The metal mouldings on a Fifties or Sixties classic car, in some cases, can be delicate and thus easily damaged.
Here are a few tips for maintaining the metal mouldings on a classic car.
Compared to chrome trim, restoring exterior metal trim is relatively simple but still remains an unexpected challenge in the world of car restoration.
Start by thoroughly cleaning the metal mouldings using a mild detergent or car wash soap and water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the surface and remove any dirt, grime, or debris. Rinse with clean water and dry the mouldings completely.
While a simple soap and water mixture will yield results. Most classic car purists will suggest using a specialist metal trim cleaner for a better finish that will also protect the metal in the long run.It's worth spending a few minutes checking the chemical make-up of the metal cleaner and if there are any ingredients that could damage the metal.
If there is any oxidation or tarnish on the metal mouldings, you can use a metal polish or chrome cleaner specifically designed for automotive use. Apply the polish or cleaner to a soft cloth and gently rub the affected areas in a circular motion. Follow the product instructions and continue until the oxidation is removed.
After removing oxidation, you can further enhance the shine of the metal mouldings by using a quality metal polish. Apply a small amount of polish to a soft cloth and work it into the surface using circular motions. Buff the mouldings until they shine and remove any excess polish with a clean cloth.
To provide a protective barrier against future oxidation and corrosion, consider applying a suitable metal sealant or wax. Look for a product designed for automotive use, such as a clear coat or wax specifically for metal surfaces. Apply the sealant or wax according to the instructions on the product.
Regularly inspect the metal mouldings for any signs of damage, such as scratches or dents. Promptly address any issues to prevent further damage and maintain the appearance of the mouldings. Wash the mouldings regularly and reapply a protective sealant or wax as needed.
To clean cloudy metal trim, apply soap to a soft sponge or towel and begin scrubbing the trim. The dirt and rust spots on the vehicle should come loose, making them simpler to remove.
To remove stubborn grime, use a soft-bristled brush to clean the car's metal trim. The bristles should be able to reach areas of your vehicle that are not visible to the naked eye.
To remover stubborn water spots, an acid-based industrial strength degreaser tyre cleaner may be required. The degreaser should be applied lightly with a clean rag, taking care not to come into touch with glass.
After cleaning, the metal should be rinsed with clean water until all traces of soap and dirt are gone. Then, using a clean microfiber towel, carefully wipe the metal trim to eliminate any traces of moisture.
The first and only guideline when removing exterior metal trim is to go gently. Never use excessive force to remove the trim, using a screwdriver or pry bar. Doing so will usually mean bending, tearing, denting, or scratching the trim, while even damaging otherwise excellent trim clips that are sometimes difficult to replace.
The good news is that trim clips tend not to become fragile with age.
In recent years specialist internet retailers have sprung up that among their vast range of accessories for the classic car restorer and maintainer sell replacement trim clips for most domestic models, even the most obscure dating back to as far as the early Fifties.
This interesting new development means that it is now possible to occasionally remove the metal mouldings from a classic the car, to check for any issues and carry our light repairs with ease, without the fear of being unable to clip them back in place.