It's pretty easy to lift up the look of 1980s cars with some black paint, as so many cars from this era eschewed chrome trim for European style flat black. I am wondering if anyone else could do the same with other eras of classic cars.
My 1985 LTD Brougham (with a 5.0 HO swap, so it's kinda quick) came to me with a pretty sorry looking set of silver toned headlamp bezels and front grille, and since I had to go in there to rip out those awful eBay Chineseium headlights (that were wired incorrectly!) I went a step further...
...with a can of $3-4 semi-gloss paint from Home Depot.
No question a definite improvement I use to be more chrome the better guy and not very flexible until years back in my motorcycle days the kid next door grew up and bought a Night Train i stood there looking at it and ended up luving the look,small changes as you are messing with Sajeev just end up making huge differences its just tough to be selective and some things once changed can not be reversed easily great job.Cheers R
Well said, Rob! Luckily the changes I did are mostly reversible by switching back to silver paint (there are horizontal chrome bars in the grille that I scuffed with sandpaper so the paint would stick) but overall I am blown away with the change in the car's look for only the cost of a can of spray paint.
I like it too. Can’t say the car is exactly “mean looking” from the change. But a definite understated “edgy side” with the new grille, wheels, and knowing about the out-of-sight 5.0 HO. 👍
A single can of black spray paint made the tail light bezels on my Cougar go from being a nice used ebay set to like new. So $42 for the bezels and $5 for the rattle can.
I like the new look of the grill. Is your a 5.0 a roller engine or the earlier one with the flat tappet cam?
I like the new look of the grill. Is your a 5.0 a roller engine or the earlier one with the flat tappet cam?
Not entirely sure (since I didn't do the work) but odds are it's a roller motor from an 87-95 Mustang.
I was gonna say, if it is, then an E cam would wake it up nicely without any real decrease in street manners. I have had very good results with that particular cam and auto trans applications. I love sleepers though.
To be honest, I've never been a big fan of the Ford Motorsport letter cams. The 5.0 Mustang magazines at the time always found better aftermarket cams, even found one that idled better than an "E" but made more power. I'd buy a used one for a dirt cheap price, but its gotta be dirt cheap.
Wish I could remember that specific "E-cam vs. others" issue right now!!! I think I saw it in Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords, that was my fav magazine of the genre.
I know the issue. I just have had great luck with them. And yes, a LOT of manufacturers make more power. But....I have yet to have a cam failure from the Fomoco catalog. I can't say that for a few other makers that I will not name. (although to be fair they were flat tappet cams that failed during break in).
Iam with Guitar74 on the sleepers I have been caught in the past off guard by cars and trucks I dismissed as a slug,one was a 1970 F 100 Ford with plenty of patina and dog dish hubcaps only indicator was dual exhaust and widened factory steel wheels come to find out a well massaged 428 under the hood and highly detailed engine compartment with the driveline to back it up.Cheers R
My MGB was originally a pastel yellowish color. It had been repainted red, then body rust, etc... I had the body restored and repainted a turquoise green. But the engine compartment was still that yellow. Fast forward 20 some years when I was applying for classic car status. The requirements are 'all original, pristine look'. They had no problem with the new paint, but the dirty yellow engine bay was a no-go. One can of engine clean and a power wash, followed (when dry) by a can of flat-black high heat paint and the engine compartment looked great. Passed the classic requirements with no issues.
While in college in 1975, I used a rattle can (probably two) to paint the wheels on my 1971 Vega (Please don't condemn me for trading my '67 327 Camaro RS, there was a gas crisis going on). The black wheels, with the trim rings and disk hubcaps, then looked like baby moons. As unlikely as it seems, I heard actual compliments about the custom look.
I used a matt black rattle can to spray the trim between front and rear doors on my '96 Explorer. I bought the can at an auto supply store, it was meant for that sort of thing. After a quick buff and spray, it looked like new. The old black was fading to a pinkish/gray colour and the rest of the Explorer still looked good.
There are a million bits and bobs on a car that I have hit with a rattle can at one time or another. Bolt heads, screw heads, speaker grills, a bunch of engine parts, whole engines, a myriad of interior parts, brackets, wiper arms, calipers that I just couldn't get as clean as I wanted, the battery hold down, some hose clamps, ash trays, the list could go on for days. Who among us never spray painted a set of brake drums with some high heat paint? If it is small and needs some refreshing a rattle can might be your best friend. No, I have never painted a body panel with a rattle can of anything but primer.
I recently used a satin black on the tired grey grill of my '95 F150 as well as the headlight bezels. Really freshened up the front end with very little effort.
Had a 1971 Ford Torino 500 Coupe in a metallic medium copper brown. Put a GT hood on it and got to work with a can of satin black. The hood scoop, lower rockers (with a stripe above) and rear panel between the tail lights got the shaded treatment and it really set it off.
On a college budget you couldn’t beat it!
In my younger military days, I popped the trim rings and center caps off of my '68 Corvette's rally wheels, scuffed the light silver finish and rattle-canned them gold. When I replaced the caps and rings, the car was transformed! At least to me. Of course, everybody knew my car, so I couldn't claim it wasn't me that did the smoky burnout behind the PX...
Flat black plastidip on the grille of my '99 Tahoe hid 20 years of stone chips in the plastichrome, two years later it still looks like new, and looks like it belongs there.
I purchased a 1999 Chevy cavalier on eBay in 2012 with only 4800 miles on odometer from the estate of an elderly Florida lady who kept it in garage. Twas a "Time capsule" except the base model gray plastic bumpers covers that had a pasty aging plastic appearance. I purchased and carefully applied on coat of that application-specific matching vinyl paint. Holy cow! Brand new car! Ran like a top and friends marveled at what a can of paint could do!
I like it. Definitely a cleaner, more modern look without changing the appearance. It is subtle. If you didn't know the ltd you would think it was stock . I like the wheels also.
Good Job! Looks superb! And I like the wheels, too! Does this car have the rare 5 speed transmission?? I just saw one for sale on one of the many sites that I frequent. Can't remember right off which one it was though?! It's a terrible thing when your minds goes bad, LOL!! 🙂
There are too many places to sell a car these days! No I don't mean that, as it's great to have all these resources.
This is still an automatic, hasn't been converted to a stick. There were no factory sticks on these, just factory floorshift automatics.
I had a white 87 Buick century that I got for $300. Great car, it had just seen better days body wise. The headliner came down, and i couldn't see paying nearly the purchase price of the car to replace it, so i got some grey spray paint (interior was grey) and sprayed the foam fuzz left behind from the headliner grey. unless you looked directly up (which no-one ever does) it was indistinguishable from a normal headliner
That is actually what I am thinking about doing on this car!!! It has the wrong color headliner, and I have ZERO motivation to rip everything out to get a new one put in.
No question! Really a nice period correct improvement! Nice touch on the wheels too! Also, nice choice on the car. There are plenty of Pony and Muscle Cars in the hobby. It is always nice to see something else get some love too!
You did a fabulous job on the front of your sleeper '85 LTD.
I've had great experiences over the years 'restoring' different areas of my classic Cougars, by means of a spray-bomb (or three) of paint. On my first-ever attempt (when I was 'just a kid') I was motivated to 'eliminate' a 4"-long by 3"-high ragged hole in the rocker panel of my first-ever '67 Cougar XR-7 -- forward of the right-side rear wheel opening.
I started by wire brushing the rotted area of the rocker panel to eliminate the loose-bits. I followed this operation by "flooding" the roughened sheet metal with a 'Rust Stop'-type topical metal treatment. As instructed by the Rust Stop can's label, I had waited to witness the sprayed sheet metal go thru a color transformation from 'purple' to 'decidedly-black'.
I followed-up by overfilling the treated hole with part of a spray-bomb of expanding-foam. I recall that I had really-liked the idea of the foam creating an "Impenetrable Seal", **when applied according to the instructions on the can**. Once the resulting 'foam blob' had fully-set after 24-hours, I 'sculpted' it to match the flanking lines of the rocker panel.
I completed my right-side rocker panel 're-do' with a splash of matching navy-blue paint, then clear coat, a-la-can-de-bomb.
I regret not having access to the BEFORE and AFTER photos I recorded on the day.....
[It was long enough ago, that I probably employed a "Kodak Instamatic" camera..... with a "Flash Cube"..... Alas, it was that long ago... ]
When all is said and done, As Long As You Didn't Look Too Close(!!), my '67 Coug's right-side rocker panel had been transformed. The jagged, gaping 'orange hole' had become a continuous-appearing sheet metal body line. I held onto the car for years afterward. The 'orange' never reappeared at the site of my 're-do'.
Thank you for your kind words! I have seen those rust stop treatments in action, they are pretty cool. I like the addition of spray foam behind it: that's a very cost effective way to fill a body! You've clearly accomplished a lot since you were a kid, but I gotta say, you were a pretty sharp kid to start with! I never woulda known about that stuff when I was a kid!
Thanks for this boost to the rest of us. For years I've been doing what I call "5 foot" restorations of old Honda and Yamaha scooters and Honda bikes. They run well, anyone can use them and they look good from 5 feet away. Rustoleum 2X spray paint has been very good at getting the job done once you finally learn how to use it. The textured spray really works well on things like rocker panels that are just never going to be smooth again.