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Were grease cups (steel) on car chassis post brass era always painted?


Blue Gray Dort
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Were grease cups (steel) on car chassis post brass era always painted?  I am cleaning up ones on my drive shaft and rear axle assembly, removing two coats of restoration paint.  One coat was light cream color applied in 1954 by my father and second was done in 2005 in black.  Seems counter productive to spend time cleaning them up and then painting again. My car is a 1917 Gray Dort and has been with me almost my entire life. My father bought it from original owner in 1953, painting it blue.

1917 Gray Dort.jpg

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to Were grease cups (steel) on car chassis post brass era always painted?

I think it depended on the car manufacturer. Some painted the individual larger pieces so when the car was assembled the bolts and nuts, oilers, spring shackles etc were bare iron. They were soon covered with oil and grease and road dirt. A standard of the times and few expected every small part to be painted. Many years ago I was told by a then older fellow that as a child he got a job at the local Chevrolet dealer. They gave him a small can of black paint and a small brush, his job was to crawl under the new cars and paint everything that wasn't already painted.

The same standard applied to trim. Cars of the brass and then nickel era often had a few trim parts that did not match. No one but the very rich expected what we take for granted today.

My Stutz steering column has nickel tube, bare aluminum steering wheel spider, and German silver spark and gas quadrant all within a very few inches of each other. 

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Most of the early caps were solid brass.  Cast and stamped aluminum was also used by the early teens.  I would guess that most of the early steel caps were nickel plated.  Check the AACA or Detroit Automotive History Collection for original photos of your car.

 

  National Automotive History Collection | Detroit Public Library

 

Also post your question on the AACA Durant forum:

 

Durant - Antique Automobile Club of America - Discussion Forums (aaca.org)

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