When I drove my T to work a month or so back for the first time, one of the guys took notice that there was a sign painted on the door. In 12 years of ownership, I had never noticed this. He urged me to find out what it was. I declined at the time, but my curiosity has got the better of me.
It is on both doors of my Canadian cut off touring. I carefully used some 400grit wet sand paper and revealed what is below.
Is this possibly a Canadian company? At first we thought it said Chevrolet, and while similar looking, I don't think so now. There are also a few letters that are visible on the upper part of the circle.
What do you think?
I believe that from what I see in person, the last part of the logo is "olen"
Again, being a Canadian car, I am thinking a company from that area. This car came from the Oshawa area when I bought it.
Kind of looks like the ring behind the main name has "British American" across the top. After a quick search, I bet the main script said "Autolene" which appears to be their house brand of oil.
...but don't believe me, check this out:
It's Autolene by British American
It's the life preserver ring as seen in this ad
Wow. I am amazed (but not surprised), that you guys came up with this--which is why I asked the wealth of knowledge here on the forum.
Fantastic! And Thank You!
I am not sure how to proceed with the door, maybe I will clear it. I wonder what this vehicle was used for---maybe deliveries? It was converted to a pickup truck. I really wish old cars could talk.
The first letters of ''gasoline'' can be made out....Garylook closely at the bottom rt circle
Any good sign shop would be able to replicate that logo onto a vinyl sticker to re-create the look.
Maybe a previous owner was a distributor for Autolene. Do you know the history of the car?
: ^ )
If you have a good idea of what the logo is you can try to clean it up and leave as is or you can restore it by using an over lay or something similar to repaint it to its original condition.
To each is own but for me I think I would get someone that's really good and repaint it.
I wonder if it was hand painted or was some type of overlay????
How were these type of signs applied. Maybe someone who is knowledgeable would know.
when I was a kid our local sign painter did everything by hand. Even down the road if a vehicle was painted over the logo would ''shadow'' thru the overlaying paint. Shrinkage, exposure to the sun, etc caused the logo to show a faint surface outline in the surface reflections. During my bodyshop career we were very careful when repainting over a logo to sand it completely off the panel and to prime it well. The vinyl logos and lettering has killed the sign-painting business. An eraser wheel on a die grinder will clean the most stubbornly-bonded vinyl transfer completely off. No extra prep needed to refinish.
I am aware of at least three sign painters here in the Twin Cities who do things the old fashioned way.
One extremely talented fellow does sign painting, pinstriping and graphic design among other endeavors. He also designs produces neon signs.
As far as sign painting goes, he can replicate practically anything and make it look like it was painted yesterday or 100 years ago.
A large population base would have the work necessary to support a true sign painter. I have tended to avoid living in large towns, semi-rural and rural have been my choice. Sign painters the old-fashioned way are now few and far between here in the South.
I need Steve Jelf to make an excursion to NY and fix it up for me. I want to wet sand the other door and see how that comes out before I make the decision on what to do.
I know nothing on the history of the car/truck. I believe it was a rolling chassis that got an earlier engine stock in it, as well as a few other bits and pieces to make it "whole" again.
It was painted a really ugly green and then painted black. My guess is the door was painted red within the body line and the Autolene logo applied.
I may "touch up" the logo to make it more legible and then clear it. As I said, it is on both sides of the truck. Will wait and see what the other side reveals.
Thank You very much for the interest and comments. Let me know what you think.
And someone did bring up a point, how would a logo like this be applied? Was there a stencil perhaps? To me, the sign painter would have to be Real good to get both sides to match.
Steve Jelf...are you out there
Just an idea: paint the entire truck, remove doors, send them to whomever to have artwork done.
I would do nothing but stabilize it.
You could show the research you have done to identify it on a storyboard - perhaps display the complete logo there.
There is not another one like it.
You could replicate the logo on a magnetic sign, then as Jim suggested stabilize the original artwork. It is only original once.
That way you can have the best of both worlds; Original and reproduction.
: ^ )
Chad, this imprint was probably a water-transfer decal provided by the company. The process was to screen print the design with enamel "inks" on a paper backing coated with a water-soluble glue. On application, the decal would be soaked in water allowing the imprint to slide off the backing sheet and onto the vehicle door. When dry, it would be "fixed" with clear varnish.
While it's not beyond the capability of a competent mechanic to produce that logo "by hand" directly, with brushes and paint, it seems a bit too intricate to have been a cost-effective method even in the era.
As for the painter being "really good", we "cheat" with pounce patterns when the job demands reproducing a logo true to type.
How would a person go about stabilizing & protecting such an example without noticeably altering the appearance ?
Rich, I agree that the imprint is indeed very intricate. I wasn't aware that they had water-transfer decals back then. I am basically thinking of the type included in the model cars as a kid---just on a bigger scale of course. But it seems to have wet sanded in the style of a screen printed design, so that decal scenario certainly fits the bill.
I am assuming I could just use an automotive clear on this to preserve it. In the one photo I basically oiled the door to get an even sheen to make the image pop more, then degreased it back off for now..
FJ, Chad, depending on the condition of what's left of the decal and the paint on the door, and the kind of "wear" it's likely to be exposed to, the best conservation may be to do nothing. While it's intuitive that a clear coating would offer protection, it would certainly depend on how a given clear coat will age. Probably most high-quality UV absorbing automotive clear-coats would do the job.
Chad, yes, exactly like the decals in model kits when we were kids. It's of interest to note that decals of that type were in use by carriage and wagon painters as far back as the 1870s, and probably even earlier.
This might sound crazy and that is because it is. One day I was presented with a very old document, written on an animal skin which had fire and smoke damage. My task was to take some photos and try to make the wording more legible. You may want to do the following also, if you have the tools. I placed a digital SLR on a tripod, screwed on a black sun filter lens, and set the exposure to about one minute. I then took a NIR (near infrared) flashlight and "painted" the skin with light, needing to remember where I painted on each stroke, with the normal overhead lights on. It did not matter if my hand ever got in the way. The photos were great, as if the smoke damage was never there. After the owner saw the photos, I also offered to take pictures in ultraviolet light, but they were not necessary.