About my contention that modern nickel, while visualy similar to the
original plating was not as durable, and that original parts were not dulling
while the newly plated stuff was, Tony responded:
<< I asked the person who plated some of my parts the same question and
he just said that it was never in the elements. Perhaps that is
true. I am sure that your tail light is NOS and has never been out
I thought of that too, but discarded the possibility after seeing all of
the plating subjected to the same environment as it was on the same car. The
new nickel dulled, the old nickel remained bright. This "test" was made only
over the course of a couple of weeks, but it jibes with observations I have
made on other nickel era cars.
Just for example, Pete Laughton owns a wonderful LARGE 1913 Hudson
Touring, the largest car Hudson ever made. I asked him where he got the
plating done and was astonished to hear that the plating was ORIGINAL! This
car had worn out several paint jobs, but the factory plating, while not
absolutely pristine, still looked presentable.
Want another example? The Hudson Super Six clocks that were sold when
these cars were new were nickeled. I have collected several of them over the
years and a week or so ago a mad thought occurred to me and I polished them
up. Excluding the physical damage, these clocks polished up like new. I had
expected to have to have them replated.
Another example? In another hobby, the nickel plating on Victrola
reproducers is often as nice now as day it was sold even after 80 or 90
years. My plater explained that the old "Watts" nickel was a pure nickel with
no "brightening alloys" as are currently used under chrome. Is it possible
that real pure nickel is no longer available? Perhaps my plater was
misinformed. Maybe the old guys new something we have forgotten - a bit of
something extra IS needed to keep the plating intact.
We all know what a bundle is wrapped up in getting the plating done on
our cars. Anybody got any "bright" ideas? I would hate to have to revisit
this area again in the near future!
Paul O'Neil, Hudson29@...
Fullerton, California USA
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