Restoration Tips




 Any information the NAACC has about vehicles will be posted here.





To receive the highest score possible when showing your vehicle there are lots of little things that can be done so that your vehicle makes a good  first impression on the judges.


NUMBER ONE—KNOW THE RULES, ask a judge what is required—ask the Chief Judge—and join a National Marque Club the marque club will give you the guidelines  you need to restore your vehicle properly—do your homework ! I can’t imagine spending literally thousands of dollars on the restoration and not spending the 25 or 30 dollars to belong the group that will help you with  your restoration so you do it right the first time. Imagine, $ 250.00 spent in club dues over 10 years, compared to replating a bumper at    $200.x 2     JOIN A NATIONAL MARQUE CLUB!!    Model A FORD CLUB OF AMERICA , etc. IT WILL SAVE YOU BIG DOLLARS !






The vehicle should be clean and polished, wipe off any type of compound on the rubber trim around the windows -tires should have been treated with a conditioner to make the rubber a deep black colour. The best product I have ever found is obtained from Chrysler Motors. They will not sell it. However they can legally give it away ! They use it on there new & used vehicles sold off the lot. Ask the parts dept how you can get some—-be inventive !  An old stand by is Armorall, apply it to the rubber surfaced  running boards, tires and any other rubber that is exposed, make sure you then wipe it off completely with a dry rag,..if the rubber parts are repro, take the time to cut off the flashing with a razor blade. Remove any trade names that aren’t original to the real item, i.e. if your tires read,” made in New Zealand”, maybe that should disappear !




REMOVE ALL THE RUST STAINS FROM THE INSIDE OF ANY ROBERTSON or SLOTTED SCREW (rust stain is a no, no) hint, a light solution 5/1 of muriatic acid, that is – 5 parts water to 1 part acid, and a cotton swab (obtained from any construction supply—(it’s used to clean cement)


All the stainless should be professionally polished if the vehicle has been restored. It should not show any signs of swirl marks or buffer marks—–a professional polisher will not leave marks—make sure you inspect it in full bright sun light, if you see marks , swirls etc . take it back !!


Note: the backs of some bumpers should be plated but not polished or ground smooth first before plating—check the guidelines first and avoid disappointment.- i.e. Model A Fords had a smooth bright plated chrome front face on their bumpers, the back was not polished but was also plated.  The same applies to Early V/8 Fords.


ALL EXTERNAL PARTS SHOULD HAVE THE PROPER PLATING—if the original plating was nickel and you have it chrome plated there will be point deductions scored against the vehicle….is it worth doing  that –maybe , you do the math and make that decision. If it’s a Model A or T or early Ford V/8  don’t do it!  The judging deduction is too high.


FASTENERS—one mark of a quality restoration


Polishing a fender or hand rubbing nickel trim is often very rewarding. It looks good very quickly. Our tendency is to keep polishing and rubbing– the better it looks the more we shine——-point deductions—-it’s far better to have less shinny fender than to have the wrong fasteners. When you are restoring your vehicle do the necessary home work to find out what fasteners are correct …the wrong nuts and bolts will cost you BIG deductions. The judges  are  looking for things that are incorrect. A great shine on your paint job is just that ! It’s not correct or incorrect. The plating of the fasteners is also very important. They can be Cad,  nickel, unfinished , painted , chrome , zinc, raven black or blued——–in some cases the nuts , bolts etc are made of  brass, bronze, lead, etc, the same applies to washers and cotter pins. Cotter pins come in cad, plain , zinc, brass and stainless etc ,make sure you choose the correct size , style and material—a little research is all that is required . It’s still takes the same amount of time to install the items.

Nuts, bolts and washers are usually the biggest offenders.  All bolts are graded for strength. There are marks on the bolt head indicating how strong it is . Most bolts used today are classified as grade 5. In the early days of motoring there were no standards , therefore , no marks on the head or the auto maker had their own nuts and bolts made to their specifications and didn’t use grade indicators on the fasteners to indicate it’s strength, (i.e. Model A Ford) or in today’s world a bolt with no indicator means it’s poor quality, not graded , and is considered “ weak”. If the fastener is holding you barbecue together perhaps that’s okay , however, if it is holding the front suspension of car together it could break and  MAY KILL YOU !  ALWAYS use gr. 8 fasteners on Vintage Race Car steering applications.                                                                                                               SOME TRICKS —always use grade 5 bolts or stronger , carefully grind off the indicator marks, have the proper finish re applied. i.e. Ebco , in Richmond, BC , will Cad or Zinc plate your fasteners by the pound (always take at least  5 pounds or more)…IN THE JUDGING PROCESS IF THE NUT OR BOLT YOU ARE WORKING WITH IS UNFINISHED AND YOU CHOOSE TO PAINT IT BLACK SO THAT IT Won’t RUST THERE WILL BE NO DEDUCTION. The proper answer you will the Judge give when asked” why are these fasteners painted” is ….I’m preventing rust !; Not, it looks good. I’m sure you get the idea)



NOTE: most pre war vehicles did not have indicator marks on the bolt heads

Never paint the nut and washer together unless they came that way, Often the nut was painted but not the washer..




Many bolts had specific shapes for their placement, i.e. the shape of the timing chain cover bolts on a 28-31 Ford  was domed and Raven finished. The shape of the valve cover bolts was hex, flat topped, It’s very easy for a Judge to pick the differences up in a glance. Again , do the research. You only have to do it once, and you don’t have to polish it !




One of the very best sources of correct fasteners for Fords, 1932-1948 is ROY NACEWICZ ENTERPRISES, PH,313,383-2692.  THEY ARE LOCATED AT BOX 285 –8032 ALLEN RD. ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN 48101—FAX #313-382-FORD.  Roy is a long time , vintage race car collector. He owns the famous Fred Frame 33 Ford roadster featured in many early Ford books . Request his 65 plus page catalogue, it’s one of  the best sources I’ve found. His parts are concour ‘s correct .


Dennis Carpenter. supplies plastic, rubber, chrome and mechanical for lots of different makes of vehicles….1-800-476-9653 call and order his parts catalog or  Also has 8N and 9N Tractor parts, Cushman Motor scooter parts, Ford 30’s – 70’s.


Bob Drake Reproductions.1-800-221-ford—-or  .has 24 mini catalogs, supplies trim, wipers, hub caps , bumpers —anything related to external trim for Fords, his parts are great !


Mark Auto Company, Inc .Ph.973-948-4157  FAX 973.948-5458 Address: Layton NJ. Send 5.00  for catalog—mechanical parts and gears for trans, rear ends etc, Model  T & A parts, Hi Speed (3.54) rear end gears for Model A, and Early Ford  V/8 parts.


Kanter Auto Products 1-800-526-1096, they sell mechanical parts , hoses ,brake parts, front end kits, for lots of different makes of autos and trucks—–this is a huge company that carries lots of inventory and will rebuild fuel pumps , etc


Steele rubber products, 1-800-544-8665 or  rubber parts for Cad , Chev , Dodge  etc –no Ford




I have used all of the suppliers I have mentioned. They have NEVER let me down.


I am very careful to only recommend the BEST———–there are many other great suppliers , do your home work.






The replacement of correct window glass is often overlooked when doing a restoration or replacing original glass in an original vehicle.


Some helpful hints:


1) Most safety glass is marked with a logo—-do the research and find out which glass logo was correct for your vehicle. For example, Model A Ford logos actually are linked to the year of the car. An early Ford V/8 will have the month of manufacture indicated by some makers.  There were several different manufactures of glass and each had their own logo.  See your Marque judging standards book for up dates and guidelines. ALL MAKES OF VEHICLES HAD LOGOS ON THEIR GLASS.


2) The person judging glass will be looking for the correct logos or incorrect logos, indicating new glass. The key word is restoration, not replacement.


3) Tinted glass is a no, no, if the vehicle didn’t come with it.  A 1936 Packard did not have tinted glass. A 1967 Mustang certainly could have.


NOTE: Glass etching kits are available so that proper logos my be applied—-This is usually done by applying a mask like decal that has been ” laser” cut out with the proper dates or codes. Once the decal mask has been applied to the window a cotton swab treated with Hydrofluoric acid is applied. The glass is etched upon application of the acid…let the acid dry– and the decal is removed with a razor blade—voila, an original window logo. Note: The fumes that are given off are extremely poisonous.  Don’t breath the fumes.  There is such a small amount of fume that this process does not concern me. IF you were to do a large piece of glass, i.e. coffee table top with a large design on it, that would be a different matter and cause for concern and the use of safety precautions.




The logos were applied to the glass as it went by on a conveyer belt, that meant that ALL of the glass was stamped on the same side in the same place.  Therefore, when you apply a logo to your side windows, if they’re done correctly, the logos will be reversed on one side of the vehicle.  It looks great to walk around the car and be able to read a perfect Ford Script on each window, except that was not the original style. On the side windows of a flat-glassed vehicle one side will be easy to read.. The other side of the car will have the logos on the inside of the glass and they will appear reversed.




When the glass company cuts out your glass make sure you instruct them to leave the logos off . NOT HAVING A LOGO IS MUCH BETTER THAN HAVING ONE THAT IS INCORRECT. You may be told that current safety codes dictate that there must be a logo indicating you are using safety glass!— Shop around, you’ll find a shop that will cut safety glass that will be logo free.




The edges of the glass are also treated in a special way. (this applies to roll up windows only.)  They should be polished smooth and in the case of early Fords should have a black edge.  Hint: use a “Sharpie” waterproof laundry marker. Run the marker over the edge of the glass and it will become permanently colored black. A little lacquer thinner applied to a cloth  will remove it should that become necessary.




One of the easiest ways to loose points is to leave the little threads exposed around the inner edge of the windshield frame on early vehicles. Take the time to cut off the threads. Don’t pull them off or they will unravel the fabric – cut them if you can. Before your vehicle is being judged run a damp sponge around the edge of the glass frame, this may keep the little “wispies” in place. When you are having a windshield installed check to see what the proper bedding material was and try to duplicate it. If you’re building a street rod, silicone is great. It has no place on a restored vehicle if it can be seen .


Hint:  Don’t use Windex or any other window cleaner on your inside glass. They all contain brighteners that cause reflections (flat glass is the worst ).  Instead use a solution of ammonia and water mixed 8:1 (8 parts water with one drop of dish detergent, one drop is compared to the head of a match).  Use the Windex- type products on the outside glass. You can also polish your outside glass. Never polish the inside glass. It will cause reflections, especially at night.