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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There have been some postings on this site that have stated that 70-72 dash bezels had the bright accents added to them at the factory by using silver paint. And I've seen it recommended in numerous places that one should use a silver paint marker to restore them. Although I agree that at first glance this appears to be silver paint, my understanding is that the entire dash bezel was first plated, and then painted. According to Donahue's book, "How to Restore Your Musclecar," he states:

"Most musclecar instrument panel housings were trimmed with brightwork. Although it looks like chrome, its actually vaporized aluminum applied using a process known as vacuum metalizing. This 'chrome' was applied to the entire panel and the panel was then painted or covered with an insert."

It seems that most people agree re: dashes for 64-69 that they were plated, and there are numerous places that offer the plating service. The repro 65 bezels are chromed as well. I've looked at the bezels in both of my 70's, and when the bright accents are rubbed with a soft cloth, they do in fact appear to be much brighter than if they were painted on. In addition, the black clearly looks to be painted on top of the brightwork.

Does anyone have firsthand knowledge on what the deal is? Anyone with a low mileage original 70-72 with an unrestored dash that can do a close inspection? I've seen numerous dashes with silver paint, and they just don't look right. What's your take?

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Rainer - Team Chevelle #50 - Gold Member
'68 SS396
'70 LS3 400 Malibu
& the newest - '70 Malibu convertible!
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
George -

That's what I suspected. I noticed a couple small nicks in the dash on the passenger side, and it does appear to be "chrome" underneath. It seems as though the "chrome" gets thin and dulls over time, to the point of where it resembles silver paint.

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Rainer - Team Chevelle #50 - Gold Member
'68 SS396
'70 LS3 400 Malibu
& the newest - '70 Malibu convertible!
[email protected]
 

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I have an SS dash sitting in the garage, face down, and the entire back is shiny. It was definitely plated, not painted. Now, how on earth do we get the things replated? My bezels are shot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, Havoc, I have just the answer to your question. It cost me $95 to have the bezel from my 68 plated at American Plastic Chrome. I just finished masking and painting it last week, and turned out really nice. Unfortunately, because the 70-72 is such a big a** bezel, the same place wants $475 to do the one in my 70. Ouch!! That's a lot of scratch for what ends up being a small amount of brightwork exposed after all the painting is done. I think I know why people opt to go the silver paint route...

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Rainer - Team Chevelle #50 - Gold Member
'68 SS396
'70 LS3 400 Malibu
& the newest - '70 Malibu convertible!
[email protected]
 
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