Late 54 dashboard paint?

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Alex Parmenter
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Late 54 dashboard paint?

#1 Post by Alex Parmenter »

Hi,

May Oct 54 Coupe project has some interesting paint finish on the dashboard, The car was orinainlly black with red interior per Kardex. The dash is original as has correct stamping inside radio hole, but I was wondering about the paint finish. The paint is black, but it has a texture and feel to it, the best way I can describe is that if feels like a very fine truck bedliner/crinkle finish and does not seem to be original, but not sure. Pic attached you can sort of see this, is this original finish, or a later 1970s respray?
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Always searching for parts for my Oct 54 Pre A coupe including these:
2 piece 546/2 engine close to #336XX
Front bumper
Passenger sun visor
Bosch SH/ZS4/1 Ignition switch
Beige knobs for light switch, choke and heater controls

 

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Jules Dielen
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#2 Post by Jules Dielen »

Not original, it does look like rhino liner or even powder coat. It was probably black or dark red originally. Do.you have a reutter certificate?
Jules

Water pumps are for windshield washers only.

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Spencer Harris
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#3 Post by Spencer Harris »

If the dash is installed in the car, you can easily remove the four bolts that secure it to the A pillars. Slide the dash slightly upward to clear the steering column and toward the driver and you may be able to see the original color and finish of the dash paint.
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Spencer Harris
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Alex Parmenter
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#4 Post by Alex Parmenter »

Many thanks, wanted to confirm it was not original before repaint it! Reutter cert is on its way, and I’ll check to see if I can fix any original paint on the ends too
Always searching for parts for my Oct 54 Pre A coupe including these:
2 piece 546/2 engine close to #336XX
Front bumper
Passenger sun visor
Bosch SH/ZS4/1 Ignition switch
Beige knobs for light switch, choke and heater controls

 

Jim Wayman
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#5 Post by Jim Wayman »

Alex

If your car was originally black with wine red upholstery, it should have had a black dash and door top mouldings. Knobs and steering wheel should have been beige. Headliner and carpet should have been beige rose.
Jim Wayman

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Alex Parmenter
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Location: Houston, TX

Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#6 Post by Alex Parmenter »

Jim,

Thanks, i found the original seat covers under the installed black later covers, in rough shape but original. Door top moldings are still black and appear to be original paint, matches the unpainted black door jams.
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F4B5497B-DF32-4FB4-9E80-3F5F90EF8887.jpeg
Always searching for parts for my Oct 54 Pre A coupe including these:
2 piece 546/2 engine close to #336XX
Front bumper
Passenger sun visor
Bosch SH/ZS4/1 Ignition switch
Beige knobs for light switch, choke and heater controls

 

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Alex Parmenter
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Posts: 373
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:57 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#7 Post by Alex Parmenter »

Jim,

I have 2 original side carpet pieces in the trunk, they were in a bad state, but cleaned them up gently with Woolite and cleaned up quite well, edging is very fragile. Does this look like beige rose?
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Last edited by Alex Parmenter on Tue Feb 07, 2023 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Always searching for parts for my Oct 54 Pre A coupe including these:
2 piece 546/2 engine close to #336XX
Front bumper
Passenger sun visor
Bosch SH/ZS4/1 Ignition switch
Beige knobs for light switch, choke and heater controls

 

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James Davies
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#8 Post by James Davies »

Hi Alex, all the carpet on these old cars turns beige due to sun exposure and acid in the fibers in the carpet backing, even dark blue over time. See below for an example from my '53 coupe.

So old carpet always looks beige, and you have to really try hard to find protected areas (folded over binding areas) to get the real color. That said, the interior carpet color didn't always match the carpet next to the spare wheel. As an example, another photo of an original paint, unrestored Fashion grey 1953 coupe with blue carpet inside and grey carpet on the luggage area side walls (which looks beige because of time). Beige and grey were very common in the front luggage area.

So hard to judge, but if you car had red seats and your dash knobs and steering wheel are beige, it's very likely you had beige interior carpet and that the carpet in the front luggage area was also beige.
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James Davies
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#9 Post by James Davies »

Btw, to find out what color your dashboard originally was, I would do some paint archaeology and very carefully wet sand through the paint layers.

Over the metal, you'll find a layer of primer (beige or red oxide), a layer of the exterior color of the car, and then a layer of the dash color on top of that if different from exterior color. The different dash color may only be sprayed on the front of the dashboard, so you may see original exterior color on the backside.

A really common restoration mistake on pre-As is to assume because there's exterior paint color on the dash, that everything above that is non-factory. But this is wrong. Reutter painted cars in color batches to save on setup costs. But each of the five, say, Radium green cars would have different interior colors - some with beige some with green, so they would get different dashboard colors, which would get painted separately. The dashboards were fit to the cars in the metal shop, hence the chassis number digits stamped on them, but would get separated for the different colors of final paint, and then reunited later for final assembly.

Another restoration mistake is to assume the dark dashboard color is the exterior color of the car (less common). :D

Don't assume yours was black (though it could be). Maroon and green dashboards on black cars were most common early on, though by 1954 many were just black. Paint archaeology will tell the story.

Photo below shows radium green exterior color on dashboard, with 2 layers of maroon (beige primer between). All Reutter factory. Plus owner respray of resale red over the top of it all.
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Victor Ingram
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#10 Post by Victor Ingram »

Alex,
I don't want to confuse the situation, but I believe this to be an original piece for the trunk lining? OR it could be a home made piece from a do it yourselfer years ago?
It is not carpeting, it is a "leatherette"? Beige Rose IDK?
Maybe Jaimes can chime in, he is a wealth of information on the early minutia.
Jaimes, what say you?
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#11 Post by Jim Wayman »

Victor

That is an original piece. Porsche used that embossed "carpet look" on the sides of the front compartment, I believe in the late Pre A period. I don't know when it superceded the actual carpet pieces. Maybe James can enlighten us on that.

Jim
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James Davies
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#12 Post by James Davies »

Hi Jim, wool loop carpet was used at least until the beginning of the 1955 model year. Coupe 52853 still has its original carpet.

By coupe 53437, it seems vinyl was in use. Very few cars in between with their original trunk sound deadening. This was usually the first thing to get tossed when a repaint was done. Even cars with original interiors rarely have these pieces. 53941 has its original pieces, and the "lines" in the vinyl are vertical and there's a binding around the edges, as it is padded. 54067 has ones like what you picture Victor, and it is very well-preserved car.

So it seems vinyl here was 1955 only. And I think once Reutter switched to vinyl, they used a few different patterns of vinyl. Would be nice to get more data points. There are some more well-preserved cars out there, I've just not seen their trunk areas.

Here's the ones on 54067, a car that has never been restored.
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#13 Post by Jim Wayman »

James

Here is another data point for your information. 52979 has the vinyl faux carpet with a horizontal pattern. The picture doesn't show it very well, but the material is a beige color. I have only seen this type of front compartment material in maroon and beige. I don't know what the factory's (Reutter) rationale for color choice was. Cabriolet 60900 was Turkish Red with maroon material in the trunk while 52979 was Turkish Red with beige. Have never seen this material with vertical pattern.
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James Davies
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#14 Post by James Davies »

Thanks Jim, that significantly narrows it.

Agree that there's not a lot of rationale as to what front vinyl chunks got put up front in the luggage area. Same was true with the carpet. I always feel that it was a place to use up scraps. They also stuffed random carpet scraps inside the doors to prevent rattling.

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Victor Ingram
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Re: Late 54 dashboard paint?

#15 Post by Victor Ingram »

Great pictures guys!

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