Replacement bumpers were definitely a requirement. The originals had been used for their intended purpose, and the tweaks, dents, and twists were the evidence. Our Valiant was not going to be a concours-style restoration (let's face it, it's a Valiant), so having a perfectly chromed front and rear bumper was not a necessity. We did, however, want bumpers. we decided to use a pair of fiberglass pieces from AAR Quality Fiberglass. AAR has been making fiberglass components for Mopars since 1997, and their quality is unquestionable. The only problem we encountered was getting bumpers for a Valiant. Turns out, Dart bumpers will work, so we were in business. The bumpers were covered with faux aluminum paint and look great on the car.
AAR Quality Fiberglass
AAR Quality Fiberglass bumpers...
AAR Quality Fiberglass bumpers were chosen for the Valiant. The AAR pieces have generally proven to be a higher quality than most others.
Getting a quality bumper that...
Getting a quality bumper that needs minimal prepping for paint means a lot when it comes time to pay for the work--less work equals less cost.
Tops in Trimming
What about the emblems and other chrome pieces? We couldn't leave them as they were because 36 years of use had left the trim in less than stellar condition. Some of the trim was pitted and/or cracked, and the finish was rough. We were referred to Paul's Chrome Plating and were not disappointed with the results. The small details in some of the emblems were a concern when plating. Sometimes plating can be ill applied, and then you lose some of the small details.
Evans City, PA
The taillight bezels have...
The taillight bezels have quite possibly never been removed from the car until now. The finish was pitted, cracked, and nowhere near acceptable. The one above is untouched, and the one below is fresh from Paul's.
This quarter emblem shows...
This quarter emblem shows two different finishes. After the entire emblem is chromed, Paul's made the portion containing the Valiant text a brushed finish. Notice how none of the edges of the emblem are distorted by being too thick after the chroming. Paul's Plating is a quality shop.
The trim around the front and rear windows (we converted to a '68 style) was scavenged from parts yards, and the grill was the original. Since the car was reaching this level of detail, it was necessary to have these polished. After inquiring with several people, we found that Iverson Automotive is one of the best in the field. All of the window trim pieces and grill were given to Iverson's, and all the little dents that could be repaired were addressed. quite honestly, when the polishing was completed, the trim and grill were better looking than when they were new. George begins by first assessing each piece and making sure it can be repaired. Next comes the task of removing any dents. This is a time consuming process, and takes care and patience with a small hammer to completely remove the dent. Next comes the actual polishing. This step is not only time consuming, it's down right messy. Iverson's has developed a ten-step program of repair and polish that results in show winning finishes.
Our Valiant grill before ...
Our Valiant grill before polishing...
...and after polishing. Iverson's...
...and after polishing. Iverson's Automotive is a hands-on trim restoration specialist that keeps the age old art of trim restoration alive. There are countless hours of work that go into a job like this, but the end result is definitely worth it.
We are so close, yet so far from finishing. The car is now home andawaiting final assembly. We can't wait until we are finally able to get in and drive it again. And we are sure we won't get thrown out of any cruise nights, at least not because our car isn't nice enough.