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How To Black Out a Hood

Copy the look of the cool-guy cars from the '60s or restore your factory stuff when we show you how to black out a hood.

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"So you're coming up to the Christmas tree and the exhaust is going bappety bappety bappety and all those little internal bits are going whumpa whumpa whumpa."

We took that quote right from the Plymouth ad that ran in the Jan. '68 issue of Car Craft. It was the beginning of an increasingly bizarre advertising campaign that eventually manifested itself on the showroom floor with strobe-sticker kits, cartoon caricatures, and blackout hoods. Other makes were in on it too. The blackout rear valance on the Camaro screamed big-block, the Road Runner had the six-barrel hood; even Ford had a version on the Mach 1. It was cool enough back then to rope in the customers, and the flavor lingers with old guys who try to buy back some of the original cars if they can afford it and younger dudes who try to re-create the look on garden-variety musclecars for cheap.

In our case, it's the latter. We rattle-canned on the flat back in Apr. '06 when we mounted the hoodscoop to clear the impending tunnel-ram installation, and it looks like we just hit the can with a nail and let fly. We live with ourselves because at the time we wanted the street-race look. But whatever the reason for wanting a black accent panel, hood, or stripe, it is important to get the right amount of sheen. Not too flat and not too glossy. The next time you go to a show, take a peek at the lineup of open hoods and you will see everything from rattle-can flat black (us) to overpolished reflective treatments that are just a little too much like a regular clearcoat paint job to look correct. After staring at the hood for a couple of miles, we decided to take it to Russ Stevenson at Gold Coast Customs and do it right. In the end, it wasn't cheap, but doing it right seldom is.

Description Source Price
R-M UR50 reducer BASF $89.50/qt.
R-M DH42 rapid hardener BASF 89.50/qt.
R-M SC804 UNO HD Mat Black BASF 68.85/ltr.
Heavy-duty high-performance HVLP paint gun Craftsman 99.00
Geo FX97 paint gun Walcom 471.10
Self-etching primer SEM 5.78
Kombi putty Sikkens 8.86
PCL primer DuPont 50.00/gal.
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