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Chassis black

Subject: Chassis black
From: "A. B. Bonds" <>
Date: 21 Apr 1995 16:13:32 -0500
I have followed with interest the subject of chassis black, since it
has challenged me for so long.  With regard to the post that
"original" chassis black does not dry, I am compelled to concur.  It
is still kind of gooey on my 1930 Roller.  It does not come off
easily.  On that beast it is not truly black, but a dark murky brown,
and I've never been able to reproduce it.

I've tried about two dozen different products for chassis bits in
general.  Bottom line is that Rustoleum is the best compromise for
ease of handling and toughness.  It goes on easily, takes days to
dry, but therein lies its durability (one supposes).  The semi-gloss
black is a fair approximation of what one finds on old MG frames and
Lucas horns etc.  Krylon is handy but very brittle (chips easily) and
epoxies do not give as good a final finish as Rustoleum.  I have tried
Bill Hirsch's chassis paint and find it reasonably robust but have had
horrible times trying to get a good finish. It doesn't want to lie
down, and the surface gloss can vary from part to part.  The so-called
"miracle paints" do work well adhering to rusty surfaces, but the
claims for actual rust conversion are not substantiated in reality,
and there is a documented problem of breakdown when they are exposed
to excess UV radiation, which limits their effective usage to things
that are hidden.  I plan to powdercoat the space frame of my Aston Martin
(when I can afford it) but that is for durability of a very complex
piece of engineering, not for authenticity.

My capsule advice is Rustoleum, brushed or sprayed.  Get the
semi-gloss whenever you find it, it is not common.
                A. B. "If you can see it, spray it" Bonds

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