olds 6 coupe in the show. Really nice looking car. I was thinking of your convertible, and how nice it is going to be.  Thanks, John

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2 hours ago, John S. said:

Ted, installing  the doors and windows on the car made a big difference on how the top fits. Great job as always. Just got back from the Eastern Meet from Parsippany, New Jersey. There was a beautiful 1932 Olds 6 coupe in the show. Really nice looking car. I was thinking of your convertible, and how nice it is going to be.  Thanks, John

Hi John, I’m willing to bet it was a gray bodied, black fendered, natural wood wheeled car. If it was, that belongs to Gene Weider, and it is a very nice restored sport coupe. There is also a two tone blue coupe, another very nice car, that belongs to Rush Wright. Both gentlemen have been very helpful to me with my restoration. Gene supplied the pictures of the shifter closeout rubber floor insert that I’m currently making a mold for and dimensions for the latter production floor battery hatch that I cut and welded up. Rush was the former 32’ Olds technical adviser and supplied me with a lot of information when I first got the car. I meet up with Rush every time I go to Hershey.

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5 hours ago, weathered1 said:

I never realized replacing, installing the roof was that involved. It really looks nice!!

The Lebarron Bonney roof kit is as close to an exact OEM replacement top you will find. What has happened is many roofs got replaced through the years and many short cuts were taken. The roof that was on this car when I got it is nothing like the LB roof. There was no lift up rear window curtain, no bow pads, and no upper window opening frames. It was just a single layer of thin vinyl that did the job and is very typical of how many roofs got replaced through the years. It’s hard to believe that this car, along with many others of the period were “production” cars seeing the amount of hand work that’s goes into their assembly. 

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Your top looks great.  Yes, the webbing inside the pads is very important, otherwise the pads won't support top correctly.

 

Great to see you hand stitch the pads closed, it's the correct way to do it, a lot of people just glue the flaps together.

 

Well done.....

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2 hours ago, trimacar said:

Your top looks great.  Yes, the webbing inside the pads is very important, otherwise the pads won't support top correctly.

 

Great to see you hand stitch the pads closed, it's the correct way to do it, a lot of people just glue the flaps together.

 

Well done.....

Thank you, I appreciate that coming from someone with your experience and expertise.

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Went to my moms house today and picked up the chassis to bring home. Took all the painted parts out of the booth, disassembled the PVC pipe frame inside, then removed everything from inside, and deflated the booth. Folded it and the tarp I put down on the floor up then stored them away. I have my garage back for now! 

     Made up some special “L” brackets out of 2” x 3/8” flat bar and drilled a 1 1/2” hole in each one. Removed the pads off the arms of my Rotary brand lift and replaced the pads with the L brackets using the same pins. The special brackets are necessary to get under the edge of the rocker panel to lift on the main sill yet clear the chassis.

     With the brackets in place, I lifted the body off the chassis dolly very easily and raised it up high. Rolled the chassis out of my trailer and put it on 4 wheel dollies for easy positioning under the body. Lined up the bolt holes, put the bolts, rubber pads, and shims in place the lowered the body down. Every thing seems to be lining up correctly but I found one problem. The steering box has slotted holes and it’s currently set with the steering mast too high so the bottom of the dash is contacting the steering tube and keeping the body from settling down on the frame. Called it a night and will loosen up the steering box tomorrow. It’s a PITA to do because the four nuts are hard to reach on the inside of the chassis rail.

 

Took a step back and gave it a quick look. I forgot how big this car is and the black makes it look even bigger. Really like the way it’s starting to look.

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Gawd, that's going to be a beautiful car. A great year for styling for just about every make, but that's top o' the line styling...….and such a great restoration job, with no shortcuts....

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On 6/29/2019 at 7:54 PM, chistech said:

Hi John, I’m willing to bet it was a gray bodied, black fendered, natural wood wheeled car. If it was, that belongs to Gene Weider, and it is a very nice restored sport coupe. There is also a two tone blue coupe, another very nice car, that belongs to Rush Wright. Both gentlemen have been very helpful to me with my restoration. Gene supplied the pictures of the shifter closeout rubber floor insert that I’m currently making a mold for and dimensions for the latter production floor battery hatch that I cut and welded up. Rush was the former 32’ Olds technical adviser and supplied me with a lot of information when I first got the car. I meet up with Rush every time I go to Hershey.

Ted,  yes, you're right,  the Olds is Gene Weinder's Gray coupe with black fenders. It is a very  pretty car. I can't believe how fast your car is coming together. Ted, your work is nothing short of fantastic. Thanks,  It's a greatr ride.John

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Got the car just about shimmed out. Will add one more metal shim at position two to get the latch end up the little that it needs or I might pull the shims at position 3+4. There is just one in each position on the passenger side and writing this I realized the drivers side only has one metal shim in position 2 with no other shims in any other positions and the door is perfectly centered in the dovetail. I will set up the passenger side the same way tomorrow and see what I get. Funny thing is there were a lot of shims in this car but more so on the passenger side. I am using a lot less but it really doesn’t surprise me as I believe my wood is probably more consistent in dimensions than the original. The shimmering doesn’t effect the hood alignment because the front of the cowl gets bolted directly to the top of the chassis with no shims, only a 1/8” piece of flat rubber. All adjustments get made from position 2 back to 4. The cowl and very rear of the car get bolted down with no shimsand the middle of the body gets bent up or down as needed to get the doors right. Got the body off the lift completely and rolled the car out. Attached the shock control rods, radiator support rods, chrome hood center hinge, oil line, and attached some wiring. Put the steering column support to the dash in and will now tighten the steering box back up. The steering tube ended up being way too high. Took a few more pictures of the car off the lift. Will keep plugging along adding parts that I can.

 

i also got in a 60d double bevel cutter for my vertical mill to try and make the beveled edge on the mold for the floor shifter closeout panel. Looking at the radius’s the outside is 1 1/2” and the inside is 5/8”. I should be able to make the mold fairly easy using a 5/8” end mill to mill out the inside dimension that will have the ribbed panel. Then with a 1 1/2” end mill, I’ll mill the outside shape out the mold down to the height of the panel edge. Then using the same numbers in the digital readout, just run the double bevel cutter around the edges to get the bevel needed. Using the same numbers for all three operations but just changing the cutters should really simplify making the mold. The photo shows a quick test piece I ran tonight.

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On 7/2/2019 at 1:56 AM, chistech said:

i also got in a 60d double bevel cutter for my vertical mill to try and make the beveled edge on the mold for the floor shifter closeout panel. Looking at the radius’s the outside is 1 1/2” and the inside is 5/8”. I should be able to make the mold fairly easy using a 5/8” end mill to mill out the inside dimension that will have the ribbed panel. Then with a 1 1/2” end mill, I’ll mill the outside shape out the mold down to the height of the panel edge. Then using the same numbers in the digital readout, just run the double bevel cutter around the edges to get the bevel needed. Using the same numbers for all three operations but just changing the cutters should really simplify making the mold. The photo shows a quick test piece I ran tonight.

 

be interested to see how this comes out, i know it will be perfect :)

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9 hours ago, BearsFan315 said:

 

be interested to see how this comes out, i know it will be perfect :)

Ok, I have to confess. I have a buddy who owns a machine shop and went to see him to discuss the mold and my theory of using the same points of measure with the three different mill bits to make the outside, tapered part of the mold. He got so interested in the project, he told me to leave him the bits and aluminum stock so he could set it up in his CNC machine and make the mold up. He’s going to make up the outside tapered part, radius the corners of the ribbed center section I made up, bore the large center hole, bore the four perimeter holes for the countersunk pins, and run a 1/8” bead cut around the center to perimeter joint. I will only have to make up and set the four countersunk pins, the center hole plug with 1/8” bead, and the second half of the mold(back side). This is saving me a ton of work and time which I can spend on my customers truck and the Olds. I have gone back to working on the 34’ Chevy pickup now that the booth is down and I have my garage back.

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Ended up pulling the passenger side shims from #3&4 position leaving just a1/8” steel shim on position two. Tightened all the body bolts down and the passenger side door closes perfectly centered on the dovetail just like the drivers side. Looks like the wood frame is consistent side to side.

    Removed the modern crimped on connectors from the chassis harness and soldered on the other halves of the OEM style GM bayonet connectors that I had previously soldered to the body harness. Connected all the wires at the chassis rail stop light switch, dimmer switch, and horn button. Put in the floor boards and checked operation of the automatic high idle throttle which is set by depressing the starter pedal. It operated correctly but I will have to adjust the settings later as it was setting the carb at about 1/3 from low idle. Must too fast. The Olds was unique in that simply stepping on the starter pedal it would set the high idle, set the fully automatic choke, and turn the motor over. Many people with 32’ Olds don’t have proper operation of their autochoke and high idle set so they have a hard time starting their car. With the emergency brake handle mounted on the rear floor board, I needed to fasten the control rod for the E brake to the cross shaft and handle. When I went to get the rod I was in for a surprise, I couldn’t find it! I was nowhere to be found nor could I remember ever restoring it. I decided to go look at the saved pars from the spare chassis I picked up as I know I saved the brake cross shaft and if I was lucky, it might have the E brake rod on it. Turns out I was lucky, it did have the rod complete with the large clevis end but the rod was badly pitted. I was able to remove the clevis and made up a new rod from 5/16” rod. 2” of thread on one end and a sharp 90 with a cotter pin hole was all that was needed on the other. Got the rod installed ani now have E brakes.,

      Tomorrow I plan to install the later production battery floor plate and put the seat in place. With the seat in place I’ll be able to see what height I want to set the steering mast at.

     

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You do great work. I have been following you all the way through. I have a L-37 that I bought and just started working on and in reading  my shop manual I see there is parts that set high idle when stepping on the starter. When I look at my car those parts are missing.

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4 hours ago, GARY F said:

You do great work. I have been following you all the way through. I have a L-37 that I bought and just started working on and in reading  my shop manual I see there is parts that set high idle when stepping on the starter. When I look at my car those parts are missing.

Gary, do you have any pictures of what those parts look like? Possibly you can find another 37’ owner who can photograph their linkage. The reason I ask is I have a spare linkage from my parts chassis and if the parts are the same or close, you are welcome to them. I included the best picture I currently have of the linkage. Is there also a friction device at the bottom of your steering box? You can see in the picture a arm that goes from the linkage down to the steering box. The friction device has two spring loaded plungers that drag on a frame mounted to the bottom of the box. There is a tube that runs down the center of the steering mast that has a knob At the center of the wheel. You turn the knob down to low idle once the car has warmed up.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Haven’t spent too much time on the car because of family and holiday commitments but I did get a chance at least to bolt the seat in and adjust it all the way back to check fit of my larger than it should be frame. Turns out the car is pretty comfortable with plenty of leg room. I’m leaving the steering mast in the high position because it allows me to move from the gas to brake pedals and back without any contact with the steering wheel, same for my clutch leg, and there’s no problem seeing over the wheel. I’m 6’1” and 15-20lbs overweight yet still fit quite well in the cockpit. This makes me pretty happy because a fear of mine was it would be too small for me and uncomfortable to drive like many of the early cars are. My 31’ 4dr Chevy is good but I bent the shift lever up and over to the right some to give me the leg room I needed for my right leg. It’s a little trick I do to all the old Chevys if the owner is taller than 5’10”. Many notice the difference in room right away the first time the drive it after its restoration. With the Olds, the was no need to “massage” anything.  

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7 minutes ago, chistech said:

I’m 6’1” and 15-20lbs overweight yet still fit quite well in the cockpit.

Xclnt.

 

I have a 1939 Studebaker Coupe Express. The seat "adjustment" is to move the bottom of the backrest back, making it more vertical. No matter what you do, there is not much leg room for me at 193 cm ≈ 6' 3".

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33 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

Xclnt.

 

I have a 1939 Studebaker Coupe Express. The seat "adjustment" is to move the bottom of the backrest back, making it more vertical. No matter what you do, there is not much leg room for me at 193 cm ≈ 6' 3".

The pre-war cars are short on room for sure and I can only imagine how you have to work yourself around to get comfortable at your height!

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Chistech,

     In my shop manual the high idle parts are by the firewall.. The 37 does not have any parts on the steering wheel or down at the steering box.  Thanks for the reply.  Gary

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Fit a few odds and ends into the car here and there. Should be able to be more steady on it and other projects now that the holiday has past. Got the cowl vent and gasket in, the gas pedal and studs in, floor board battery access plate in, decarbonizer to carb tube in, turned a 3/8”brass pipe into a hose nipple, polished up a 3/8” brass elbow, installed it on the engine head, and put in my heater hoses. All little things that take plenty of time.

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I like your tube bending. What technique did you use? Eventually, I have to make all the external oil lines for the Mitchell so I'm experimenting with various methods. I did buy some Wood's Metal to fill the tubing with but haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

 

Great job!

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9 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I like your tube bending. What technique did you use? Eventually, I have to make all the external oil lines for the Mitchell so I'm experimenting with various methods. I did buy some Wood's Metal to fill the tubing with but haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

 

Great job!

I believe I just took my time and hand rolled it around a round object of the needed diameter. When working it around, you have to pull it as you apply pressure into the “die”. I might have actually put something in my four jaw chuck on my lathe and rotated it with one hand while applying drag on the copper tubing  with the other. I made it well over a year ago so I can’t recall. I’ll look and see if I have any notes on it.

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Started to finish up the roof tonight it’s coming out fairly good but there are some little bumps I probably would have known how to keep out if this wasn’t my first go-round with this type of roof. It’s pretty tight in most places and I purposely left the rear window curtain a little loose as most I’ve seen end up pulling super tight after they’ve shrunk some. I’m hoping mine shrinks to about just right! LOL Hope to get it completely finished with all the hidem on tomorrow.

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Anybody just starting looking at Christech's posts now, would not realise the work and effort that he has put into this car. I couldn't remember what the car looked like at the start so I went back and had a look.

 

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From this to how the car is now. Unbelievable work. Carry on the excellent work and reports.

 

The only question I have is - how the hell do you keep them looking so good in the long term? You must have hours and hours of cleaning to do after using the car?

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Thank you gentlemen. Yes the roof has a few bumps here and there but is still good. 

 

Mike, thanks for going back and posting those first pictures. It’s hard to believe it’s almost three years that I’ve been working on this car.  It has come a long way and I’m finally on the last leg to home. Keeping a black car clean is one of the reasons I didn’t want to paint it black but I did want to at least stay with factory colors. There is only four choices and none were “got to have that” color. This Olds was originally all black so that helped my decision to just keep it not only OEM  Original in color but original in color to the car. I will be purchasing a custom high quality car cover so hopefully it will help keep it clean. Those wood spoke wheels are definitely easier to clean than the wire ones too. My 31’ Chevy is code 81 of 1931’ Chevrolet color combinations, fawn brown, coffee cream, and swamp Holley orange. It doesn’t show the dirt much so it stays looking good. The WW tires are the good indicator when it’s ready for a cleaning.

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1 hour ago, Mike Macartney said:

 

A great photo. I love the colour combination of the 1931 Chevrolet.

We love the color also but there's a catch, as there always seems to be a catch. Code 81 was only available on open cars, roadsters, cabriolets, and phaetons. All closed cars are supposed to have black fenders no matter the body color. The PO of the chevy, which was a basket case when I purchased it, had painted both front and rear fenders the fawn brown and the wheels orange because his wife really liked the colors. The body was still in the raw and needing work. The PO had passed and when I purchased the car from the widow, she gave me a good deal on the car and told me how she loved the color. My wife did also so I decided to stay with the color combination and not go 100% original as a 31' chevy should be. Matching the fawn brown on the fenders ended up being a 41 sample spray out card  adventure until I ended up blending the match. Turns out the color, which is a Dupont Chroma-premiere color, is actually in Duponts yellow catalog. it's not in the brown family but the yellow.  

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