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1951 Imperial - Not Mine -Fredericksburg, VA


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Upfront:

 

 the brightwork is dinged and dingy;

 

it dosen't appear to run;

 

it would be a pain to get a title;

 

Lovers of early '50s Mopars are few and far between;

 

It would never sell for the cost of restoration;

 

But it is a complete, straight-looking Imperial with a salvageable interior for $1500.

 

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/916540679133049?ref=browse_tab&referral_code=marketplace_top_picks&referral_story_type=top_picks&tracking={"qid"%3A"6948126180399399433"%2C"mf_story_key"%3A"1109026024562149375"%2C"commerce_rank_obj"%3A"{\"target_id\"%3A1109026024562149375%2C\"target_type\"%3A6%2C\"primary_position\"%3A0%2C\"ranking_signature\"%3A6486805049790955520%2C\"commerce_channel\"%3A501%2C\"value\"%3A0%2C\"upsell_type\"%3A21%2C\"grouping_info\"%3Anull}"}

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Lots of die-cast trim there to restore & rechrome front to back, even the stone guards and rear quarter mouldings on the skirts are potmetal making this a very expensive car to correctly restore. I'd imagine NOS trim replacements are unobtanium. That and the missing title would probably be a deal-breaker for most people. 

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I owned a ‘52 Studebaker in similar condition (not worth the cost of restoring - that Korean War era chrome ALONE) and bombed around in it for a little over 30 years.

G-d I wish I still owned that car.

 

For this Chrysler it ALL depends upon that engine (which he didn’t say a word about). I more that lucked out with that Stu. Mechanically perfect. Always was. That engine was never opened up. No slop work done on it ever. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you why that was.... 

 

Unfortunately for cars like this, it’s priced in the range that attracts the id*ot who thinks, “I can put a ‘350’ in it”. 

Edited by Ben P. (see edit history)
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We picked up a '53 Imperial about a month ago, these things are solid.. unbelievable how smooth everything opens and closes. Theres a video on YouTube of a green '53 truly beautiful car, the potmetal is a heartache for sure.. my 14yr old wants to build a "bombed out lowrider" its going to be a lowrider limo if you ask me.

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15 hours ago, Peter S said:

This is one for the bold in spirit...

 

plus, it's an Imperial

Absolutely, this is a real challenge. Has to be  a labor of love to take this on. 

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There are a lot of different coatings that can be done in place of chrome. Yes it is not correct, but can make for a nice presentable car when finished. And can help avoid the high cost of chroming. Some of these cars can have a second life, if fixed up in a different way. Still can be original, just finished out with different products. None of them look like as nice as show chrome, but will have a nice finished look. 

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ALSA offers a very good chrome-like paint.  I had briefly considered this for the bumpers on my '38 Plymouth as plating costs in California have skyrocketed.

 

 

 

Trouble is, the cost of this paint is almost as high as regular plating costs, so I went with plating (in Arizona).

If someone could offer something similar that was cost effective, I think it might sell very well.

Cheers, Greg

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5 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

There are a lot of different coatings that can be done in place of chrome. Yes it is not correct, but can make for a nice presentable car when finished. And can help avoid the high cost of chroming. Some of these cars can have a second life, if fixed up in a different way. Still can be original, just finished out with different products. None of them look like as nice as show chrome, but will have a nice finished look. 

Besides powdercoat, what other coatings?

Here's some of the items I had blasted, to rechrome this car would bankrupt me, its heavily pitted so im leaning towards filling with body filler and just spraying some automotive silver but would prefer something else, I'd powdercoat it buts so pittted.

20210325_171839.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I've been studying the idea of blasting, high build primer, and  chrome paint, but I am not sure what's the best topcoat. I was recently quoted $1400 for driver quality plating on my front bumper (1951 Hudson) so I have to find another way forward!

Edited by Peter S (see edit history)
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Not to be a heretic but I also posted the best chrome paint question on the HAMB and got a surprising cross-section of responses.

 

Many folks were compelled to point out that nothing really looks like chrome except chrome.

 

Several folks expressed disappointment with powder coating, which is fragile and easily dulled.

 

Others suggested chrome vinyl wrap as a somewhat problematic alternative. 

 

A few liked Rustoleum Chrome Paint, but cautioned it takes 2 weeks to cure.

 

Most liked the idea of an oxalic acid bath, with touch up with Molotow Liquid Chrome Marker or the equivalent, and a sealer.

 

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Chrome is chrome. If something was better, cheeper and more durable. Automotive manufactures would have used it. The restoration side ties your hands. This is how it was. That is how it needs to be. That will result in a lot of cars never getting back on the road. I am not criticizing the restoration side, it has to stay true for what it stands for and represents. Coating, painting, shaving and plating. Are all options on the custom side. Plating is all you got on the restoration side. It is very expensive to build/restore cars anymore. Being able to work on and service your cars is a must, if you want to be able to enjoy classic/collector cars. If you can just cut a check for everything, what would you have to complain about.

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On 4/7/2021 at 8:44 PM, Peter S said:

I've been studying the idea of blasting, high build primer, and  chrome paint, but I am not sure what's the best topcoat. I was recently quoted $1400 for driver quality plating on my front bumper (1951 Hudson) so I have to find another way forward!

Be nice to know what state you are in so people could make suggestions.

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At a job I had years ago, we had some component parts bright nickel plated after the surface was smoothed and buffed.  The resulting parts looked like chrome bumpers do after the thin chrome has worn off mostly but the nickel can be polished to retain a softer shine.  Bright nickel plating might be an option for improving the appearance if the car is driver condition, not for show judging.

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2 minutes ago, Peter S said:

Nickel plate might be worth exploring, as we're talking driver here. Does it tend to be significantly cheaper?

You'd have to investigate the current cost since my experience is almost twenty years ago.  Surface preparation is key to the piece looking good after plating.  Its a worse problem with pot-metal since repairing the pits is a tedious, touchy process.

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If you are faced with high costs that make the car not worth it. Finish the pieces in a way that brings no harm to them, and helps protect them from further corrosion. A painting/coating process will do it. Skipping the paint and plating steps, and rebuilding the engine/transmission/suspension. Will get the car on the road driving. Throw the body in primer/sealer and put old chrome and trim back on. Going broke over a few years and never getting to enjoy driving the vintage car you picked to have a love hate relationship with. Will result in a negative view of a hobby/industry. A rat rod, if that is what you want to call it. Can be done on the restoration side as well. Get it on the road, and all ways watch for nicer parts on the internet and at swap meets. Switch them out and sell your old ones. And then cut loose of the car/project when your interests have moved on. Or when the remainder of work to be done is out of your skill sets or ability to pay and have it done. No harm to the car, you helped with some of the restoration. Look at it for what it is. The biggest mistake people make is in the initial purchase of a car. You have a lot of buying power with your money on the open market. Good buys in project cars, unfinished cars and finished cars. Know what you are getting in to, and the limits of your abilities.you are always better off paying a little bit more for a car in better shape. A 5,000 bank loan to help buy a better car, when put on top of your available funds can really go a long way in getting you into a car you can really enjoy. And save 2-3 times that amount of money in the long run. You would not buy a single wide trailer and put granite countertops and hardwood floors in it.

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