Chrome is the curse and glory of old American cars

One reason I love old school cars is the beautiful detail work – the chrome, the polished stainless, the finely crafted pot metal pieces. Style! Design! Beauty! And also rust, pitting and a horrendously expensive project to fix up.


I have deleted much of the really wild trim off my car to give it a more elegant look, but also because it was wrecked from rust. All the polished metalwork down the sills of my car has been removed, which is no great loss as it was actually quite badly pitted. The cost and complexity to restore this metalwork is prohibitive – and highly toxic!

Along the back I’ve deleted the heavily corroded trim running across the bottom lip of the boot (trunk) lid, but am keeping the finned section with the BONNEVILLE script. The issue with keeping this trim is that it is heavily, heavily corroded – to the point there are complete holes through the metal!


You can see how heavily corroded the panel is here. This will need a lot of filler and sanding work to come back to life.


My mate Scotty supplies powdercoating powder and equipment through his company Oxytech Powder Coating, so we threw the trim panel into his sandblaster to see just how bad it was.


The abrasive grit blew away rusted sections to leave good raw material beneath.


The small pock marks in the trim panel is actually rust. We worked out I need to pull the BONNEVILLE letters off the piece so the whole thing can be properly blasted, then I’ll have to use JB Weld metal filler to smooth out the pits. The JB Weld can be sanded smooth, then powdercoated. Once that is done we’ll re-attach the letters!


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