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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking for a couple years for dealer memorabilia and in particular a dealer plate frame from a particular Chevrolet dealer that was in business from 1945-1979. The dealers name was Gourley Chevrolet. I have come up empty. The closest I came was a guy that had a wooden yardstick with the dealer name on it. I thought all dealers in the 60's had license frames but maybe this dealer didn't.Although I contacted a former mechanic at that dealer from the 60's and he seemed to recall them having that stuff.
So now I started thinking if I cant find one maybe I could make one. My first thought was to get a vintage frame and carefully grind off the lettering and add some new lettering to create what I want. The new license plate frames don't have the look/style that the license frames of the 60's. The area that contains the lettering is always painted instead of chromed so that would permit one to fill and smooth where the original lettering was cast. Finding and attaching the lettering is another issue. The letters were always painted also so that gives some wiggle room. Does this sound feasible?
Then there is a new license frame. I found one that kind of has a 60's look to it. It is made of metal and is chromed. However it wouldn't have the patina of an old frame. It would however have a smooth area to receive the lettering which would just need painting and then it would just be a matter of finding.finishing and attaching suitable lettering. Here is a link to the frame which can be had for $20.00 plus shipping.

Customize Auto Text Template License Plate Frame by designsanddesigns

Tried to copy a pic of the frame but wouldn't do it. that is the most retro appearing frame I have found. Then there is the matter of finding suitable metal letters to attach. I found a place that makes custom/retro emblems and they sell individual chrome letters, in several styles, but I think they the letters are too big too use on a plate frame. They are called " Emblem Art".
Anyone know of a place that would sell metal letters small enough to use on a frame?
 

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I would keep looking for an original frame while the technology used by the shops that make frames progress. If you were to buy one of these frames and it has a pieced together look it would be worse than nothing at all. There are always other options out there such as speed shop license plate frames or used car dealerships that focused on performance models, I've got a really nice Bill Parker 4spd frame waiting to go on a car someday.

Have you posted want ads on CL or car related Facebook pages in the area of the dealership? What about have a permanent search with notifications on eBay? Stuff tends to turn up, often times by beating the bush in unconventional ways.

Steve R
 

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Not sure of the cost, but have you considered having someone use a CNC mill/etc to make one?

Of perhaps take another old frame, mill out the dealer info, and see if you can get a shop to cut out the letters you need (laser/cnc/etc).


I have been looking for one for my Chevelle's selling dealership, and I only found one set. Turns out its an acquaintence of mine. He won't sell, but said he'd trade for another local dealer (I haven't found those either). Now I am considering using his to make a mold, and casting my own in resin... I figure I should be able to detail then to look original... I have heard that resin casting isn't too expensive or difficult...

You could try that (make a mold) with another frame, and then use plastic letters to make the name you want...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Was it in Sewickley Pennsylvania? If so there is a metal emblem, like those used of trunk kids, listed eBay with a $2.00 BIN.

Steve R
Steve, Yes it was. I bought that emblem. Thank you very much for the heads up. I have been looking on Ebay for a couple years and put in a permanent search for Gourley items. As far as I know that is the first time any Gourley items have shown up on Ebay. I left the seller a message in case he hss other items.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Of perhaps take another old frame, mill out the dealer info, and see if you can get a shop to cut out the letters you need (laser/cnc/etc).
Tony, That is kind of what I had in mind. At least that way the frame would have the style and patina of a 60's plate frame. I dont think preping the letter area to appear as though it was unmolested would be that difficult. The only thing that would be a challenge might be ageing the paint and acquiring letters that would have a correct font.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dean, is that an original???
 

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Brad,
As stated above, the majority of the 60's vintage dealer emblems (tail panel and plate frames) were chrome plated pot metal with painted backgrounds. I've attached a copy of my original for reference. I'm still looking for other items, but haven't found anything for a long time.
Craig
 

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...I was just playing around...

So was I. But as long as I have you on the hook what do you think about the possibility of sucessfully modifying a vintage frame?
 

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I have on the back of my 65 a frame that says"Santa Maria Home Motors with a Chevrolet bowtie between Home and Motors
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have on the back of my 65 a frame that says"Santa Maria Home Motors with a Chevrolet bowtie between Home and Motors
Is that where your car was sold or do you just like that plate frame?
 

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When I bought the car in 07 they were on the car with the Cali. plates.Don,t know if that's where the guy I got it from bought it or they were already on it when he bought it
 

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It seems like just about every survivor 60's car you find out of CA with its black plates still in place has the metal dealer license plate frames. I don't know if they had some law prohibiting the dealer emblems mounted on the decklids or rear panels (since the CA legislature loves to pass unnecessary laws), or what other reason there could be. But plate frames for dealers in other States are sort of hit and miss, with the dealer emblems seeming to be much more common.
 

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It seems like just about every survivor 60's car you find out of CA with its black plates still in place has the metal dealer license plate frames. I don't know if they had some law prohibiting the dealer emblems mounted on the decklids or rear panels (since the CA legislature loves to pass unnecessary laws), or what other reason there could be. But plate frames for dealers in other States are sort of hit and miss, with the dealer emblems seeming to be much more common.
Ellis Brooks Chevrolet in San Francisco was the only dealership in the area I can remember using them. The rear frames were more likely to survive unscathed, when you find them in pairs one is usually pitted and scratched.

The state didn't start going off the rails until the mid-80's. At this point there is no hope left.

Steve R
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It seems like just about every survivor 60's car you find out of CA with its black plates still in place has the metal dealer license plate frames. I don't know if they had some law prohibiting the dealer emblems mounted on the decklids or rear panels (since the CA legislature loves to pass unnecessary laws), or what other reason there could be. But plate frames for dealers in other States are sort of hit and miss, with the dealer emblems seeming to be much more common.
Jeff you are on to something. As I said i have been looking for a couple years and the majority of dealer plate frames from the 50's, 60's and 70's are from California dealers. There are frames from many other states but not like California. I think there is even an ebay seller that sells just vintage California plate frames.
 

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here:thumbsup:s a few pics of my cali. frame and an repo of my old home track
 

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