Would the steering assembly (steering shaft, control rods, steering bracket, lower) all have been painted black on my 16 coupelet?
I've seen pictures of painted and bare steel.
The shaft and control rods would be plain steel, brackets, column case would have been painted (AFAIK). I'm lazy, will paint my shaft & control rods with that "bare metal look" paint so I don't have to polish off rust later!
I'm even lazier. I'll paint all the parts that show in the engine compartment black like the rest of the chassis.
Like Steve, I paint all that stuff black, usually gloss black because that is what I always have. But flat black or satin black look better there (at least in my opinion).
Philip, I believe that the upper end of the spark and throttle rods (handle) and the pressed steel quadrant should be brass plated on your car. The steering column that was in my 1916 sedan had the remains of brass plating on those pieces. That was one of the main reasons I was fairly certain it was an original brass era sedan.
I wish I still had that car.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Philip -- The timing and throttle rod handles would have been either gloss black paint or brass-plated for a foot or so, then bare below. I thought that they were black for '16 (brass for '15 model year), but I don't doubt what Wayne said about his. The steering shaft should be left bare as well.
If you paint those lower parts before adding the little levers and spacers which slide up on them, the paint will make them too thick to do that. Here is a pic of my '15:
The throttle and timing rods on mine are solid brass repros, so they aren't bare steel below as they should be. I painted all that stuff using clear lacquer after it was assembled, to keep the steering shaft from rusting and the rods from turning dark. The lower steering bracket should be painted black, I believe. I don't know for sure, but I expect that the little pieces (levers, spacer) would have been raven finished. I painted mine black.
Spark and Throttle rods were brass plated until the Nickel plated steering gear cases were introduced. There may have been a short time when the rods were black, as were the steering cases in the initial '17 production. (based on the encyclopedia).