Speedster folks; Asking for advice as to the best way to put a racer number stencil onto the radiator. I have seen it done where it is pretty obvious someone simply used masking tape, to others where they had a shadow of one color then an over-spray of a second color. Best alternatives I can find here are to have a vinyl decal created then applied long enough to spray the number. Anyone have better ideas out there? The non-T example below obviously used something better than tape, and probably was the reverse of the decal on the hood. What did you all use?
Use what was done in the period. Hand paint the numeral and try to mimic old font type of the number.
Back when I did my speedster, just cut out a stencil by drawing an outline of the number 3 on cardboard, then held the stencil to the radiator fins and spray on a light coat of flat black
As I remember it, I selected the font I liked on my computer, and sized it to full page for one digit. I printed that out, traced it onto a file folder, then cut it out for a stencil.
To keep from wasting paint and hurting the cooling, I sprayed at 30-45 degree angle up and down.
If it doesn't come out big enough from your printer, you can take it to a print shop to have it made bigger. They might even do it direct onto card stock.
Stencil & spray paint is best for permanent #'s. Almost always was white lettering. 'Back in the Day' a piece of chalk was often used on it's side like you see on mine(see photo) because in amateur events, the numbers were assigned at the race. Chalk will last a surprisingly long time (if you don't wash it off)and you can keep changing it so you don't show up at an event as one of 14 other #7 cars! IMHO; "Too fancy looks too contrived".
77 was our official number for 3 consecutive Greatraces.
My racer's original body number is 55. One stencil would have done the job but I made two out of clear plastic. I think I bought it at Staples but any office supply store would have it. I used Photoshop to create a very large 5. Out of all of the fonts on my system I only found one stylish font I liked. I measured my radiator to figure out how tall I could make the number and then adjusted that figure to allow for two numbers to fit overlapped on my Whippet radiator. I printed two copies on legal sized paper and then placed my plastic sheets over the paper ones and cut out the black numbering with a sharp xacto knife thus leaving me with a pair of stencils. By making two clear stencils I was able to place them over the rad and then position them for best appearance. I sprayed the numbers one at a time obviously using a high temp paint whether or not it was needed. Because of the curly style the numbers appear to hook with each other which was the plan and I'm happy how it turned out.
Remember to spray it at a 45 degree angle, top, bottom, and sides in order to cover the fins properly . Otherwise it will appear washed out or faint from the side.
one idea you may want to consider is finding period correct fonts instead of one on your computer. nothings wrong with using a computer font but if you cant find one you like try looking for numbers on old letterhead/newspapers. the p/o of my car found a number "3" on a license plate that was SUPER cool and he used tape to stencle it on the radiator and paint it on. Use light coats as paint on a radiator will hurt its cooling ability. Use as little paint possible to get your desired result.
Want fonts ? This will keep you busy . . .
I should have mentioned that with a little figuring out
and a proper setup you can view the numbers or letters needed
and/or text as you search.
Background and foreground colors as well.
Mine is 6 so using the font from the 999 racer.
Wow, you guys drink WAY less coffee than I do. I will take my not so steady hand and try hand cutting. Thanks all for the advice & detailed photos.
You want period numbers???
Check out todays new post!
You will notice that many cars look to have very hasty chalk numbers on the radiators.(as I commented earlier).
Your 55 numbers are not only original & period looking in design but a true work of art. Well done!