Hi, I have really enjoyed your website, as my husband and I are in the process of restoring a ’71 Stingray. I was wondering if you can help me with a question about the metal louvers on the front fenders.
Are they entirely painted the color of the car? Are they supposed to be metal with just the recessed parts painted? It seems like I could find a few good photos to determine this, but this area doesn’t seem to be very detailed in most of the shots that I have found.
I appreciate any advice you may have.
behind the front wheels on the sides of the car. These were actuallyfunctioning vents that would exhaust air from under the hood. They aid
in engine cooling and reduce front end lift at high speeds caused by
excessive air pressure built up under the hood.The grill behind the hood ahead of the wiper door is painted body
colour. So is the wiper door except for the trimline of the wiper door
edge nearest the windshield.
G.M. had a habit of plating an entire piece then painting it, masking
and stripping the paint just enough to allow the plated metal surface to
appear as trim accenting, even though the entire piece was actually
plated, or bright white metal. This was done on the front grills, the
bumperettes on either side of the front licence plate, the wiper door,
and on the fender side grills.
These side grills were white metal, and painted body colour. The
horizontal and vertical separations of each of the little squares had
their out side flat edges either masked, or stripped after painting.
This created little chrome like boxes detailing the vents.
On the 1970 cars, only the horizontal lines of the side grills
had the underlying metal exposed, on the ’71 and ’72 cars, both the
horizontal and vertical bars were unpainted. This included the framing around the
boxes as well as the extensions of the horizontal lines that trailed
back to the rear of the piece.
The vents should be removed from the car and painted and detailed
separately. The effect can be created two ways- you can carefully mask
the separations using 1/8″ fine line masking tape, paint the vents, then
remove the tape, or you can paint them and while the paint is still
uncured, carefully strip the paint with a razor blade flat against the
separations to expose the metal underneath. Each of these methods can
also be used to refinish your front grills.
For more detailed information, I urge you to get a copy of the NCRS
Judging Manual for ’68-’72 Corvettes. It makes an excellent restoration
Good luck, and enjoy your Corvette.