How To: Restoring Classic Trucks Economically
Posted on August 23 2022
Restoring classic trucks is a huge industry and it continues to grow. While truck restoration used to primarily focus on trucks from the 1940’s-1960’s model years, it has expanded to include more from the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. As usual, nostalgia is the top reason for restoring classic trucks. Many fondly remember the truck they owned, or someone in their family owned back in the day. Or perhaps it’s a truck they wanted as a kid.
What hasn’t changed over time is the huge expense of restoring classic trucks, which is exacerbated by the increased use of plastic and vinyl interior trim and upholstery since the 70’s. It’s not just a simple repaint of the metal dash and door panels as with earlier trucks. In many cases the plastic and vinyl needs to be replaced or restored and that doesn’t come cheap. While new restoration parts are sometimes available to replace discolored and faded components, there are other instances where reproduction parts aren’t available, and good used components are hard to find. Which makes ColorBond LVP perfect for restoring classic trucks.
You see, ColorBond LVP is a paint designed for leather, vinyl and plastic and is regularly used to restore and renew these materials. The finish looks great, is highly durable and has an appearance that replicates that of the materials when they were new. ColorBond offers 205 OEM certified colors, so finding an exact match, or a color that comes close, is easy. When restoring classic trucks ColorBond represents a significant savings over component replacement or professionally refinishing existing parts; Applying ColorBond LVP is a do-it-yourself project, thereby saving labor dollars. Check out these restorations done by truck owners with ColorBond LVP.
Dan S. used ColorBond LVP to restore his 1986 Eddie Bauer Bronco. As there wasn’t an exact match for the original Ford "Chestnut" interior color, he went with ColorBond color #1918 Porsche Luxior Beige and was very happy with the results.
Dan said the only new interior trim replacement parts available for the third generation Bronco are hard plastic dash covers and door panels. He used ColorBond LVP to paint those components, as well as other vinyl and hard plastic interior pieces. To get an idea of how much money Dan saved by using ColorBond LVP, consider the prices he paid for used replacement panels, which were needed since the originals were too damaged to restore:
- $375 for the rear window trim
- $425 for vinyl trim pieces under the rear windows
- $125 for the upright windshield column pieces
Because he was able to restore the usable original interior components with ColorBond LVP, Dan didn’t have to spend even more money purchasing additional replacement parts. Overall, he used 7 cans of the paint at a cost of $164.00. The cost of additional replacement parts would have been well over $1000.00 A terrific result and huge savings. You can’t beat that!
Jay McFarland always liked GM Square Body trucks. His dad had a ‘77 Chevy K5 Blazer when he was growing up and those warm memories led to the purchase of the ’85 Chevy Silverado C10 that you see here. Jay has much experience restoring classic trucks and once the C10 was home Jay got busy fixing it up. We’re honored that ColorBond LVP was a big part of that.
Due to damage from long term use, Jay replaced the door panels, dash pad, and seat covers with reproduction units. Otherwise, the original plastic interior trim pieces were retained. After applying ColorBond Adhesion Promoter on the hard plastic components, Jay used ColorBond LVP in GM Graphite #651 to paint the interior plastics including the door panels, map pockets, armrests, dash pad, windshield header panel, and the A and B pillar trim.
According to Jay, the paint job, including preparation, took a weekend to complete. Six cans of ColorBond were used at a cost of $140.00; not much money considering replacing the original pieces he painted would have cost at least $500.00.
“ColorBond works great.” Says Jay. “If you’re restoring classic trucks and looking for an easy way how to refurbish your interior, ColorBond lays down good and is easy to apply. It makes a big difference in how your interior appears and is an affordable and durable alternative to replacing your interior.”
Louie Atienza purchased his dream truck, a 1974 Chevy Blazer in Cheyenne trim. The interior was in very good condition, considering its age, but the dash and console were cracked and discolored. Louie says he didn’t want to do a concours restoration, he just wanted to make the interior look nicer. After discovering ColorBond LVP on an online forum that covered restoring classic trucks, he decided to give it a try. After scrubbing the components with soapy water and a brush, he used ColorBond Prep Cleaner to ensure all dirt, grime and oils were removed. Since the console is a hard plastic, ColorBond Adhesion Promoter was used to be sure there would be no cracking, chipping, or peeling of the paint. Dash Clear UV Protectant was applied as a final coat. An ABS plastic overlay was placed on the dashboard and the same prep and refinishing procedure was used to match it to the console.
ColorBond LVP makes restoring classic trucks easy and economical.