53 1500S Radium Green

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Ross Copeland
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53 1500S Radium Green

#1 Post by Ross Copeland » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:38 am

Hi all

I'm nearing the end of a lengthy restoration for my 53 Coupe.
Can anyone advise the likely dash colours ex factory for a Radium Green Pre A from mid 1953.
I have the original seats and door cards which were tan leather and corduroy.
I understand the dash ex factory was painted a different colour to the body
color -apparently a darker colour to compliment the interior upholstery. However I cannot find a guide as to what this is.
Thanks Ross Melbourne Australia

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James Davies
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#2 Post by James Davies » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:12 am

Hi Ross,

Did you do some paint archaeology on your existing dash yet? You should find (from bottom up):

red oxide primer
radium green body color
dash color

This will be on the front side. The glove box cover is a good location to find these colors. Generally they only painted the front of the dash the dash color, but of course lots of over spray got on the back too. Often on the back you can see the body color (radium green) and the darker dash color over spray.

For beige interiors on radium green cars, I have seen the maroon dash and door tops on 2 original cars. A very interesting contrast! Anyway, you should try to find those colors on your own car.

A further note - the reason the dash on coupes is painted body color first, then the darker dash color second, is that Reutter did a batch of several cars with the same exterior paint all at once in the factory. So, say, 6 Radium green metallic cars were painted inside and out, dash included. Then later, each car may have got different upholstery, so the one with beige interior would get the dash painted maroon, and the one with green interior would get the dash painted green. Each dash needed to stay with each car, as it was fitted for that particular car, and may have had other custom bits for the specs of that car (say a clock). As such, the last 2 digits of the chassis number are stamped on the bottom inside center of the dash.

Ross Copeland
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#3 Post by Ross Copeland » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:45 am

Thankyou James. Very informative.
Maroon would be quite out there- can't wait to see what we find

Martin Bruechle
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#4 Post by Martin Bruechle » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:04 am

Tried to find my dash color the other day on my COA Black 1953. Can't open the doors garage is packed.
Leaning in the drivers window and scraping was unable to find the color.
Redish brown leatherette with corduroy inserts on the COA.

Ross Copeland
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#5 Post by Ross Copeland » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:13 pm

Yikes- my dash was maroon !

Cant imagine how this might look against Radium Green- surely that's a huge colour clash??.

What a conundrum given the plan is to take it back to factory specs.
Has anyone got a pic of a radium Green car with maroon dash and door tops?

If so please post it for me
regards Ross

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Oliver Strobel
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#6 Post by Oliver Strobel » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:31 am

Hi Ross,
I own a 53 1500 S in radium green with maroon dash, too!!! But it's not finished yet. I found out a few interesting details. I will post them the next days.

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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#7 Post by Ross Copeland » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:47 am

That's great to hear Oliver. Is the car with original paint ?

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Oliver Strobel
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#8 Post by Oliver Strobel » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:09 pm

No. The previous owner painted it beige

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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#9 Post by Oliver Strobel » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:24 pm

Ross, if you want to be sure about the details of your car: contact erlkönig classic in Gaildorf, Germany. They own the Reutter rights and licences. They give you detail information about your baby. Look at the pictures....
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#10 Post by Ross Copeland » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:41 pm

Thats awesome Oliver. How good does that color pallette look . Ill email Erlkonig today
Thankyou for this information-
What stage is your project at?

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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#11 Post by Ross Copeland » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:39 pm

Their website shows a lot of interesting parts, badges , accessories and literature for sale too

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Oliver Strobel
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#12 Post by Oliver Strobel » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:52 am

Erlkönig Classic tries to recreate Radium Green again with Glasurit. The original paint was done by Lechler. It seems to be very difficult. So you realy can not take the color from the print. Most repainted cars you see in radium green are not correctly.
To get that booklet you have to send them a proof to be the owner of the car. VIN and a few pictures are ok.
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#13 Post by Ross Copeland » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:55 am

I have a Radium Green spray out sample card from Willhoits Restoration. They produce these from their 30 year old archives - I think a color match to an original car is as good as we can hope for.
But yes its problematic.

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Oliver Strobel
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#14 Post by Oliver Strobel » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:44 am

I contacted Guido Eickholz from Erlkönig Classic and asked him if he would be so kind to answer a few questions concerning the booklet and the original paint composition. They produce it in English since 2 weeks !He is a nice guy and a member, too. Maybe he can leave a reply.
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James Davies
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Re: 53 1500S Radium Green

#15 Post by James Davies » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:38 pm

Glad you found the original dash paint Ross! Yeah, maroon dash was the most common dash color for beige upholstery and carpet. It also went with the reddish-brown leather and leatherette too.

Thanks for sharing the Reutter data for your car Oliver. Yeah, same as Ross' car it seems. I've seen a couple others this color combo as well. Pretty!

On the Reutter sheet, it is really nice to see the upholstery manufactures listed - Ott for corduroy, Häfele for the Bedford type cord, and Roser for the leather. Roser also supplied Mercedes Benz in the 1950s. Geller for carpet and Happich for headliner. Happich also supplied the pull-out interior light for bent-window cabriolets.

I wonder how much of the sheet is derived from the built sheet specific to your car, and how much is filled in from general knowledge from gaps in the record?

I ask, as two things on these Reutter built sheets stand out to me as being incorrect.

Blinkschalter: dunkelrot-schwarz
- Your car certainly had this combo - black housing, red blinky tip. But on another Reutter sheet I've seen for a mid-'52 car, it lists the same thing. And this seems wrong, as the car very likely had the ivory housing with red blinky tip, as did every original bent-window car up through ~May/June 1953 (change occurred between coupe 50503 and 50685) based on photos of dozens of existing, unrestored cars during this period.

Lenkschutzrohr: maron lack.
- I've seen this on 2 of these Reutter sheets now, and also on an old period document from Porsche. The fact is that the steering columns on the pre-A cars were always painted black. I hesitate to use "always", but I've never seen anything different. I have not come across one original car where they were painted the dash color. Very odd. Perhaps Lenkschutzrohr refers to the defroster tube where the steering column attaches? This might make sense for a cabriolet, but for coupes, the defroster tubes were body color, not dash color. So this is a mystery.

Otherwise, all the other data looks correct and is very interesting!

Thanks for sharing.

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