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1937 tail light housing- chrome or painted?

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Question- I just purchased a 1937 Buick Model 68- older restoration for a driver. The tail lights are currently painted black the same as the body, but I purchased another set which is chrome, which is right?

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I am no expert on 37 buicks, but the standard Buicks in 1929 had painted light buckets, while the master series cars had chrome plated buckets.

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Thanks for the information, however the Model 68 is in between a Standard and a Master with a smaller wheel base but the larger engine. I think the chrome will look better with the newly chromed bumpers, but I am trying to keep this car as close to original as possible.

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I've looked at dozens of 1937 Buicks over the past 40 years and all but perhaps two had painted tail lamp housings. The 1929-1942 Master Parts Book also lists only one pair of RH/LH part numbers for housings for the the respective 1937 models, suggesting they came in only one condition, and that would have been unplated, in my opinion and based on extensive observation. However, both dealers and owners could have had some plating done when cars were new and/or later. I did once see an old photo of a 1938 Special Convertible that clearly had plated taillamp and headlamp housings. The car couldn't have been more than a couple of years old, but I'm sure the plating was done in the aftermarket. The Model 68 is an unusual high-performance model, it could have been owned by someone who had some custom touches added--a week later or 30 years later. But I think the plated housings would be frowned upon by most purists. Interestingly, the pre-war Master Parts book DOES list wheels with chromed center and primed outer rim as available for the 1937 Series 60 Buick (and other series with different part numbers). I believe the BCA Judging manual also acknowledges the partially chromed wheels.

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Thanks for the insight-- I was wondering were the 1938 models chromed. This might explain why the set I purchased was chromed. At this point, I am going to keep the black painted housings on the car.

Thanks again.

Jeff

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a common mistake in restoration on 38's in my view, is that the tail light metal piece is all chromed. In fact only the rim of about 1/4 inch against the red glass is 'chromed' and the rest of the metal is body colour/ painted.

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All 37's were body color.

All 38's were chrome. If you want to keep it stock go with the painted.

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My point of reference is for Mc Laughlin Buick 1938, and US Buick parts cars I have found. I bought mine in 1967 as an original car, a driver at that time. I then bnought a US 38 parts car in '68 and at the samne time bought a spare 38 tail light housing and lense as a spare as NOS in about 1968. Later in the 70's I scavenged housings from a 38 parts car. In all cases the housing was painted and only the 1/4 inch raised rdge around the red glass lense was left as chrome finish and the rest of the housing was painted body color.

I have seen 38's with all chrome housings on 'restored cars' and they also just plain don't look right to me.

Just my 2 cents.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: BREH</div><div class="ubbcode-body">All 37's were body color.

All 38's were chrome.</div></div>

confused.gif????

Based on factory photographs, 1938 taillights were painted, except for the chrome bezel around the lens. I think the bezel is a seperate piece (it is on my Packard).

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Noone yet has brought up the fact that the 37 tail light had a lens that faced the rear only, and the 38 was shaped with a 45 degree angle of glass that could be seen from the side. The two did not look even close to the same

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yea, we (I) kind of got off the original question. .. about the 37 tail light housing.

I didn't want to leave what I think is incorrect info on the 38 out there.

As for the 37, I defer to the 37 experts for the final word there!

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