Refreshing Hubcaps

Refreshing Hubcaps

Refreshing Hubcaps

Taking off Fifty of the Sixty Eight Years More...

New hubcaps could have been purchased for about fifty bucks each, but being a cheapskate at the time, I opted to slueth out hubcaps via the internet; ebay, facebook groups and the P15-D24 forum. I ended up with two pretty good candidates and fours that were on the sketchy side.

Removing the thick coat of rust from the backside took some elbow grease. I let ’em soak in vinegar for a few days then scrubbed them with steel wool and green meanines (Scotch Pads). The front sides I cleaned up with rubbing compound then applied a degreaser before I started the masking and painting.


With 1/4 inch masking tape, outline the main circle. With 1/2 inch tape, add some margin to the circle then use newspaper to protect the rest of the hubcap. Use 1/2 inch tape to cover the lettering. Finally, cut out the letters. You can see some of my color testing here.


After using a paint prep degreaser, such as the one made by Dupli-Color, use an off the shelf primer. Think Rustoleum.


First thought was to have a custom color blended by Finish Masters. However considering how rough these vintage hubcaps are it didn’t make sense, so off the shelf Dupli-Color rattle can that was “close enough” was selected and sprayed.

Rattle Can Coup

These were found locally here in Fort Collins, either at Home Depot or O’Reilly Auto Parts. Shake Rattle & Spray!

Many Moe & Jack

Many Moe & Jack

Many Moe & Jack

New Shoes for Roxanne

Over on the and I was looking at @ggdad1951‘s FEF truck and see Mark is using what appears to be the original “yellow”. I recall him discussing it here and there. I think he referred to it as Armour Yellow.

When I learned that Les Schwab Tires would media blast and powder coat wheels for about 36 bucks each I pulled ’em off Roxanne and trucked over to the local franchise. The yellows they showed me were pretty lemon or orange, and none that looked like what Mark has on FEF.

I have remnants of the original yellow color; the pin stripes on my grill bars. When I measure with my colorimeter I get RGB 217 201 140. Yes, faded and sun tinted. What is the original color really, or more important, what color is it in today’s paints?

I came to a crossroads. The new plan was to media blast them and paint them myself, but not sure how to proceed. I’ve heard rustoleum has a color that is very close, or I can get a can mixed up and spray it myself, or ??? Since I’m was not planning a show quality restore, more of a general cleanup and preservation I found myself needing some counseling and advice to that end. The boys on the forum didn’t let me down.


Delfleet Essential Paint - soft yellow

Even with the experience of the Pilothouse Truck forum members such as @ggdad1951, I don’t think we’ll ever know re original color. I thought one of my front wheels still had a good sample of orig color under the hubcap but on closer inspection I can see it was repainted, and where it has chipped off it is showing a very faded buff color – almost light gray. I’d be happy with @Merle Coggins, Mark’s or @David A.‘s color. That notwithstanding, forging ahead was the only solution. A trip to Harbor Freight in nearby Greeley I picked up all the necessary equipment and most of the supplies, sans paint, I’d need to paint the wheel on my own (Fort Collins wouldn’t sell me the big compressor – they only had the floor model in stock).

A trip to Finish Masters in Fort Collins, armed with paint codes and a photograph supplied by forum member David A. I managed to get everything I would need to paint the wheel in my new paint booth, aka “garage”. I had already had the tires unmounted and the wheel sand blasted by a specialty shop twenty miles nearby in Loveland Colorado – They looked fantastic. Bright metallic silver. Who knew that was hiding under there.

OMG I Suck at Painting

Or the paint Store ripped me off! I was suspicious when I poured the recommended epoxy primer into the mixing cup then added the catalyst as directed by the paint Store and it was RUNNY – like water color. Am I missing something here or do I need professional help. Turns out I actually suck at painting. When stirred and mixed correctly the paint goes on pretty nice. Of course I had to wait until I sanded out all the drips, sags and runs to find that out. Epoxy primer is a bitch to sand, just so you know.

Epoxy Primer Mixing
Runny Dripping Epoxy Primer on Dodge Wheel

Making the decision to have the tires unmounted and the wheels sent out to be blasted was the commitment that would send me on this path of becoming halfway decent at laying down the epoxy primer and single stage urethane enamel. Starting on the back of the wheel at each stage set me up for having the front of the wheel look damn good.

The wheel paint job was shopped around at several Fort Collins auto body shops. The average price quoted was around $450.00! WTF?! I thought I could buy a compressor, spray gun and necessary supplies for less than that; I was wrong. It cost about a hundred dollars more than that and hours of my time.

Holy crap did I learn a lot about paint and painting. Turned out to be way more effort than I had anticipated. The boys on the P15-D24 forum really saved my bacon. Their advice there was spot on and I was able to use it and in the end be rewarded with five great looking wheels – even the color was exactly what I had in my minds eye.

Vintage Wheel, Modern Tire & 1950 Dodge Hubcap

Junkyard Bromance

Junkyard Bromance

On a recent trip to the local salvage yard, I met an attractive young woman while encouraging my son to keep trying as he struggled with the ’48 radio removal. Her husband was off in search of old Chevy pickups so she hung with us and we had a nice  chat.


A short time later her husband showed up and took note of my son’s struggle with the radio, grabbed a wrench and leaned in to lend a hand. Out comes the radio.

This guy and I get to talking about our war service of all things and end up exchanging phone numbers. A couple days later I get a text invite from the guy to meet at a new restaurant in town for beer and burgers. He graciously  chose “The Red Truck”, the newest Fort Collins brewpub.


The place was packed! My wife had me get in the beer line while she held down an open table.


The six of us (they brought two of their three kids and one in the oven) had a chatty meal and I knew I had made a new friend.

Yesterday morning, when my son Zac arrived for another run to the junkyard, I mentioned how his mom and I had dinner with the couple we had met a week earlier in the junkyard. He was dumbfounded.  I asked him about his friends and when was the last time he had made a new one.

I have a few good friends, most spread around the country from California to Wisconsin. I haven’t met any new “real” friends in years.

The moral of the story and point I wanted to impress upon my son was to not pass up on your opportunities nor rush to judgement and junkyard can offer more than car parts?

My wife Jan with her good friend Barb


1950 Colorful Colorado TT License Plates

1950 Colorful Colorado TT License Plates

1950 Colorful Colorado TT License Plates Arrived

Roxanne deserves proper badging, starting with period correct license plates. When we first met she was showing off a 1970’s Colorado Collector Series license plates, which is nice and they do have just the right amount of wear for a truck of this age. When I drove her down to get her registered in my name, they wouldn’t let me use the plates she came with. I ended up buying the Horseless Carriage plates – I think there about $12.00 for a year or so. I’ve been re-thinking that decision because those plates limit your mileage to about two thousand miles per year, and Roxanne isn’t exactly a horseless carriage. Horseless yes, but carriage? No.



Epay is the place to shop for vintage plates for your collectible automobiles. Prices range from $20.00 to well over $69.95. While there are plenty of Colorado plates, finding one with 19   50 stamped into the metal is nigh impossible – or so I thought. I ended up finding three different sets. I lost out in a bidding war for the first set, second offer was for one plate only and the third offer was for a set of TT (Truck Tractor) plates for a modest $39.95 plus shipping and tax. It was a Buy Now scenario and the plates arrived today.

The seller on EBAY was Tom & Margaret Boyd who goes by ‘licpl8s’. Tom it turns out is a license plate collector who happens to live in Boulder. Yeah, I lost a little respect for him just because he was from Boulder ;-P He is a bonafide member of APCL. Tom joined the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association in 1982 and has been active at both the international and local level.  He served as Vice President of ALPCA and was Editor of ALPCA’s magazine.  Locally, Tom was Secretary/Treasurer of Rocky Mountain Regional branch of ALPCA for nineteen years.  Tom has co-authored three books on license plates.

Check Out Tom's Ebay Store

Opens in New Window/Tab

Check Out Tom's Website

Opens in New Window/Tab

Old Town Car Show First Place

Old Town Car Show First Place

Drove Roxanne to the Old Town Car Show here in Northern Fort Collins – 2018 edition. If your new to my blog here, Roxanne is my new girlfriend; 1950 Dodge B-2-B-108 Pickup Truck.  Spent some time earlier in the week cleaning her up – got out the pressure washer and sprayed her inside, outside and underside. One doesn’t see much of an improvement but the driveway stains and dirt told another story. I went a little crazy spraying down the engine and got a lot of grease and dirt off – was a little freaked out that she might not start after water gets into the generator, starter, carb, etc. etc. so on and so forth… but she started right up!

My son Max walked over to the show from his Old Town apartment (he lives in a basement) and hung out with me. We enjoyed talking with one another and too with the car show attendees. Max was a good sport and tracked down a couple good burgers for lunch. I paid of course! It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to hear some of the stories car show visitors seeing Roxanne elicits. One fellow wanted to give me the original brochures and manuals he had from the truck his family moved from Nebraska to Colorado in. Their truck was long gone but the stories remained.

Rox Baby was the only vintage Dodge truck on display at the show! – Easy to see how she had garnered herself a first place finish in the Survivor class. The original paint, upholstery, even period correct tires with all the sidewall cracks you might expect.

Old Town Car Show Magazine Spread

NoCo Magazine wrote up a nice article on the show and featured Roxanne. That’s my girl.

Junk in the Trunk

Junk in the Trunk

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to carry all the odds and ends one needs given the limited cab storage space of a Dodge B2B half ton pickup. Many of the Guys on the P15-D24 Forum have come u p with some good ideas. Paul Flaming for example has a home built tonneau (aka plywood) cover that seems very smart and effective.

Tonneau AKA Plywood and Rope Bed Cover

Tonneau AKA Plywood and Rope Bed Cover

Long ago in my impetuous youth I acquired a steam trunk of substance. It has been a functional artistic decorator item in our home since about 1976. “Wouldn’t that be the perfect trunk for the truck?” I suggested to Jan Baby, my best friend and wife for over 40 years. She shot back: “It would get ruined in the weather and we need it where it is”. Thus began my Craigslist search for the perfect trunk for ‘ol Rox Baby’s bed.

If you click that last link, you will see that there are lots of options.  I’ve learned to take my time and cogitate on the options to eventually find something that suits my personal tastes while filling the bill of functionality. Several weeks passed and I started gravitating to vintage steamer trunks with the domed or camel back top.

I found a couple prospects. One was twenty minutes from the house and priced at $60.00 while the other was an hour away and priced at $100.00. I decided to on a rainy Saturday to email the nearby trunk owner and setup a viewing. My plan was to arrive and negotiate the price down to $40 or so dollars.

Norma was a delightful senior woman who graciously invited me into her garage to take a look at the trunk. She explained that it has held spare blankets for her bed for many years but didn’t fit in with her new homes decor. It was love at first sight. The lack of a key to the lock and missing side handles added to its character I thought. I held out $60.00 cash. No way was I going to haggle with such a delightful person such was Norma.



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