Book Review: How to Restore Automotive Trim and Hardware, by John Gunnell
How to Restore Automotive Trim and Hardware (available from www.motorbooks.com) is a must have book for anyone who's serious about bringing their classic car back to life. If your car restoration project is anything but a mainstream classic car, such as a Mustang or Chevy where reproduction pieces are readily available, you know that finding replacement trim for your car can be a daunting task. The stuff oftentimes just can't be found, and when it can, it most likely will need some repair work to bring it up to snuff.
Authored by John Gunnell, the book shows how to repair a large variety of materials and finishes used for automotive brightwork. From shiny chrome plating, brushed aluminum and stainless to plastics and potmetal, this book covers it all.
Not only does the book go into great detail on how to restore the various trim pieces, but John also devotes considerable time to explain how the trim is attached to the car. This includes discussion of many of the clips, nuts, wires and plastic pieces that hold trim in place. While there are way too many variations to discuss each of them in one book, you get a pretty good idea of what you're up against in trying to remove these decorative pieces.
After a thorough discussion of the techniques used in removing dents and straightening trim, John continues with explanations on how to bring the trim back to its original shine. This includes the best way to sand brightmetal to bring it up to a state suitable for final buffing. The discussion then goes into descriptions of the proper use of buffers and various compounds needed to get your trim sparkling again.
After a section on how to refinish wood trim and other non-wood finishes such as simulated wood grain, we move onto restoring plastic and "other metal" trim. This includes restoration of interior plastic pieces, as well as metal gauge faces. Also included are descriptions on how to clean up items such as dash and radio knobs.
Finally, you are introduced to modern coating methods, including newly developed ceramic paints, powder coating, and rust preventive paints.
The Appendix includes a substantial list of supplies and service providers.
About the Author
John Gunnell attended Brooklyn Technical High School and went onto get a degree in fine arts. In 1978, he joined the staff of Old Cars Weekly in Iola, Wisconsin, where he worked for 30 years and was involved in all aspects of the old-car hobby. He currently contributes to more than 25 magazines in the vintage car, motorcycle, and airplane fields. He lives in Iola, Wisconsin where he tries hard to keep ten cars and trucks and three motorcycles functioning at all times.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Bright Metal Auto Trim
Chapter 2: Types of Trim Damage
Chapter 3: Introduction to the Restoration of Metal Moldings
Chapter 4: Proper Removal and Replacement of Trim Molding
Chapter 5: Metalworking Techniques
Chapter 6: Refinishing Techniques
Chapter 7: Restoring Other Types of Metal Trim
Chapter 8: Specially Finished Metal Trim and Genuine Wood Trim
Chapter 9: "Chrome-Plated" Plastic Trim
Chapter 10: Other Metal and Plastic Trim
Chapter 11: Helpful Modern Coating Methods