OK. I had a moment of weakness. I admit it.
I've been intending to save some of the "fun" parts of the restoration for last. For example, polishing and repainting the "122S" insignia badges. But... I just couldn't resist and I pulled the badges off the car yesterday.
looking kind of rough.
The badges were in pretty rough shape, but being actual metal (not plastic like the brightwork of today's cars), I figured they could be restored.
They had a film of white paint on them - left over from a pretty shoddy paint job which afflicts the rest of the car as well. In addition, they had some pretty deep gouges in them.
I started by cleaning them up with lacquer thinner to remove dirt and all the old paint. Because of the extent of the gouges, I decided to even out the surface by sanding, even though it'd mean having to sand through the chrome plating. Because areas of the chrome had already been worn away, I figured I might as well.
notice different sheen where chrome is worn away at bottom of the "S"
I wet sanded, starting with 320 grit, up to 800 grit, and finally 2000 grit sandpaper. I finished with polishing compound. Because the soft aluminum is now exposed, I'll probably end up re-plating the badges at some point.
I used Testors model paint to color the badges red and black as they were originally. (The smell of the Testors paint reminded me of childhood the entire time I was painting.)
I'll probably still wait until the car's painted to put them back on.