Painted Black???? I think that 99.9% of us Bolters would agree that the bed and strips were painted black, thatís not the question that always remains unanswered. What black was it? Was it a flat black, a semi-gloss black, a satin-black, a gloss black? It is rumored here and over at the VCCA site that the bed wood was treated/dipped with Creosote, I wouldnít argue that because that was the preservative of the day before they had the pressure treated process that we know today. Even if the wood was treated, it was still painted and it was apparently done before it or the strips were installed. If they had been painted after installation there would have been some evidence of that from over spray on the ends and corner angles which the outer boards had to slip under. My boards are still in serviceable condition and have never been out of the bed so when I get to that phase Iím interested to see what the surface/finish looks like under the strips on the bottom of the boards and strips. That will tell a lot of the story Iím sure.
Iíve also uncovered some other details pertaining to the bed paint. I have the RR fender off for some bodywork right now and took the advantage to excavate some of the color layers on the bed side. When I scrubbed the area under the fender I noticed that the bed side was still in its E-coat and original paint. Since the truck was ordered and delivered from the factory in Mariner Blue that is what I expected the bed to be. Iíll describe the paint build from the E-coat up.
It appears that the bed and fenders were assembled in their E-coat primer and then sprayed the standard green and put on the shelf and held in inventory till it was needed on the production line. There is a very light dusting of green with the vertical passes still showing on the bed side under the fender. Under the flange where the fender was bolted to the bedside there is only black E-coat primer. The outside of the bed and fenders were also sprayed green over the E-coat. Apparently when the order came down for Mariner Blue this was sprayed directly over the green with no primer in between.
The village that bought this truck new used it as their fire truck, so somewhere in the 50ís or 60ís a red oxide primer was shot over the Blue which was getting dull in spots and the present coat of fire engine red was applied over that. That village retained ownership up until a few years ago. I talked with the custodians of the truck for the last few decades and from all accounts they knew nothing about the bed ever being replaced and they felt positive that it was the original bed, fenders and floor.
Couple of pics for those that care: http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2954317120098611668lsxdTU
Now all we need to do is hear from Mar-K on what the original bed finish was. Iíve asked several times, and Iím sure that they have done a lot of research on the subject but still havenít heard their reply one way or the other.