Chrome ,chrome and more chrome

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    Hi everyone!

    I was wondering if anyone has a good idea what an average chrome bill is for a complete restoration. The chromer is hesitant to quote the entire car because there are so many parts. Im expecting around 10k. Am I way off??????? One of those things that has to be done.

    I would like to have an idea so I do not hanve a heart attack and die before I get to drive my new toy.


    I am referred to by some P-A Series 80 guys as “the Bling King” for the amount of brightwork on the exterior of my Series 80, but yeah, yeah, yeah! That is how I got it.

    Depending on the amount of exterior brightwork, you should up your estimate by 50% to 100%.

    If you do it piece by piece and the hit seems smaller, but it seems that you wish to eat the whole elephant at once.

    There is a lot of prep work on each of the pieces, acid stripping, polishing, plating with copper, polishing, plating with nickel, polishing, plating with chrome, polishing.

    Your guy may be good, but he still has a lot of detail work to do.

    The advantage of having a nickel car is that polished stainless steel has the same patina. Not so for chrome.

    The best tack is to walk in to your plating guy with the pieces, give them to him, walk out, come back when he tells you that they are done (at least 3-months) and with a BIG smile on your face, pay the BIG bill.

    Just appreciate that you are not paying for a middle man.


    Good chrome……for a 29 D/C 30 grand to 45 depending on condition of the car. OK chrome 22 to 30 grand. 10k is a non starter.


    thank you all. I have a good median idea of what to expect. :)


    One common plating ‘mistake’ made by the plating guys is to grind off the angled chamfer on the bumpers. The front of a bumper bar is flat, then there is a chamfer, I think it’s about a 20-25* angle. Then about a 1/8″ flat edge.

    On over-worked bumpers, the chamfer disappears and becomes a rounded edge, often with a fairly sharp edge at the top and bottom of the bumper bar. There should be a flat edge.

    Most platers will just try to grind most of the rust pitting off the bars, and the result is the rounded, sharp edged bumper bar.

    Greg L


    I think the first thing you should do is inventory what you have, and what is missing.

    From that inventory, research what is available in reproduction parts. If you can buy hubcaps, door handles, hood latch handles, and so forth in nice reproductions, you’ll be money ahead in the long run.

    Then, as Ed states, you need to decide whether you want (as one plating shop owner explained to me) “factory” chrome or “show” chrome. For example, the radiator shell in factory chrome is very nice, but may show some very slight manufacturing ripples. Show chrome eliminates that. When I did the shell for my ’31 phaeton about 10 years ago, the difference was $500 and $1200 for the shell alone.

    I would have said $25K to $30K for chrome on that car, but Ed has done more things recently so I’d trust his numbers.

    That’s a great car you have, but resign yourself now to the fact that you’ll have more cost in the purchase/restoration than the car will be worth. With a professional restoration and the current cost chrome, paint, upholstery, and labor, if you’d been given the car free you might still end up in the same situation. Passion for owning such a car often transcends the dollars, of course….

    Best of luck with the car, it’ll be a beauty when done….


    You might keep in mind the fact that the original chrome on some parts may polish out just fine.Bear in mind things can get lost in the plating process.

    Alot of plating expense is in the preparation for plating.If an owner does some of this,it can be a way of lessening plating cost.


    Thank you all,

    I did some research on restoration shops before I bought the car and found the prices go from one end fo the spectrum to the other. I knew it was going to to be a huge expense, but some places wanted $400,000. I almost fell over.

    I found a guy who loves the car, near my home and will do it at a reasonable cost. It may not be concourse, but I don’t need it to be. It will drop dead gorgeous. :)

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