01 1955 Chevrolet Task Force Hood Emblem Upgrade

Semi-Smoothing Chevy Bowtie Emblem on a ‘55 Chevy Task Force Hood

By “Rotten” Rodney Bauman

Here in our Montana-based shop we’re still workin’ on the same second-series ’55 Chevrolet. You know the big ol’ heavy badges those old trucks wear on their fender sides and hood? We have all three in original pitted condition. In our Brothers Trucks catalog we’ve noticed some beautiful reproductions, but since pluggin’ holes is easily done we’ve opted to delete all three badges in favor of a smoother look.

02 Here’s the truck’s original hood emblem. Granted, from this angle it’s bigger than big, but it’s just plain big from any angle
Here’s the truck’s original hood emblem. Granted, from this angle it’s bigger than big, but it’s just plain big from any angle.

Read More: In Your Garage: Fred Steiner Jr.’s 1956 Chevrolet Task Force 3200

The project truck is not meant to be a smoothie, as its exterior will retain a few stock-type hiccups. For example, from the aforementioned catalog we’re about to place an order, which will include shiny-new reproduction door handles. Back to big badges; we’re thinkin’ the fenders will look great without, but what about the void at the front of the hood? There might still be room for something smaller there.

03 And here’s the used Chevy emblem from the same unflattering angle. Size-wise we like this better and a reproduction doesn’t cost too much.
And here’s the used Chevy emblem from the same unflattering angle. Size-wise we like this better and a reproduction doesn’t cost too much.

As the truck’s construction continues, we’re wondering how close the contours of a ’55  Chevy hood emblem might match those of the old truck’s hood. Being pretty familiar with curvaceous Chevys, we’re thinkin’ that might be a fit. We know that Danchuk reproduces that emblem, but we’re not so keen on ordering one just to find out if it’ll really work—or not. Long story short, and quite accidentally, we’ve found what we need.

04 The bezel’s studs and guide pins hinder our contour comparison, but so far it’s lookin’ pretty close on our Chevy truck
The bezel’s studs and guide pins hinder our contour comparison, but so far it’s lookin’ pretty close. Perhaps we can check our fitment another way.

Back in California, while setting up for our first big “Wrecking Yardsale,” a weathered ’55 Chevy hood emblem emerged from some pile of ol’ parts! From there it went straight into Samsonite for the road trip home where fitment suspicions have since been confirmed.

05 This handy little contour gauge is a Harbor Freight score. Let’s see what it’ll tell us about the shapes we’re hoping to merge.
This handy little contour gauge is a Harbor Freight score. Let’s see what it’ll tell us about the shapes we’re hoping to merge.

Read More: The Matador Red 1959 Chevy Apache Pickup

As it turns out, the Danchuk reproduction emblem of desire is also stocked by Summit Racing, whose number we know by heart. It’s time to place another order anyway. Along with other items (body shop staples) from Summit Racing, let’s have a Danchuk 371 as well.

06 When compared to the 55 Chevy hood’s frontal curvature, the bezel’s upper and lower edges are close enough that we’ll optimistically continue with the job
When compared to the hood’s frontal curvature, the bezel’s upper and lower edges are close enough that we’ll optimistically continue with the job.
07 We could’ve bolted on a new-reproduction badge, or just deleted its holes for a smoother look. Instead, we’re calling Summit Racing
This could’ve gone other ways. We could’ve bolted on a new-reproduction badge, or just deleted its holes for a smoother look. Instead, we’re calling Summit Racing.
08 parts for our 1955 Chevy Task Force Hood upgrade arrived
Knock-knock! Who’s there? Why, it’s Buddy the delivery guy! He brings us packages like this one pretty often.
09 It appears as though we have a top-quality reproduction Chevy Bowtie Emblem
Pulled from the mix with other supplies, it appears as though we have a top-quality reproduction part right here.
10 When compared directly to our weathered original, its dimensions are identical. It fits our Task Force Hood!
Even so, let’s double-check our fitment. When compared directly to our weathered original, its dimensions are identical. Held to the hood it’s a winner!
11 Here with a tapeline we’re making use of sharp remedial math skills. A dull Sharpie and a stretch of 3_4-inch masking tape help us locate the hood’s center
Here with a tapeline we’re making use of sharp remedial math skills. A dull Sharpie and a stretch of 3/4-inch masking tape help us locate the hood’s center.
12 our new emblem seems to look best about an inch above our masking tape’s upper edge
Held up again, roughly in position, our new emblem seems to look best about an inch above our masking tape’s upper edge.
13 So, above that stretch of masking tape on our truck_s hood we’ll need to add another inch. An old roll of 1-inch painter’s tape was within reach.
So, above that stretch of masking tape we’ll need to add another inch. An ol’ roll of 1-inch painter’s tape was within reach. It’ll serve as a visual guide.
14 With our new emblem protected and lightly secured to professional-grade template material, let’s trace around the bezel with the dull Sharpie
Here at the bench we’re preparing to create a template. Our guide pins measure 7/32. Instinct says we’ll end up drilling holes a little larger.
15 With our new emblem protected and lightly secured to professional-grade template material, let’s trace around the bezel with the dull Sharpie
With our new emblem protected and lightly secured to professional-grade template material, let’s trace around the bezel with the dull Sharpie.
16 Scissors worked fine, but our office-variety hole punch wasn’t up to the task
Scissors worked fine, but our office-variety hole punch wasn’t up to the task. So, we’ve pulled this from our partial set of hollow punches; 1/4 is pretty close to 7/32, right?
17 A little later when we’re drilling the hood, we’ll attempt to compensate for this
Our B-side view is true. We’re off a little on three of our holes. A little later when we’re drilling the hood, we’ll attempt to compensate for this.
18 Our previously established centerline keeps us centered, but we’ll need the tapeline again for proper clocking
It’s time to make our marks for drilling. Our previously established centerline keeps us centered, but we’ll need the tapeline again for proper clocking.
19 For best-possible bull’s-eyes a 1_4-inch transfer punch receives a gentle hammer smack just prior to drilling
For best-possible bull’s-eyes a 1/4-inch transfer punch receives a gentle hammer smack just prior to drilling.
20 Sometimes, at least around here, it’s hard to find sharp drill bits. So, even though we’ve used a transfer punch, we’ll begin our drilling with 1_8-inch pilot holes into our old truck_s hood
Sometimes, at least around here, it’s hard to find sharp drill bits. So, even though we’ve used a transfer punch, we’ll begin our drilling with 1/8-inch pilot holes.
21 Next with our template removed we can upsize our holes. For 7_32 guide pins that’ll likely need some wiggle, 1_4-inch seems about right—so far
Next with our template removed we can upsize our holes. For 7/32 guide pins that’ll likely need some wiggle, 1/4-inch seems about right—so far.
22 By the time we’re satisfied, however, only the upper-center hole remains a tight ¼ inch. With the others further enlarged we’ve gained adjustability
By the time we’re satisfied, however, only the upper-center hole remains a tight ¼ inch. With the others further enlarged we’ve gained adjustability.
23 At least two of the bezel’s three guide pins will receive supplied speed nuts. Getting those started the first time can be tough, but abrading smooth plating helps
At least two of the bezel’s three guide pins will receive supplied speed nuts. Getting those started the first time can be tough, but abrading smooth plating helps.
24 Another thing that helps is our own bodyweight. Here on a solid surface, padded with microfiber toweling, we’re pre-threading guide pins with their own speed nuts
Another thing that helps is our own bodyweight. Here on a solid surface, padded with microfiber toweling, we’re pre-threading guide pins with their own speed nuts.
25 Once the guide pins are pre-threaded, the Chevy emblem can be installed with a light-duty nut driver. The bezel’s upper corners both use threaded studs
Once the guide pins are pre-threaded, the Chevy emblem can be installed with a light-duty nut driver. The bezel’s upper corners both use threaded studs.
26 At this stage our hood is still in need of filler work. Its topside expanse shows black rust, which a DA (dual-action) sander won’t touch. It’ll require abrasive blasting
At this stage our hood is still in need of filler work. Its topside expanse shows black rust, which a DA (dual-action) sander won’t touch. It’ll require abrasive blasting.
27 This old truck won’t be a custom, but there’ll be other lowkey custom touches along the way. If you’ll stick with us for that, we’ll see what else develops
This truck won’t be a custom, but there’ll be other lowkey custom touches along the way. If you’ll stick with us for that, we’ll see what else develops.

Sources:
Brothers Trucks
(800) 977-2767
brotherstrucks.com

Summit Racing Equipment
(800) 230-3030
summitracing.com

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